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Family Beach Index

Family Beach Index

Europe's most family friendly beach destinations

As everyone begins planning and booking their 2022 holidays, we thought we'd take a scientific approach to discover the most family friendly beach destination in Europe. So, after many hours of research and number crunching, we came up with the Family Beach Index.

We scored and weighted five criteria that matter most to families when choosing their beach holiday - best weather, warmest sea temperatures, shortest flight times, most family friendly attractions, and best value for money - to create an index score out of 100 that helps to make some of Europe's beach destinations as easy as possible to compare. Now that we've done all of the hard work we can't wait to share the results with you!

Crete - Europe's most family friendly beach destination

The largest of all the Greek islands, which welcomes over four million visitors each year, Crete takes the top spot! Offering a wonderful selection of sunny beach resorts to choose from, there’s no wonder the island is a big hitter on our Family Beach Index.

Us beach-lovers need some sunshine on our getaways and Crete delivers, with an average temperature of 24°C - perfect tanning heat. Plus, the average sea temperature is 23°C, so you and your kids can dip into the Aegean Sea without any icy surprises! And - at around four hours’ flight time - Crete scored a solid 15.2/20 on our flight score, so you should still be able to keep the kids entertained for the journey! Finally, we may be all for a lazy beach break, but entertainment is a must and the island is home to a whopping ten water and amusement parks - making Crete perfect for families. With these winning stats, the welcoming locals and the oh-so-delicious food, Crete really is the destination that has it all.

Costa Blanca coming in at a close second…

Home to our beloved Benidorm, Costa Blanca takes second place with an overall score of 84.3. It’s not surprising Costa Blanca is so popular, with its average temperature being one of the highest at a toasty 24.5°C. Cooling off in the sea is easy with an average temperature of 22°C and those who prefer to spend their days at fun-filled water and amusement parks are spoiled for choice with seven in the region.

As for flight time, Costa Blanca sits in the top 10 at just over two-and-a-half hours away, which is just enough time to watch the film Avatar…if you’re a fan. So, whether you’re looking for an exciting stay in Benidorm or a laid-back break in Albir, Costa Blanca is a solid choice for a family getaway.

Sitting at third is Southern Cyprus

Southern Cyprus may have landed in third place, but number 3 out of 50 is a win in our eyes. With an average sea temperature of 24.5°C, who could resist a beachy break to this Mediterranean island? The average temperature is a lovely 23.5°C and with nine water and amusement parks, there’s guaranteed family fun in the sun. With flights coming in at around 4 hours and 50 minutes Cyprus is just that little bit further away, but with beautiful beaches, fabulous attractions and plenty of sun, it’s so worth it.

Where are the warmest family friendly destinations?

Whether you’re a beach babe, poolside sunbather or a city explorer, most holidaymakers have one thing in common…they want heat! With so many people jetting off every year to escape the ever-so-slightly-unreliable weather back home, it’s unsurprising that the most important consideration for 40.5% of people booking a holiday is the average temperature. Turkey really dazzled the results in this department, with Gumbet, Belek and Bodrum sharing the crown, each boasting an average temperature of 25°C. Alanya and Costa Blanca weren’t too far behind either with averages only half a degree lower than the winners at 24.5°C. So, now you know where to find that golden tan this summer!

Top 10 for average temperature

Deals to the warmest destinations

Which family friendly destinations have the warmest waters?

As beach experts, we know the importance of a perfect sea temperature. You need to cool off from the sun without being turned to ice, and that can be a difficult compromise. Plus, if you’ve got kids, playing in the sea can be a struggle if it's too cold!

If you want crystal-blue waters with blissful temperatures, the south east of Europe is the place to go. The Turkish resorts of Antalya, Alanya, Belek and Side top the charts with an average sea temperature of 25°C and southern Cyprus comes close behind with an average of 24.5°C.

Top 10 for average sea temperature

Deals to the destinations with the warmest waters

Which family friendly destinations have the most attractions?

If you’re a family of thrill-seekers, sometimes a game of ping pong by the pool isn’t enough. For just under 16% of survey takers, child-friendly attractions was the most important consideration for a holiday.

Index topper Crete takes the prize with a total of 10 water and amusement parks, including the famous WaterCity, the largest waterpark on the island.Cyprus comes a close second with nine attractions and over in mainland Spain, Costa Brava , Blanca and Dorada each hold seven attractions.

Top 10 for number of waterparks and amusement parks

Deals to the destinations with the most attractions

Which family friendly destinations are the best to fly to?

A very important factor to some, especially those with little ones, the flight duration to a destination can make or break a choice in holiday. An hour’s drive to the UK’s seaside may be a parent’s dream, but our typical summer of three sunny days per year doesn’t always cut it for a sun-soaked getaway.

So, if you want a real beachy break filled with sun, sea and smiling children, the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada regions of sunny Spain fit the bill with average flight times of under 2 hours and 5 minutes. Next up is the family-favourite, Majorca, with an average flight time of 2 hours 25 minutes, followed closely by Costa de la Luz with an average time of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Top 10 for flight duration

Our Family Beach Index used a metric called Flight Score, which was calculated as follows: Each flight was looked at from Birmingham (or East Midlands if direct flight from BHX unavailable) as a central UK point. Flight length was recorded in minutes FROM the UK to outbound destination. E.g Birmingham to Algarve = 2 hours 50 mins, which is 170minutes in total. Flight time in minutes was then divided by 100 to get a number out of ten (in this case 1.7). In order to reward shorter flight times with a higher score (and vice versa) this score was then reversed out of 10: so 1.7 becomes 8.3). This is then doubled to get a score out of 20 to work with the overall index calculation (so Algarve scores 16.6).

Deals to the destinations that are easiest to fly to

The best value-for-money family friendly beach break

Everyone wants to get the most for their money, especially when it comes to holidays. The Canary Island of La Palma came out top for best value for money, whereas Costa Calida and Costa Brava were the top for mainland Spain. The Greek island of Kefalonia and the Algarve were also found to be great places to bag a bargain break. Even better, with our low cost getaways and flexible payment methods, you can spread the cost until 4 weeks before you fly!

Deals to the best value-for-money destinations

Family Index blogger fun

We've teamed up with some fabulous family bloggers, Slummy Single Mummy, Mummy Travels and Mini Travellers to talk about family beach holidays. Check them out below!

How to pack like a pro

Take some top packing tips from blogger, Travel Mad Mum, with her video on how to pack for a family holiday in one suitcase!

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