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Family having fun walking on beach

Top family holiday destinations

The fast pace of modern life can make it hard to find the time to really appreciate your loved ones.  That's why it is so important to get your family holiday just right. But where in the world will you and your family spend precious moments that you will all cherish for years to come?

The top destinations

Here, we round up the top 10 places for families looking to take a great holiday together, no matter what type of holiday you're after...

Whether you want sandy beaches, cultural excursions or thrilling theme parks, at least one of our top 10 choices for family breaks is bound to hit the right note.

1. Spanish mainland

Spanish coastal resorts such as Benidorm on the Costa Blanca and Marbella on the Costa del Sol are hugely popular due to their beautiful beaches and wealth of family-focused entertainment options.

The secrets to their success include a flight time of just two to three hours from the UK and the tasty and affordable food and drink available in restaurants, supermarkets and bars.

However, Spanish cities such as Barcelona and Madrid also offer fantastic value for money and boast attractions ranging from art galleries to white-knuckle rides.

Compare Spain holidays

2. Balearic Islands

The Spanish islands of Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza have a well-deserved reputation for trouble-free family holidays.
Hundreds of direct flights take off from UK airports every week, with many families lured back year after year by the sunny climate, stunning scenery and mouth-watering local cuisine.

Majorca's plus points include the elegant capital city Palma and idyllic beaches of Alcudia, while Cala'n Bosch in Menorca is the perfect choice for a relaxing beach break. And Ibiza offers a mix of beaches, fun and watersports.

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3. Algarve

Huge beaches, family-friendly resorts and reliable summer sun have all helped to make Portugal's Algarve region a hit with British families.

Sporty types will love the wide range of activities - horse riding, golf and watersports - on offer, while stressed-out mums can pamper themselves in luxury spas.

What's more, there is a huge choice of accommodation catering for all budgets.

With its many beaches, restaurants and theme parks, the resort of Albufeira is just the ticket for many families.

Compare Algarve holidays

4. Greek islands

Gorgeous beaches and clear blue seas tempt thousands of British families to the Greek islands every year.
These are not the islands' only selling points, though.

There is also something for everyone, with Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Kos offering plenty to see and do and quieter islands such as Zante and Kefalonia providing a beautiful backdrop for more relaxing getaways.

With the Greek economy suffering, families on a budget should also be able to take advantage of some great discounts and special offers.
Try Rethymnon on Crete for a fun family break.

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5. Canary Islands

Families have been flocking to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura to soak up the glorious year-round sun for years.

The islands are completely geared up for families as a result, with restaurants and cafes welcoming customers of all ages with a smile.

Each of the islands has its own individual character, with Fuerteventura appealing to families looking for a quieter trip.

Los Cristianos in Tenerife and Playa Blanca in Lanzarote are among the most popular resorts for those with little ones.

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6. Florida

Disney's Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and SeaWorld make Orlando the first port of call for many families heading to Florida.

There is much more to the Sunshine State than theme parks, though.

Once the kids have raced, laughed and shrieked their way around the main attractions, there are clean, sandy beaches, buzzing cities such as Miami and wildlife parks to explore too.

Getting around is easy in a hired car, and a multi-base trip is a great way to see a lot in a short time.

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7. Mexico

Direct charter flights that make short work of the long-haul trip have made Mexico increasingly popular with British families over the last few years.

The American influence in the resort of Cancun means great service and lots of child-friendly food options, while the Caribbean location provides picture-postcard beaches and deliciously warm water.

There is also no shortage of activities, with historic Aztec sites such as Chichen Itza nearby and a Wet 'n Wild park in Cancun itself.

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8. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the ideal choice for families seeking a taste of the exotic - especially with British Airways launching new flights via Male.

The stunning island, famous for its palm-lined beaches, also offers great value for money.

Cheap and tasty food is readily available, kids will love visits to tea plantations and mystical temples, and mementoes such as textiles and hand carvings are well priced.

For a family holiday of a lifetime, why not split your time between Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean atolls of the Maldives?

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9. France

Whether your family loves city tours, the great outdoors or Mickey Mouse, France has it all on tap.

You can marvel at the yachts in St Tropez and Nice, ride the waves in Biarritz, gorge yourselves on seafood in Brittany or mix high culture with Disney fun in Paris - the choice is yours.

And best of all, you can fill the car up with everything you could possibly need and take it all with you on the ferry.

An Alpine resort such as Chamonix, with its climbing, hiking and mountain biking, could prove an invigorating change.

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10. UK

You don't have to go far to enjoy quality time with your near and dear ones this year.

Attractions such as the London Dungeons and Edinburgh Castle can make UK city breaks just as much fun for children as adults.

For a more relaxing staycation, meanwhile, head to St Ives in Cornwall for sandy beaches and cute cottages, go to the Lake District for family walks and fun attractions or head to one of the UK's many holiday parks that offer activities for all the family.

Find the best holiday park and hotel deal in the UK for you.

Another great way to holiday as a family is to stay in your own private villa. All of the destinations above have a great choice of villas for families. Villas are cost-effective for larger groups and give you complete freedom to do as you please. You can cook in the comfort of your own home from home, or eat out if you prefer, while the kids can often enjoy their own private pool. 

Other great ideas for families

Whether you want to stay in the UK, head out on day trips, or do something that doesn't involve a plane journey, here are more options...

Attractions such as the London Dungeons and Edinburgh Castle can make UK city breaks just as much fun for children as adults. You can spend a holiday in these areas of visit on day trips.

For a more relaxing staycation, meanwhile, head to St Ives in Cornwall for sandy beaches and cute cottages, go to the Lake District for family walks and fun attractions or head to one of the UK's many holiday parks that offer activities for all the family.

Find the best holiday park and hotel deal in the UK for you.

Another excellent holiday idea for families is a cruise. With many departures leaving the UK from ports such as Southampton, Dover and Liverpool, you won't have the hassle of airports to deal with, and many ships now cater for families so well that you'll wish you had discovered a life on the ocean waves years ago. Many cruises are 'all-inclusive', except for drinks and excursions, helping to keep costs down as the kids can enjoy endless drinks, snacks and ice creams while being entertained with their own dedicated programme of fun as you sail from port to port.

Finally, why not head off on a self-drive holiday?  With ferries from the UK to Europe and Ireland, it's easy and cheap to pack those bags and head off to explore. You can set your own pace, stay in hotels, holiday or camp parks, and be totally free to create your own holiday. It's a great adventure for families and will give you fantastic memories without breaking the bank.