Toddlers love the beach as they can explore, paddle and run around to their heart’s content. A lot of European beach resorts now offer crèches, kids clubs, play areas and toddler pools for younger guests to enjoy. Some also have soft play areas and baby equipment rental on site. When searching for the right package holiday for your family keep in mind the facilities available at the hotel and try to find somewhere close to the beach, restaurants and shops to keep the need for shuttle buses and public transportation to a minimum.
Falcon Holidays, Thomson and First Choice Holidays all offer some fantastic family friendly options. Some of the more popular destinations for families include Majorca, Greece, Spain, the Canary Islands, Italy and Croatia. Falcon and Thomson offer free kids places for one child and also offer family friendly hotels with crèches, kids clubs, babysitting services (with UK accredited child care qualifications), specially designed and themed splash pools, activities and evening entertainment. Thomson also offers Sensatori resorts which although family friendly, offer luxurious settings and spa and gym facilities for parents along with some fantastic dining options. Other tour operators such as Baby Friendly Boltholes and Scott Dunn offer tailor-made baby friendly holidays.
Of course you don’t need to go to a resort with specifically child care facilities and amenities. Most hotels and apartments will offer cots and toddlers will love the beach and the sun shine and there are also some fantastic budget options available from Click and Go, Budget Travel, Cassidy Travel and Sunway to name but a few. Here are some of Kinder Travel Guide’s top picks hotels with specific offerings for kids under 4 for 2017.
Jet2 Holidays arranges package holidays to the superb Amfora Hvar Grand Beach Hotel (above); a great option for families travelling with kids under 4. The hotel is tucked away in a tranquil bay surrounded by pine trees. It is also close to the UNESCO protected Old Town of Hvar. There is a cascading pool with a swim up bar and it is only a 2 minute walk to the beach which has cabanas and massage at the Sensori Spa. There is also a Kids Club for 4-14 year olds. Prices start at £1,500 per couple with child under the age of 2.
The Thomson Family Life Resort, Aegean Blue by Atlantica (above) is set right on the beach close to cafes and bars. There is also a regular bus which can take you to Rhodes Town. There is a playground, aqua aerobics, a soft play area, children’s meals, a pool with waterfalls and a children’s splash pool. There is also crèche, kids club and parents and baby room. There is a laundry service and a spa available at a nearby hotel. There is also a water park but this is only suitable for older kids. Prices start at €960.00 pp.
The Rhodes Holiday Village by Falcon Holidays is another fantastic option in Rhodes, offering a host of baby and toddler friendly activities and entertainment together with child care facilities. Prices here start at €853 pp.
Falcon Holidays Family Life Blue Lagoon Villas in Kos is another great family option in Greece. Prices start at €1,022 pp. The Mythos Apartments in Kos are another great option for families with younger children with prices starting at €479.00 per person.
The Thomson Sensatori Resort, Crete (above) is an ideal luxury family destination. The resort offers family rooms, 7 restaurants and is right on the beach. There are loads of kids activities also such as the Crazy Kitchen, Silly Science Lab and the Water Soaking Playground. Packages can be booked through Falcon Holidays or Thomson and Prices start at €1,191 pps.
Thomson’s Family Life Sa Coma in Majorca is a fantastic option for parents travelling with kids under the age of 4. The resort offers self catering accommodation and is only 1 minute from the beach and the main thoroughfare in the town which has loads of restaurants, shops and bars. There is an indoor pool and a number of outdoor pools, a splash park for kids, a playground, soft play area, a parent and baby room, a crèche for 0-3 year olds and kids club for 3-11 year olds. There is also an evening entertainment schedule and for parents, there is a spa, sauna, gym and Turkish bath. There is also a buffet and a number of a la carte options. Prices start at €609 pp with Falcon Holidays.
The Protur Safari Park (above) which can be booked through Falcon Holidays is another great option in Majorca. Prices start at €651.00 pp as is Family Life Alcudia Pins available from both Falcon and Thomson. Prices start at €795 pp.
