7 best short breaks to Spain with kids #ad #SpainforFamilies

Nerja Spain beach on BritMums

Nerja, Spain. Picture: Zena’s Suitcase


Zena Goldman blogs at Zena’s Suitcase and has travelled all over with her family, but there’s a reason why Spain tops their list of destinations they love. Here, she shares her top suggestions for quick breaks for all types of families and interests.

Spain is by far our favourite country visit on holiday with our children. We’ve been going to the country regularly for nearly 20 years, which tells you something about how much we love this European holiday destination. The culture is one of the most family friendly I’ve come across and don’t even get me started on the incredible food and amazing beaches Spain has to offer. We could be here all day! #spainforfamilies

With flight times from the UK of just over 2 hours to Barcelona and other aeroports and around 4 hours to the Canary Islands, there’s no reason why a short break to Spain shouldn’t be a part of your family travel plans. Short breaks to Spain with kids also provides families with budget-friendly holiday options. 

Because of the short flight time, you can hop over and back easily. And when you start to reduce the number of nights you are on holiday to 2, 3 or 4 and if you are able fly on less popular days of the week, the cost of your holiday to Spain is significantly reduced.  Less expensive travel has to mean more family holidays, right? (Such as more holidays to Spain!)

Here’s a list of some perfect short breaks to Spain and why you should add them to your travel plans sooner rather than later.

Son Bou, Menorca 

Good for: Gentle beach fun and a culture vibe

Menorca is a picturesque and family friendly Baeleric Island, so you’re guaranteed the warmest of Spanish welcomes here. Son Bou is the perfect base for a short getaway as it’s just 20 minute drive from Menorca airport, but also provides great access for exploring the rest of the island.  Son Bou has 3 kilometres of stunning white sand beach and the shallow blue waters provide children of all ages the perfect place for building sandcastles and taking a splash in the sea. 

In Son Bou, families can also combine a relaxing break with local sightseeing. With it’s unique UNESCO status you will have many talayotic sites to explore — children find these fascinating — and you can also easily add a visit to El Toro, the largest mountain in Menorca for wonderful 365 views of the entire island. 

Poblat de Torralba, Menorca on BritMums

Talayotic monuments in Menorca. Picture: Zena’s Suitcase


Nerja, Costa Del Sol

Good for: Natural history and good food on the beach

The Costa Del Sol is packed with purpose-built holiday resorts, but if you are looking for a more authentic family holiday, then Nerja could be the perfect choice. 

Following your flight to Malaga, take an hour’s drive along the coast road to this once traditional fishing village and spend a lovely few days soaking up the Mediterranean sun. 

Nerja has developed a lot over recent years, while still retaining plenty of simple Spanish charm. Visit the Cueva de Nerja for a breathtaking lesson in natural history and remember you are just a stone’s throw away from the beautiful hillside village of Frigliana. You could even enjoy a family day trip to Granada and visit the historic Alhambra Palace if you would like to make the most of your time here.

The beaches in Nerja are brimming with family-friendly restaurants serving fresh fish and authentic paella. Fresh lamb stew is one the top dishes among tourists and locals alike. Active families can do watersports like scuba diving or waterskiing or grab yourself a pedlo for a more gentle trip out to sea.

Asturias, North West Spain

Good for: Getting away from the crowds to walk and explore dinosaurs

Once you and your family have experienced Spain’s traditional culture and landscape, there is literally no going back.  Asturias offers families a unspoilt holiday experience in the north west of the country that you don’t want to miss.  It’s hard to believe that this location hasn’t hit more people’s radar, as a flight from London Stansted to Asturias will catapult you and the kids into the warm Spanish sunshine in around 2 hours.

Emma from Bavarian Sojourn visited Asturias with her family in Spring and reliably informs me that it was beautiful. ‘Not too hot, not too busy, empty beaches and blossom everywhere.’ That’s the kind of holiday weather that appeals to me and the kids when we fancy a break from grey skies and city crowds. 

Asturias is great for families who enjoy the Spanish culture, walking and the natural environment.  The rock formations make for a more interesting visit to the beach and Lake Covadonga is highly recommended for it’s family-friendly walking routes. Dinosaur enthusiasts would also love a visit to the Jurassic Museum in Colunga.

