Canary Islands: Which Island, Which Town?

Nov 19th, 2019, 06:22 PM
  #1  
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Canary Islands: Which Island, Which Town?

Hello! I am planning a trip to the Canary Islands for my husband, 10 & 5 year-old-boys and myself for April. We love beautiful scenery, charming towns, and the opportunity for great walks. This year, my husband also asked for some beach time, and so we thought the Canary Islands would be a great fit.

Ive been reading forums and guidebooks and would love your input on which island we would love most, and which charming town we should use as our home base.

Our plan is to arrive in the Canaries (from Chicago changing planes in Madrid) on Friday, April 4. Wed like to have two beach days, 1 day of whale-watching, two days of hiking and possibly one day to explore, then to fly to Madrid and spend two or three nights there before returning to Chicago on Saturday or Sunday, April 11 or 12. Weve all enjoyed Greece (Athens and Aegina last spring) and are excited for our adventure this year.

Wed like to minimize time spent packing up and moving from place to place, so wed like to choose one town in the Canaries to use as our home base. We love scenic, charming, old-world-feeling towns and dont have any interest in the resorts that attract folks looking primarily for sun.

Some other notes:
  • While were looking for beach time, it doesnt have to be the absolute best beaches, just nice places to get into the ocean for a few hours. (We would likely not spend an entire day at the beach, just a morning or afternoon, and spend the rest of the day doing other things.)
  • We love it when we can rely on public transit or taxis on trips, as these are fun for the kids and add to the adventure feel, but we are prepared to rent a car on this trip if it makes sense
  • For the whale/dolphin watching, my ideal would be to find a private tour for our family that can take us out for a few hours and combine whale watching with snorkeling if the weather permits. It looks like most cruises for these things go from Playa San Juan in Tenerife and Puerto Rico in Gran Canaria, and we are prepared to drive to it, rather than staying right next door
  • For the hiking, four to six mile hikes would probably be ideal. Enough to feel like weve done something and gotten somewhere away from the tour buses, but not so long the kids are miserable.
  • For the town, we love being able to walk to dinner and have our choice of several restaurants. Were looking forward to traditional food and Spanish food, though excellent Italian-style pizza is always appreciated by our crew, as well.
  • We typically book AirBnbs, but the lure of a pool might be enough for us to look for a hotel that could work for our family.
  • We dont need our schedule to be packed morning to night. Just having nice places to stroll around from our homebase is more appealing to us than hitting three museums in a day.

Tenerife seems like an obvious choice since it has a lot of flights, and Puerto de la Cruz and La Orotava sound nice. Id love input on them and whether there are other choices that might be better.

La Gomera also sounds really lovely, but there dont seem to be direct flights from Madrid. It appears to be a short flight from Tenerife, though, so perhaps changing planes is worth it? If so, which town would you recommend?

The walking in Gran Canaria sounds great but Im not sure which town would make a good home base. Is Las Palmas a charming city?

The other islands dont seem to have direct flights from Madrid and Im not sure if theyd be worth a change.

Thank you in advance for your ideas and opinions!
greengiant is offline  
Nov 26th, 2019, 05:21 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
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Hi! Tenerife is a better option compared to Las Palmas just bec you can do a lot of things compared to the latter island.

In Tenerife, you may want to check Costa Adeje bec of the establishments there and the convenience for you and your fam.
But with hiking, El Medano is the best choice, but yah up to you.

Have a fun trip!
HowardRyle is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2019, 01:39 PM
  #3  
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 53
Originally Posted by HowardRyle View Post
Hi! Tenerife is a better option compared to Las Palmas just bec you can do a lot of things compared to the latter island.

In Tenerife, you may want to check Costa Adeje bec of the establishments there and the convenience for you and your fam.
But with hiking, El Medano is the best choice, but yah up to you.

Have a fun trip!
This is so helpful, thank you!
greengiant is offline  
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