For many of us, a holiday home or move to Spain is all about spending more quality time with family. But what the toddlers will love may bore teenagers to tears, and those of us retiring will want entertainment all year, not just the summer. So here we take a look at some 5 seaside locations that are fun for all the family!

Costa del Sol

There is a reason that it is the most popular destination for foreigners, especially from northern countries and that is the fantastic climate. Several thousand British families have already made the move there and are enjoying winter warmth and sunshine as well as all the other things this region has to offer.

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Younger children

Long sandy beaches with well kept promenades are a feature of the Costa del Sol. There are some small playgrounds on the sand and there are several beaches which are particularly safe for young children. Most offer water sports like pedalos and the water is shallow and tranquil . Away from the beaches there is plenty to do with the smaller child, such as water parks, zoos, butterfly parks, aquariums and watching dolphins.

Beach for the kids, yacht for the grandparents…

Older kids

Spanish nightlife is world renowned. Everywhere are clubs and discotheques and in Estepona is a teenagers’ café which organises events on the beach where a variety of cultural activities happen – music, dancing, photography, art and poetry. There are some large shopping centres where all the brands are represented.

Adults

Culturally, the Costa del Sol has plenty to offer from museums to concerts, flamenco and sports. Picasso was born in Málaga and naturally there is a museum dedicated to the city’s famous son. Go inland and you have wonderful white villages clinging onto hillsides, with craft shops and restaurants which have wonderful views.

Retired

The long promenades must be top of the list. You can amble easily with the sea on one side and a host of bars and restaurants with little shops sandwiched in between them on the other side. Not far from the coast are several natural parks with walking trails of varying difficulty. Of course, there are tapas bars and which to sit and while away the evening and 70 golf courses to choose from.

Property

The majority of people choose to buy close to the sea or just a little way inland. Benalmádena is popular with British people as are Estepona, Mijas Costa, Nerja and  Fuengirola and slightly inland are the pricey but lovely villages of Mijas Pueblo and Benahávis.

Getting there

Málaga International Airport serves the Costa del Sol and has flights from all over the UK´as well as to the USA and Europe. There is a train service which goes as far as Fuengirola and buses which take you along the coast. The A-7 coast road will take you to all the towns or you can take the AP-7 motorway.

Torrevieja, Alicante

Torrevieja is one of the most sought after towns on the Mediterranean coast. Just a little north of the Costa del Sol, it has something for everyone.

family holiday homes in Spain

Spain: where a visit to gran is always fun!

Younger children

The town is quite small so you can easily get everywhere and nothing is too far. The beaches with golden sands are safe for small children and there are plenty of playgrounds in the town. There is also the Park of Nations, Parque Jardín de las Naciones, where all sorts of birds reside including geese, ducks, chickens and parrots.

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Older kids

The water park is a big attraction as is parasailing. The Pola Amusement Park has recently reopened after a refurbishment and has some amazing rides. The floating museum is great fun with visits to a submarine and a patrol boat. Nightlife is full on and you have a wide choice of bars and discotheques, some on the beach or near the harbour.

Adults

The beaches offer all types of watersports and in the town you will find Sports City, where there is a vast selection of sports available, including some adapted to handicapped people. Tennis, Squash, Padel and swimming are just a few of the activities. There are 2 shopping centres and of course, the market for fresh produce. There is also a 7 km walking and cycling route along the old railway tracks called Via Verde.

Retired

The long promenade is ideal for strolling and stopping for a beer or a glass of wine. There are two salt lagoons nearby, one pink and one green, set in a nature park. Popular for floating, salt water is considered therapeutic. Golf is close by too with 8 courses to choose from. The local cuisine is excellent with lots of fish and locally produced fruit, vegetables, olives and wine.

Property

Property in Torrevieja is reasonably priced. Expect to pay €150,000 plus for a 2-bedroom  apartment in a good location. For families with younger children have a look at Aguas Nuevas. For families with older children, the 3 residential areas of La Mata, Cabo Cervera, and Torre del Moro would be a good choice.

Getting there

Alicante airport is 35 minutes’ drive from Torrevieja. There is a bus from the airport and it takes just over an hour, you can also take a train from Alicante town. The AP-7 motorway runs to Torrevieja.

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Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Famous for its black sand and volcanic landscape, Lanzarote is a great place to live all year round due to its exceptionally warm climate. Around 5% of the population of 150,000 are British. There are many good reasons to move to this island which provides for the whole family.

Younger children

Most of the beaches enjoy calm waters and the island has plenty of other attractions. The Rancho Texas Park houses a western style town, Lilliput farm where there are small animals for the children as well as larger and more fierce animals. You could also take the kids to ride on a yellow submarine from where you can see all the marine activity at 30 metres’ depth.

Older kids

Rancho Texas Park has plenty for older children too where they can join “the gold rush.” A Pirate’s museum should appeal as it is located inside a castle. A trip to the 6D cinema is something for young and old with a choice of 10 films some more suitable for older kids. If they are old enough, nightlife is best in Puerto del Carmen but there is a lot going on elsewhere too.

