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Europe

Family Favourites In Europe

When summer calls, head to Europe for our pick of family-friendly hotels that feel less like resorts and more like characterful stays, which are big on authenticity.

Family Hotels Which Just Work

Just a hop away, Europe calls with its promise of sun-soaked holidays, pretty beaches, medieval culture and of course, mouth-watering foodie encounters.  In other words – something for everyone.

Read our pick of European hotels that we think make perfect getaways for the whole family this summer.

RUSTIC CHIC

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Craveiral Farmhouse, Portugal

This rural bolthole is the perfect combination of seaside and countryside, located just a few kilometres inland from the Alentejan coastline in southwest Portugal. For fans of the outdoors and nature, Craveiral is an accessible entry to artfully tamed country life with a menagerie of animals for kids to pet, bikes to hire and wholesome, locally farm-grown food and ever-popular pizzas from the wood fired oven.

The farmhouse has clusters of white-washed Portuguese houses scattered around the pool and grounds; the two-bedroom cottages are ideal for families and come with kitchens, coffee machines and outdoor terraces. The biggest excitement will doubtlessly be taking the Land Rover jeep down to the beach for a day on Portugal’s beautiful Costa Vicente.

 

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“Rural yet in easy access of beaches, Craveiral is a laid-back farmhouse where the good life reigns.”

MUST DO

The Costa Vicente coastline is as rugged as it is beautiful, with miles and miles of sand and plenty of space to spread out. Create incredible memories for your family holiday by horse riding on the beach or taking a surf lesson to learn the art of catching waves.

SPANISH HINTERLAND

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Mas de La Costa, Spain

Peaceful and stone-clad, Mas de la Costa is an authentic farmhouse restoration, found in the wilds of Aragon in northeast Spain. Surrounded by scented lavender, almond groves and gnarled olive trees, Mas de la Costa’s charm lies in its off-radar, unspoilt location.

For families coming here, it’s a chance to get to know an off-the-tourist-track part of Spain, while staying in the lofty comfort of restored farmhouse buildings characterised by high ceilings, beams and exposed stonework. Spend your days exploring the rugged pathways that weave through the mountainous terrain by bike, hiking to waterfalls, paddle boarding the tranquil lakes or visiting the unusual bird observatory where vultures come to feed. Thrill seekers will enjoy the longest zip line in Europe which flies through two kilometres of scenic hinterland.

 

“Balmy evenings are a showcase for the unpolluted night sky to twinkle with thousands of stars.”

MUST DO

As much as we love this rural part of Spain, Mas de La Costa is equidistant from two of Spain’s most interesting towns: Barcelona and Valencia. We’d recommend taking time to enjoy a city break before coming to Mas de la Costa, meaning you’ll appreciate its peaceful seclusion even more.

TURKISH TEEN DELIGHT

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Kalkan Regency, Turkey

When holidaying with teens, it’s important to get the balance just right. This usually means everyone having their own space, with a little independence for older kids going a long way in the quest for a harmonious family holiday. This is where friendly and family-run Kalkan Regency comes in, located on the Turkish Mediterranean coast in Antalya.

Kalkan’s Pool Suites or Garden Suites are ideal for families and the hotel as a whole is easy to wander with its large pool, incredible mountain and harbour views, bars and restaurants. The town of Kalkan is just a ten-minute walk away and its Old Town with Ottoman architecture makes a historical backdrop to teen forays into town. Back at the hotel, parents can be scrubbed clean in the hammam, visit the hotel’s organic farm or simply sit on the terrace, cold drink in hand, and gaze at the mesmerising view.

 

“Clasped to a verdant cliffside with beautiful views, Kalkan is a good-value, family pleaser of a hotel where everyone gets to have fun.”

MUST DO

Enjoy a day at sea on the hotel’s own traditional Turkish gulet sailing vessel, relaxing on scatter cushions on deck, having lunch on board and making stops to swim in the turquoise Mediterranean Sea.

TUSCAN TREAT

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The Sense Experience, Italy

With an enviable location right on Tuscany’s Maremma coastline, The Sense Experience is a stylish seaside hotel where a sandy beach is just a few steps away and contemporary styled suites have sea-view terraces, walk-in showers and a white-on-white décor. The two-bed suites are spacious enough for a family and have the added bonus of a free-standing bathtub.

Clasped by indigenous shrubs and soaring pine trees, the hotel feels very natural and has a friendly, easy-going ambience where kids can happily wander and you’ll easily fill your days splashing in the heated pool, taking a paddle board about onto the calm sea, sunbathing or visiting the beach cabin which serves all-day cappuccinos, cocktails, fruit shakes and ice creams. There are bikes to cycle along the coastline to the gelateria, nearby wineries to savour Tuscany’s famous wines plus medieval Massa Marittima – a gem of a Tuscan hilltop town with epic views, an impressive cathedral and quirky museums. This feels like a very relaxed way to explore Tuscany.

“With a cool beach club and Tuscany’s famous food and wine encounters a mere 20-minute drive away, The Sense Experience offers the best of both worlds.”

MUST DO

With a week here, you can easily fit in a few day trips – you won’t want to miss exploring Siena, just one hour away. We’d also recommend a boat trip to Elba, part of the Tuscan Archipelago and a beautifully scenic island with exquisite beaches and some lovely spots for a fish lunch.

GREEK RETREAT

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Eliamos, Kefalonia

The Ionian Island of Kefalonia is a perennial family favourite due its sandy beaches framed by fragrant pines, sand-in-the-toes tavernas for easy lunches, picturesque harbours, fishing villages and the nearby island of Ithaca to explore by boat on a day trip.

To enjoy the classic Greek Island experience with the family, we recommend staying at Eliamos in Kefalonia located on the southern shores of the island, above a secluded, sandy beach. The 12 villas, each with their own saltwater swimming pools, are beautifully decorated in a contemporary style with polished concrete, wood, rattan and terracotta making way for Ionian Sea views and lavender-filled gardens. Holidays here are incredibly easy with Eliamos’ organic restaurant and on-site café plus tavernas in walking distance, and the nearby town of Argostoli allowing further foodie options.

"Crowd pleaser Kefalonia is a Greek Island favourite for its gorgeous beaches, Greek charm and authentic atmosphere."

MUST DO

Exploring the island is a must. As well as atmospheric monasteries, caves and easy-to-wander fishing villages, the beaches of Kefalonia are exceptional, with dazzling blue and extraordinarily clear water lapping pine-shaded coves. From the hotel’s own secret beach to popular Myrtos and the tiny Fteri beach, there are sandy bays abound.