Best kid size cities for easy half term breaks in Spain this October
Spain works well for half term breaks. But if you want a Spanish city mixed in with beaches, think small this autumn and you won’t be disappointed.
Legendary cities like Barcelona or Madrid, Valencia, Seville or even Granada can be a bit on the big side for kids. Fortunately there are quite a few alternatives, neater in size but often just as big on exciting – in their own way. Here are five of our favourite small cities in Spain for half term breaks.
1/5 Malaga, Costa del Sol
If you know Malaga as the ‘airport city’ you’re in for a pleasant surprise. It’s certainly one of the best connected places on the Costa del Sol, but it’s also great fun for younger kids, very family-friendly, and has masses of teen appeal – and not just on its huge, sporty beaches.
What kids love best about Malaga
- Huge Mediterranean beaches like Playa La Malagueta, minutes from the city centre.
- Kid-friendly chiringuito for lunch or dinner by the sea.
- The Alcazaba and Mercado Atarazanas.
- Cycling in 5000 hectare Parque Natural Montes de Málaga.
- Exploring Malaga Old Town.
2/5 San Sebastian, Basque Coast
San Sebastian is almost as snack-size at its legendary Pintxos. You’ll find fabulous La Concha beach minutes from the maze-like historic quarter, and overlooked by the elegant 19th century ‘new’ town. Block out a morning and go island hopping to Santa Clara. Or ride the city’s funicular up to one of Europe’s oldest theme parks, Iguelda. Or, if you’re really feeling adventurous, South West France is half-an-hour’s drive east of San Sebastian and all of the Basque Country is just to the west.
What kids love best about San Sebastian
- Surf lessons on enormous La Concha beach.
- The historic funicular and Iguelda funfair.
- Santa Clara Island for swimming and snorkelling.
- San Sebastian Aquarium.
- Pintxo (Basque tapas) tours of the Old Town.
Book half term breaks at Lasala Plaza Hotel for fabulous views over La Concha beach and San Sebastian
3/5 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
Arrive in Tenerife, head straight for the south coast, and you miss one of Spain’s most characterful island capitals. Santa Cruz de Tenerife doesn’t just look pretty, it’s fascinating; stuffed full of history; packed with tradition; home to museums and galleries, and quite a few of the Canary’s best restaurants, as well as several city beaches. It’s a perfect size for kids to wander round and if you’re under the impression Tenerife is just theme parks and resorts, Santa Cruz is a real revelation.
What kids love best about Santa Cruz de Tenerife
- Lively Playa Las Teresitas city beach.
- Museum of Man & Nature.
- Palmetum de Santa Cruz.
- Mardi Gras in February.
- Swimming at Parque Maritimo César Manrique.
4/5 Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands
Mallorca is diverse and dramatically beautiful, so no surprise to find Palma de Mallorca is one of Europe’s loveliest island capitals. From the immense medieval cathedral to Gaudi influenced Modernist buildings, its architecture’s amazingly grand. The city effortlessly mixes up huge beaches with atmospheric historic quarters, museums and aquariums, car-free shopping streets and more cafés and restaurants than you’ll ever need. Plus, there’s a train from Mallorca’s east coast to Palma, right across the island’s incredible interior and that’s another very good reason to visit.
What kids love best about Palma de Mallorca
- The historic quarter and Palma Cathedral.
- Gruesome legends in Palace du Almudaina.
- Palma Aquarium and Joan Miró Museum.
- Can Per Antoni Beach.
- Aqualand El Arenal waterpark.
5/5 Mahon, Menorca, Balearic Islands
Have one family holiday on Menorca and there’s a very good chance you’ll come back time and time again. The smallest Balearic island is famous for flawless cove-like beaches, quaint seaside towns, sailing and its colourful capital, Mahon. Even cruise passengers, who just get a glimpse of this little city from the harbour have been know to fall in love instantly. Give it a little longer and it could turn out to be another reason to visit Menorca more than once.
What kids love best about Mahon
- Yellow Catamaran cruises round the city’s historic harbour.
- Puerto de Mahon lighthouse.
- 19th century Fortalesa de la Mola
- Cliff-top cafés on Plaça d’Espanya.
- Glass bottom boat tours from Moll de Ponent.
Looking for more October holiday inspiration? Find out where’s sunny and easy for half term breaks this autumn. Don’t forget to follow Family Traveller on Instagram and Facebook for more travel news and ideas – or just to say hi.
This article contains affiliate links. We may earn commission when you click on them. This does not influence our editorial standards. We only recommend products and services we believe will enhance your family travel experience.