Why you should Jet2 Tenerife for Winter Sun
By Helen Wright
As travel restrictions from the UK ease, a family holiday is long overdue for many of us! With Christmas and New Year out of the way, I was looking for somewhere budget-conscious that offered some much-needed winter sun. The Canary Islands looked ideal and Jet2 Tenerife flight and holiday deals were very attractive, with return flights and four nights all-inclusive (for all four of us) including flights, only £1300.
Cover image: Raico Rosenberg
WHERE TO GO FOR JANUARY AND FEBRUARY SUN HOLIDAYS?
The Canary Islands are part of Spain, but sit as an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, around 60 miles from the African mainland. This makes them the ideal European destination for January and February sun holidays, as the Canary Islands stay warm while the rest of Europe stays a lot colder. They have a fantastic year-round climate, with average temperatures of 22C and sunny. This means that most resorts on the islands are open all year and many snow birds migrate there for the whole winter (oh to have no children still in school, eh?). The Canaries include Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and Ferro. Jet2Holidays offer family holidays that are not going to bust the budget, a nice beach, some fun activities and an easy transfer from the airport in Spain, which was exactly what we wanted.
Jet2 Tenerife: A choice of flights from the UK
Jet2holidays fly to Tenerife from 10 UK airports, including London Stansted, which is very convenient for us. There are also direct trains from Liverpool Street on the Stansted Express. I usually find Stansted a stress-free airport, and we passed through security within 15 minutes, even with all the extra checks for vaccines and passenger locator forms. (*Kids under 18 do not currently require a vaccine to travel to Spain). The kids were really excited to be back on a plane again and couldn’t wait for take off and to get to the hotel pool!
Flying with Jet2holidays
I have flown with Jet2holidays a few times now, and I have always been really impressed with them. They were particularly helpful to me when travelling with kids to Europe, always managing to seat us together and being cheerful and fun with the children. Little details like this make travelling enjoyable and stress-free for all of us. Because of this, they are always my first port of call for European package holidays, regardless of price.
For this trip, we have partnered with Jet2holidays to showcase the fun and ease of a winter sun break to Tenerife. This has in no way impacted my opinion of the company, our holiday or the hotel, and as always on passportstamps.uk, ALL opinions are my own.
The flight from London to Tenerife is 4hrs and 30 mins, which is longer than I would aim to fly for a European beach holiday in summer, but essential for that all-important winter sun in January or February. In fact, the total duration for our flight was just over 4hrs, so it was absolutely fine. Both kids napped and we also had some food on the plane, which helped keep us all fed and watered.
I usually wouldn’t talk much about airline food, but I was really impressed with the meals on Jet2holidays! They were from a brand called Yum.me. We all had pasta (Penne Arrabbiata or Mac’n’Cheese) and both were great. The total cost for four meals with two drinks, plus a tin of Pringles, was £32.
Where to stay with Jet2 Tenerife? How to chose an area and hotel
Before booking, I didn’t possess a great knowledge of Tenerife’s geography and areas, but the Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle hotel with Jet2Holidays caught my eye. Situated in Los Cristianos, but within walking distance to Playa de la Vistas, meant we had two great beaches nearby. You could walk to Los Cristianos Beach in 10 minutes, or a free half-hourly shuttle bus will drop you at a central point between the two beaches.
The Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle hotel had great reviews both on Jet2holidays and externally, plus some customer awards behind it. It also had a choice of pools and a kids club. We were looking for simple and clean, with some activities for the kids and this hotel ticked all the boxes. The package also includes a coach transfer to and from the airport, and this was incredibly smooth and hassle-free.
Read our full review of Paradise Park Lifestyle Hotel with Jet2Holidays.
Jet2 Tenerife: The best destination for families to find Winter Sun
Travelling from the UK, most families looking for winter sun are hoping for the same thing: some warmer weather to escape the British freeze, a way to unwind after a busy Christmas and a chance to spend some quality time with the family. A Winter Sun package holiday with Jet2holidays Tenerife offered exactly that, but I was surprised to find there were also lots of other great activities and attractions in Tenerife for families too.
We had opted for four days, as Finn had to go back to school, but there is plenty to do in Tenerife alongside the swimming pool and fun activities put on by the hotels. A family could easily enjoy a 7-day holiday in Tenerife without feeling bored. We had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be the ideal destination for winter sun in Europe.
What is the best beach in Tenerife?
In the area we were staying, the best nearby beach is Las Vistas, which we could easily reach via the free hotel mini bus, or it was a 25-minute walk. However, for a quick beach trip from our hotel, the beach at Los Cristianos (10 minutes away) is perfectly fine. This beach is more industrial than Las Vistas. Many of the boat excursions leave from here, as well as the ferry terminal for travel between the Canary Islands.
Don’t expect white sand at Los Cristianos. Many beaches in Tenerife have volcanic sand, due to the active local volcano, Teide. However, the beach and sand are really clean. The kids didn’t even notice the darker colour sand. Along the promenade there are lots of cafes, shops and bars to stop and grab a drink or a bite to eat, all very affordable and laid-back.