If you are looking for a new culinary experience then the Emma from Bavarian Sojourn insists that the lobster rice, known locally as Rinlo is a must.  I’ve certainly added it to my list of must-try Spanish foods.


lobster rice from Asturias - BritMums

Local cuisine to try: Lobster rice! Picture: Bavarian Sojourn


North Costa Brava, North East Spain

Good for: Cycling, boating kayaking and day trips

Costa Brava is in the Northern region of Spain, and you have the choice of flying into Girona or Barcelona airport.  When you get there, Monika from Mum on the Brink recommends heading to Roses, Empuriabrava or L’Escala for your getaway.

North Costa Brava has lots of fun activities including accessible cycle routes, and endless possibilities to explore the coastline by boat or kayak if you are feeling a little more adventurous. 

There are no shortage of day trips to choose from, and Monika recommends  ‘a boat trip along the canals of Empuriabrava, a nature walk in Parc Natural del Aiguamolls de l’Emporda or a coastal path walk along the rugged path of the Cap de Creus peninsular’ for making the most of your family time in the region. 


Gran Canaria, Canary Islands

Good for: Beaches, waterparks, cave villages and camel rides

Gran Canaria is a wonderful location for a short family break all year round with regular flights from the UK taking just over 4 hours.  If great beaches, fun-packed waterparks andsight seeing feature in your daily holiday plans, then you and your family are in for a real treat.

Cathy from Mummy Travels strongly recommends hiring a car to explore the island and I’m in total agreement with her after she shared with me the different places it allowed her and her family to explore.  For a relatively small island, the activities on offer range from visiting cave villages, unforgettable camel rides on the dunes of Maspaloma, a visit to Aqualand or catching the ferry along the south coast to pretty Puerto de Mogan for a mini boat trip.  What a lot of variety right on your doorstep!

While visiting Gran Canaria you can also enjoy the islands very own take on Spanish cuisine and test out their papas arrugadas (little salty potatoes) served with mojo sauce as well as an abundance of fresh fish and local tapas.


San Sebastián, Basque Region

Good for: Fantastic food and beachside amusements

Not only is San Sebastián an excellent place for a short family break, but it’s a brilliant destination for families who love to explore new food. You can visit the area by talking a short flight to Bilboa and then hop on a bus right outside the airport to take you to San Sebastián, which is perfect for kids who enjoy their different modes of transport.


Picture: San Sebastian

As well as an array of fantastic restaurants San Sebastián has a wonderful aquarium called Oceanarium, a must for shark and stingray fans. La Concha Beach is the perfect sandy beach for families, and you can also visit the promenade to enjoy a few rides at the fairground as well as a large play area if you are travelling with younger children.

The beauty of taking the kids on holiday to an area like San Sebastián is you are guaranteed to find something for everyone during your stay. Ting from Travel Monkey recommends booking a family-friendly apartment near the Old Town so that you have easy access to all the local attractions to keep you and your family entertained during your stay.  Sounds like the perfect place to stay to me!


Barcelona, Spain

Good for: One of the world’s top cultural destinations, with fun for kids

We can’t talk about short breaks to Spain without mentioning a visit to the beautiful city of Barcelona. It’s got beaches for relaxing as well as a wide range of cultural attractions to explore. It’s a vibrant Spanish city that knows how to tick a lot of boxes for visitors of all ages. The only problem can be knowing where to start. 

Tin Box Traveller at aquarium Barcelona - BritMums

Claire of Tin Box Traveller and her child say hello to sea creatures at the aquarium. Picture: Tin Box Traveller

My top tip would be to join the hop-on/hop-off bus tour, as a fun way to see a lot of the city and visit marquee attractions like the Sagrada Família and Gaudi’s famous Park Güell. A bus tour is also a great chance to pick up some fun local facts that you might otherwise have missed. There are neighbourhoods to meander through, the picturesque and historic Tibidabo Amusement park with views over the city (great for selfies!), green spaces with playgrounds and kid-friendly restaurants. 

You can also take a leaf out of Claire from Tin Box Traveller blog’s book and visit the the L’Aquarium Barcelona, which is brimming with family activities and perfect for an escape from the heat or in the unusual event of a rainy day in Spain.  My girls love watching sea life, so it would make perfect sense to add this to our itinerary.


Inspire your friends and followers by sharing this list of best short breaks to Spain with kids on your favourite social platform now!

Tell us where you’d like to go in Spain or where you’ve been that you and your family enjoyed!

This post is part of a paid project with Spain, promoting family travel across the country. All opinions are my own.


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About Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media and is also a proud member of the BritMums team.



