by Lara Scott
Europe is blessed with many of the world’s most stunning coastal destinations. Take advantage of shorter flights and jet off to explore the best of them with your loved ones. Here’s the continent’s five best beach holidays, made for families who want something extra special for their next getaway…
Viva Espagna! Spain is a great holiday destination for families. Take the time to unwind on beautiful strips of sand – the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and the Balearic Islands pack them in abundance. On the Costa del Sol, you can explore Marbella’s lush harbours before parking up on nearby beaches, or head to Estepona for buoyant waves and dreamy Mediterranean sunsets. With over 200km of Mediterranean coastline, the Costa Blanca is a beach lover’s gem. Enjoy the beaches, popular with both locals and tourists, at Javea, Moraira and Calpe.
The island of Majorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, is known for its glistening waters and pure sands. Head to Alcudia for relaxed beaches – usually within the backdrop of Alcudia Bay – well suited for young families set on making unforgettable holiday memories.
Portugal’s Algarve has all the right ingredients for a great beach holiday – wide coastlines, entertainment facilities and tranquil views. Located in the southeast, one of the region’s vibrant hotspots Lagos is flanked by turquoise coves and sun-kissed strips, particularly the Blue Flag Meia Praia Beach.
Head here and take your pick from over 5km of prime lounging spots. The waves are top-tier, so why not embark on some bodyboarding or a few hours of splashing about with the little ones?
Some of Greece’s beaches arguably rival that of the Caribbean. Factor in the rich history, cuisine and culture, and you’ve got everything you need for the ultimate family getaway. The country’s rich selection of islands give it an edge over many other countries, many thanks to the luscious coastlines of Corfu and Rhodes…
Both islands boast unreal views over the Aegean Sea, which sits at a temperature ideal for a spot of swimming. Agios Gordios beach and the bays of Sidari and Paleokastritsa beach are some of Corfu’s best family hangouts. In Rhodes, you can’t go wrong by visiting either Ladiko, Lindos or Stegna.
Croatia has some of the greatest landscapes, beaches and architecture in Eastern Europe. The waters are crystal clear and the history is ripe with Roman amphitheatres and medieval castles.
Try heading to Pula, the largest city in the district of Istria, with your family. It’s a fantastic location to stay during your holiday and it has stunning coastlines for whenever you want to take a dip. For a secluded couple of hours away from the city, head south to Kamenjak Cape, a sheltered pebbled beach complete with unbeatable views of the Adriatic Sea.
As the third biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is a treasure trove of fine beaches. On top of that, there’s three breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The best beach for a family holiday in Cyprus is without a doubt Coral Bay. It’s got all the amenities you could ask for – think snorkelling, boat trips, and quad biking tours. Not only that, it’s also safe for swimming, after which you can dry off on any number of prime Mediterranean sand spots. If you get a chance, then both Makronissos and Nissi beach are also worth a visit.
Ready to put the wheels in motion for your own family beach retreat? Take a look at some Villa Plus properties near beaches.
A former executive at a major hotel chain, Lara Scott is a freelance travel writer and journalist. She says her previous career gives her extra insight into both sides of the tourism industry.