50 fabulous family-friendly hotels in the Mediterranean

Advice

We are spoilt for choice when it comes to the Mediterranean. The islands and coastlines have a certain elemental beauty – think umbrella pines and herb-scented maquis, rocky promontories hugging glittering bays of blue, a nautical way of life that endures even as the boats get bigger – that can be glimpsed from Andalucia all the way to the point where Europe becomes Asia. 

And what a variety it offers, too, from the go-slow islands and razzle-dazzle rivieras to the sands of Spain’s Costas (so distinct even from Italy’s dramatic coasts), and the uniqueness of every single Greek island. This means the choice for family holidays is endless, whether yours are active kids who can’t wait to get out on the water, or little ones just learning to swim.

There’s just as much choice, too, in the places to stay. Boutique boltholes, run by families for families, offer the easygoing vibe of a holiday home set beside the shore, just skipping distance from the beach. Big-hitting resorts are ever-evolving to work for modern families, where the focus is as much about top-notch local food as innovative activities which families can do together. And they provide a safe, beautifully honed environment for older kids to seek some independence, so that everyone in the family gets the beach holiday that works for them. From France to Turkey, here’s our pick of the best family-friendly hotels in Europe’s Mediterranean hotspots.



Hotel Aigua Blava, Spain


Hotel Aigua Blava is a classy, family-friendly hotel overlooking a beautiful bay in Begur


How we review

Every hotel in this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, who are usually hosted on a complimentary basis. They stay for a minimum of one night, test at least one meal and trial other experiences (in this case, for instance, the facilities, services and activities provided for families) that the hotel might have to offer. We will earn a commission if you book via the links below, but this never affects our rating.


At a glance, the best family-friendly hotels in the Mediterranean

 

Greece

    
Greece has become the ultimate family holiday destination. Its laidback pace of life and warm, family-oriented locals, plus rustic fishing villages and gentle bays of blue, are heaven for messing about on boats and paddleboards, or learning to swim and sail. Each of Greece’s uncountable islands has its own personality, so that it’s just a case of finding the right fit for your family: Mykonos for party-hearty teens (and parents); the lo-fi joys of little Antiparos or Naxos; the drama and history of Crete. 

Then there is its abundance of hotels which just work so brilliantly for families, whether you’re after a simple beach bolthole for a low-key island escape, or one of the increasingly fabulous super-resorts which get everything spot on, giving us more and more reason to make Greece our go-to family favourite.

Where to stay in Crete

    

Domes Zeen Chania

Chania, Crete, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

Within easy reach of Chania’s Venetian harbour, this low-key resort with a private pebble beach attracts families seeking a sophisticated pad for pampering. The bungalows, pavilions and villas – well-sized bathrooms, plump beds – are scattered over a low hillside, with plant-lined paths leading down to the main infinity pool surrounded by loungers. There’s a freshwater pool specifically for children, as well as a creche, and kids’ club, KiEPOS, offering free activities from art classes and gardening sessions to family yoga. In terms of eating, healthy breakfasts, lunch and dinner are served in the main Beach House restaurant, while Enino’s is the spot for good wine and fine dining (babysitting services are available).


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£
148

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Cretan Malia Park

Crete, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

A cool look, eco-friendly ethos, spacious family rooms, on-site sports activities, cat cafe, organic kitchen garden and several restaurants make this Malia marvel a popular choice for the whole clan. The deck-surrounded main pool has plenty of loungers but it’s on the small side, so most people head for the Blue Flag beach which has plenty of serviced sunbeds. Note that sea access is limited with more than half the beachfront blocked by slippery rocks, but there is a small shallow (rock-free) bay at one end that’s good for toddlers. Staff – especially in the restaurants – really go the extra mile with children (who seem to be everywhere) and there’s a kids’ club plus small toddlers’ pool with slides.


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£
122

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Candia Park Village

Crete, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

This delightful, family-friendly resort near the seaside town of Agios Nikolaos sprawls across a small hill that offers views of the island-strewn curve of Mirabello Bay below. The heart of the resort is the Provencal-style village square but the main hubs are the two pretty pools (plus several kids’ pools) and a glorious, pine-fringed beach. A path leading along the rocky coastline also has a sprinkling of private jetties with sun beds, with ladders descending to the sea. In terms of accommodation, the Family Apartments and Seafront Suites are suitable options, while those with self-catering facilities make this a good choice for budget-conscious families – especially as children up to 11 years old stay free.


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£
118

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Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas

Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

This multilevel cliff-side hotel is a paradise for families, especially for those with young children up to about age 11. Anticipate excellent and varied restaurants (healthy meals, variety, and quick and friendly service for impatient youngsters), a game-stocked kids’ entertainment room, activity clubs, lots of well-monitored sports and watersports, several outdoor pools, and private plunge pools with sea views at each villa. For adults, there’s a meticulously maintained spa, with a Finnish sauna, indoor pool, hydro-massage facilities and a vast range of treatments; fitness programmes that have corresponding meals from the resort’s nutritionist; and unlimited room service for Residents Club scheme members.


