The 20 best family holidays in Spain

Ikos Andalusia
From Andalusia to the Pyrenees, there is a Spanish escape for every kind of family. Pictured: Ikos hotel in Andalusia

British families simply love Spanish holidays. In fact, there were more visitors to the country from the UK than anywhere else in 2023 – a habit born when package breaks first took off in the 1960s.

For a no-nonsense family getaway, the country is hard to beat. Flight times are short, with destinations including Barcelona and the Costa Brava accessible in two hours.

Spain has the most Blue Flag beaches in the world, too – 638 compared with England’s 73. And there are countless hotels with kids’ clubs, swimming pools and child-friendly restaurant menus to keep even the most demanding of offspring happy.

But Spain’s allure stretches far away from the well-trodden resort towns. Inland, or on lesser-visited stretches of coastline, there’s the opportunity to embark on a real family adventure – from star-spotting under unpolluted skies and hiking empty landscapes to learning how to dance flamenco or make cheese.

Here we’ve rounded up 20 of the best family holidays in Spain for parents with toddlers, teens or those in between, whether you want to head for the beach or try something completely different.

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Best for under fives

For a hassle-free holiday

For no-thought-required post-baby pampering, Ikos’s all-inclusives are hard to beat. Launched in Greece, the luxe brand now has Spanish outposts in Mallorca and Andalusia. The latter, an hours’ drive from Malaga airport in Estepona, is perfect for a hassle-free trip with under-twos in tow.

Ikos in Andalusia
Ikos in Andalusia offers relaxation aplenty for the parents of young children - Heinz Troll

So huge you may never need to leave the grounds, it comes with 17 acres to toddle around, nine pools, and an acclaimed crèche for kids aged between six months and three (priced at €42 per session).

From £2,547per person, all inclusive, with a free infant place, in September, with Tui (tui.co.uk).

For a late dose of sun

Away from Mallorca’s busiest bits, on a country estate that’s been declared a wildlife sanctuary, Agroturisme Son Pons is a place to spot sheep, chatter with chickens and play in a pool surrounded by outsized palms and clouds of magenta blooms. While teenagers might not love the pace here, it’s perfect for little ones.

Wake to birdsong, book light lunches and dinners as you want, and trundle off to nearby Playa de Muro for white sand and warm water. Aim for September, once the school kids have gone.

From £1,580 per week, B&B, for two adults and a baby (sonpons.com).

Plan the perfect holiday in Mallorca with our guide.

For lesser-known Lanzarote

Babies are too young to take advantage of the kids’ facilities of the Canarian mega-resorts – which gives parents a chance to see a different side of the islands. In the hills outside the village of Uga on Lanzarote, the little casitas at Casa el Morro make a quirkily comfy base for some off-season family time.

Children on a beach in Lanzarote
The delights of off-season family time in Lanzarote are not to be underestimated - Arcangelo Piai

A boho approach to decor means lots of shady nooks with daybeds for afternoon naps (no matter what your age) with a pretty pool and delicious, homemade breakfasts in the morning. The beach at Playa Blanca is a 20-minute drive away.

From £1,060 per week, B&B, for two adults and a child in November (casaelmorro.com). 

Plan the perfect holiday in Lanzarote with our guide.

For a bucket-and-spade break

Not as hot as the south but edged by golden sand and calm water, the Costa Daurada is among the best spots in Spain for a beach break with toddlers.

Base yourselves in the old port of Cambrils – with nine sandy beaches and a tree-lined promenade, it’s calmer than some of the region’s other resorts and just a 20-minute drive from Reus airport. Overlooking Cap de Sant Pere beach, Estival Centurión Playa has a kids’ pool, playground and super-fast access to the sand.

From £1,530 per week, B&B, for two adults and a child under two, in June with First Choice (firstchoice.co.uk).

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Best for five-to eight-year-olds

For kids club haters

Pack light for a trip to Caserío del Mirador, mid-way between Alicante and Valencia: ex-pat owners Sarah and Johnny Robinson have ensured its collection of palm-fringed apartments come stocked with family-friendly paraphernalia including toys and books.

It’s out with enforced fun here and in with low-key family entertainment.

Caserío del Mirador
Head to Caserío del Mirador for a laid-back luxe approach to holidays with kids in tow - Javier Orti

Kids can meet the animals, pick up fresh eggs for breakfast and everyone can splash in the cabana-hemmed pool or make friends over locally-sourced meals served communally from the Outside Kitchen (including dedicated Kids Teas).

From £2,250 per week, self-catered, in a two-bedroom apartment (caseriodelmirador.com).

