It’s time to start planning your 2017 holiday – and not just any holiday, either! Choosing a family holiday that pleases everyone isn’t always easy. You need somewhere with plenty to keep children occupied and entertained, and also somewhere adults can relax.
There are a number of destinations that are perfect for the best family holiday. Here’s our selection of ten brilliant family friendly holiday locations to consider visiting this year.
Ibiza may be a destination associated with an excellent dance and club scene, but there’s another side to this beautiful island that positions it firmly as one of the best family destinations. In peak summer season, San Antonio and Playa d’en Bossa tend to be populated with a younger crowd drawn to the White Isle’s roster of world-class DJs, but other areas are quieter, more scenic, and have a particular appeal to families.
Santa Eulalia is renowned for being especially family friendly. Located on Ibiza’s south-east coast the atmosphere here is laidback and classy, with a smart marina, boutique stores and a tree-lined promenade. It also has a reputation for good food. In fact, the Calle de San Vicente – translated as Restaurant Street – is said to be Ibiza’s dining hot spot.
With a relatively short flight time of just over two hours from the UK, Ibiza is a great choice for a family holiday.
Cyprus is a firm favourite with UK families and it’s easy to understand why given that it offers an impressive selection of beaches, a friendly atmosphere and an all-round sunny climate. Well known resorts in Cyprus include the lively Ayia Napa and Limassol, but if you’re searching for somewhere ideally suited for a family holiday, check out peaceful Protaras. Famed for its superb Blue Flag beaches – the largest of which is Fig Tree Bay – it has several child-friendly attractions including the Ocean Aquarium, which has more than 1,000 aquatic species, as well as the highly rated Magic Dancing Waters laser show. There are plenty of bars and restaurants, and the larger resorts of Larnaca, Paralimni and Ayia Napa are close by if you wish to explore Cyprus further or have a change of pace.
An island located in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta averages around 12 hours of sunshine every day in the summer. It might be a small country but Malta is very family friendly and is therefore one of the best places for a holiday with children. Areas considered best for families include Bugibba, which has excellent beaches and a good selection of child-friendly restaurants, as well as a waterpark. Mellieha Bay, meanwhile, has Malta’s largest beach; an 800m stretch which has coveted Blue Flag status. Malta is also within touching distance of Italy, with Sicily only a couple of hours away by ferry – perfect for a day trip!
One of the best family holiday locations of them all? Step forward Corfu, the gorgeous little island situated just off the west coast of Greece and renowned for its relaxed lifestyle. There are several resorts here that are perfect for a family holiday. Kanoni is particularly quiet and peaceful but it might be hard to resist Aghios Ioannis on the east coast of Corfu. This is where you’ll find Aqualand, one of Europe’s biggest waterparks with a huge variety of slides and swimming pools, a Blue Flag beach nearby – Kontoglias Beach – and Corfu Town just a very short distance away.
The Costa Dorada area of Spain is rich with several of the best family destinations. If you’re looking for a holiday with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, great weather, awesome beaches and a wide range of activities to keep little ones entertained, you can’t really go wrong here. Costa Dorada means ‘golden coast’ because of its glorious sandy beaches and over 90km of coastline. Popular resorts for a family holiday include Salou, Cambrils and Sitges. If the kids tire of swimming, sunbathing and enjoying the range of watersports available, PortAventura World, Spain’s largest theme park, is in Salou.
Fuerteventura is an absolute gem, and remains a hugely popular holiday destination for families. The second largest member of the Canary Islands, its close proximity to the African coast virtually guarantees it high temperatures and all-round sun, even out of season; something that’s worth remembering if you’re planning a family holiday outside of the peak of summer (in the autumn or spring half term, for instance). When it comes to beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice with over 150 fringing the island. Corralejo is the big resort, and has the Acua Water Park, but Costa Caleta – or Caleta de Fuste as it’s also known – is excellent for families. Purpose built, it has bars, restaurants, cafes, entertainment and a beach all in one place.
Majorca – or Mallorca as it’s known by locals – is one of the best places for a family holiday. The Mediterranean island, located just off the Spanish mainland, has a number of family friendly resorts and has been a popular destination for UK holidaymakers for many years. Magaluf is a lively resort but explore Majorca further and you’ll discover Puerto Pollensa, Santa Ponsa, Cala D’Or, Puerto Soller and Alcudia. The latter has a coastline of 7km and SplashWorld water park. Each of these resorts have their own unique appeal but they have all qualities in common – great restaurants, family friendly hotels, beaches, shops and entertainment.
This Greek island has always had big appeal for UK holidaymakers, attracted to its impressive beaches, blue skies and sunshine. Rhodes has around 300 days of sunshine, with temperatures rising towards the 30 degree mark in June, July, August and even September. This is the place if you’re looking for a fantastic beach holiday for the entire family. Families will be particularly well catered for in Lindos, a picturesque and relatively undisturbed village, and Pefkos, which is small but blessed with a Blue Flag beach. It’s ideal if you’re holidaying with smaller children and want a quieter break.
Turkey is a holiday destination with something to suit everyone – especially families. Temperatures are hot between April and October, so be prepared for an amazing sunny summer holiday where you can sunbathe and swim to your heart’s content if you’re visiting at this time of the year. Standout resorts include Bodrum, Dalaman and Antalya, all of which are attractions that offer the must-haves for any family holiday – beaches, bars, restaurants and a great range of shops. For somewhere slightly off the beaten track, take a day trip to unspoilt Patara, home of Turkey’s largest beach at 11 miles long.
With average flight times from the UK coming in at approximately three hours, it’s no surprise that the Algarve region of Portugal is regularly considered to be among the best places for a family holiday. There are numerous highly recommended resorts in this area, all of which boast top-class beaches and child friendly hotels. Albufeira is the largest resort, so if you want plenty of bars, restaurants and shopping to choose from, this might be the place for you. For a touch of luxury however, Vilamoura is pretty special with a stunning marina with two world-class beaches in Praia da Marina and Praia de Falesia. Golfers in the family will be impressed with its championship-standard courses, too.