The Algarve - Portugal
The Algarve peninsula is home to some truly exceptional sights, sounds, and things to do - which cater to both parents and children alike. A few particular highlights include:
Perfect for a day out the children will love, Zoomarine has been voted one of the top 25 theme parks in the world. The water park has a splendid variety of things for you and the family to explore, from theatrical performances involving some exotic wildlife (including parrots and seals), to huge pools and waterslides that you'll enjoy as much as the children.
Ingrina Beach, Zavial:
Any trip to the Algarve is incomplete without visiting one of its spectacular beaches, and Ingrina is the perfect place to unwind, safe in the knowledge that the beach is not only a picturesque and idyllic place to while away an afternoon with your head in a good book, but also a great family destination.
The beach is secluded and quiet, and the water is calm and warm, making it the perfect spot for a safe paddle. The physical shape of the cove also makes it a difficult place for younger members of the family to wander off, and the beach restaurant provides a range of delicious food.
Fiesa Sand Sculptures Festival:
Every year, between August and October, Sand City in Pera plays host to the 'Fiesa' sand sculpture festival. For 15 years, the event has captivated the hearts and minds of thousands of visitors - during the festival, the world's best sand sculptors come together across 15 thousand square metres to shape 45 thousand tons of sand into a magical cityscape of sculptures.
The incredible spectacle has to be seen to be believed, and a walk around the hundreds of incredible constructions (which are arguably best seen in the evening when they are wonderfully lit) is a treat for the whole family. Workshops, video projections, and an abundance of food and drink make it the perfect day out on a European family holiday.
Puglia - Italy
The 'heel' of Italy's 'boot', Puglia is a wonderful European family destination with number of incredible sights that are unique to the area:
Pescoluse beach, leuca:
Affectionately known as Italy's answer to the Maldives due to the mirage of islands that can be made out as sunset casts its gentle shadow, the beach at Pescoluse, in Leuca is a treat for all the senses - and all the family. With tepid, shallow Ionian waters, it's the perfect place for younger members of the family to paddle and swim safely, and its flawless white sands and turquoise waters make it a dream for adults alike.
Torre Guaceto Nature Reserve:
This untouched and unspoiled 6km stretch of coastline is quite unlike any other you'll experience in Puglia. As a protected nature reserve, Torre Guaceto is free of all the commodities and commotion of the busier parts of Puglia, and it makes the perfect luxury setting for a spot of family quality time. There's plenty to make a day at Torre Guaceto an event - from snorkeling in the crystal clear waters to cycling through the perfectly preserved fauna, but there's also ample opportunity to simply unwind in the natural beauty of this incredible area.
Grotte di Castellana:
For those of you looking to sate your speleological tastes, the Grotte di Castellana are some of the most incredible natural formations to be found in Puglia. These incredible cave formations are some 90 million years old, and a tour through their wondrous and contorting passages is a sight to behold for the whole family - the huge stalagmites and stalactites are awe-inspiring, and may help your children's geography lessons seem a little more compelling.
Corfu - Greece
While many Greek islands offer stunning vistas, incredible weather, and beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters, Corfu is arguably the best destination for a family visit. The island has many attraction to visit, and is one of the most aesthetically stunning European destinations - here are a few things to see when there:
For a taste of culture and history, as well as the chance to visit a stunningly beautiful location, then the Old Fortress in the city of Corfu is a must-see. Situated on an impressive rocky peninsula and dated back to the Byzantine period, this Venetian marvel is now host to an abundance of eager travellers year upon year, and even hosts concerts from time to time. Exploring this incredible slice of Corfiot history.
For the more adventurous traveller, Corfu has some attractions that could appeal to a family with a love of the outdoors - and there are no finer examples of this than Mount Pantokrator. The highest mountain on the entire island, Pantokrator gifts those who make it to the summit with utterly breathtaking views, of the entire island. There is a café at the peak for some refreshments before the descent, and there are arguably few better places on the island to take a lasting family photo than at the top of this awe-inspiring mountain.
While culture and natural beauty are always divine ways to spend time while in a picturesque foreign land, sometimes - particularly with family - it's nice to have an afternoon of good, plain fun. If Corfu is your destination of choice, then spending a day at Aqualand, one of Europe's premium waterparks, is a surefire way to coax a few thrills, laughs, and memories.
With a lazy river, jacuzzi, black hole and an array of exhilarating slides - as well as dedicated zones for young children, families, and grownups alike - an afternoon at Aqualand is one to remember - and to top it all off, Hideaways Club members pay reduced rates.
While these suggestions are a great place to start, wherever you next decide to travel with your family, and whichever hideaway you decide to stay in, you can be sure that you'll be spoilt for choice for things to do. No hideaway is unsuitable for a family stay, with plenty of room and conveniences to ensure your stay is unforgettable.
For more information on these destinations, or for some insider advice on a hideaway you're particularly interested in, our concierges are always on-hand to provide advice on how to make the most of your stay, and things to do when you're there.