Getting away with the kids on holiday needn’t be stressful. As a mum of four, I know travelling abroad can be somewhat daunting, but if you pick the right family-friendly destination foreign shores needn’t be off the menu until they’re 18! Go for hotspots that have manageable flight times; make sure your hotel is close to the beach and other attractions; and be sure to check online reviews. Here are some of my recommendations for my favourite child-friendly destinations in Europe.
Majorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, is always a winner when it comes to kid-friendly breaks. With a short flight time, great beaches and plenty of family-friendly hotels and villas it offers a great base from which to enjoy lazy beach days, sightseeing and more, with resorts such as Port d’Alcudia, Palma Nova and Sa Coma offering the perfect venues for chilled-out fun. The island has a lot in terms of sightseeing, too, with the capital Palma offering an awesome cathedral and delicious tapas restaurants. A trip on the old wooden train from Palma to Soller is also highly recommended.
Before booking your next family holiday it could be worth finding out more information on Croatia. This tourist hotspot has undergone a renaissance over the past decade and has soared in popularity with UK travellers. Not only can you get there in two-and-a-half hours but once there, a host of attractions await. Aside from some spectacular Roman ruins for you and your mini-adventurers to explore, there are numerous seaside resorts such as Porec and Rovinj, providing a mix of pebble and sand beaches, where the kids can play and paddle.
If you’re after a beach-based holiday with the option of sightseeing, Portugal’s Algarve is hard to beat. With a mix of peaceful and lively resorts and everything from small sandy coves to wide stretches of golden sands, there’s a lot of variety. For days out, consider Zoomarine which features dolphin shows, a theme park and lots of other attraction for all ages. For more water-based fun, check out Aquashow Park situated on the outskirts of Vilamoura.
It might not have entered on your radar yet, but Malta is another option worth considering. The Maltese islands are great for kids and there is a good selection of hotels with pools and kids’ clubs. Its rich history also provides scope for adventure with Roman ruins, walled cities and ancient temples waiting to be explored. There’s also the Popeye Village to check out. Originally created as a film set for the 1980 movie starring the spinach-chomping sailor, the site is now a fun family attraction.
For affordability and fun, Spain’s sun-drenched Costas should not be overlooked. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to resorts and you’ll also find bustling cities, waterparks and theme parks to enjoy. For a good-all rounder, the Costa Brava is hard to beat, and you can expect beach days, water sports galore plus plenty of family-friendly dining options. While you can sample traditional paella and tapas you’ll find most resorts serve up child-friendly meals such as fish and chips or pasta. The Costa del Sol, with it’s 160km of coastline and Blue Flag beaches, is also one for the wish list.
Go for a mix of relaxation and cultural pursuits on Corfu. This popular Greek island has a great atmosphere, gorgeous scenery and a relaxed vibe. Glass-bottomed boat trips, waterparks and historic sites will ensure there’s never a dull moment during your island adventure. You’ll find some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean here with writer Lawrence Durrell declaring Myrtiotissa ‘perhaps the most beautiful beach in the world’. A day exploring the capital Corfu Town will unveil an array of shopping and dining opportunities as well as providing a Venetian fortress to explore.
Don’t settle for boring when it comes to planning your family break. Taking the kids away needn’t be an impossible dream – just pick your destination wisely and it can be a fun and memorable experience.
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