I adore going on holiday around Europe and the novelty of having an abundance of culture and beautiful beaches only a short plane ride away always excites me.
Whether it’s catching the train to France and spending the weekend sipping wine on La Seine or lapping up the sun on golden beaches, there is something for every type of traveller.
It’s always quite hard finding somewhere to call home while you’re on holiday but Clickstay have a huge selection of villas, rentals and apartments to choose from where you can rent directly from the owner.
I know for us, a worry when booking directly from an owner, is that you have little protection if things go wrong. However, Clickstay provide a great service with experts on hand to ensure that your stay goes without a hitch. Each property comes with customer reviews and information about the area from the owners themselves. And in the unlikely event your accommodation is materially different to what you see on the website then your money is covered by their Renter Protection Policy.
If you’re looking for somewhere a little different to explore this summer, here is a list of places I’d love to take the family on holiday in Europe.
Many years ago my parents took us on a lovely break to the Algarve. While hanging out by the pool was very relaxing (I was about 16 at the time!), we also managed to visit the super-chic harbour of Vilamoura and the bustling tourist town of Albufeira. There are so many lovely villas in Portugal. I’d love to return to visit Lagos and the bright waters of Camilo Beach.
While Portugal boasts lots of family-friendly experiences such as swimming, visiting the zoo and going to the beach, there are plenty of unforgettable activities for the children to enjoy that you hadn’t considered.
Walk the city walls of Obidos or visit the caves of Grutas de Mira Aire. A big wish of mine is to sample the traditional Portuguese custard cakes Pasteis de Nata. Yum!
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
The Canary Islands has plenty to satisfy even the smallest travellers. There are beaches with calm and shallow waters, sand dunes, volcanoes, museums and theme parks to keep children smiling. Not to mention the abundance of family sized villas in Lanzarote – the perfect base for your holiday.
My eldest is obsessed with science and space. His dream is to visit the planet Mars, however, I think the nearest thing we can get to a mars landscape is the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya in Lanzarote. Its volcanic moonscape is packed with natural geysers and the restaurant even has its own volcano-powered BBQ.
It’s never too early to get the kids interested in history and the roots of their civilisation. There’s certainly plenty on offer in Athens with over 7,000 years of civilisation to absorb.
Back in the capital, there’s the Hellenic Children’s Museum with toys for school aged children, interactive exhibits and lots of games. I’d love to visit Acropolis and The Attica peninsula with its turquoise waters and sandy beaches.
Just out on the wild Atlantic, Brittany sits on the north coast of France. Whether you wish to stay in a hotel, cottage or a villa, Brittany has a great selection of accommodation for families.
As we drive down to Devon and Cornwall on an annual basis, I often wonder whether heading to Brittany would be that much more difficult. The landscape is lined with pine trees, there are sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, castles to explore and wooded hillsides.
A jaunt across the channel would deliver a similar landscape to Cornwall and Devon, but tinged with that extra magical natural world rich in fairytales, legend and Breton folklore. Glorious!
Vienna is one destination you could probably visit all year round. While a city break with young children sounds like a nightmare, the Austrian capital is the perfect place to get your culture fix while keeping the kids happy and engaged.
During the summer time the Austrian capital has plenty going on all over town for kids and a lot of it doesn’t cost a penny. In the winter, the town is turned into a magical winter wonderland with lots of winter-themed activities for children.
Visit the world’s oldest amusement park, The Prater, eat cakes at Demel or fly down the hillside on the Sommer Rodelbahn.
Where do you like to visit in Europe? Any places you’d like to go explore as a family?
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