Spain is one of the best places to go with children in Europe, whether you have babies, teens or extended family spanning generations. You can make the kind of memories that last — ones you’ll be talking about and sharing for years to come, whether that features that great little restaurant where everyone tried a new dish, a blissful beach outing, adrenaline-fueled activities or art that expanded your minds.
We asked top family travel influencers in the UK about the best places to go in Spain to make a memorable family holiday, as part of the #SpainFamilyHolidays project, sponsored by Spain.
Here, a guide to the best family holidays in Spain — where to go, what to do and where to stay.
Tell us what you think and add your recommendations in the comments!
A guide to the best family holidays in Spain
Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands, has year-round warm temperatures (not too hot, not too cold), stunning volcanic landscapes and the unique art and architecture of the Spanish artist and environmentalist. Visit his home, now a foundation to get a sense of the man and his mission. Lanzarote has mostly avoided the ‘massification’ (Manrique’s word) of overdevelopment and as such retains a natural beauty that parents and kids will love exploring. Plus there’s an array of great places to stay, from beachside resorts to small eco-friendly accommodation. Check out these 3 family-friendly Lanzarote hotels Jenography explored.
Karen from Mini Travellers uses a picture of her girls running into the Atlantic on a Lanzarote beach as part of her logo (‘I’m still making them re-create this shot even now, as I’m not sure for how long they will let me,’ she confides.)
‘Famous for flamenco dancing, sherry, stunning gothic architecture and streets you can get lost in, this Andalusian city has so much to offer. I’d definitely go back in a heartbeat,’ says Ting from My Travel Monkey.
‘We visited here for a week last summer with the kids. From exploring the old town to the visiting the breathtaking Plaza de Espana, it really did leave a lasting impression on our family!’ says Zena from Zena’s Suitcase. ‘Spain is full of beautiful and interesting landmarksbut this one is particularly stunning and great for families. 👌’
This resort town in the Basque area of Spain, not far from the French border, is known for its sandy beaches, cultural appeal and a hot dining scene. All of that puts it on the list for our family travel lovers, but for Samantha from North East Family Fun, the ability to eat well and expose her children to new tastes is irresistible.
‘Ever since we watched Remarkable Places to Eat on BBC2, we have been dying to go. The city is home to some of the best restaurants in the world and I would love to take the kids – maybe an idea for Steve’s 40th.’
The Penedès wine region
This wine region an hour south of Barcelona in Catalunya can be a great day trip or an overnight jaunt. It’s one of the best wine-producing regions after Rioja, known for exceptional whites and cava as well as a smaller number of reds. Stay at a spa or do wine tours, see the harvesting and sorting of grapes and even take part in a kid-friendly ‘tasting’ at Alta Alella, where children play games and learn about grapes and the flavours in wine. Then there are the outdoor activities. ‘We followed the Cami del Vi “Wine Walk” that led us to the gorgeous Torres Family Winery where we toured the facilities and learned about the wines,’ says Susanna from A Modern Mother.
In addition to the cathedral with the world’s widest Gothic nave and stunning entry stairs, the bridges with fabulous views and the Game of Thrones locations, there is the legendary ice cream spot Rocambolesc Gelateria. It’s the brainchild of one of the famous culinary Roca brothers and features the world’s most innovative ice lollies and gelato combinations. As Kirstie of Family Adventure Project calls it: ‘Willy Wonka experience’ and ‘one of the best ice cream stops in the world.’
Mallos de Riglos, Huesca
This stunning rock formation in Aragon is a draw for climbers looking to scale the limestone faces. Enjoy the breathtaking views or visit Bird of Prey Interpretation Centre in Riglos to watch the vulture colonies. It remains a top memory for Susanna. As she says, ‘What a view!’
Costa del Sol
Nerja is a perennial favourite for Zena and her family — check out her 9 best things to do in Nerja with kids. Her write-up on Instagram below reminds us of the great things about family trips.
View this post on Instagram
HOLIDAY IDEAS (SWIPE) (ad) The first time I stepped on a plane and went abroad on holiday was to Spain. After that first holiday in Nerja with my then 3 year old son I officially fell in love with the country, the culture and of course the food. I particularly love these white washed buildings and beautifully paved streets. So very different from what we have here in the UK don’t you think? There is something about strolling around Spanish white towns like Nerja and Frigliana in the warm Mediterranean sunshine with the family that lifts my spirits instantly. It takes me back to that first trip and all the magical memories I’ve made in Spain over the years. I really do love Spain as a family holiday destination. What do you love about going to Spain on holiday? Share your favourite memories with #spainfamilyholidays now! Don’t forget to tag @zenassuitcase so I can come and take a look 😀 #spain🇪🇸 #spaintravel @Spain @Britmums
La Molina ski resort, Catalan Pyrenees
‘There’s nothing like the feeling of being alone on a mountain at sunset,’ confides Kirstie from Family Adventure Project. ‘As the piste bashers go out tonight on the mountains I am reminded of one of my most vivid memories of #SpainFamilyHolidays: going up to the top of the slopes in a piste basher. The excursion happened in the Catalan Pyrenees at La Molina ski resort. For the younger children it had all the excitement of riding in a big tractor. But for the adults it was a much more sensory, eerie experience of riding past chair lifts frozen in time and the air, and moving into the lonely part of the night with the only sounds coming from the metal jaws crunching snow, a rythmic, hypnotic sound.
‘At the top I felt the mountain as the kids made angels in the snow. And as they snoozed on the return journey the blackness fell as headlights picked out nature scampering out of the way.
‘Sometimes holiday memories are not about togetherness at all, but about being alone in the big wide world.’
This race track in Montmeló, Catalunya is home to the Spanish Grand Prix. You can arrange a tour of the circuit, which includes the VIP room and the Pits. Even if you aren’t a diehard fan, it’s an amazing experience, our family travel experts agree. ‘Visiting Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit and seeing the F1 cars get ready for the race — I wouldn’t put myself out there as an F1 fan but this was an awesome experience even by my standards,’ says Zena in her list of most memorable moments of family holidays in Spain.
Barcelona is no secret destination, but the larger Costa Barcelona area surrounding the city is a delight of activities and sights. ‘Every time I go to Spain I discover more wonderful things to do, see and eat — while also sometimes returning to favourite places. These include the kid-friendly Alta Alella winery and Calella, with its great beach and cycle route along the sea,’ says Jen from Jenography.net. Her pictures from Costa Barcelona tell the varied story of the region, not least of which was biking up the coast to Calella before eating mussels at stylish Nui Beach restaurant. ‘I can still taste these mussels I had years later at Nui Beach right on the water.’
We love all the Balearics and Menorca, Majorca’s little sister, holds a special place in our hearts. We love the Camí de Cavalls, the route around the island perfect for horseriding or biking. Menorca has a reputation for loving gin, held over from the British influence, which is something we can (ahem) appreciate along with its Pomada cocktail. You can pick up a Menorca gin in a distinctive bottle with finger handle. The Cova d’en Xoroi bar built into the side of a rocky cliff on coastal resort of Cala en Porte is groovy in its own right and showcases spectacular sunsets. Our travellers also like Son Bou, as the perfect base for a short getaway: a 20-minute drive from Menorca airport that provides great access for exploring the rest of the island.
More Spain travel tips for family