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£
296

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Domes of Elounda

Crete, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

Laidback luxury with a big L is the hallmark of this sprawling, family-friendly property in jetsetter destination, Elounda. Built to mimic the colours and contours of Spinalonga just opposite, this stylish resort attracts a lot of young families who come for the first-class restaurants, choice of pools (including one that’s just for adults), Blue Flag strip of sandy beach, and elegant spa – which offers treatments for children. Rooms, suites and villas are decorated in a playful Art Deco style with china cockatoos, gold washbasins and other pops of colour, while dining spans the gamut – from Mediterranean fare in Tholos and ‘surf and turf’ evenings at Italian restaurant Blend to cooked-to-order street food.


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£
176

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Where to stay in the Cyclades

    

Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort

Mykonos, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

Built on a hillside in the southernmost corner of beautiful Ornos Bay, Santa Marina’s setting is lush and immaculate, with the only private beach on Mykonos and immediate access to restaurants, cafés and shops. The look combines traditional exteriors with contemporary interiors featuring modern but simple furniture and artwork. Elegant yet comfortable outdoor common areas make full use of the sea view, with wicker furniture, hanging egg chairs, canopied sunbeds and sunken ‘sofas’ that are built into the wide infinity pool. Families can stay in a Family Sea View Suite with two bedrooms and bathrooms, and children have a separate play area as well as a saltwater kids’ pool.


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£
440

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Kastro Antiparos

Antiparos, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

Within walking distance to Antiparos Town and harbour, this charming and relaxing hotel offers a warm welcome and fantastic hospitality. Despite its location on an island known to attract the Hollywood elite – including Tom Hanks who has a villa here – the hotel is an affordable option for families, with lower room rates, free transfers to and from the port, plenty of things to keep little ones busy (an outdoor pool with a children’s pool attached, a playground and rock garden), free parking, and self-catering apartments which can fit from three to five guests. The rooms themselves are simple in colour scheme but Cycladic influences add character and the modern art brings the spaces up to date.


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£
83

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Where to stay in the Peloponnese

    

The Westin Resort Costa Navarino

Costa Navarino, Messinia, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

Costa Navarino is designed for children – and with high standards of service, golden beaches, superb restaurants and rooms, and excellent facilities it’s no wonder the resort has been such a success story. The spread-out grounds feel like a proper seaside town; it even has a low-rise commercial hub with shops lining the streets, from a pharmacy and a fashion boutique to a café and delicatessen. There’s a golf academy, tennis centre, football camps, an aquapark, 10-pin bowling, a basketball court and a surf school as well as two swimming pools. To top things off, the Sandcastle is a supervised playground for four to 12-year-olds and the teens hub includes VR Experiences, bowling lanes, a Karaoke room and an ice cream bar.


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£
218

per night

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Medusa Beach Resort

Naxos, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

An efficient, secluded, family-run getaway on a stretch of beach leading from Naxos Town, with nothing much around except for a few other family-run hotels. A major highlight is the hotel’s own pristine and private beach – an easy all-day escape where drinks, cocktails and food can be ordered from the beach bar. There’s a restaurant, swimming pool and plenty of lounging space, as well as two shady raised wooden terraces with sofas and dining tables that are perfect for taking in the endless sea view. Standard rooms are simple but immaculately decorated with vintage, wooden furniture and tiled floors, and can accommodate either two or three people. The Family Suite has two bedrooms, as do the hotel’s Maisonettes.


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£
110

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Where to stay in the Saronic Islands

    

Four Seasons Hydra Luxury Suites

Hydra, Saronic Islands, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

This peaceful and secluded boutique hotel on pebbly Plakes Beach is ideal for families who just want to relax and unwind. At the heart of the property is a centuries-old stone mansion housing five suites (which can accommodate up to four people each) that overlooks Tassia’s tavern (traditional Greek cuisine and fresh fish) and the beach where towels, sunbeds and umbrellas are complimentary for guests. The calm and clear sea is ideal for snorkelling, and kayaks are available to book. Free transfers are available to and from the hotel, as are shuttle boat services to and from the port of Hydra. A range of cruises for up to eight can also be arranged on the Apiliotis, the hotel’s wooden boat.


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£
188

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Where to stay in the Ionian islands

    

Ikos Dassia

Dassia, Corfu, Greece

8
Telegraph expert rating

This Ionian resort offers excellent value for money and considerably raises the bar for all-inclusive hotels in Europe. Gone are the days of the coloured wrist band and the dreary buffet – expect an endless supply of premium-brand champagnes, wines and spirits, waiter service, à la carte menus and a host of other extras. As well as the beach, the many swimming pools, tennis courts and bicycles, there’s a good choice of restaurants and bars and two spas, whose facilities are also free of charge. Included in a stay is a sunset cruise, dinners at a selection of restaurants around the island, an access pass for three of the island’s museums and the use of a Mini for the day, so families can get out and enjoy Corfu.


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Where to stay in Halkidiki

    

Ekies All Senses

Vourvourou Bay, Halkidiki, Greece

9
Telegraph expert rating

Ekies All Senses is popular for both fly-and-flop and active family trips, with days spent playing in the pools, tucking into freshly grilled fish and soft-serve ice cream, and relaxing on the hotel’s private beach – or exploring Halkidiki peninsula by car and nearby hidden coves by boat. There is a dedicated kids’ pool as well as a little playground, and the sea is shallow enough for children to play in. From early light the friendly staff at the Beach Club restaurant, lounge and bar serve coffee to parents up with early-rising babies, through to drinks on the beach loungers in the day and food and cocktails on the deck at sunset. For dinner the choice extends to three more restaurants, and kids’ menus are available in all of them.


