When it comes to holidays, it’s hard to find a destination that keeps everyone happy – especially if you are travelling with children. We reveal the five top beach holidays with the best attractions and facilities that will keep you and your family entertained.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
The Portuguese have a reputation for being family-orientated and their capital is full of fun things to do for children and adults alike. Most tourist attractions offer half-price children’s tickets and under-5s go free on the city’s transport. The majority of family-friendly attractions are in Parque das Nações including the science museum and one of the world’s largest and best aquariums – Oceanário de Lisboa where visitors can walk around one large central tank and marvel at the schools of giant fish and sharks. There are also many beaches nearby so families can easily combine sightseeing and sandcastles.
2. Crete, Greece
The island of Crete is one of Greece’s most popular destinations. Beaches such as Georgioupolis, Agia Galini and Elafonissi are well equipped for families with infants and have plenty of sports activities going on for older children. There are also several great waterparks on the island, the largest being Water City that is a colourful maze of slides and flumes. For a more cultured experience take a day-trip to the Palace of Knossos, that was supposedly home to the infamous Minotaur of Greek mythology.
3. Ajaccio, France
Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica and sits on the west coast of the island. Due to its proximity to the city centre and its good facilities, Plage de Ricanto is the most popular and busy beach, however there are many more secluded beaches and coves around the city. Ajaccio’s claim to fame is being the birth place of Napoleon and you can visit his home that is now a national museum. However, if you aren’t convinced that that’ll keep the kids occupied why not visit A Cupulatta, a Conservation Park that has over 170 species of tortoises and turtles.
4. Split, Croatia
The seaside city of Split caters brilliantly for families. You’ll find plenty of good cafes, shops and restaurants inside Diocletian’s Palace, a large and incredibly well preserved roman ruin that’s winding streets and hidden courtyards make up the heart of the city. Split also has many gorgeous beaches such as Bačvice and Firule whose shallow waters make it a great spot for beach loving families. For an excellent family day-trip, take the ‘semi-submarine’ by which you can explore Split’s beautiful coastline from below the ocean. The underside of the boat is lit up so you can also go at night if you wish.
5. Canary Islands, Spain
The Canary Islands boast beautiful beaches, plenty of family-friendly resorts and hotels, waterparks, museums and aquariums to keep the little ones entertained. And if you want to do something a little bit different, the islands have many gorgeous natural swimming pools that were formed by ancient lava that met the ocean. These brightly coloured pools such as Punta Mujeres in Lanzarote and La Fajana in La Palma are great for families as they are sheltered with plenty of space to run around. The islands also have great hiking routes such as Roque Nublo in Gran Canaria – this volcanic rock is not too steep, making it enjoyable for children (and adults!) of all ages.