Feb 6, 2012

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Top 10 family holiday destinations in 2012

Family holiday - beach break

Enjoy a family-friendly beach break this year

Family holidays are a fantastic opportunity to spend quality time with the people near and dear to you, and to create memories for years to come. However, some families struggle to settle on a destination to suit everyone’s needs.

Read our top ten choices for family breaks this year – places with enough to keep the kids entertained, but with relaxing options for parents too.

1. Spanish mainland

With a wide range of destinations to choose from and stunning beaches just a two-hour flight from the UK, Spain’s resorts and cities are always a big hit with families. And when there, cheap prices for food and drink, the Spaniards’ welcoming attitude to children, and plenty of entertainment options all help to make family breaks stress free.

Benidorm is the place to head for a fun-filled week with plenty of entertainment in the evening, while families after a quieter break may prefer the Altea and Calpe areas just up the coast.

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2. Canary Islands

Glorious year-round sunshine make the Canary Islands a brilliant family holiday destination at any time. The islands are full of attractions to keep children and adults amused too – from Siam Park on Tenerife where kids can whoosh down waterslides, to Cesar Manrique’s Jameo del Agua in Lanzarote where children will love looking out for tiny white crabs.

Popular family resorts include Los Cristianos in Tenerife and Playa Blanca in Lanzarote.

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3. Balearic Islands

Hundreds of direct flights take UK families to the Balearic Islands every week and the mouth-watering local cuisine, excellent beaches and fabulous weather keep them coming back each year. Menorca is a popular choice for a relaxing family holiday while Majorca offers everything from quiet beaches to dramatic caves to explore.

Family favourites include Alcudia in Majorca and Cala’n Bosch in Menorca.

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4. France

Whether your family’s idea of the perfect holiday is camping, exploring a big city or splashing in the sea, there will be something in France to suit. And remember that you don’t have to travel all the way to America to see Micky Mouse and his friends as kids will love Disneyland Paris.

Brittany is a popular choice for families as it is easily reached by ferry or plane, and there’s plenty to do from historic days out to a chateau, to visiting the zoo or an aquarium, to splashing around on the beach.

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5. UK: city breaks

City breaks aren’t just for adults and kids will be fascinated by some of the attractions on our doorstep. Families could spend days in London visiting London Zoo, the London Eye and taking boat trips; kids will love learning about Vikings and being terrified in the Dungeons in York (only suitable for older children); and sport-mad children will tell all of their friends about looking around Old Trafford and hurtling down an indoor ski slope in Manchester.

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6. UK: holiday parks

Holiday parks have evolved massively over the last decade and there are now luxurious options with spa facilities for parents to relax in while children take part in their activity of choice. Choose between options on the beach or in the beautiful British countryside, and brands such as Butlins and Center Parcs.

Find the right UK holiday park for you.

7. Greek islands

Offers galore will tempt British families to pack their bags to visit one of Greece’s islands this year – and they won’t be disappointed. The more popular islands such as Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Kos have lovely beaches and plenty to see and do, while the beautiful islands of Zante and Kefalonia are perfect for more relaxing getaways.

Rethymnon in Crete is a good choice for a laid-back family break as it has a great beach, a lovely harbour and a good choice of restaurants.

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8. Florida

America’s Sunshine State is a dream destination for children as Orlando is home to Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. And, American diners serve up family-friendly food at reasonable prices. Stay in a holiday home in Orlando with your own private pool for the ultimate family getaway.

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9. Algarve

Beautiful sandy beaches, water parks and theme parks will keep children entertained by day in the Algarve. And by night, there are plenty of eating options to suit all of the family. When it comes to accommodation, families will be spoilt for choice whether they want to stay in a self-catering apartment, their own villa or in a hotel with a pool.

Albufeira ticks all of the right boxes for most families as there’s a good range of beaches nearby, restaurants galore and local theme parks.

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10. Mexico

TravelSupermarket predicts that the SLIMMA destinations (Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Mexico, Malaysia and Argentina) are going to be popular choices in 2012 and Mexico is a fantastic long-haul option for families. Staying in family-friendly resorts and combining lazy beach days with historic day trips to see Mayan ruins, every member of the group will be content.

Cancun will be a big hit with children as they splash in the water at the Wet ‘n Wild water park and swim with dolphins at Dolphinaris.

Search for Mexico holidays.

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