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£
177

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France

    
The French have a very different idea to us of what exactly is meant by “child-friendly”. Not only do they expect children not to throw food, but they are expected to sit up straight at the table, to eat quietly and without complaint when served raw beef, and to not run around the place yelling and screaming. Even French theme parks tend towards historical reenactment rather than rollercoasters.

If you’re fine with this level of expectation, then you may delight in the kind of inventive and characterful places to stay which France does so well, whether you’re after wholesome jolly beach holidays in the Languedoc or a smart sojourn on the Côte d’Azur. These are places which do not scream “child-friendly” – which is exactly what makes them so appealing, for adults as well as children.

    

Where to stay in Languedoc-Roussillon

    

Château St Pierre de Serjac

Puissalicon, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

Surrounded by vineyards, this 19th-century château on a 200-acre working winery with hotel rooms and ultra-stylish self-catering residences offers everything you need for an upscale family holiday. With the huge infinity pool, large spa, tennis court and winery to keep you happy you could easily spend a good few days without leaving the estate, plus there are bikes of all sizes which can be used free of charge. There’s a cute kids’ club open during the UK school holidays for those aged four to 12 – expect plenty of outdoor activities and an emphasis on recycling and ‘archeological digs’. There’s also a supervised children’s tea five days a week, plus weekly movie nights. The atmosphere is laid back and informal.


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£
201

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Château Les Carrasses

Quarante, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

With its thick buttermilk-stone walls and fairytale witch-hat turrets from 1887, this turreted 19th-century castle with luxurious hotel suites and self-catering cottages is the real thing. The heated infinity pool overlooks vines, and there’s a clay tennis court, volleyball court, boules pitch and complimentary mountain bikes. In-room massages, personal trainer sessions, yoga, cooking classes, guided vineyard walks, wine-tasting/making workshops are appealing extras. Beyond the usual cots and highchairs, there’s a kids’ club for four-12-year-olds, free children’s bikes and an early kids’ dinner. Reception lends out DVDs, board games and iPods loaded with catchy playlists.


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£
167

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Where to stay in Provence

    

Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Côte d’Azur, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

There are few locations as exclusive as the Cap-Ferrat peninsula, so if you don’t mind spending money on your children come to this celebrity-studded five-star with walks from the door, a renowned Michelin-star restaurant, and clifftop beach club and pool that starred in the Absolutely Fabulous movie. Children are kept busy with a club that has its own garden area with a paddling pool and themed activities, while fun extras include games and toys on arrival as well as their own mini-bathrobes and toiletries. Interconnecting rooms, babysitting services – for when you fancy a spa treatment, or romantic afternoon by the sea in a private beach pavilion – and children’s menus are also available.


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£
611

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Hotel Royal-Riviera

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Côte d’Azur, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

This kid-tastic palace offers a tempting combination of an exclusive Cap-Ferrat address, landscaped gardens and its own private beach. The beau monde have flocked here since 1904, yet the informal ambience ensures young families with wandering toddlers won’t feel out of place. The best feature is the outdoor living space that meanders through dining, swimming and relaxation areas dotted with Banana palms, citrus and olive trees. The Royal Kid Programme gives children a passport at check-in, age-appropriate gifts and free ice-cream vouchers at the pool. One under-14 can stay in their parents’ Deluxe room or suite for free, while interconnecting rooms and family-sized suites are also available.


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£
237

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Orion Tree Houses

Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Provence, France

8
Telegraph expert rating

Located on the outskirts of the hilltop Saint-Paul-de-Vence, this bed and breakfast is where the French Rivera dreams of a Swallows-and-Amazons adventure come true. The woodland resort offers treehouse accommodation named after characters from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and has a plant-strewn natural pool (it’s worth visiting Orion for this alone).
The four tree houses are scattered around the pine-and-oak woodland – best for families is King Louie with its second mini-cabin for kids (sleeps four) and Colonel Haithi (for up to five). All have fully-plumbed toilets and baths or showers. The beds have mosquito nets – but make sure to pack some mosquito spray for evening drinks on the balcony.


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Le Mas de Peint

Camargue, Provence, France

9
Telegraph expert rating

Children love the wild setting at this unpretentious Provençal farmhouse, which effortlessly straddles the line between a smart country hotel and a relaxed, unfussy retreat. There’s a comfortable home-from-home vibe and endless outdoor adventures – from the lovely large pool set within its own walled garden (open between June and September) and miles of sandy beaches just a short drive away to white Camargue horses to ride and mountain bikes to hire. Eight comfortable double rooms consist of four suites and a two-bedroom, two-bathroom family suite. They share the same warm, comfortable style as the public spaces with butterscotch, grey and sea-green walls, excellent beds and timeless, rustic-chic furniture.


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256

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Where to stay in Corsica

    

Misincu

Cap Corse, Corsica, France

8
Telegraph expert rating

Expect a modern luxury-meets-beachcomber vibe at this glamorous hotel on the rugged and beautiful Cap Corse – it’s the kind of place you’ll feel comfortable walking around barefoot, probably trailing sand behind you. Alongside the hotel’s stretch of private beach, there is a boat that can take guests to hidden creeks, beaches and other islands, and diving courses, water-skiing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding can be arranged with a local company. For lazier days there’s a pool lined with comfortable cushioned loungers, plus a spa for parents seeking respite while the kids are busy with treasure hunts, fishing lessons and a variety of child-friendly sports. Extra beds can be added to Junior suites.


