Valencia scores top marks in terms of family diversions. Even the process of getting around the city is family friendly.
Traversed by a dry river bed serving as a pedestrian thoroughfare, the historic walled city is linked to the world-class City of Arts and Sciences, Spain’s rival to Disney’s Epcot Center.
The sea enclosure here alone is likely to sweep your children off their maritime feet, with penguins, whales and an amazing dolphin show that’s a sure hit with children, who can take turns in feeding the sealife.
There’s also the Gulliver Park where children can play at being a Lilliputian. If your kids are likely to enjoy paella, then Valencia is the home of the dish, and you can eat it down on the beach while they roam across miles and miles of sand: perfect sandcastle territory.
Malaga: One Of The Fantastic Cities in Europe.
Malaga, meanwhile, is quite simply one of Spain’s coolest cities, for adults and children alike.
Slap in the centre of the Costa Del Sol you are within a short transfer to the most amazing theme and water parks. Just a scoot along the coast lies all the entertainment of Marbella and Torremolinos — fair-rides, Cirque de Soleil, magicians, toy trains, incredible shopping centres, sailing schools, English-speakers and, for fussy eaters, any food you might be missing from home.
But best of all is that Malaga has remained really genuinely Spanish. A read a nice review of some insider tips to explore Malaga
The El Palo suburb of Malaga has one of the nicest family beaches along the whole coast, grassy plots by the beach and cheap chiringuitos serving up sardine skewers, plus back in the town centre there’s cracking shopping and the wonderful Picasso art museum for enthusiasts and collectors alike.
Great flight links, the high footfall making for extremely competitive services such as car hire and its position as the gateway to the interior attractions like El Chorro and the Alcazaba earns Malaga its place in the Tripadvisors Family top three.
Top 3 Tips for Exploring Malaga Province
- Always pre-book your Malaga Airport transfer to your accommodation.
- Use Renfe to travel further afield and book in advance for extra savings
- In peak summer use public buses as parking and driving is a nightmare for a tourist in busier areas
Its important to explore and not just to take our word for it. Such a beautiful coastline hugging the mediterranean shores yield some hidden gems. From the boutique hotels in Marbella scattered around Orange Tree Square to the remote inland villages of Ronda, Monda, Coin, Álora and hundreds of more in Andalucia.
Excellent infrastructure in Spain
As one of the oldest countries to really absorb mass tourism, Spain has an excellent and cheap tourist infrastructure to take the headache out of planning and getting around.
In spite of chartered tourism, with just a little bit of imagination and, probably most critically, access to a car, you’ll get the chance to explore some remote areas of this fascinating and fast changing country.
Spain, is a mountainous and vast country, its geographical variety almost rivaling Australia and is in parts as empty of people, who like Oz, are concentrated chiefly round the coast. Inland life is more remote and unchanged, and rural Spain, its beautiful mountains and natural parks, the Sierra Nevada, and towns such as Aracena are great antidotes to 21st century city life.
Whether your children are at the age of chasing butterflies or hiking, there’s enough to wear them out over 10 years of holidays on the trot.
The beaches of the Mediterranean, Costa Del Sol, Costa Tropical, and the natural park of Cabo de Gata, meanwhile, all have brilliant sheltered shores perfect for paddling. The windy bays on the Costa Brava have slick watersports schools where older children can be taught surfing, wind or kite-surfing and sailing.
Every town in Southern Spain comes with swings and slides and almost every second town has a giant water park with lots of decent municipal swimming pools in between.
The guaranteed sunshine, which is such an irresistible draw to Spain, actually becomes quite a serious drawback if you intend to make forays inland with children — particularly Andalucia in August. It’s wise to trim back any ambitions you have for city sightseeing not just because of attention spans, but that searing heat, too.
Granada, Cordoba and Seville can all feel hotter than a brick oven at the height of summer.
For adults Spain is fascinating, and there’s absolutely masses — historic sites, swashbuckling stories, outdoor adventure, live culture, street performances — to keep your little one amused at the same time.
Spain has so much going for it for families — lots of unspoiled areas and cheap food and accommodation, plus short flight times, readily available children’s necessities, and no need for inoculations. Having children shouldn’t mean the end of adventurous travel. If it isn’t too much of a paradox, with a little bit of planning, you can be a spontaneous as you please together.
Best Family Events.
You’ll have to exercise some guile to actually avoid the fiestas, romerias and paella eating free for alls that are the bread and butter of Spain’s community calendar. Seville’s Semana Santa is one of the few carrying a parental guidance caution — its solemnity is a little off-putting for most — but otherwise there are mini events strewn the length of the coast and dotted throughout the year, almost all carrying special childrens features.
Fallas is a Valencian bonfire night stretched over five days, with papier-mache effigies ablaze (you vote to save your favourite — be it Bart Simpson or Francisco Franco, or George W. Bush), fireworks, bullfights, beauty pageants and paella cook-offs.
Catalan festivals are famous for their human towers tradition, in which strongmen stand on each other’s shoulders to form six and seven storey human Towers-of-Pisa, with the top spot saved for a light little boy or girl. Vails, 100 km south of Barcelona, is ‘the cradle of castles, but you can catch the human towers at festivals everywhere from Tarragona to Barcelona.If you want something a bit more educational, the town of Alcoy near Alicante holds a three-day Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) festival, a re-enactment of the conquests and re-conquests done in full historical dress.
Barcelona’s Fiesta de la Merce (Weekend around 23 September) features free concerts in every square and the streets are peopled with outsized statues. The Correfoc (fire run) is when fire spurts from ‘dragon’s mouths and families can ‘dance with the devil’ under sparklers and huge revolving fireworks.
Although the event isn’t geared to children, bear in mind Valencia does host the Americas Cup in 2007.
Have You Got Children! A Refreshing Change
Spaniards absolutely fall over themselves for children, whether it’s their own or other people’s offspring: their love for youngsters borders on a national obsession.
Bringing up baby in Spain is a big undertaking: shops are packed with elaborate swaddling clothes and families shell out for christening outfits that cost the earth. Children are adored and fawned on, but are very far from being wrapped up in cotton wool: hardly anywhere is out of bounds for Spanish youngsters. Any English notions of bedtime and ‘no-go zones should be gloriously abandoned at immigration: taking your family to Spain is something of a holiday from rules.
Restaurateurs will look at you blankly if you ask whether it’s okay to bring children to the table — in Spain, it’s akin to asking whether breathing is a good idea. Not that you should expect a huge number of facilities. Some restaurants, almost always those run by expats, sometimes have the odd high chair or two, but it’s rare you’ll find children’s menus. Children’s clubs haven’t caught on here enormously and crayons and clowns at dinner-time are the exceptions not the norm.
What it lacks in planned entertainment and facilities though the country more than makes up for in its absolutely whopping warm welcome.
So what you waiting for some financial decisions are worth making just dont get too bogged down and fly by the seats of your pants for a spontaneous adventure they often are the best times