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Family Beach 2016

With the sand between your toes and the little ones splashing about in the sea, nothing can beat a family beach holiday. 

Navigio Beach

Zakynthos

Zakynthos in Greek, or Zante as the island is popularly known, is a veritable beach bound haven and among the most popular of Greek islands resting in the turquoise hued Ionian Sea. Located south of Kefalonia, another family friendly Greek island destination, the location of Zante is equally perfect for island hopping as part of a lengthier stint in the Mediterranean.

Internationally renowned for famous beaches, including Navigio, otherwise known as the shipwreck beach ever since a shipwrecked vessel carrying illegal cargo washed up on the shore in 1983. The unique setting of the wreck is one of the most photographed in Greece, with the sugar white sands having formed around it so as to look as if the ship is rising from the beach. Navigio’s beach paradise to quench the inquisitive mind of young and old alike can be reached by boat from Porto Vromi. 

Mallorca

The largest island in the Balearics and a European beach destination topper each year contains a wealth of coastal delights, while holidaymakers can simultaneously enjoy its diverse hillside terrain when craving activity away from undiluted beach life.

A flight to the capital Palma sees a burgeoning dining scene, with Mallorcan chefs becoming increasingly creative in their fusion of both traditional and contemporary dishes, where every palate is cleansed in the provision of everything from chic gastro bars and delis, to the surrounding unpretentiousness of low-key village eateries.

Transport by car and bus ensures navigating the island is straightforward, allowing you to take in family friendly beaches such as Ca’n Picafort Beach, or to the snorkelling and diving hotspot at Cala Barca beach to the south-east.  

Calo des Moro beach, Mallorca
Dalmatian Coast boat scene

Split

Croatia’s second largest city sits adorningly on the picturesque Dalmatian coast, and reflects a holiday destination suitable for families in its diverse split between traditional and modern themes.

The Riva is the world famous seafront which stretches the length of Split’s Old Town, offering sensational views of the harbour and islands beyond from its seductive array of riverside cafes. It is here where Roman Emperor Diocletian decided to erect his retirement palace, which even to this day remains a dominating visual testament to among an intriguing maze of centuries old architecture.

Beyond the time travelling remnants of Split, there is still plenty to offer even those requiring a current twist. Bars, restaurants and shops abound within districts featuring award winning, family oriented boutique hotels, while a day trip to the beach sees options ranging from pristine sands and pebble beaches with welcome ease of access from the city.

Chania, Crete

An exquisite port town to the north-west coast of Crete, fly to Chania from Manchester Airport and experience the 20km stretch of immaculate beach space within the beach resorts of Chania Bay.

Known for its unwinding waterside strolls along the walls which eventually wind up at the Venetian Lighthouse, Chania is well balanced mix of both Venetian and Turkish war-torn buildings, alongside an assortment of waterfront restaurants offering varied range of local delicacies and international dishes.

Family friendly resides include the pleasant atmosphere of the boutique, family-run Splanzia Hotel, while Belmondo Hotel has swift access to the waterfront to save your spot on Chania’s soft sand beaches known to be among the best on the island, including Balos, Falassarna and Elafonissi.  

 

Tranquil beach, Crete
Playa de Poniente beach sunset

Alicante

A trip to Alicante represents a journey through many civilisations which have set foot on one of the most beautiful provincial capitals in Spain.

Wearing its varied influences firmly on its sleeve, Alicante’s not only provides a setting on the Mediterranean coast which ensures the city is a perennial beach destination for families, but the addition of vibrant festivals, cultural activities and museums provides an intoxicating blend of relaxation and discovery.  

Faro, Algarve

A visit to the coastal jewel of Portugal ensures travellers are exposed to Portugal’s most famed golden sand beaches, backed by breathtaking cliffs, whitewashed cottages and striking Renaissance-era architecture. However, taking in the southern facing capital of the Algarve, Faro transcends even this most captivating of oceanscapes into a visceral exploration of the heart of Portuguese culture, befitting a relaxed family holiday destination.

Representing much more than a traditional Mediterranean resort experience, Faro has retained an alluring sense of laid back traditionalism in its provision of an inviting marina expanse and a historic Old Town complete with medieval quarters, churches and even an archaeology museum.

Natural reserves and beaches still abound in Faro, with water sports activities and dolphin watching excursions available alongside wildlife watching opportunities in the lagoons of Parque Natural da Ria Formosa.

 

Colourful Algarve beach