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Updated by Luke Durden on Dec 20, 2016
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Luke Durden Luke Durden
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Winter destinations for a family holiday

What does the idea of travelling in winter mean to you? Dragging around a suitcase filled with coats, jumpers, boots, slippers and many other bits and bobs can be grating, especially when also travelling with young children. Furthermore, no one can deny that going on holiday during the winter season can be a pain to organise but, in the end, when you finally arrive at your destination, you’re sure to enjoy your winter holiday even more so than your summer one.

1

Canillo and Grandvalira

Andorra is one of Europe’s top winter destinations. This small ski paradise, surrounded by nature and with many great places to go shopping, is a dream place to bring the little ones. Canillo is an excellent example: a picture-perfect town with its narrow stony streets, surrounded by never-ending mountain views, located at the foot of one of the most significant ski resorts in the country: Grandvalira. Other than going skiing and participating in leisure activities with the kids, Andorra also offers the Caldea spa and wellness centre (facilitated to suit the needs of both kids and adults with its family spa areas and adult-only zones) along with, and easily winning over anyone; Naturlandia: the huge nature adventure park. Finally, you have the town centre: a place of great cultural interest. If you book a hotel in either Canillo or Andorra la Vella, many hotels tend to offer either free entry to Naturlandia or ski passes, whichever one you prefer. We advise you to confirm with the hotel before booking.

2

Barcelona

Barcelona

It’s practically impossible to recommend a list of destinations without at least once mentioning Barcelona. The city boasts everything and is perfect for solo trips, travelling with your partner, friends and, of course: the kids. Other than its plays, musicals, cinemas and performing street arts, Barcelona is home to many interesting museums, with activities for the children; a stunning beach which you can visit even on cold days; and an immense variety of parks. What’s more, there aren’t many places that can offer an escape for the children like the Tibidabo theme park which, during winter time, goes all out for Christmas. In Barcelona, you have the option of family hotels, which offer either family or adjoining rooms with special entertainment for the kids included.

3

Majorca

Although, during winter, most hotels close and everything returns to its peaceful state, Majorca during this time of the year is a unique treat. You can definitely find accommodation near the sea at a good price with something to do for all the family, whether it be going for bike rides or on hikes, taking a stroll through the town, losing yourself in Palma centre with its numerous places to go shopping or visiting the city’s parks and children’s play areas. The island’s food is delicious and very healthy with a wide variety of local products and international specialities including special menus for children in certain restaurants. Palma offers a Christmas activity program full of possibilities for both adults and children with celebrations lasting far into February, which is when the celebrations for Saint

4

Madrid

Madrid

The country’s capital never disappoints when it comes to things to do for children. Its children’s program is the largest and most varied of all of Spain: from museums to art workshops, Christmas fairs, international musicals, puppet shows and, to top it all off, some of the most impressive toyshops around. Madrid is a great place to go with the kids as it has a very efficient public transport network and, if you stay in a hotel in Madrid city centre, you’re guaranteed to be able to reach anywhere on foot. With that being said, take everything in your stride, because what with all the Christmas goings-on, streets are packed, making it nearly impossible to navigate at a normal pace. When it comes to accommodation for families with young children, have a look at hotel chains like Petit Palace which specialise in charming boutique hotels with rooms for all the family, free Wi-Fi, a computer in every room, a courtesy iPad, family films and even presents for the kids!

5

Tenerife

Is one of the best places in the Canary Islands for activities for the children. There, you relax by taking in the serene nature and be thoroughly taken back by the spectacular Teide volcano. Whatever you want, this island has it, whether it be hiking or horse riding; sailing or surfing lessons; camel rides or jeep safaris…
Zoos, nature centres and theme parks are a perfect alternative if you simply just want a normal day out with all the family. The food is also a bonus: apart from international dishes, which will save you the hassle of figuring out what to feed the little ones, adults can try some of Spain’s most exotic dishes, with blends unrivalled by products from America and made with traditional ingredients coming from mainland Spain, Morocco or Northern Europe. Family hotels in Tenerife can be found on any part of the island; however, the most recommendable are located in the zone of Costa Adeje, in the southern part of Tenerife.

6

Lanzarote

Lanzarote

Continuing on with the Canary Islands as its exceptional climate allows us to enjoy a perfect spring’s holiday right in the middle of winter within just a 2 hours plane ride away. Lanzarote is a magical island where both children and adults can discover a place of wonder and excitement; for even to see its amazing landscape, this volcanic island is surely worth the visit. Despite being one of the quietest islands, with less touristic sights to see, it’s a good spot for being at one with nature; discovering the island’s lunar landscapes, infinite beaches, islets, mountains and much more…There’s all-year round opportunity for practicing water sports along with child-friendly bathing areas. In respect to where to stay, there are fewer family hotels in Lanzarote than in Tenerife, however, despite this, the ones that do accommodate for children offer good locations, are fully equipped and have good entertainment programs for your little ones.

7

Fuerteventura

Is an island best known for its windy climate and surfing: an ideal winter destination for sporty families. The island boasts white-sand beaches, especially in the far south of the island in the Jandía beach area; surfing schools recognised worldwide, artisan villages and fisherman ports. It’s the perfect place to rest and enjoy nature in the easiest and least problematic way possible. If you decide to hire a car, you should have no problem travelling from one side of the island to the other with still enough time to relax and enjoy yourselves. Fuerteventura’s all-inclusive hotels are easily the best choice for accommodation with average prices and rooms generally fully equipped with everything you may need, especially for holidaymakers travelling with children. The best zones are located in the south, in the municipality of Pájara near to Morro Jable, (an area popular amongst German tourists) although if you are looking to surf, the best beaches to practice on are located in the north of the island.