Salema, The Algarve, Portugal
Salema located on the western side of the Algarve, was originally a fishing village. It has retained much of its charm and although it has plenty of restaurants and shops, it is not overrun with tourists like some of the other popular resorts in the region. Its half-mile-long beach, with its powdery golden sand, has a Blue Flag certification. The sea is ideal for toddlers, because it lacks the strong waves of the west coast. Salema Beach Village is a great option for families. The apartments are well equipped and spacious, there are also gardens and a pool suitable for kids and it is a 10-minute walk from the beach.
Puerto de Soller, Majorca
Puerto de Soller in Majorca is located on the northern end of the island and offers an ideal space for families. The charming old town of Soller, on the top of the hill and Puerto de Soller located at the bottom of the hill, on the waterfront and has a beach and a playpark for kids. The port area is flat and ideal for walking around with a buggy. Soller is a lovely, historic town with a central square surrounded by cafes and restaurants which are always busy. There are narrow streets to explore, some nice shops, botanical gardens and a few museums. Soller is older and the pavements are a little less forgiving so bring a sling if possible. You can opt for a private rental or the Lili Apartments are spacious and ideal for families, being a one-minute walk from the beach. Family friendly apartments with swimming pools are also available a little outside the town.
Ribadesella is one of Spain’s most beautiful beach towns. The town is tucked away on its untamed and unspoilt mountainous northern coast, close to Santander and Bilbao. This stretch of coastline is known as the Costa Verde which means the ‘Green Coast’ and it’s easy to see why. The western part of the town (where most hotels are), has an expansive golden beach, Playa de Santa Marina, while the older part of town and fishing harbour are on the eastern side. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants and the town is quite lively during the summer months. You can take a car ferry from the UK and Ireland to Santander and explore the region. Private house and apartment rentals are a great option here.
Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaria
Puerto Mogan is a charming former fishing village located on the southern coast of Gran Canaria. The town has a horse-shoe shaped beach in the centre, which has a playground next to it. There is also a lovely marina surrounded by restaurants and cafes and from here you can take a ride in the yellow submarine, or a boat trip to Puerto Rico just down the coast. There are a number of supermarkets in the town, where you can buy all of your essentials and a market is held in the town centre every Friday. The Playa Mogan Cordial is a fantastic hotel for families. It has a delicious buffet and a number of swimming pools with kids’ activities on site.
Ugento, Puglia, Italy
Located in the boot of Italy, Ugento is surrounded by olive trees and offers powder sand beaches and fantastic rustic cuisine. The historic centre is also worth exploring, as are the ancient ruins in the surrounding region. Puglia can get very hot during the summer months, so when travelling with little ones, it is best to go outside of July and August to avoid this heat. Kids will love the Zoo Safari, located close to Fasano. Located close to the beach, Club Hotel Astor is a great option for parents travelling with younger kids.
Located in Mainland Greece, the Telegraph refers to Helkadiki, a three fingered peninsula jutting out into the Aegean Sea, as Greece’s best kept secret. Make your first holiday-with-baby as stress-free as possible, by opting for the Sani Resort and Spa. The resort has a crèche and kids clubs open to children aged four months to 17 years, plus it offers the unique ‘Babewatch’ service on the beach – so you can then drop your child with trained childcare professionals, while you go for a dip in the sea.
Praia do Barril, The Algarve, Portugal
Pretty and peaceful, Praio do Barril located in eastern Algarve is perfect for young families. It’s one of the Algarve’s many Blue Flag beaches, so facilities are excellent. Sands are spotlessly white, sun loungers and parasols are easy to come by, and there are several cafés and restaurants just a few minutes’ walk from the beach. Lifeguards are on duty here in high season, and during summer the beach is connected to Tavira by a miniature railway, which costs €3.00 for a return ticket. There are loads of activities for kids located close by such as an Aquashow, The Algarve Zoo and the Zebra Safari. The Ozadi Hotel is a great option for families and offers a kid’s club and babysitting services.
Gerakas Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
Huge Gerakas sits on the far eastern tip of Zakynthos Island and if the safe, calm waters and gorgeous views over the Ionian aren’t enough to tempt you here, it’s also one of the most famous turtle beaches in Greece. You can rent sun-beds and umbrellas here and the beach is stroller accessible via a ramp. The surrounding environment is beautiful and calm, not flooding in cafeterias or taverns, that’s probably the reason why families and nature lovers visit it so often. Piriyali Villas are our top choice here for accommodation with indoor playrooms, outdoor play areas, toys and kids’ clubs for babies and toddlers, it’s the ideal place for parents to relax.
Talamanca Beach, Ibiza
Situated a mere 15-minute walk from Ibiza Town, Talamanca Beach offers plenty of nearby facilities, including restaurants, bars and cafes, so you won’t have to roam far when the kids start to get hungry. If you don’t fancy walking with the kids in the sun, then there is the €3 waterbus that goes regularly between Ibiza Town port and Marina Botafoch, which is a five-minute stroll to the beach. Okay, so it’s a bit extravagant but the Nobu Hotel, Ibiza Bay is our top hotel pick here. It offers a kid’s club for kids aged 4 and up (under 4’s must be supervised by parents). There are also cookery classes, DJ workshops, Pirate & Mermaid school and a host of other activities.
Lindos, Rhodes, Greece
With whitewashed cubic houses built into a hillside above a curving sandy bay, dreamy Lindos is a world away from the big brash modern resorts that dominate much of Rhodes. The village has loads of restaurants and shops, most of which are child friendly. The main bay has shallow, turquoise waters and you can rent glass bottomed pedal boats. You can also take a donkey ride up to the acropolis. There are no major hotels in the town but the Lindos View Hotel, just above the village has a kid’s play area, a kid’s pool and a games room. The only downside here is the walk up the hill to the hotel.
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