30 May 2017
With so many amazing locations within easy reach, we really are spoilt for choice when it comes to European beach holidays. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to relax while the kids play safely alongside you in the sand, or action-filled aquatic adventures are what you desire, we’ve put together a list of our 10 favourite beach holiday destinations for families with children of all ages.
Port de Sóller, Majorca, Spain
This traditional Majorcan town combines the best of both worlds – the stunning scenery provided by the Tramuntana mountains and the magnificent sandy beach, perfect for toddlers who may be taking their first steps into the sea. Children will love the novelty of travelling along the promenade on the tram, or take a relaxing stroll, stopping off at one of the many cafés to admire the views.
Gerakas Beach, Zakynthos, Greece
Rated as one of the best places in Zakynthos for children to enjoy swimming or paddling in the sea, this beach at the southern end of the island could be the place for you. The subtle slope of the shores are ideal for smaller children, and many people enjoy wandering along the coastline, taking in the family-friendly atmosphere. In May and June, this beach is also home to loggerhead turtles, who make their way to the beach to nest. If you’re visiting in July or August, be sure to look out for babies hatching and flip-flopping back to sea!
Gerakina, Halkadiki, Greece
Located at the northern end of the Sithonia peninsula, the 500 yards of private beach with waiter service at Gerakina will provide you with the luxury of enjoying your favourite tipple while your children play happily in the sand alongside you. Delivered straight to your sunlounger, you won’t have to worry about upheaving the whole family when you need a refill! The nearby village also offers a wealth of taverns, restaurants, bars and shops.
Caneiros, Algarve, Portugal
If your family has a large age gap between the kids, head for Caneiros – you’ll find something for everyone. With golden sands for your younger children with their bucket and spade, and pedalo and kayak rental for your teenagers, everyone’s a winner! And you, why not treat yourself to a massage at your sunlounger as a reward for this perfect find!
Ribadesella, Asturias, Spain
Older children and teenagers can enjoy a variety of sports in the crystal-clear water at Ribadesella, including kayaking, surfing and windsurfing. If you’re visiting in early August, watch more than 1000 canoeists racing down the Sella river from the mountains to Ribadesella and join in with the huge street festival that follows.
Zlatni Rat, Bol, Croatia
Repeatedly listed as one of the top beach destinations in Europe and indeed, the world, Zlatni Rat is a long, golden pebbly beach reaching out into the Adriatic. With lifeguards on hand during the summer, you can enjoy many activities including windsurfing, paddle boating, jet-skiing, snorkelling and of course, paddling with younger children. Rented sunloungers and umbrellas, showers and nearby cafés make this beach ideal for families to make themselves at home.
If you’re looking to combine a beach holiday and a city break, why not visit Barcelona? With easy access to the city centre, Barcelona’s nine beaches are the legacy of the 1992 Olympics; offering golden sands, seafood restaurants, water sports and entertainment such as drumming and sand art. For a taste of Spanish culture, head into the city on either the bus or the metro.
Viareggio, Tuscan Riviera, Italy
This family-friendly seaside town boasts heavenly beaches and traditional Italian culture. The shallow waters are safe for children to paddle in, and older children can try sailing and other water sports. Away from the beach, visit the abundance of restaurants, shops and art galleries on the promenade; or venture even further inland to the nearby medieval villages to sample some delicious Italian cuisine.
Coral Bay, Paphos, Cyprus
If Cyprus is your destination of choice, Coral Bay in Paphos is well suited to families thanks to its shallow waters and soft sand. Whether you have young children and you are simply looking for a safe place for them to play while you relax on a sunlounger, or you have adrenaline-charged teenagers who dream of spending hours at sea trying different water sports, everyone is catered for.
Spanning 11 miles of Turkey’s south-west coast, Patara is a place of natural beauty. The ruins of the nearby ancient city mean that Patara has not been over-developed. Aside from the white-sand beach and warm waters, bird watching, canoeing and rafting give families the option of alternative activities; and local markets, alpine villages and ancient ruins are also easily accessible.
Been tempted by any of these amazing beach holidays? Contact your Travel Counsellor – we love fulfilling dreams and creating memories!