Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Guest Post: Exploring Northern Tenerife – a family holiday to Puerto de la Cruz

Katie is the food and travel addicted blogger behind delightso.me. She has put together a few highlights from her recent trip to northern Tenerife with her family. You can find her on twitter at @delightsomeblog.

When the opportunity came up for me to spend a week in Puerto de la Cruz with my sister and her children, I jumped at the chance. I’ve had many holidays in Tenerife over the years, but I had never stayed in the north of the island and was eager to give it a shot.
In Tenerife, the north is a lot greener than the south, thanks to lower temperatures and more rainfall. This coupled with the abundance of package holidays to the area makes it a popular choice for families. When we arrived at the beginning of the Easter school holidays, I was pleasantly surprised to feel a warm, gentle breeze brushing my cheeks. The sky was clear, the sun was beating down and the temperature was around 18°C – a lot warmer than I had been expecting.    

Puerto de la Cruz
On day one of our holidays, we just wanted to relax and get used to our surroundings. We enjoyed a leisurely buffet breakfast before spending several hours lounging in the sunshine by the pool, and in the outdoor Jacuzzi.
The children had entirely different ideas though - and wanted to do as much as they could. Luckily, there was plenty to keep them entertained while we chilled out. They enjoyed the children’s pool, free WiFi access, games room and activities organised by the animation team. After we felt fully re-energised, we decided it was time to explore and see what Puerto de la Cruz had to offer.


Lago Martiánez
We’d heard about Lago Martiánez from friends who’d visited the year before and it looked like it would be a fun day out. This lido-like attraction was made up of one giant salt-water lake with a large fountain in the centre. Several other smaller pools – including a few children’s pools – surround it. There were plenty of sun loungers and parasols to use, which was a good thing as we could move about as we kept an eye on the kids as they jumped from pool to pool.

Image credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Puerto_Martianez_01.jpg

Jardín Botánico
Puerto de la Cruz is known for its beautiful gardens and we decided to visit the most popular one – Jardín Botánico. We were concerned about the children getting bored and restless looking at plants and flowers but they ended up really enjoying themselves. In addition to the variety of flora, there was also a pond with turtles and goldfish, dragonflies and lizards which kept the little ones interested and happy.

Loro Parque
Without a doubt, my favourite day of the trip was the one we spent at the Loro Parque zoo. When we arrived, I took one of the free maps and was shocked at how large the park was. Even though we got there first thing in the morning, there were so many animal enclosures, shows, attractions and exhibitions at the park that I didn’t think we’d even have time to see half of it! We decided to circle our must-see places and just do our best with the rest.

The aquarium was unlike any other I’d ever visited and was made up of 12 different exhibits, some of which you could walk under. We saw everything from huge sharks and stingrays down to tiny seahorses and – the children’s favourite – clown fish which looked like Nemo. The penguin enclosure was another amazing section of the park and was home to four different species of penguin. The huge habitat is a replica of the Antarctic, complete with icebergs, salt water, freezing temperatures and genuine snow. The enclosure was protected by clear glass, so we could see the penguins swimming through the water and jumping back up onto the ice.
Image credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tenerife2005_loro_parque_121.jpg

 Kinderlandia was the children’s favourite section of the park and it provided us adults with time for a much-deserved break at the nearby cafe. This jungle-themed play park was packed with things for little ones of all ages to do, including bridges, slides and even a mini rollercoaster. There was a fairy popping up every now and then as well, painting children’s faces and playing games.

Dinner at Pomodoro
We were spoiled for choice when it came to dining out. Pomodoro was by far the best place we ate, in my opinion, and I wouldn’t hesitate going back the next time I return to Puerto de la Cruz. This restaurant is set into the cliff face so we were lucky enough to enjoy fantastic sea views, with the waves crashing onto the rocks beneath us, whilst we ate. As with many restaurants in the area, Pomodoro mainly served seafood – which I loved – but my sister and her children were also well catered for with plenty of other choices and a varied kids’ menu.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/delightsome/9349642075/
When the week’s holiday was up, I really didn’t want to leave! We’d all had a wonderful time in Puerto de la Cruz and there is still so much more to see and do that I’m already planning my next visit. 

Disclosure: I received compensation for posting this guest post, which contains links. 

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