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262

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Spain

A family favourite of Britons for generations, Spain is an easy option even with young children – the Spanish do love a baby, and beaches and resorts are well set up for all ages. The Balearic Islands are surely the dreamiest destination in the Med when it comes to beautiful beaches. Formentera’s limpid turquoise waters, go-slow pace and sandy stretches are heaven for small children; neighbouring Ibiza appeals to teens and parents with its outstanding food, yoga and wellness, and beach clubbing; while Mallorca and Menorca are superb family all-rounders.

The Costas, meanwhile, are inundated with pile-em-high family resorts, for primary-bright toddler fun, aqua parks and child-oriented restaurants – the tricky thing is seeking out the gems among them. Start with these: a super-slick address on Andalucia’s Costa del Sol, or down-to-earth hideaways on the Costa Brava, for slipping into the easy-breezy, sunshine-and-siesta way of life.

    

Where to stay in the Balearics

    

Hotel Casbah

Formentera, Ibiza, Spain

8
Telegraph expert rating

Set among lush pine forest and just a short stroll from sandy Playa Migjorn, Hotel Casbah is a great, low-key base for exploring Formentera. More of a guesthouse than a hotel, Casbah has individual, finca-style apartments – modest, slightly old fashioned, even – but each with lots of outdoor space and plenty of privacy. There’s plenty to keep you occupied here: in among the botanical-esque gardens there’s an enticing pool lined by sunbeds, and an enclosed tepee for relaxing massages, both joined by stepping stones and lit by strings of bulb lighting, which adds a definite air of romanticism. Elsewhere, there’s a snack bar, an excellent restaurant and a fully stocked bar in a newly designed, modern building.


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£
192

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Six Senses Ibiza

Ibiza, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Not many hotels combine top-shelf luxury with sustainability and family-friendliness, but tucked into the rocks in the much-loved bohemian north of the island, Six Senses Ibiza deftly interweaves the three. Kids can explore the ‘six dimensions of wellness’ by attending their own yoga classes, indulging in the children’s spa menu, mixing their own fragrant lotions with herbs grown on site, or, of course, chilling by the infinity pool. Standard rooms are soothing, with neutral palettes, USB outlets, silky soft sheets and either sea or treeline views, with Marshall speakers and coffee/tea amenities. The gorgeous understated Junior Suites are great for families of three or four, and children under 11 stay free.


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298

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Casa Munich

Sant Francesc de s’Estany, Ibiza, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Casa Munich, on a small hill in the Ses Salinas Nature Reserve, is one of those rare, super-lovely hotels which you find yourself looking forward to heading back to. The whole place is designed like a miniature village, so space and privacy aren’t a concern here, and the pretty courtyards, winding pathways and lush tropical gardens have a traditional old world charm. Facilities abound – it’s one of the few hotels in Ibiza that has a tennis court, which handily doubles as a basketball court and football area. There’s also a ping pong table, foosball table, spa with a full treatment menu and a full rack of mountain bikes – ideal for beating the traffic to the beaches nearby.


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222

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Zafiro Palace Andratx

Andratx, Majorca, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

This coastal haven with five restaurants, 10 swimming pools and an excellent spa sets the bar for all-inclusive luxury family hotels in Majorca and caters for kids of all ages. However, compared with other Zafiro properties, this peaceful setting is better suited to quieter and smaller family groups. Most guests opt for an all-inclusive package, which grants access to four good-quality à la carte restaurants – Caliu Steakhouse, El Olivo, Tastes & Sushi and La Veranda – and there is a popular breakfast and lunchtime buffet restaurant, The Market. If you fancy heading away from the hotel’s gates, however, it’s just a five-minute stroll to Camp de Mar resort’s promenade, sandy beach and small coves.


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240

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Bonsol Hotel Resort & Spa

Illetas, Majorca, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Historic Hotel Bonsol is a much-loved family-owned four-star retreat set on a hilltop overlooking the sea on Majorca’s southwest coast. Warm and welcoming, the place is paradise for children, with everything from an activity club offering arts and crafts and swimming lessons to a child-friendly pool and an indoor playroom with games and toys. In the mature gardens you’ll find squash courts, boules, two saltwater pools and a private beach. The spa includes a sauna, hammam, whirlpool, treatment rooms, plunge pool and complimentary yoga classes. A tennis court is located on an upper level of the hotel. Interiors are a treasure trove of historic memorabilia and artefacts, original artworks and objets d’art.


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264

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Hotel Es Port

Port de Soller, Majorca, Spain

8
Telegraph expert rating

This family-run hotel is situated in extensive grounds, guaranteeing complete privacy despite being in the heart of Port Sóller (you can reach the pedestrianised promenade and sandy beaches within three minutes on foot). The beautifully preserved 17th-century property caters to all tastes, but families will particularly enjoy its large pool, immaculate verdant lawns, patios with sun loungers, tennis courts and bikes/e-bikes to rent. A labyrinth of sitting rooms with arched stone ceilings serve as reading, library and games rooms, and bedrooms range from standard doubles to suites – the latter have balconies and terraces with superb views of the Tramuntana mountains and Sóller Bay. Parking at the hotel is free.


