Spain is the second most visited country in the world, and with something for everyone to enjoy – especially families, it’s easy to see why. But where are the best places to visit in Spain with kids? Here are a few tips.
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If you’re thinking of taking a holiday to Spain with children, or indeed returning after enjoying it so much before, there are so many amazing destinations to choose from, pinning it down to one area is tricky. It’s a melting pot of culture, natural beauty and rich history. Whether you’re looking for a mediaeval town, a royal palace, an amusement park, national parks, botanical gardens or beautiful beaches with shallow waters for young children, Spain really is the perfect place for the whole family to enjoy.
With warm weather, superb beaches, and super-friendly people, you’re spoiled for choice. Whether you fancy exploring Spain’s cities, hiking in the mountains, lounging on a beach or sampling the country’s delicious food, there is something that will appeal to the entire family in Spain.
Head to the coast to the sandy beaches of the Costa Brava, Costa del Sol, Costa Dorada or Costa Blanca where kids of all ages will have a great time. Or check out some of Spain’s best cities to have plenty of opportunities to soak up the Spanish culture exploring the narrow streets, local markets, historic buildings and roman ruins.
It’s impossible to narrow the must-see areas of Spain down to one short list. But if you’re wondering where to start, here are some great places to check out.
5 of the best places to visit with children in Spain
1. Costa de la Luz
Think of a Spanish holiday with kids, and you think of sunshine and beaches. So head to the coastal area of Costa de la Luz, which stretches from the Atlantic down to the south west of Spain. Meaning ‘coast of light’, this area is in southern Spain so has warmer temperatures – perfect for spring and winter holidays too, as well as the high season of the summer months. The golden sands and dune-backed beaches are a real pull for families, with the Zahara de los Atunes being a favourite for kids. But if you want something different to a day at the beach, other family attractions include an animal rescue centre called Zoo de Castellar which houses 120 different species ranging from a Bengali tiger, pot bellied pigs, hyenas, monkeys and all kinds of birds. Most of which have been rescued by customs or police. There is also the adventure park Entre Ramas Aventura, and Doñana Natural Park which is one of the country’s massive nature reserves. Nature lovers will be in their element!
2. Balearic Islands
Tens of thousands of Spain’s annual visitors don’t head to the mainland for their holiday, but to one of the beautiful Spanish islands either in the Balearics or Canary Islands. The Balearics is an archipelago of 4 islands in the Mediterranean Sea – Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca and they are certainly one of the best places to visit in Spain with kids.
Think of Ibiza and you think of it as party central, but there is plenty to do with children there, especially if you head to the north of the island. The beaches are beautiful and there are loads of outdoor activities such as cycling, water sports and hiking. Take a boat trip or go and check out the illuminated Can Marca caves in Puerto San Miguel.
Mallorca is ideal for little ones with stunning and safe beaches where the sand gently slopes into the calm sea. If you want something other than a full day on the beach, Mallorca offers water parks, theme parks, adventure parks and museums. Or head to one of its charming towns or villages. Puerto Pollensa in the north east has a great town centre with a pedestrianised square full of bars, restaurants and a promenade perfect for an evening walk. Whilst the city of Palma with its blend of Roman and Arabic heritage is just waiting to be explored. Or try out the delicious seafood at the mediaeval port of Sóller. If you have older children who want to explore the quiet coves, take a boat ride to visit the beautiful bays where they can jump off rocks and snorkel.
3. Canary Islands
The Canary Islands of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura offer a totally different type of Spanish beach holiday. The archipelago off the coast of north western Africa consists of rugged volcanic islands known for their black- and white sand beaches and are one of the best family destinations Spain offers.
Tenerife boasts spectacular landscapes, lava and sand beaches, lively seaside resorts, watersports, sailing trips and snorkelling. Head to the lava beaches in the north west if you want a quieter holiday but make sure you include a trip to Mount Teide as part of your stay. It’s the world’s third-largest volcano and a must-see on a holiday to Tenerife. There’s a cable car for little legs, and the National Park has miles of biking trails if you have older kids.
Children will also love a holiday to Lanzarote, with its awesome volcanic landscape and endless activities. The beaches are perfect for swimming, surfing, fishing and snorkelling whether you’re after secluded coves or sprawling sands to soak up the sunny weather. The island’s western side tends to get windier though, so the east side is more sheltered for kids. Other activities include tennis, golf, sailing, horse riding and diving. Or take a day trip to explore the lava tunnels created by flowing, molten lava about 3,000 years ago and learn about their unique history.
If a beach holiday isn’t your thing, or you just want a change, there are plenty of things to do inland. Head to the Basque Country and the Pyrenees in northern Spain for a stunning mountain holiday. Here action-packed activities such as hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, and even hot air balloons are waiting for you. Stay in a traditional farmhouse here – it’s a great way to enjoy the stunning mountain views and rural settings. You can visit the fertile volcanic landscape of Garrotxa or the dramatic and grand Aigüestortes. Proof, if ever you needed it, that there is so much more to Spain than its coast and beaches.
If you think the city of Barcelona is just for adults then think again. There is no shortage of things to do with kids in this beautiful city. Fill the children with wonder from Gaudi’s fantastical architecture, marvel at the Sagrada Familia, visit Park Güell, take in the sounds of Catalan music and language, or watch the street performers at the infamous Las Ramblas in the heart of the city. They will be blown away. To make it easy on little legs, try out the Montjuic cable car either over the sea to Barceloneta and the beach or up to the old castle. It’s one of the world’s most exciting cable cars for children. Check out the Gothic Quarter, or head for an ice cream at Olympic Village beach which is a family favourite with its own playground where kids will have the best time. Say hi to marine life at the aquarium which has Europe’s largest underwater walkway, and if you have any young footie fans with you, try to catch a match at Camp Nou, the home of legendary club FC Barcelona. You just know they’d love it!
I told you you’d be spoiled for choice when it came to the best places to visit in Spain with kids! Once you’ve decided on the area you wish to visit, check out these Spanish holiday rentals to find the perfect accommodation.
Where are your favourite places to visit in Spain with kids?
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If you liked this post, have a look at my Travel Section for other ideas for UK family holidays and days out. These might be handy:
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- Best places for families to stay in France
- 10 best UK family holidays ideal for young children
- Places to stay near Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World
- Best places to stay near Legoland Windsor
- Best UK campsites for children
- 11 best holidays in Devon
- Best places to stay with kids in London
- 15 best family days out in Devon
- 13 best family days out in Cornwall
Or if you’ve got something booked but can’t face the packing, check out this helpful list – Packing List For Babies and Toddlers. And if you fancy a giggle but still on the subject of UK family holidays, read this – Five Ways A Holiday Is Never The Same After Kids. If you STILL want more after that head over to my Mum Life section for funny rants about all sorts of parenting things. And if you’re local to me in Plymouth, keep up to date with the latest in my Local Stuff section.
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