For embracing the Great Outdoors

Little wildlife lovers will adore Suerte Tierra, a bijou collection of yurts in a natural park on the outskirts of Tarifa, where they can spot lizards, make feathered friends in the blossoming gardens or dip in the natural pond and plunge pool (where birds and insects also congregate).

There’s also a playground for smaller kids and the communal kitchen and shower block are so cottagey that you’ll forget you’re sharing. Tarifa’s windswept beaches are just 10 minutes’ away by car.

From £565 per week, self-catered, during the summer holidays, with Hip Camp (hipcamp.com).

Tarifa
Tarifa's windswept beaches aren't far from the wildlife-surrounded yurts of Suerte Tierra - Sebastian Wasek

For a chic island retreat

Menorca has had something of a makeover during the last few years, but cool hotels for families are still thin on the ground. With its calming caramel accented decor and pool surrounded by day beds, Melia’s Villa Le Blanc is the answer.

Children of this age will love the Montessori-inspired Kids Club and pizza and paella restaurant and there’s the chance to try family activities including workshops with cheese or sandal makers too. Interconnecting rooms work well with two kids.

From £686 per night, B&B, during the summer holidays (melia.com).

For budding sailors (with sea dogs in tow)

The overnight ferry between Portsmouth or Plymouth and Santander makes the journey to Spain (which can be more than 30 hours) part of the adventure – with the bonus that you can take the family pet on some departures too. Play areas, air-conditioned cabins and onboard tapas help the overnight journey whizz by. From the port, it’s an hour and a half’s drive to Ribadesella with its sandy beaches, prehistoric cave and pretty old town. A return car crossing with a small dog costs from £1,610 during the summer holidays (brittany-ferries.co.uk). Stay at El Pueblín de Ribadesella, just outside town with a communal pool. 

From £1,555 per week, B&B, via booking.com.

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Best for tweens

For those who can’t sit still

There are adventures and then there’s time at El Geco Verde near Granada, where you can pack your days full of rafting, kayaking, horse-riding, pizza-making – and even try flamenco.

El Geco Verde
El Geco Verde is an authentic converted farmhouse

Run by an ex-pat family, this converted farmhouse is a place to embrace local life in a lesser-visited region of Spain, and its brand of authentic activities have proved extremely popular: the hotel’s Altiplano de Granada Activity itinerary is among Responsible Travel’s best-selling Spanish trips.

From £425 per person per week, B&B (responsibletravel.com).

For little ravers

Iberostar’s hotels across Spain are reliably good for families but Tenerife’s Iberostar Selection Anthelia works particularly well for this age group. As well as the brand’s Star Camp for children aged four to 17,  there’s a regular family foam party at this vast village-like resort – which should prove a hit with mini clubbers (and parents reliving their misspent youths).

From £6,699 per week, B&B, during October half-term (tropicalsky.co.uk).

For something completely different

Marooned at the entrance to Navarra’s Bardenas Reales (a desert-like landscape that’s been compared to Death Valley), Hotel Aire de Bardenas is a place from which to gaze at star-spangled skies, take a Segway tour across empty wilderness or head out on 4X4 safari in search of vultures, wild boar and scampering hares.

Navarra's Bardenas Reales
Not your typical escape: the desert-like landscape of Navarra's Bardenas Reales has been compared to Death Valley

Sadly there’s not enough space for kids in its clear-topped bubble tents, so appease them with a room that comes with an outside tub that resembles a gigantic bird bath, or one of the cubes with floor-to-ceiling views across the landscape.

From £274 per night, room only, based on two adults and a child sharing a cube room, with Welcome Beyond (welcomebeyond.com).

For Catalan coves and countryside

Barcelona residents can escape to the little bays of the Empordà region in summer, driving for an hour and a half to reach whitewashed fishing villages such as Tamariu and Llafranc and sunny beaches including Aigua Blava and Sa Riera.

Around 20 minutes inland from it all, the sleepy village of Regencós is home to an old rectory that’s been converted into four apartments, which work well as a base for exploring the area. There’s a pretty pink pool too, or head to the coast to clamber between the coves on cliffside paths.

From £1,450 per week, self-catered, in the summer holidays (rectoriaderegencos.com).

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Best for teenagers

For going under

Shared interests are hard to come by in the teenage years, but diving should prove a hit with water not-so-babies. Dive Worldwide recommends Lanzarote as a great place for those aged 10 plus to get acquainted with the world beneath the waves.