Older kids, adults and the retired can try riding the big Atlantic rollers at La Santa, on the western side of the island.

Adults

Owing to Lanzarote’s great climate, it is a Mecca for sport, in particular water sports of every kind. There are now several spas in which to relax and two shopping centres as well as great little shops and markets in the towns. Bars and restaurants serve delicious tapas and meals and life is to be lived outdoors.

Surfing at La Santa, Lanzarote (J. Photos / Shutterstock.com)

Retired

Lanzarote has some quiet beaches where you can rest peacefully and to get to a couple you can take a ride on a catamaran. Take a tour in the Timanfaya Mountains and travel through volcanos or enjoy a visit to the La Geria wine region. There are 2 golf courses and also an outside cinema where you can watch films under the stars.

Property

Puerto de Carmen is where most building activity is taking place. It’s a very lively town and therefore popular. Costa Teguise which lies on the other side of the island is also a good place to buy property. Around €120,000 will buy a 2-bedroom  apartment and €225,000 a 3-bedroom  villa.

Getting there

Lanzarote airport is accessible from many UK airports. There are ferries to other Canary islands, Spain and Morocco from Playa Blanca.

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Cambrils, Costa Dorada

Close to the more famous town of Salou, Cambrils is a better bet for families as it is quieter and more affordable. The climate is good nearly the whole year round and there are 9 kms of beaches to enjoy.  It is family orientated and both Spanish people and foreigners have made their home here.

Younger children

The 9 beaches are a haven for small children as they have some “green” shady areas to keep the kids out of the sun. In the summer there are family circus shows in the town’s streets, also music and other entertainments.

Older kids

The 30 kms of cycle tracks around the town are ideal for the older child as well as the summer international music festival. Only 8 kms from Cambrils is the renowned PortAventura Theme Park with rides, shows, shops and restaurants. Barcelona is just 60 minutes’ away. Night bars and discotheques are mainly open in the summer months.

Adults

There are several parks in the town to enjoy, in particular Parque del Pescador located by the beach which is home to marine and mediterranean flora. The Sports marina offers plenty of different sports to professionals and residents. The town has invested in cycling tourism and it is considered to have the best gastronomy on the Costa Dorada.

Retired

There’s no reason why retired people shouldn’t also enjoy the many cycle routes in and around the town. Some are easier than others, so there is a choice. A visit to the wonderful  Delta del Ebro Natural Park is always a pleasure, the largest wetland in Catalonia and where you can watch flamingos and other birdlife. A choice of 4 courses should keep the golfers happy.

Property

Expect to pay €200,000 for a modern 2-bedroom  apartment but prices for houses can go to €2,000,000. Vilafortuny is an expensive area but better value than Molí de la Torre district because it is further from the centre.

Getting there

Two airports are within easy reach. Reus is only a 16 minute drive away and is served by the budget airlines. There is a bus service to Cambrils.  Barcelona El Prat airport is a 72 minute’ drive away and you can get a train from there to Cambrils from Barcelona Sants Station.

L’escala, Costa Brava

Not far from the border with France is the Catalan town of L’Escala. It is still a major fishing port and is famous for its anchovies. This area gets all 4 seasons but the summers are long and hot.

Playgrounds and bucket and spades…

Younger children

L’Escala offers a lot for the younger child. The sandy beaches have shallow waters, some with play areas and there are several playgrounds in the town too. All of the town’s many festivals are designed to include children both large and small and there is plenty of free entertainment during the summer months.

Older kids

The Greco-Romano fair is great fun with shows of Greek and Roman soldiers, crafts and a market. A trip to the wonderful archeological site at Empuriés can be enjoyed by older kids and adults alike. Here there are ruins of 2 ancient towns, Greek and Roman. Diving is the main water sport but also sailing and windsurfing.

Adults

Visit the marina where the yachts outnumber the fishing boats or spend time wandering through the amazing Greco-Roman ruins at Empuriés, followed by lunch at one of the restaurants nearby overlooking the sea. The town has a wealth of supermarkets and some very nice shops as well as numerous bars, cafés and restaurants.

The nightlife on the Spanish costas is, of course, superb.

 

Retired

A lovely walk from Riells to L’Escala old town on the promenade is one way to spend a morning. The pretty medieval stone village of Sant Martí d’Empúries has  good restaurants, some overlooking the bay. Cycling is popular here as there are many cycle tracks to choose from and rambling is on offer too. There are 7 golf courses nearby.

Property

Expect to pay from €165,000 for a 2-bedroom apartment in the area of Montgó and €200,000 for a 3-bedroom  house in Riells.

Getting there

Girona Costa Brava airport is the closest at 45 minutes’ drive away but it is a seasonal airport these days, open from Easter to end October. Barcelona is the all-year round international airport and it takes 1 hour 45 minutes to L’Escala. There is a bus from the airport.

Don’t spend any money on your move abroad until you’ve read The Currency Guide to Emigration, free to download.

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