If you’re planning a family beach holiday, chances are safety on the sand will be high on your list of priorities, especially if there are young children in your party. We’re talking calm, shallow, warm water with no undercurrent and a gradual slope. Add to this some fine grained (powdery) sand, plenty of other kids to play with, a bucket and spade, and you’re all set for the perfect family holiday on the beach! Here’s a pick of our favourite family friendly beaches…
Playa de Muro, Majorca
Nestled between Alcudia and one of our favourite resorts, C’an Picafort, Playa de Muro is protected from any wind by lines of pine trees. The water is clean, clear and shallow, so it’s great for paddling kids.
Sa Coma, Majorca
Another wind-protected beach, blue flag-awarded Sa Coma is very popular, but rarely too busy to find a space for your towels. Plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops nearby, and services like loos, sun beds and parasols are plentiful.
The Costa Brava has been a family favourite for years. It’s a beautiful stretch of coastline which extends from just beneath the French border down to the ever popular Lloret de Mar. The fact that it’s as popular with locals and serves as a holiday home for wealthy residents of nearby Barcelona speaks volumes about its something-for-everyone charm.
Llafranc, Costa Brava
Just south of Tamariu, with an easily navigable coastal path running between the two, Llafranc is a well protected bay with a big stretch of white sand and shallow waters which are safe for children to swim in. If they get bored and fancy exploring, take them a short way along the rocky headland to dig around in the rock pools. An added bonus: Llafranc’s long promenade is ideal for wheels, so you won’t have to struggle with buggies!
Tossa De Mar, Costa Brava
Families also love the gorgeous village of Tossa De Mar, south of Llafranc, thanks to its two long beaches of sand and shingle, and the narrow cobbled streets which snake through the small town. The beaches are a real hive of activity, ideal for kids and parents alike, although they might be more suited to older kids – especially those into water sports.
Long, sandy beaches, safe towns and villages, warm weather and welcoming people make the Algarve ideal for family holidays. The best thing about this region is its diversity. You can enjoy all the pleasures of a beach holiday a mere stone’s throw from stunning countryside dotted with quaint villages, luscious olive groves and vineyards.
Balaia Beach, Albufeira
One of the Algarve’s most popular beaches, Balaia Beach is lovely and long, and features its very own beach bar serving freshly barbequed fish. Conveniently situated in close proximity to wonderful Albufeira and Vilamoura, both of which feature their own bustling, family-friendly beaches, it offers plenty of activities on and off the beach, such boat excursions, golf, aqua parks and watersports. There are many British and international restaurants in the area, where you’re sure to find something tasty to tempt your little ones.
Fisherman’s Beach, Old Town Albufeira
Overlooked by excellent restaurants and constantly cocooned in the heavenly scent of barbequed fish, Fisherman’s Beach is a foodie family’s paradise. Walk straight from your favourite restaurant onto the powdery beach (but remember to give it half an hour before paddling!).
The ultimate family island, Naxos is home to beautiful St George’s Beach, a sandy haven with very shallow, clear water and lots of other families to socialise with. The beach and area as a whole is conveniently located near Naxos Town, but remain quiet and relatively free of traffic. It’s the ideal beach for families with young children. If it sounds too good to be true, there is one slight hitch: getting to Naxos can be a little tricky. You’ll need to fly to Athens then hop on a ferry from the Port of Piraeus. It might sound like hassle, but one of the reasons Naxos has maintained its rustic charm and isn’t completely packed with tourists is that it’s more than just a flight away, and it’s well worth the extra effort.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and is home to dozens of family holiday hotspots. Thanks to its year-round pleasant climate, it is popular out of season, so if you fancy getting away for a half term break or even some winter sun, Tenerife should almost certainly be on your list of options. Beaches are Tenerife’s main attraction, most notably Playa de La Arena in the small resort of Puerto Santiago, and the longest beach on the island, El Médano, slightly off the beaten track in Granadilla de Abona.
For almost complete peace of mind at home and abroad (because let’s face it, you’ll never be 100% relaxed when it comes to your kids’ safety), we recommend identification wristbands for children. The fact is, kids sometimes wander off and get lost, and wearing a wristband with your mobile phone number and hotel written on it will make it much easier to find them. We recommend these by Chesterford – they come in different sizes are brightly coloured and can be looped onto wrists, bags and coats, and are reasonably priced.