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125

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Where to stay in the Canary Islands

    

The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

Tenerife, Spain

8
Telegraph expert rating

A pink palace distinctive for miles around in the south of Tenerife thanks to its boldly coloured Moorish style and beachfront location. This is truly holiday heaven for families, from the dedicated family villas to myriad activities the whole clan will enjoy (helicopter tours over Mount Teide, stargazing picnics, a tennis academy nearby, seven pools, a beach, and Michelin-starred dining), to Europe’s largest Ritz Kids Club, complete with an outdoor playground, planetarium and garden. The Teens Club, for 13- to 17-year-olds, offers archery, yoga, street dance, graffiti, DJing and more, and all restaurants offer children’s menus, with kids aged under four eating for free. Family suites are available, with all manner of baby equipment to borrow.


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260

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Where to stay on the Costa del Sol

    

Puente Romano Beach Resort

Marbella, Malaga, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

The Puente Romano extends through gorgeous gardens right down to the beach on Marbella’s Golden Mile – you can stroll along the seafront promenade to both Marbella’s old town and Puerto Banús marina in 45 minutes, or cycle in 15 minutes. If the three outdoor pools (plus one for families) aren’t enough, there’s an equestrian centre, which offers riding lessons and daily excursions, as well as all sorts of watersports including stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing, and a tennis school. There are family-sized rooms; cots and extra beds for children under 12 are free. Yachts can be arranged if you fancy a day out with the family. From May to September there’s a kids’ club.


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334

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Where to stay on the Costa Brava

    

Hotel Sant Roc

Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

Occasionally you find a hotel with the kind of stunning sea views that dreams are made of – overlooking the gorgeous bay at Calella de Palafrugell, the Sant Roc is one of them. Originally opened in 1955 by the current owners’ grandparents, the hotel has been tastefully refurbished over the years and feels contemporary, comfortable and welcoming. No pool but an expansive terrace is set amidst shady, twisted pines, and there’s a comfy lounge inside. The indoor children’s playroom has toys and books and is thoughtfully situated next to the bar so adults can sip a drink whilst supervising their kids. The outdoor playground is at the front, there’s a kids’ menu in the restaurant, and free cots for under-threes.


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116

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Hotel Mas Tapiolas

Santa Cristina d’Aro, Catalonia, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

There are some places where you just feel the stress of day-to-day life easing away the moment you arrive, and this luxurious, family-friendly retreat set amid stunning Solius Valley countryside is one of them. Parents can truly relax here, especially in the spa where their children can join them at specific times of the day. There’s a large outdoor pool, a paddling pool and an outdoor playground as well as a wonderful playroom full of toys, games and books (conveniently situated adjacent to the restaurant dining room), padel court and 18-hole pitch and putt. Most of the spacious, light, rooms have stunning valley views; cots for children aged under three stay free and extra beds are available with breakfast included.


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113

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Hotel Aigua Blava

Begur, Costa Brava, Spain

9
Telegraph expert rating

This classy, family-friendly hotel overlooking the beautiful bay of Aiguablava may only be a four star, but its old world charm, excellent restaurant and spectacular views are unquestionably five star. Originally converted from a 1930s hostel behind the beach, the hotel is now home to stylish and contemporary rooms, charmingly old-fashioned lounge areas, and a wood-panelled bar area. Outdoor facilities include a seawater pool, table tennis, tennis and volleyball courts (with free racket use) and a good-sized children’s playground. Cots for children under three are free and extra beds for older children can be put in some doubles. Family rooms and self-catering apartments are available.


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107

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Italy

    
Italy’s beauty spots – the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, Sorrento – tend to be unsuitable for children (all those vertiginous cliffs, romantic restaurants and moony-eyed newlyweds). This is good news for families, who would do better to steer clear of the honeypots and head, instead, to Italy’s more gentle, wilder sands – down south in Puglia and Basilicata, or on its glorious islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

    

Where to stay in Puglia

    

Borgo Egnazia

Fasano, Puglia, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

This fake but fabulous Puglian village has a film-set quality that’s lured Hollywood idols. It’s a magical, make-believe, candle-lit world, with a fistful of restaurants, four pools, three bars, two private beaches and a sybaritic spa. Guests are allocated a ‘local advisor’ who helps tailor their stay. Whether you want to hire bikes, drop the children at the friendly kids’ or teens’ clubs, take them to the miniature farm, escape for a Vair spa treatment, learn to make orecchiette pasta or local pottery, play tennis, golf, take up windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking – or just peg out at one of the resort’s two private beaches or three outdoor pools – there’s something for everyone.


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£
326

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Masseria Torre Coccaro

Savelletri, Puglia, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

It would be easier to list the activities that this family-orientated masseria doesn’t offer rather than the masses they do. Among the most popular are the regular ‘Festa di paese’ nights, recreations of Pugliese village fairs complete with food stalls and traditional music. Families can use the resort’s mountain bikes, and the Masseria lays on several activities for children including pizza-making courses. In the gardens, comfy seats and daybeds are tucked amid pomegranate trees, bougainvillaea and hibiscus, and the main courtyard is magical, especially in the evenings. But the masseria is not really designed for quiet, romantic getaways – its warm, homely vibe is best suited to family breaks.


