Visiting Spain with Your Family
Spain is a very family-friendly destination. The food is very diverse, which means there’s always something to satisfy the fussiest of palates. The range of different accommodation is vast, and there are a wide variety of attractions to suit all ages. Enjoying a holiday in Spain isn’t too much of a challenge as long as you plan carefully.
The Best Areas to Visit
There are three main areas to consider when you’re planning your holidays in Spain. The islands are the most obvious choice thanks to its beautiful beaches and child-friendly attractions. The beaches have gentle waters which makes bathing safe, and the attractions include water parks for the younger members of your family and water sports for the older and more adventurous types.
Barcelona is full of interesting and fun things to do from theme parks and a chocolate museum through to beaches, gardens and interactive exhibitions.
The Spanish interior doesn’t feature on many family’s bucket lists which is a shame. It’s worth considering because it’s littered with tiny villages, fascinating cities, and concentrations of castles.
Eating Out as a Family
Eating out is often something parents dread, but it doesn’t have to be that way in Spain. Children are welcome almost everywhere, and you won’t get any funny looks if your kids run amok among the other diners. When you’re visiting in the summer, you can take advantage of the many outdoor terraces with tables that seem to be there just for parents with children. Spanish eating hours can be difficult to get used to, but there’s always the option of shopping at the local market and preparing your own food in your self-catering villa.
If you’re out and about site-seeing, it’s advisable to bring something with you as there will be times when there’s nothing open.
Things for Children to Do
There’s plenty for children to do in Spain, whatever age they might be. Adventure activities include rafting, kayaking, canyoning, canoeing and mountain biking. Activities are available for all levels and abilities, but it’s always advisable to check before booking in case there are any age restrictions. For those times when your kids don’t need to be so physical there are castles to explore, horse shows to watch, fiestas and ferias to participate in and much more.
Spanish Beaches are Perfect for Children
Along the Mediterranean coast, there are some spectacular beaches, custom made for children. Many of them, particularly those along the Costa Brava are sheltered from the open ocean by protective coves. Others are tranquil stretches of calm waters that quietly lap the shore. Be warned that some of the beaches can get very crowded, but there are still quiet stretches of sand if you look carefully.
What to Bring with You
If you’re bringing young children with you, there are going to be a few things you might want to consider bringing with you, in case of emergency. However, in most cases, you’ll be able to get most of what you need in Spain. Baby formula is available in both powder and liquid form. Sterilising solutions can also be bought at most pharmacies. Disposable nappies can be purchased at supermarkets, and fresh cow’s milk is sold in cartons and plastic bottles in supermarkets in big cities. In more remote areas and small towns, you’re likely to find only UHT milk.
Spain is well known for having a world-class transport infrastructure. High-speed trains between major cities make the vastness of the country irrelevant. Travelling at such high speeds is an exhilarating way to travel, and you probably won’t need to convince your children to travel this way. Children under the age of 12 are entitled to discounts on public transport, and those under the age of 4 usually travel for free. If you decide to hire a car, you should ask for car seats; although, be aware this is usually at an additional cost. Taxis rarely have child seats, and you’ll be expected to sit with them on your lap with the seatbelt around both of you.
The best times to visit in the summer are July and August; however, it’s also the time when Spaniards take their annual holiday, and you’ll find many of them flocking to the coast. Travelling to the mountains can also be done at this time of the year. The interior of the country can get excruciatingly hot during the summer months, so it’s often better to stick with areas close to the coast.