A few miles off the coast of South Tenerife, a gleaming, coal-black fin cuts through the glittering blue Atlantic Ocean.
Skipper, Felix, points his arm in the direction of a pod of pilot whales. They curve and splash,a low 'hooosh' sound emanating from their spouts as they continue their quest for squid. These sociable, marine creatures swim quite near to the boat, but some of us aren't quick enough on the camera to get more than a fin or glossyback in the picture.
They're the warm-up act before bottle-nosed dolphins arrive to entertain us with their water ballet of dives and swoops. Skipper, Felix, cuts the engine. One dolphin leaps out of the water, performing an acrobatic somersault before crashing back into the sea. We're thrilled when the pod follows the boat for a while.
Sailing charter company, White Tenerife, organises daily whale and dolphin watching trips from picturesque Porto Colon. Children are allowed on board, as well.
Year round sunshine makes Tenerife, the largest of the seven Canary Islands, a much-loved, hotspot for UK holidaymakers. Dominated by Spain's highest peak, Mount Teide, Tenerife boasts wide, sandy, palm-fringed beaches, stunning coastlines, traditional villages, cultural events and tropical flora and fauna.
When it comes to family holidays, happy kids mean happy parents.
Activities at the new, five-star, fantasy-themed family hotel, Fantasia Bahia Principe, south Tenerife, ensure children have fun so mums and dads can relax. From tailor-made kids' spa treatments to The Loft teens' club with private disco, leisure and games room and a kids' club itinerary which includes costume and cookery workshops plus island expeditions, youngsters can do something different every day.
The friendly 'Candyman' wheels his sweetie-packed trolley into the reception area and entertains little ones with magic tricks, while mum and dad check in. An enchanting fairytale castle hosts spectacular, highly-professional, multi-media theatrical shows, nightly. On the top floor of the magical castle, families can hire the suite, complete with dressing up room for kids. Mainly UK visitors choose the Fantasia Bahia Principe. Accommodation to suit all needs is offered in the 372 rooms. A total of 286 spacious, family master
suites sleep up to five. Families often bring along grandparents. Delightful, private, swim up rooms are for adults only. We could hear the laughter and squeals of youngsters on the two waterslides in the splash-filled waterpark . There are seven swimming pools - five for adults and older children plus two for younger ones.
A calm, serene infinity pool in the adults' sun terrace area, overlooks the glittering blue Atlantic Ocean. The Bahia spa is an oasis of harmony and tranquility or if residents feel they need a workout, there's the gym or multi-purpose sports ground. Visitors never go hungry here, with a 24-hour service at the Dream Factory and American Diner. A buffet-style restaurant presents a huge choice of hot and cold dishes. Asian and Italian cuisine is served at two of the three a la carte restaurants. We tuck in at the Steak House, sharing enormous platters of succulent steak, pork chops and grilled chicken served with salad, potatoes and vegetables.
The Fantasia Bahia Principe is located on the popular Costa San Miguel . It's all smiles at sister hotel, four-star, Sunlight Bahia Principe, just a few kilometres away on the popular Costa Adeje. The moment visitors step into the reception area, friendly staff offer a warm welcome. They're at the ready to help everyone settle in quickly so that they can begin to enjoy their holiday at this colourful, Canarian-Mediterranean themed resort, which is a favourite with UK visitors. A total of 288 rooms are arranged over five floors.
The Sunlight Bahia Principe is surrounded by lush, green gardens and boasts breathtaking views over the Atlantic and the neighbouring island of La Gomera. No-one gets bored here with an international entertainment programme, which includes live music and children's disco, devised for adults and youngsters. Activities include: mini-golf, darts, table tennis, archery, gym and aerobics. There are also spa facilities. Besides the sun-bathing areas around the swimming pools, quieter areas feature sun-bed terraces where couples can read or snooze in peace. A fast-food pool bar serves snacks, ice cream and drinks on tap. The daily shuttle bus service transports residents to the popular beach at Playa de las Americas.
At sunset, pre-dinner cocktails on the wide terrace are the order of day. Residents can dine at each of the Mexican, Italian and Asian speciality a la carte restaurants once per week during their stay. The additional Mirador International Cuisine buffet restaurant boasts a banquet of hot and cold dishes and the desserts are out of this world.
For lunch, one day, my companion and I just gave in to indulgence. We skipped the salads and for our main course just ate three different desserts in a bowl! Naughty but very nice!
Tenerife Tourism Corporation:www.webtenerife.co.uk
White Tenerife: www.whitetenerife.com
Sunlight Bahia Principe Tenerife: www.bahia-principe.com/en/hotels-in-spain/hotel-tenerife/
Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife: www.bahia-principe.com/en/hotels-in-spain/resort-fantasia/
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Fantasia Bahia Principe
Dolphins at Tenerife
Sunlight Bahia Principe
Dolphin Boat Trip