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£
183

per night

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Where to stay in Basilicata

    

Santavenere

Maratea, Basilicata, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

A charming, secluded hotel peacefully located near quaint Maratea harbour with its smattering of restaurants and shops. Rustic in character and adorned with elegant period furnishings, the hotel emanates a nostalgic charm characteristic of the old, aristocratic residences of southern Italy. Each of the rooms houses an array of different 18th- and 19th-century period furniture; larger, family suites are available (for a family of four) in a small courtyard overlooking the lawn, set back from the main hotel. Babysitting and special excursions can also be arranged for children. Essentially, Santavenere has the atmosphere more of a family home than a hotel, and you will be welcomed with open arms.


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From


£
144

per night

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Where to stay in Sicily

    

Verdura Resort – A Rocco Forte Hotel

Ribera, Sicily, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

Laid out along the rocky coastline in a little-explored corner of Southern Sicily, Rocco Forte’s modernist-style resort boasts exceptional facilities including an enormous spa, three golf courses and four restaurants. Children are truly spoilt here. Parents can entrust their little ones to the qualified staff at the kids’ club with its pool, trampoline, ping-pong table, cooking classes in the purpose-built kitchen, arts and crafts, local history classes and more. Expect in-room treats; kids’ menus, highchairs and discounts in the restaurants; and free stays for under-12s. Elsewhere there’s a vast pool, six clay tennis and two padel courts, endless water sports, and three boats for excursions along the coast. The list goes on and on.


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From


£
326

per night

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Donna Carmela

Sicily, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

Lying between Mount Etna and the sea, what really makes this place special is the feeling of being far away from the world, fully immersed in an exotic paradise. For families looking to explore this corner of Sicily, the location is excellent for visiting the volcano (four-wheel-drive excursions with a volcanologist recommended) or touring the vineyards of Etna North. Taormina and Siracusa are both easy day trips. At base, the pool is a good size, and several of the rooms have plunge pools and outdoor hot tubs. Top choice for families is the Jacuzzi Family Lodge with a big pool. There are also child-friendly activities such as horticultural sessions at the hotel’s garden, Radicepura, a short drive away.


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£
121

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Where to stay in Sardinia

    

Resort Cala di Falco

Cannigione, Italy

9
Telegraph expert rating

With beautiful bay views, exceptional food and attentive service, this family-friendly gem is ideal for a low-key holiday with the clan in Cannigione. Rooms and suites are situated within low-rise buildings spread around the Mediterranean-style garden which gives the place a calm village feel (especially suitable for families are the apartments and villas which have cooking facilities), while the bar, lobby and restaurant are open with an indoor-outdoor feel. As well as the large pool there is a private section of Cannigione’s beach (with loungers and umbrellas), as well as a free shuttle to the larger Mannena Beach. There’s a free kids’ club for ages three to 11, and a children’s pool as well as a baby-feeding room.


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From


£
190

per night

Hotel Le Sabine at Resort & SPA Le Dune

Badesi, Sardinia, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

On Sardinia’s north coast, the four-star superior Le Sabine is one of five hotels in the Le Dune resort, edged with Blue Flag sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. It’s a great place for families, with 10 restaurants, six pools and an A-Z of activities, clubs and sports for all ages. Nightly live music, plus ‘baby dance’ to get the children off to sleep more quickly, complete the offerings. You’ll even find an aviary with peacocks and chickens, plus ‘fantasy playgrounds’ with wigwams and a fortress, children’s pools, and indoor and outdoor cinemas – all included in the room rate. Guests are free to use the facilities of the other hotels. In the evenings, there’s live music in the resort’s main piazza.


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Half board from


£
93

pp/pn

Colonna Resort

Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy

8
Telegraph expert rating

This handsome five-star’s isolated beachfront position and excellent facilities make it particularly appealing to couples and families. What makes it really stand out however, is its ‘pocket-friendliness’ with good deals on half- and full-board options that make it very reasonable compared to similar hotels close by. There are seven seawater pools, and a small private beach, while the Mini Club offers daily-changing activities for children aged between three and 10 years. Nearby Colonna Country & Sporting has tennis courts and a small practice golf course, while more serious golfers get a discount at Pevero Golf Club. Car, scooter and yacht rentals can be arranged as well as trips and excursions.


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From


£
204

per night

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Turkey

    
It often gets overlooked, and yet Turkey’s Turquoise Coast is complete heaven for family seaside holidays. There are great sweeping stretches of sand backed by ancient ruins, and pine-forested peninsulas enfolding sleepy little bays of calm water, best explored by sailing boat, paddleboard or kayak, and so clear you can see fish swimming below.

The slow pace and relaxed attitude makes for an easygoing break, the balance of the exotic East and the familial West giving kids a palatable taste of adventure – and the food is a hit too: fantastic fresh fish and local produce, piles of jewel-like Turkish Delight in the markets. You can holiday for peanuts here, seeking out low-key places on the hoof; though this coast does also offer a good choice of luxurious boutique boltholes, brilliant for watersports. Spring and autumn are glorious times to go, when it’s quieter and prices lower, but still sunny.

