Your teens will want Wi-Fi and a pool. Your 5-11 year olds will want play mates. Adults want decent food, fine wine, good coffee and time to relax and read a brilliant book.

You will already know that getting some rest and relaxation on holiday isn’t quite so easy when you have kids in tow, especially little ones. Your toddlers will want your attention, almost all of the time.

It can be frazzling trying to meet everyone’s needs at home and that doesn’t change when you go on holiday. So, how do you get the balance right so everyone has a great time? Where are the best places to go? And what activities can you plan?


Why Spain & the Costas

The Spanish Costas are a great bet for family holidays. You are guaranteed sunshine, there are some of the best beaches in Europe and there are lots of things to do with kids, from toddlers to teens. But what’s the secret to a successful family holiday that won’t break the bank?

The areas along the coastline of Spain are referred to as Costas (coasts) and are one of the best places to go. The most popular Costas in southern Spain are Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol. Millions of tourists visit annually and there are lots of affordable things to do and places to stay.

A Spanish seaside holiday doesn’t have to be expensive or overpackaged and overcrowded. There are lots of less crowded seaside towns between the larger resorts. And there are heaps of things to do that won’t cost the earth. You can read more about how to book the perfect beach holiday online.

Another reason Spain works so well for family holidays is the fact that the Spanish love kids who are treated like royalty. You will be surprised at how many friendly gestures you will get from waiters and resort staff if you are holidaying with young children.


Best Spanish Costas to Visit

Check out our guide to the ost popular places in the Spanish Costas and find your perfect destination.

Costa del Sol – the Sun Coast
Why visit: Luxury, activities and spas.
Popular towns: Malaga and Marbella - or explore Andalusia.
Best beaches: Playa de Burriana and Playa Malapesquera.
Nearest airport: Málaga airport.

Costa Blanca – the White Coast
Why visit: Popular tourist resorts.
Popular towns: Alicante and Denia.
Best beaches: Playa de Levante and Playa de San Juan.
Nearest airport: Alicante-Elche airport.

Costa Brava – the Wild Coast
Why visit: Art lovers and authentic atmosphere.
Popular towns: Roses, Lloret de Mar & Begur
Best beaches: Platja de Tamariu & Cap de Creus Nature Reserve.
Nearest airport: Girona airport.

Costa de Almeria – the Coast of Almeria
Why visit: Scenic nature.
Popular towns: Almeria, Roquetas de Mar and Almerimar.
Best beaches: Mónsul beach and Aguadulce beach.
Nearest airport: Almería airport.

Costa Tropical – the Tropical Coast
Why visit: Total relaxation.
Popular towns: Almuñecar and Motril.
Best beaches: Calahonda, La Rijana and La Mamola.
Nearest airport: Granada airport.

Costa de la Luz – the Coast of Light
Why visit: Weather and outdoor water sports.
Popular towns: Tarifa, Cádiz and Huelva.
Best beaches: Boloña Beach and El Palmar Beach.
Nearest airport: Seville airport.

Costa Dorada – the Golden Coast
Why visit: Sun!
Popular towns: Tarifa, Cádiz and Huelva.
Best beaches: Boloña Beach and El Palmar Beach.
Nearest airport: Seville airport.

Costa Dorada – the Golden Coast
Why visit: Family-friendly beaches.
Popular towns: L’Ampolla & Salou.
Best beaches: Cunit Beach & Calafell Beach.
Nearest airport: Reus airport.

Costa del Azahar – the Orange Blossom Coast
Why visit: Off the beaten track rural delights.
Popular towns: Valencia and Peniscola.
Best beaches: Romana and Marina d’Or.
Nearest airport: Castellon airport.

Costa Verde – the Green Coast
Why visit: Undiscovered beaches and scenic hiking trails - one of the hidden gems of Europe.
Popular towns: Gijon and Aviles.
Best beaches: Playa Xago, Playa de Barayo de la Vega and Cobijeru Beach.
Nearest airport: Asturias airport.


Getting Around

Hiring a car is probably the most cost-effective way of getting around and gives you a lot more freedom. It is a good idea to pre-book care hire and kids’ car seats as car seats especially are in high demand during holiday season.

There are a variety of car hire firms at the main airports. Alicante airport, for example, has Avis, Auto Europe, Rentalcars, Hertz and Sixt, as well as some smaller firms.

However, you don’t have to hire a car to get around. The Spanish transport system is one of the best in the world and high-speed AVE trains will get you swiftly across vast distances.

Kids love the idea that they are travelling at nearly 300km/h! Children under the age of 4 generally go free on public transport and there are discounts for kids, usually for those under the age of 12.


Eating Out

The food bill when you are on holiday can easily mount up for a family. The trick is to eat out cheaply and intersperse with filling and nourishing snacks.

Fresh fruit is wonderful in Spain, so a trip to a municipal market to stock up every few days is a great idea. Strawberries, cherries, doughnut peaches and nectarines are particularly good. Municipal markets are found in most towns and many larger villages, and are usually open from 9am to 1pm.

Spanish families regularly eat out, so you can be sure there will be lots of child-friendly Spanish dishes the whole family can enjoy. You won’t find kids menus in the less touristy places, but that’s no bad thing.

Ordering dishes to share is common place in Spain (tapas) or consider ordering one main dish for two children to share. Also, ask about the Menú del Día, which is a fixed price and is usually very reasonable. A large paella for the whole family to share also goes down a treat. Don’t worry if you have a fussy eater, there are lots of Spanish dishes your kids will love.


Top Activities & Things to Do in the Spanish Costas with Children

Here are some inexpensive child-friendly places to visit on the Spanish Costas:

1. The Beaches

The Spanish Coastas are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain. Mix up your holiday by venturing to a few different beaches on your holiday.

There are beaches offering watersports for teens and many quieter coves that make it easier to look after toddlers. The Spanish coast features more than 3,500 beaches, but they’re not all suitable for small children so check for the blue flag and suitability before you go. There are lots online guides to the best beaches in Spain to go to with kids.

The Costa Water Park is a great alternative to the big and expensive water parks. It costs 10 euros per hour per child (or adult). It’s a great treat for your older children (kids under 6 must be accompanied by an adult). There are several of these along the coastline between Benalmádena and Guadiaro.

2. The Canelobre Caves

The Canelobre Caves are located in Busot, 23km from Alicante and are a perfect place for families to visit. Kids from tot to teen will love the experience. I mean who doesn’t love a cave (think Batman, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Lord of the Rings).

The caves also provide a welcome break from the sun (remember to take jumpers as it’s chilly in there). It costs 7 euros for adults and children aged 14 and above. Kids age 5-14 cost 3.5 euros and children under 5 go free.

3. Castles

Spain is home to some truly amazing castles. A family trip to one is a must and breaks up the beach days. Don’t worry about moaning teenagers, they will actually secretly be impressed once you get them there.

Perhaps the most impressive castle in the south is the Alcazaba of Málaga, which is enormous and is one of the best-preserved citadels in Spain. As well as the castle, there is also a Roman theatre, which dates back to the 1st century. Take snacks as the food is pricey. Admission is free after 2pm on Sundays!


Plan a Family Hoiday to Spain

Hopefully our guide to the Spanish Costas will help you to choose this destination and has given you some suggestions for things to do. Now go book your next holiday today.