Find the best destinations in Spain for extraordinary family holidays this summer and all year round. Because, with international travel looking set to return in the near future, now's a great time to make plans for the type of getaway that fits your family perfectly, anywhere from relaxed Balearic Islands to cultured Spanish cities on the legendary Costa del Sol.
Palma de Mallorca is a laid-back yet vibrant city that's perfect for all ages. A great way to explore is to cycle along the specially designated waterfront cycle paths which take cyclists through the Paseo Marítimo - the primary part of the seafront promenade. The paths also go to S'Arenal, a beach located only few miles outside of the city, and to the popular suburb of Portixol - an ideal spot for a family picnic. Palma Tourism Board recently launched the city’s first digital Family Guide, This Is Palma. Packed with detail, the downloadable new guide features everything from year-round activities and family attractions in Palma to best child-friendly hotel recommendations.
How to get there: Direct UK flights to Palma take from just over two hours year round.
The Andalusian city of Málaga is a perfect blend of historic culture and beautiful Costa del Sol beaches which, along with a warm climate, make it one of the best destinations in Spain for family holidays. Famed as Picasso’s birthplace, Málaga's home to the Picasso Museum; a converted palace which houses 285 of the artist's paintings. A visit to the nearby Caves of Nerja is also highly recommended. Declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 2006, the Caves of Nerja stretch for nearly 5 kilometres and feature some of the world's oldest, prehistoric rock art.
How to get there: Direct UK flights to Málaga take from three hours year round.
Located, near Tarragona, Cambrils is one of the best family holiday destinations on the Costa Dorada in Catalonia. It's home to several family-friendly beaches. You'll also find an historic botanical and zoological garden known as the Parc Samà here, as well as Jumpland Aventura Ecológica - a one of a kind theme park with one of the longest ziplines in Europe. Cambrils can easily keep entire families entertained at all times. But if you're looking for even more excitement, the renowned PortAventura World theme park is only a short drive away from the town. Cambrils is just 20 minutes from Reus International Airport and has been recognised as a Family Beach Destination by the Catalan Tourist Board.
How to get there: Direct UK flights to Reus International Airport take from just over two hours.
Being home to some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean, the Balearic island of Menorca has a great variety of dive spots for divers of all levels and it's one of the best destinations in Spain for families seeking activity and adventure. Fornells Diving Centre, located on the north coast of the island, is just a short walk from Port de Fornells and offers a variety of dives and courses. They even have two-hour trial sessions for kids aged 10 and over, so whole families can enjoy exploring the fascinating underwater life of the North Menorca Marine Reserve and other dive sites around the island.
How to get there: Direct UK flights to Menorca take from just over two hours.
Situated at the south-east corner of the Iberian Peninsula, Murcia is famed for its Baroque architecture and beautiful landscapes. For those interested in history, the Teatro Romano de Cartagena in the nearby city of Cartagena is a must-see. Built between 5 and 1 BC under the reign of Augustus, the theatre is a great artefact of the Ancient Roman period. A visit to the theatre should be accompanied by a trip to its museum, which displays the theatre through various stages of its existence. Roughly 70km from the centre of Murcia is the coastal town of Mazarrón, home to golden sand beaches with gentle waves and dolphin watching experiences. Another popular coastal visit is to the Parque Regional de las Salinas y Arenales in San Pedro del Pinatar, known for its salt flats, beaches and flocks of pink flamingos.
How to get there: Direct UK flights to Murcia take from two hours, 30 minutes.
Located less than an hour's drive from Madrid, Toledo has been long recognised for its outstanding heritage and culture. In line with its international reputation as a ‘museum city’, Toledo recently welcomed the opening of a new Puy du Fou theme park. This extraordinary attraction offers a "journey through time" and the programme scheduled for its 2021 season is inspired by historical events and legendary figures from Spanish folklore. Between the spectacular live action shows, kids are able to explore four living-heritage towns for a glimpse of Castilla - La Mancha through the ages. Puy du Fou opened on March 27 2021 with all the COVID-19 compliant safety measures in place to protect visitors.
How to get there: Direct UK flights to Madrid take from two hours, 25 minutes year round.
With some of the Balearic Islands' loveliest coastline, Formentera is one of the best destinations in Spain for low-key, back-to-nature family holidays. Often compared to the Caribbean, the island is surrounded by idyllic beaches and turquoise waters which owe their astonishing colour to 'meadows' of Posidonia Oceanica, a unique seagrass known as the ocean's natural purifier. At just 12 miles long and five miles wide, Formentera can be easily explored on scooter, bike, or even on foot. And thanks to its diverse landscape, which features gentle coastal paths, the island has several walking and cycling routes which are especially good for kids. To help families plan bike rides and short walks, Formentera Tourism Board has created a map outlining 32 Green Routes around the island.
How to get there: Direct UK flights to Ibiza take from two hours, 20 minutes. The ferry from Ibiza to Formentera takes 30 minutes.
Looking for more Spanish holiday inspiration? Check out fun family holidays in child-friendly Palma. Follow Family Traveller on Facebook and Instagram for more travel ideas, news and updates - or just to say ‘hi’.