    

Where to stay on the Turquoise Coast

    

Hillside Beach Club

Fethiye, Turquoise Coast, Turkey

9
Telegraph expert rating

A big, cheerful resort with all the workings of a small town and extensive facilities for families looking to kick back and relax. With three sandy beaches (two of them adults-only); three restaurants and eight bars; a nature trail and a shuttle boat service to the different beaches, there’s plenty to keep things entertaining. Family rooms are cool and comfortable, and the hotel’s huge main food court-style restaurant serves buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Pasha, for diners aged 12 and older, also offers Turkish Mediterranean cuisine and the beach bar offers à la carte Italian dishes. Helpful extras include a ‘baby park’, an amphitheatre with daily shows and events, baby strollers and a babysitting service.


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Olympos Lodge

Antalya, Turquoise Coast, Turkey

8
Telegraph expert rating

Run by the same family for over 30 years, this delightful hotel is a friendly place and a great environment for kids with over three acres of lush grounds to play in, ducks, chickens, peacocks to check out, and the beach a stone’s throw away. The individual bungalows are tucked discreetly away in the expansive gardens, guaranteeing plenty of privacy if that’s what you want, however many guests gravitate towards the tables and chairs, candle-lit at night, clustered around the impressive gazebo serving as the breakfast and a la carte dining room. There’s plenty to do day-trip wise from Çıralı, with most guests at least taking a drive into the spectacular mountains and visiting an ancient site or two.


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From


£
249

per night

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D-Resort Göcek

Göcek, Muğla, Turkey

8
Telegraph expert rating

A serene, upmarket resort on a stretch of unspoiled Turkish-Mediterranean coastline near the pretty, low-key village of Göcek. Open year-round, it has extensive wellness facilities and three restaurants serving a range of cuisine (with children’s menus). A private, decked sunbathing area curves around the bay’s shallows and white sand covers the small quiet beach. Bikes and buggies are free to borrow, and for an extra charge, you can spend half a day on the hotel’s speedboat (with drinks and lunch) being whisked around 12 beautiful local – and mostly uninhabited – islands. All rooms and suites (40 of which have a living room and extra bedroom) are decorated in the same white-and-blue nautical theme.


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From


£
142

per night

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Croatia

    
In firm family-favourite Croatia, the region of Istria is quietly making a name for itself as a family-holiday alternative, offering off-the-beaten-track beach breaks with a difference – not least that it’s still marvellously affordable. The islands of the Dalmatian Coast remain largely laidback and undeveloped, ripe for simple seaside adventures – though head to Hvar if you’re after a more polished retreat, where a few swish new openings are ramping up the luxury levels.

    

Where to stay in Hvar

    

Maslina

Hvar, Croatia

9
Telegraph expert rating

Expect 50 sea-view rooms, several pebble coves shaded by pines, a spa, kids’ club, and a restaurant and bar overlooking two pools at this luxury waterside resort in a sheltered bay near Stari Grad. The look is modern and stylish: interiors throughout use local stone, wood, brushed brass, and terracotta tiles, while natural fabrics come in colours inspired by Hvar’s pinewoods, rocks and sea. Young families with children are most welcome here – the colourful Playroom offers supervised activities, and babysitting is available which is ideal if you fancy a few hours in the spa, a flick through arty books from the library, a romantic trip around the island on one of the quirky wooden bikes, or go wine tasting.


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From


£
389

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Palmizana Hotel

Hvar, Croatia

9
Telegraph expert rating

Staying at Palmižana, set in an overgrown botanical garden on a tiny car-free islet, feels like a back-to-nature escape. Parents love it for children – there’s no traffic, so the kids can run wild in nature, and the small beach gives onto a sheltered bay with shallow water. The hotel’s six bungalows and six villas are each themed around a deep, vibrant colour complemented by modern artworks, and each has a double bedroom (some have two), a living room with sofa bed (but no television), and a secluded terrace for sitting out. Extra beds and cots are available on request, and basic self-catering facilities mean you can prepare snacks. Elsewhere there are two excellent open-air restaurants that serve Dalmatian cuisine.


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From


£
106

per night

    

Where to stay in Rovinj

    

Hotel Lone

Rovinj, Istria, Croatia

9
Telegraph expert rating

With contemporary Croatian design based on the concept of a cruise ship, Croatia’s first member of Design Hotels attracts image-conscious couples and young families. There’s a big free-form outdoor sea-water pool, with whirlpools, waterfalls and geysers, rimmed by sun-bathing terraces, set amid leafy gardens and towering trees. The spa is a highlight – with its heated indoor pool looking onto woodland, sauna and treatment menu – and teen corner offering facials, manicures and pedicures. Get away for the day and borrow a bicycle to explore Zlatni Rat, where a string of pebble coves, shaded by pines, give onto turquoise waters. In summer, there’s a kids’ club at the nearby Hotel Eden.


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£
94

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Family Hotel Amarin

Rovinj, Istria, Croatia

9
Telegraph expert rating

Everything is child-orientated at this family-meets-design hotel by the sea in Rovinj. On arrival, children encounter a bouncy net installation, where they can jump about and glimpse the indoor pool, the kids’ gym and the garden pool. The grounds have rope climbing frames and slides, outdoor pools, volleyball nets and free scooters to whizz around in. There’s a kids’ club (painting, collage and hand-printing, and sports), cinema and 24-hour child care, as well as two beaches to explore, with watersports on offer. The adjoining wellness centre has three indoor pools (babies, children and adults), and does children’s specials, such as a Glow & Go lemon-based facial for teenagers, as well as treatments for adults.