Sunway Holidays offer fantastic package deals to the Epic Sana Resort (above) located in Albufeira in the Algarve. This 5 star luxury hotel is very baby and toddler friendly and has 3 pools, 2 kids pools, an indoor pool and a kids club for 4 to 11 year olds. There is also a kids playground. Prices for one week start at €1064 pp. Sunway also offers package holidays to 5 star Sheraton Pine Cliff Resort which has some very baby and toddler friendly amenities. Sunway has package holidays to the 3 star Clube Praia da Oura Apartments in Albufeira. This hotel has a kids club, kids pool, laundry service and a complimentary shuttle bus running to old town Albufeira. Cassidy Travel and Click and Go also offer package holidays in the Algarve starting at €245 pp for 7 nights.
The Thomson Family Life Avenida Suites (above) in Salou are ideal for families with young children. The resort is close to the Port Aventura Theme Park and a 10 minute walk from a safe sandy beach and is right in the resort centre and only 100m from shops, restaurants and bars. You can opt for family suites which have sinks, fridges and microwaves to make feeding your little one easier. There is a buffet and a’la carte options. The resort has a creche, kids club and full family entertainment program. There is also a splash pool childrens pool and an indoor pool. Prices start at €470 pp.
Nerja in Spain offers a quieter alternative to some of the busier Costa del Sol resort towns. It is a fantastic destination for families and Sunway offer packages to the 4 star Marinas de Nerja Aparthotel which has a kids pool, gardens and mini club for kids aged 4-12 years. The resort is 2 km from the town centre. Prices start at €1096 pp.
Thomson offer package holidays to the fantastic Asia Gardens Hotel and Thai Spa on the Costa Blanca. This resort offers a kids club, 3 pools, paddling pool, kids club, playground, stunning Asian gardens, DVD library and shop. There is also a spa and gym for parents and a shop. There are 12 suites with interconnecting rooms and the hotel can provide guests with cots, nappies, high chairs and kids bikes. The hotel is close to Natura Zoo and Aqua Natura Water Park. Prices start at €544 for bed and breakfast.
The Canary Islands
The luxury Sensatori Resort Tenerife offers deluxe rooms and suites and a spa by Clarins. There are 5 pools, one with a pirate ship, a children’s splash pool and children’s pool. There is a nursery for babies and toddlers aged 0-4 years and a children’s club for 4-12 year olds. There is an international restaurant, an Italian restaurant and a Spanish restaurant and a family bar by the pool along and more! For parents, there are zumba and pilates classes and there is also a full family evening entertainment program. Prices Start at €1,240 pp with Falcon and £ with Thomson.
Falcon Holidays Holiday Village Tenerife is a great option for families with a range of baby and toddler friendly activities and entertainment together with child care facilities. Prices start at €1046.00 pp.
The Lopesan Baobab (above) in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria is close to the beach and the promenade which leads all the way to the town of Maspalomas (and is traffic free). It offers a kids pool, pool playground, playground and African themed garden complete with large but fake wildlife. This hotel can be booked through Falcon Holidays and prices start at €705 pp.
The Princesa Yaiza Suites, Lanzarote can be booked through Falcon Holidays and are a very baby and toddler friendly option. The hotel offers 5 star luxury in a Moroccan Style hotel right on a child friendly sandy beach. There are 3 pools, a kids pool, 8 restaurants including a buffet and a variety of international dishes. There is also kids club (Kikoland) which a host of activities for kids up to the age of 16. Under 3s are welcome but must be supervised by parents. The hotel also has evening entertainment, a spa, laundry and is 800 m from Playa Blanca. This hotel can be booked through Falcon Holidays and prices start at €935 pp.
There are some great package holidays available for summer 2016 but keep in mind that due to the recent terror attacks in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey, more people are opting to visit mainland European resorts which has caused a hike in prices so book early to avoid disappointment.