On its Lanzarote Dive Experience, families can explore volcanic reefs, caverns and the haunting Museo Atlántico – where seaweed-cloaked statues walk the ocean floor of Europe’s only underwater museum.

From £1,595 per person per week, all inclusive, with flights (diveworldwide.com).

For time in the saddle

Original Travel’s family itineraries aren’t cheap, but the company’s attention to detail makes them good for blow-out special occasions. Its five-day horse-riding trip to Andalusia involves a morning ride through fields and pine copses to a private lunch spot.

Private tours are also on offer through the secret alleys of Seville (visiting some of its best tapas bars) and wanders through the region’s pueblos blancos.

Book a private tour through the secret alleys of Seville
Book a private tour through the secret alleys of Seville - iStock

From £2,215 per person, B&B (originaltravel.co.uk).  

Plan the perfect holiday in Seville with our guide.

For sweet freedom

The last thing a teen needs is a parent cramping their style during group activities. Enter Club Med’s Magna Marbella, where they can play padel, golf and tennis or try archery and flying trapeze without mum or dad getting in the way, thanks to a club specifically for 14 to 17 year olds. The spa is also open to those aged 11 upwards and there’s a choice of five pools, including a vast heated lagoon. Balmy year-round weather makes this an interesting option for Christmas.

From £3,249, all inclusive, excluding flights at Christmas (.clubmed.co.uk).

For natural highs

Get them off their phones and into the mountains with Pura Aventura’s family trip to the Pyrenees, based in a converted monastery on the banks of the Ara river. Relaxed hikes and trips by e-bike are on the menu, ensuring moaning is kept to a minimum and ticking off waterfalls, forests and the dramatic glacial dip of the Ordesa Canyon. On other days, canyoning and kayaking provide plenty of excitement.

From £1,400 per person per week, B&B, including some activities but excluding flights (pura-aventura.com).

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Best for every age

For a starry escape

Here’s a place with pedigree: in the late 1980s and 90s, everyone from Mick Jagger to Princess Diana hung out at the Byblos Hotel, near Mijas on the Costa del Sol. Shuttered for more than a decade, it got a family-friendly makeover and reopened as La Zambra in 2022.

La Zambra
The 'rather glam' penthouse at La Zambra

It’s still rather glam: gardens come dotted with fountains, while bedrooms are chicly pared back. The added bonus? There’s now childcare for those aged six months and up, and older kids can take pottery classes,  try their hand at flamenco or even gazpacho making.

From £4,460 for five nights, B&B, during the summer holidays, including flights, with BA Holidays (ba.com). Unless stated otherwise prices are for a family of four. Specific departure dates given where applicable. 

For calm campers

Amid the pines of the Unesco-protected Doñana National Park, Huttopia Parque de Doñana might be the most tranquil campsite in the country. Pitches, safari tents and log cabins hide between the trees and, though it’s 40 minutes’ drive to the sea, one of two onsite pools comes surrounded by a beach-like landscape of white sand punctuated by sun umbrellas. Little ones benefit from a playground and paddling pool, while those with older kids can hike the national park and cycle to the nearby village of Hinojos.

Doñana National Park
Horses in Doñana National Park - Agencja Fotograficzna Caro/Alamy Stock Photo

Pitches from £292 for a week in the summer holidays through the Caravan Club ; a safari tent costs from £580 through europe.huttopia.com.

For a fairytale city break

It doesn’t matter if they’re in their Disney Princess or TikTok eras, any kid will be impressed with the dreamy interiors of El Palauet, a collection of suites in a whimsical building in Barcelona.

The Gaudi-designed Casa Batlló is free to the under-12s
The Gaudi-designed Casa Batlló is free to the under-12s - Alamy

Spend evenings beneath delicately painted ceilings or on dainty wrought iron balconies and days exploring the Passeig de Gràcia, where Gaudi’s La Pedrera lurks between shops, restaurants and galleries. Make time for a trip to Casa Batlló – free to the under 12s, it’s full of immersive rooms and installations that bring the Gaudi-designed building to life.

From £3,620 for four nights, room only, during the summer holidays (elpalauet.com).

For stays with the cousins

Looking to score major cool parent points? Finca 15 should do the trick. This restored Ibizan pile has been refurbished with families in mind – hence the trampoline, ping pong table, tipi and extra-special infinity pool. Meanwhile, the layout works well for extended families, with three double bedrooms in the main house, a casita in the grounds and a sprawling outdoor dining area for long evenings with the brood.

From £8,400 for seven nights, self-catered, for up to nine people, during October half term (scottwilliams.co.uk). 

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