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119

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Where to stay in Dubrovnik

    

Sun Gardens Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

8
Telegraph expert rating

If you’re after a chill-out seaside holiday, with swimming and sports activities, this friendly resort with sublime views over the Elaphiti islands is idyllic, and the residences are ideal for families. There are two pools for families; a Sports Academy training football, tennis, water polo and basketball with occasional celebrity sportspeople; and a Marco Polo kids’ club, offering games, activities and trips, so parents can have some time alone. The Spa, acknowledged as one of Croatia’s best, has an 18-metre indoor pool, a hydrotherapy pool with massage jets and a waterfall, various saunas, and does lush facials and body treatments. Babysitting services available. Cilantro is the spot for romantic dinners on a sea-view terrace.


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£
111

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Cyprus

    
Down in the southeastern reaches of the Mediterranean, Cyprus makes a clever choice for the shoulder-season half-term holidays; even in late October the days are blue-sky sunny and the sea decently warm enough to swim in. There’s no shortage of the kind of big, bright family-friendly resorts with multiple pools and restaurants, which in recent years have been jhuzzed up several notches, pioneered by the arrival of Design Hotels member Anassa and its sister hotels, bringing to Cyprus the family retreat vibe more usually found across the water in the Greek Islands.

Anassa Hotel

Polis Chrysochous, Cyprus

9
Telegraph expert rating

One for families looking to splash out on a luxury escape. Given its tranquil location on the sandy beach of Chrysochou Bay, the seriously opulent spa and its gourmet cuisine, it is easy to see why the hotel attracts celebrities, footballers and families with bottomless purses.
Daily life revolves around its infinity pools and terraces, together with a paved area with tables and chairs designed to resemble a village square, and staff are efficient yet unobtrusive. There’s a swimming pool and kids’ club with a programme of workshops designed to suit different age groups, and most of the restaurants have children’s menus. Family rooms are available with cribs if requested, while trained nannies look after babies.


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£
372

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Four Seasons Hotel

Limassol, Cyprus

9
Telegraph expert rating

Attention to detail knows no bounds at this sprawling seafront hotel, from the exquisite rooms and gourmet-style restaurants to the facilities – which are plentiful for adults, teens and kids. Highlights include the sandy beach, the family outdoor pool with a separate kids’ pool and water slide, kindergarten play area for those aged three to eight, and kids’ club with a programme of activities for older children up to 13. Teenagers can compete in table tennis and court tennis competitions, and various art and crafts, while adults can enjoy some peace and quiet at the shady spa or beautiful infinity-style pool that looks out over the ocean. The hotel offers a babysitting service, and most of the restaurants have special menus.


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£
234

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Almyra

Paphos, Cyprus

8
Telegraph expert rating

Dramatic in its modernity, with a less-is-more approach to styling, the Almyra ticks all the boxes when it comes to making guests feel like the coolest holidaymaker on the block. All rooms – decorated in white and varying shades of brown with dark wood-style furniture – have a balcony or terrace with views of the garden or sea, and interconnecting doors allow guests to book two, three or more rooms to create a private family space. Or you can book one of the Kyma Suites, with multiple connecting bedrooms and a lounge area. Although the adult and family areas are clearly segregated throughout the hotel, children of all ages are welcome. Hotel amenities include a kids’ pool, a summer club, and special menus.


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£
157

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Malta

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip used to holiday in Malta as a young family – indeed, they lived in its capital, Valletta, for two years after the Second World War, at Villa Guardamangia, which is being restored to reopen as a museum. Today, the former outpost of Great Britain still makes an easy holiday option for young families: down in the southeastern Mediterranean, it’s warm and sunny for much of the year, including shoulder seasons, and it’s less than four hours away. Plus everyone speaks English. There are beaches on Malta and Gozo, layers of history in Valletta, and sea adventures, from kayaking and swimming in the Blue Lagoon to some of the best diving in Europe.

Where to stay in Malta

    

Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz

San Lawrenz, Gozo, Malta

9
Telegraph expert rating

With by far the most facilities of any hotel on Gozo, this low-rise five star hotel, on the edge of a traditional village near a dramatic stretch of Gozitan coast, has extensive gardens, pools (two family; one adults only) and an excellent spa as well as a choice of bars and restaurants. This is a place to chill out and relax – complimentary clubs and activities for children aged two to 12 and babysitting services enable tired parents to catch their breath in the aforementioned facilities – but for the sporty, there are two floodlit tennis courts and two squash courts. Rooms are large and unfussy, with the option to book ‘residences’ – mini apartments with a kitchenette to help keep daily costs down.


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119

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Contributions by Kate Bolton, Catherine Cooper, Eddi Fiegel, Jane Foster, Carole French, Heidi Fuller-Love, Abigail Lowe, Anna Nicholas, Isabella Noble, John Malathronas, Victoria Monk, Sally Peck, Terry Richardson, Juliet Rix, Taryn Ross, Jessica Salter, Louise Simpson, Clare Speak, Nicky Swallow, Rebecca Tay, Marissa Tejada, and Tina Walsh


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    10
    Telegraph expert rating


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    222

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    230

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