Playa Las Vistas is definitely the nicer of the two beaches closest to our hotel. This beach is situated on the border of the Playa de Las Americas and Los Cristianos resorts, and has a more golden sand, as well as calm and clear waters to swim in. The hotel mini bus dropped us at the edge of the beach, so we headed to Las Vistas where we were planning to stay for the whole day.
Being winter, the beach was not busy at all and it seemed to be mostly the locals soaking up the sun. In summer, Playa Las Vistas gets really busy, with all the sun beds taken, lots of people bobbing in the sea and a very lively atmosphere. We really enjoyed the more tranquil experience of Las Vistas and the kids were just thrilled to be on the beach. Finn and I went for a swim in the water, which was cold at first but actually so refreshing once you started swimming. My advice would be to bring a hoodie or onesie to put on the kids when they come out of the water, because with an average temperature of 19’ in the winter months, they might feel the cold a bit more after being in the sea.
Again, Playa Las Vistas has a choice of shops, bars and restaurants along the seafront and these seemed slightly more upmarket, but to be honest were probably exactly the same! There is also a small mall at the end of the beach, with a bank and a supermarket.
Cabanas Beach Bar, Tenerife
One place I have to mention is Cabanas along the promenade at Los Cristianos. We were passing this colourful café and caught a glimpse of some delicious-looking food and cocktails being served. We were lucky enough to get a table (it’s tiny and was completely full, but a party was just leaving) and can confirm the food was as good as it looked. I can highly recommend the sangria! Service was so friendly and, in fact, the table next to us said they have been coming to Cabanas for seven years!
Check out some up-to-date package holidays to Tenerife with Jet2Holidays.
Things to do in Tenerife for families?
The Siam Park water park
Voted the best water park in the world, and for good reason. Siam Park is an epic Thai-themed water park paradise, situated in none other than Tenerife itself. From slides with a seriously steep drop to lazy rivers, family flumes and a huge golden beach, Siam Park is a great place to spend a whole day, especially when it’s super hot and sunny. For kids, there is a huge ‘Lost City’ water playground. Tickets start from £32 adult, £22 child, but for the best deals book in advance.
Loro Parque Animal Park
This animal park is another beautiful place to spend the day while you’re in Tenerife. Originally created as a sanctuary for parrots in the 1970s, the park has expanded and is now regarded as one of the best zoos in Europe. As well as beautifully landscaped gardens and ponds, Loro Parque is also home to jaguars, tigers, penguins and dolphins. There are daily shows, feeding opportunities and educational tours. Tickets are best booked in advance and joint tickets to both Loro Parque and Siam Park are available.
Go Whale Watching
Tenerife is one of the top places for whale watching in Europe because the season lasts all year, so whether you’re visiting in the summer holidays or for winter sun, you are almost guaranteed to spot these beautiful mammals in the sea. There are around 21 different species of whale and dolphin in the waters around Tenerife and Los Cristianos Beach is one of the best areas from which to take a whale watching boat trip. Finn loves Octonauts, so he was very excited to spot the sea animals in the wild. Within half an hour, dolphins were playing around the bow and alongside the boat and we also saw Sperm Whales and a Humpback whale (more commonly seen in winter).
We took a two-hour trip on Travelin Lady, which was suitable for children and staff were very responsible with kids, as well as being entertaining. The company have been awarded a Blue Ship Flag, which indicates the vessel is sustainable and kind to the environment and animals. The price was €25 per adult, €10 per child and €5 for under 5s, and there was an option to upgrade if you wanted to have food and drink on board.
Teide National Park
Teide National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest natural park in the Canary Islands. The unique ‘moon like’ landscape is home to Mount Teide, an active volcano that last erupted in 1909. Due to historic volcanic eruptions, surrounding Teide is a huge crater and some unusual and picturesque rock formations. The park is popular with hikers and rock climbers but visitors to Tenerife can take a day trip to the park to explore.
Mount Teide Cable Car
If you’re feeling athletic, you can hike to the top of Teide (and many people do), but at 3718 meters, Mount Teide is the highest point in Spain and the highest peak in Western Europe after the Alps. Thankfully, one family fun activity you can do is ride the Mount Teide Cable Car to the top in an enclosed gondola. From the top, you can enjoy panoramic views without breaking a sweat and the kids will love the journey up. The cable car is open year-round, other than on 25th December and in high winds.
Go Star Gazing
After dark, head up to Mount Teide for a twinkly look at the night sky. The area is almost completely free from light pollution and one of the best places to stargaze in Europe. This easy and accessible stargazing tour starts after sunset, and lasts for around an hour. Experienced guides will point out different constellations and prominent stars, explaining how Greek mythology relates to the shapes and constellation positions. Then, each guest has the opportunity to observe objects and planets through the telescope. The tour is suitable for children but it can be cold on the crater at night, so wrap up warm (even if it doesn’t feel cold when you leave the hotel).
We had a great time in Tenerife and the experience with Jet2 Holidays made it simple and stress-free. For more info on family holidays with Jet2holidays and their range of family destinations, visit jet2holidays.com
Read our detailed review of Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle hotel in Tenerife
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