It didn’t take much persuading when my sister invited me along with her and her two children for a family holiday in Tenerife. We stayed in Playa de Las Americas, one of the most popular tourist resorts in the south of the island, knowing there would be plenty there to keep everyone entertained.
On the first day we decided to take it easy and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. We left the centre of the resort and walked toward the coast, past the Gran Oasis Resort until we arrived at a small bay. Known as Playa el Camisón, this beach has wonderfully soft golden sands and gentle waters which were perfect for the little ones to play in. Because the beach was so small, my sister and I could relax and soak up the sunshine, safe in the knowledge that her kids were only a few metres away having a great time.
The beach day was by far the most laid-back of the holiday – the rest of our days were spent exploring the island, visiting parks and generally having a fantastic time. We saw so many excursion kiosks advertising days out to Siam Park that we knew we just had to give it a go, so early one morning we hopped on the free bus and we were on our way.
The waterpark, billed as one of the world’s biggest and best, is so huge that the staff hand out maps at the entrance so you don’t get lost and miss something. Although it was intimidating at first, the vast size meant we were able to find empty sun loungers easily, even though by the end of the day we had barely touched them.
My sister and I took turns keeping an eye on the children whilst the other one had a go on the giant water slides. Even though the kids were too small to go on some of the main rides, they were more than happy with the children’s mini parks which included their very own slides, pools, showers and plenty of other things to keep them entertained.
When it was time to leave, all four of us were completely exhausted. After we arrived at our hotel, we lay down on the beds intending to have quick siestas, but ended up falling into deep sleeps and not waking up until the next morning.
The day that sticks in my mind most vividly though is the day we travelled north and visited Loro Parque. The thought of sitting on a bus for 90 minutes with two children was off-putting to begin with, but after looking through the leaflets and brochures for the park, we knew we had to go. All four of us are animal lovers so we knew it would be a great day out.
Much like at Siam Park, the staff at Loro Parque hand out maps to visitors at the entrance. Even though we arrived first thing in the morning, after looking at the map I didn’t think we’d have enough time to see everything – the park really was that huge. My sister was much more optimistic than me and took charge, saying that we would definitely see everything – even if we had to run around the whole park!
Whilst I can’t remember every show, enclosure and attraction we saw, there are some that will always stick in my mind. The Baby Station is a small section of the park dedicated to baby animals which have been born as a result of Loro Parque’s breeding programme. We were lucky enough to be able to see one of the onsite vets feeding the tiny birds which were only a few days old.
Planet Penguin was my favourite animal enclosure – it’s a huge Antarctica-inspired habitat with icebergs, freezing cold water and genuine snow. There were four types of penguins in the enclosure and they were fascinating to watch.
The best show was without a doubt the orca display. I’d seen killer whales on TV before, but I never knew how big they were in real life. It was incredible watching them work with their trainers to show off their amazing skills.
By the time we were ready to leave, my sister had beaten the challenge – we had managed to see everything the park offered and, this time, we were even more exhausted than after the day we spent at Siam Park. We decided not to kid ourselves about a siesta and went straight to bed when we got back to our hotel.
By the end of the holiday I was so tired that I felt I needed another holiday just to recover.
[This post is brought to you by Jet2Holidays. Katie is a travel and food blogger from the UK. She had such a fantastic time in Tenerife that she is eagerly planning another trip to the island – perhaps, though, with more of those relaxing days on the beach! You can follow her adventures on twitter @delightsomeblog.]