Splashdown in Tenerife

When planning a family holiday, the Spanish island of Tenerife is everything you could ever dream of. Close enough that you can get there quickly – cheap flights from Manchester to Tenerife rarely take more than four-and-a-half hours. But it’s also far away enough to be in the sun and feel like a holiday, unlike, say, Barnstaple.

This was our main reason we chose it for our young daughters. We could have an enjoyable holiday abroad in the sun while at the same time not having to tolerate nasty looks from the other passengers on the aeroplane for daring to bring young children along (other parents will know exactly what I’m talking about, I’m sure!). “Why couldn’t you have left them back at home?”, the looks seem to say.

The missus and I are blessed with quite a large family – three boys and two girls – across a pretty wide age span (the youngest is six, the eldest is fifteen). We love them to bits and wouldn’t have it any other way, but it’s quite difficult to keep them all amused when they’re away from their home comforts. Thank God there was an age-appropriate in-flight film to keep them all entertained on the way over.

Once we arrived in Tenerife, the pressure was on to find something else in order to keep them occupied. Luckily, we’d come prepared with a list of activities that we hoped would go down well with the whole family. Loro Park at Puerto de la Cruz went down very well with all involved – the lively animals were enough to keep even our six-year-old amused.

But Siam Water Park was by far the most well-received attraction of the trip. In fact, we returned there several times thanks to popular demand. It’s the sort of thing that you can just slot into your day. My wife would often take our youngest to the more serene attractions. She particularly loved being shepherded through the Lost City, which is a giant splashy fortress made up of bridges, waterfalls, slides and towers – all more than manageable for a six-year-old. They also loved the lazy river attractions – I’m told that floating through the lush vegetation and aquarium full of tropical fish is just a dream. My wife particularly enjoyed the Jacuzzi at the end of this one!

For my part, I agreed to take the lads and our eldest daughter on some of the more adrenaline-inducing rides. These included the Tower of Power – a thrilling 28-metre drop that plunged straight into a dark aquarium. Tremendous fun! Once the kids tired of that, we filled the hours with endless races on the Naga Racer. There are six lanes to this attraction which was great because there were five of us, and we ended up entering into a competition with another family.

Siam was the highlight of our holiday, which was particularly astounding as my wife and I hadn’t expected to enjoy the park at all – we were mainly going for the kids. So it was a pleasant surprise to discover that this park is truly designed for all the members of the family to enjoy.

Photo by greijer on Flickr

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