Family holidays are the best. A chance to disconnect from the everyday and spend time together without restrictions of work and school timetables. It's not always easy, however, to make all generations happy - toddlers and young children need to be kept busy, older children need to be stimulated and parents and grandparents just want to relax without worrying about whether everybody is happy. Luckily for you, we have a great range of family-friendly properties in locations that are perfect for everyone.
Take a look at these 5 holiday destinations to see which one makes the best multi-generational holiday for your family.
1. HIPPYISH AND HEAVENLY IBIZA
Supermodels and rock stars partying in Ibiza Town and San Antonio; famous DJs flying into major European nightclubs for two-hour sets and long lazy days on the beach before it starts all over again - this is how many people see Ibiza. The perfect destination for a younger clientele, Ibiza’s reputation as a party capital can't be beaten. But it's not all partying in the Balearics: there's a whole other side to this pretty island. Breathtaking scenery, tranquil whitewashed villages dotted on hilltops, little bars serving tapas and tinto de verano and remote beaches backed by pine-clad hills make unforgettable days out for all ages.
The island is also peppered with holistic retreats offering everything from relaxing sunset massages to full-blown yoga holidays. While the younger members of the family are sleeping off a heavy night, why not drive up into the mountains and see the real Ibiza, stopping for lunch and treating yourself to a holistic massage? You may actually find some of them get up to join you and you can make a family day of it!
Get together for:
- An Ibiza boat tour followed by a heavenly seafood lunch on the beach.
- A sunset massage or relaxing yoga day at a yoga retreat.
- A browse amongst the hippy market stalls for white kaftans, baskets and jewellery.
- A drive across the island, stopping for family selfies at the most spectacular sights.
- Pre-dinner drinks and dinner in the Old Town and clubbing for those who can take the heat.
Stay together here: Casa Ibiza, Santa Eulalia Del Rio
2. FRIENDLY AND CULTURAL IRELAND
When you think of the Emerald Isle, what comes to mind? We immediately think of the scenery. Beautiful lush green fields and wild romantic landscapes dotted with enchanting villages. Glorious swathes of coastline wrapping itself around castles and monuments full of legend and intrigue. And of course, friendly pubs where drinking a pint of Guinness with the locals is a given.
But there’s another side to Ireland. While certain cities have always been popular, especially Dublin, more and more people are hopping across the Irish Sea for a few days of culture and shopping in up-and-coming places such as Galway and Cork. While traditionally, it has been groups of friends packing their bags for a city break, it’s also a great place near enough to home to spend a family holiday. With lots to do for each age group, it is relaxing enough for those who need to disconnect but vibrant enough for those in their late teens and early twenties.
Get together for:
- A family coastal walk; wrap up warm and head out to explore intriguing castles and ancient ruins.
- A morning at the artisan markets of Dublin to search out vintage jewellery and clothes.
- A trip to Galway with its flamboyant arts scene, designated the European Capital of Culture 2020.
- A day at the fabulous Inch beach - build sandcastles and splash about, whatever your age!
- A tour of the city of Dublin where shopping, eating and sightseeing make for a packed schedule.
Stay together here: Glenlusk Lodge, Cornamona
3. INTENSE AND PASSIONATE SPAIN
Spain is possibly one of the first countries that come to mind when you think of a multi-generational holiday. Sunny coasts filled with beaches interspersed with neat rows of sun umbrellas and chiringuitos, seafood restaurants on the sands and lots of fantastic places to visit without the need to wrap up warm. This really is a country for any age - babies and toddlers are taken care of with outdoor swimming pools and magnificent sandy beaches, older children can spend hours playing in the sea, only stopping for ice creams or something fizzy, and teenagers can spend warm nights meeting new holiday friends from all around the world.
Parents and grandparents are not left out either in this beautiful country - even with children on board, there are lots of fantastic things to do and places to visit. The south and east coasts of Spain are not only seaside holiday resorts, they are the Moorish cities of Granada and Cordoba, the striking and passionate cites of Sevilla and Valencia, and a smattering of enchanting white mountain villages, just waiting to be discovered.
Get together for:
- A day at a local feria, where children can dress up in local costume and meet local children.
- A trip to a water park, always popular with little ones as well as big children too!
- Lunch at a chiringuito on the beach followed by an afternoon out on the water.
- A day trip to a local city, exploring local attractions and discovering authentic street markets.
- A breakfast of churros in a mountain village, followed by a walk amongst spectacular scenery.
4. SUN-BAKED AND SULTRY ITALY
Discover la dolce vita in the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy. With a landscape made for painting - of rolling hills and traditional rustic villages, peppered with vineyards - it is just the place for a busy family to unwind and spend some quality time together. This sun-baked land doesn't let you down in person either as the colours are deeper and more intense than any picture could hope to achieve. And it's not just countryside, this area has a long stretch of coast too, and for those who like to keep busy, there are lots of activities for all the family, including nature parks, amusement parks, cool caverns as well as white-water rafting for the more adventurous teen.
When evening comes, head down to the local villages where local children will delight in showing their new friends around. There's a sense of friendliness and safety that you don't find in many places, where children can play while adults watch on, relaxing and people-watching at a pavement cafe. Holidays aren't all about activities, sometimes a holiday is just about being together, and you won't go wrong using the Italian way of life as an example.
Get together for:
- People-watching at a plaza cafe, while the little ones play in the street with local children.
- An afternoon at an art gallery in Florence, introducing teenagers to the passion of Renaissance art.
- A day trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, where children will delight in taking photos of them 'holding it up'.
- Dolphin-spotting in Viareggio, then driving inland to learn how to make all flavours of ice cream in Chianti.
- A boat out to see the Fabbriche di Careggine village under the lake, just go when the water is low.
Stay together here: Tuscan Villa, Tuscany
5. COSMOPOLITAN AND COLOURFUL FRANCE
There's nothing that says holiday like the south of France, whether travelling with a couple of children in tow or the whole family. The southern stretch of Riviera coastline with its sandy beaches and delightful promenades dotted with restaurants are perfect for family days out, stretching into long nights chatting and laughing. Spend adventurous mornings river diving and wild swimming in glittering natural pools, lazy afternoons exploring candy-coloured seaside towns and fishing villages, and relaxed nights searching out the best local seafood restaurants on offer.
France is also the ideal place to teach the younger members of the family about art and science - the City of Space Museum in Toulouse is a great day out where children can try out moonwalking and explore a proper space station. And when it comes to France's gastronomy, children need not worry that you're going to introduce them to the delights of snails and frogs’ legs; chocolate factories are in abundance in this part of the country and we doubt that any of the family will need much persuading to pop along to one of them. The tours are usually in the local dialect, so now is the time to try out that smattering of French!
Get together for:
- A tour of an artisan chocolate factory where you can sample some of the best chocolate in the country.
- A fascinating boat trip across the water to the 16th-century towers of the Chateau d'If in Marseilles.
- A day out cycling the UNESCO-listed Canal du Midi and stopping for a well-deserved picnic.
- An adventurous afternoon taking members of the family zip wiring at one of the area's adventure parks.
- A trip on the jaunty little yellow train from Villefranche-de-Conflent, taking in the magnificent scenery as you go.
Stay together here: Villa Plage, Provence-Alpes-Cote-D'Azur
We hope that we have given you lots of ideas for your next multi-generational holiday and some great places to stay. For more large properties for you and your brood, browse our collection of large houses across the UK and Europe.