  1. 11 January 2019 / 11:03

    We love Majorca for a family holiday, although I have such fond memories of the canary islands when I was younger as we went on holiday there yearly, I really need to take my own children someday. I really want to visit mainland Spain this year as it so beautiful with so much to see and do

  2. 13 January 2019 / 12:09

    Thank you for sharing such an engaging and comprehensive review of some key holiday destinations. I’ve been to Barcelona before but not to any of the others so will certainly start considering them!

  3. 13 January 2019 / 21:39

    These all look amazing destinations. I don’t have any children but reckon I would love visiting them! My parents have been to Gran Canaria and enjoyed themselves.

  4. 14 January 2019 / 08:21

    I remember seeing your posts of Son Bou, it looks stunning. I would love to explore more of Spain

  5. 14 January 2019 / 15:40

    Some lovely choices here – I feel in need of a family holiday now!

  6. 14 January 2019 / 16:36

    Wow we are so lucky to have so much not far from us. I have barely gone to any of these places – need to explore more of Spain

  7. 14 January 2019 / 16:44

    Thanks so much for featuring our suggestion of San Sebastian – we really love it there! And such amazing suggestions from everyone else too!

  8. 15 January 2019 / 08:58

    The hop on/ hop off bus sounds like a perfect way to get around and sight see – plus what kid doesn’t love a bus! I love how Spain offers so much for every age, and of course incredibly food too!

  9. 15 January 2019 / 11:34

    Thanks for including our Barcelona city break – it’s such a brilliant city for families. We tied in two days exploring before and after joining a cruise. It was definitely worth extending our holiday!

    • 15 January 2019 / 14:35

      Claire, I wouldn’t have thought of doing that but it’s such a good idea. Y’all look like you’re having fun in the picture!

  10. 15 January 2019 / 11:56

    I am so glad you wrote this post – sometimes it’s quite overwhelming deciding where in Spain to go to, as there is so much choice!

    • 15 January 2019 / 14:35

      Sabrina, agree completely! There are so many wonderful places to go around the world and even in Spain. I think this curated list really rocks!

  11. 15 January 2019 / 14:54

    Thanks for including my suggestion of Gran Canaria – so many wonderful places to visit in Spain and some great inspiration for my next trip.

  12. 15 January 2019 / 16:56

    I loved writing this list. Sharing some of my own experiences of visiting Spain and some other fantastic suggestions from family travel bloggers really reminded me why this country is such a great family holiday destination.

  13. 15 January 2019 / 18:20

    Not been Spain for years. I went to Ibiza in my clubbing days…many years ago lol. however, would be nice to get some sun xx

  14. 15 January 2019 / 20:48

    We have been to Gran Canaria and Tenerife when the two eldest were small, I am keen to take all seven abroad to somewhere that isn’t Disneyland Paris and as I am not that keen on flying Spain is definitely at the top of my list for a family break this year. My parents used to take my sister and I to Spain every year when we were children, so i’m keen to return

  15. 16 January 2019 / 12:02

    WOW what a great list, thanks for sharing! I had no idea there were so many great places in Spain to visit as a family.

  16. 16 January 2019 / 12:32

    We love visiting Spain as a family and a short break is a great way of fitting more family holidays into the year. Top of our list at the moment is the Basque Country and Andalucia.

  17. Louise
    16 January 2019 / 17:20

    We went to Gran Canaria when my eldest was young. Reading this really makes me want to take all three kids to Spain

  18. 16 January 2019 / 18:13

    I haven’t been to Spain for a long time, but it is on our bucket list to go as a family. Some fab looking places, here. Makes me want to book now, in miserable wet UK January!

  19. 17 January 2019 / 17:04

    I’ve not been to Spain since I was tiny, so I can’t actually remember it! I’d love to go abroad again one day and any of these places would be perfect 🙂

    Louise x

  20. 17 January 2019 / 17:22

    I have been to a few of these prior to having my daughter. I would love to go again with her though, or try some of the places that I have never been.

  21. 31 January 2019 / 21:57

    We had our honeymoon in the Parador in Nerja. A few days of bliss. Could be time to go back with the family?

  22. 02 February 2019 / 16:37

    I so want to visit Asturias it looks breathtaking, exploring a new region is so exciting. I do love Barcelona to its one of my favourite places and our boys just love visiting x

  23. 04 February 2019 / 15:18

    Spain’s a great place for a family break. I love going there, and have travelled around the country quite a bit. I’ve not been to Asturias yet though – it’s on my list now!

  24. 28 February 2019 / 14:23

    Im a big fan of Nerja. We stayed in the parador at the bridge on our honeymoon. Would love to revisit.

    • 28 February 2019 / 17:42

      Ooh sounds lovely!