How do you pick the perfect country for a family summer holiday? According to the experts at Jet2Holidays you simply have to find great all-rounders that tick every box from sun, sand and sea to non-stop fun. Then you need to throw in fantastic attractions, plenty of outdoor activities, heaps of adventure and something for all-ages, as well as fast and easy flights, of course.
Fortunately Jet2Holidays aren’t just handing down words of wisdom. They’ve done quite a bit of the practical work too and found the four finest European countries which cover all bases, have a maximum flight time of five hours and all score high on great holiday prices into the bargain – even during July and August 2019.
Interested to know more? Here are the top destinations for summer 2019, handpicked for families by Jet2Holidays.
Cyprus is a great all-rounder for family summer holidays. It’s one of the largest islands in Europe and, with average daily temps of 30˚ between June and September, one of the warmest and sunniest. Which is handy as it also has dozens of Blue Flag beaches along a lovely Mediterranean coastline, peaceful countryside made for walking and cycling, mountains to climb, seaside cities and quaint villages, lux resorts, and almost as much end-to-end heritage as silvery sands and big, blue skies.
Why families love Cyprus
- 10,000 years of history made easy in ancient Paphos, intriguing Larnaka and Nicosia and even down on the beach: it’s said Aphrodite first rose from the waves at Petra tou Romiou beach in western Cyprus.
- The lively port of Limassol’s combo of colourful waterfront districts and big city beaches.
- Waterparks, theme parks, endless golden beaches and teen-heaven water sports in and around Ayia Napa on the east coast.
- Outdoor adventure in the Troodos Mountains to the west and Cape Greco National Park in the east.
- Charming, family-friendly beach resorts like Coral Bay, Pissouri, Nissi Bay and Protaras.
Good to know
There are direct UK flights year round to both Paphos in western Cyprus and Larnaca on the east coast, with a flying time between four hours 30 minutes and five hours.
Find out more about family summer holidays in Cyprus with Jet2Holidays
Pick Portugal this year and look forward to everything from stunning Atlantic beaches to Europe’s highest skywalk and some of the world’s finest MTB trails. Try the glorious, surf-ready shores of the Algarve and lose count of Blue Flags, brilliant golf courses, lively resort towns, pretty villages and acre upon acre of unspoiled countryside ready made for child-size adventuring. Or choose Madeira and discover why this enchanting little archipelago is now as famous for outdoor adventure as it is for incredible natural beauty.
Why families love Portugal
- The Algarve has several of Europe’s top surfing beaches, excellent surf schools, Blue Flag beaches and major European beach resorts like Vilamoura and Albufeira.
- A mix of authentic Algarve villages, lively seaside towns and historic cities like Lagos and Faro make for fascinating days out with kids.
- The Algarve’s natural wonders such as Ria Formosa Natural Park and the Sudoeste Alentejano Natural Park are well balanced by waterparks, adventure parks and fun family activities all along the coast.
- Kid-shaped thrills in Madeira include the 580m high Cabo Girao skywalk (tallest in Europe); 800,000 year old lava tunnels at the Volcanism Centre; spotting whales and dolphin; riding the Monte Cable Car across Joao Gomes valley.
- One of Europe’s top destinations for mountain biking, Madeira’s trails are phenomenal and less intrepid cyclists will love the pretty roads and countryside routes just as much.
- Madeira’s beautiful beaches, unusual villages, historic towns and dramatic, phenomena strewn landscape are all endlessly explore-worthy with kids.
Good to know
Direct UK flights to Faro in the Algarve take two hours, 40 minutes. Direct flights from London to Madeira take three hours, 45 minutes.
Find out more about family summer holidays in Portugal with Jet2Holidays
The south coast of Turkey is known as the Turquoise Riviera and you only need one glimpse of the ethereal Mediterranean here to understand why. The beaches are sensational too, as are the cool resorts, glossy seaside towns, traditional harbours and waterfront cities. And that’s before you even get started on the ancient monuments, historic ruins and endlessly lush landscape laden with wonders. So whether kids are keen on meet ‘n’ greets with sea turtles, want to see where Anthony wooed Cleopatra or they’re just interested in playing all-day-every-day by the sea, a family holiday in Turkey has just about everything covered this summer.
Why families love Turkey
- Bodrum Peninsula for chic beach resorts, authentic villages, long beaches, peaceful coves and lively towns like Bodrum, Turgutreis and Gumbet.
- The cool Dalaman region, heart of the Turquoise Coast and home to teen-heaven resorts like Marmaris or Hisaronu, as well as the enchanting riverside town of Dalyan.
- Antalya, Turkey’s fifth largest city, famous for fabulous urban beaches like Konyaalti, views of the magnificent Beydağlan Mountains and one of the loveliest historic quarters in Europe.
- Lara Beach in Antalya, one of Turkey’s longest beaches.
- Side, east of Antalya, for some of the finest Roman ruins in Europe and romantic connections to Anthony and Cleopatra.
- Sporty Belek, a great resort for active families, known for its wonderful beaches and visiting sea turtles.
Good to know
Direct UK flights to Bodrum take from three hours, 50 minutes. Direct flights to Dalaman take from three hours, 55 minutes and direct flights from the UK to Antalya take from four hours, 15 minutes.
Find out more about family summer holidays in Turkey with Jet2Holidays
Italy delights kids and not just because it’s the homeland of gelato and pizza. Culinary legends aside, it’s also the country of enormous lakes and fairy tale towns, pretty beaches and jaw-dropping sights like Pompei and Vesuvius. Even the most history-shy are impressed by the scandal, intrigue and sheer beauty of its Renaissance cities. And there isn’t a romantic teen anywhere who won’t fall head over heels for hillside hamlets and historic fishing villages or lose their heart completely to skinny streets, pretty plaza or countless cute cafés. And if you’re looking for a fun summer adventure where culture is a by-product of just strolling around, Italy practically invented that type of family holiday.
Why families love Italy
- Southerly Sorrento for sunny beaches, elegant towns and famously colourful resorts along the Amalfi Coast.
- Island hopping to Ischia or Capri for the day; driving the Amalfi Coast; exploring UNESCO World Heritage Pompei; eating authentic Neapolitan pizza in Naples.
- Lake Garda and family-friendly lakeside resorts like Garda and Pescheria.
- Fantastic Gardaland on Lake Garda, one of Italy’s top family theme parks.
- Multi-talented Tuscany for the contrast between iconic cities like Siena or San Gimignano and a beach studded coastline 400km long, dotted with unique seaside resorts and authentic harbour towns.
Good to know
Direct UK flights to Naples take from two hours, 45 minutes. Direct flights to Pisa take from two hours, 10 minutes and direct flights from the UK to Milan Bergamo take two hours.