January. Grey, cold, dark, miserable January. I can’t for the life of me think why it makes me think about holidays! All those ads on TV don’t help either. We haven’t actually been abroad for five and a half years, when I was pregnant with Small and Big was still little. It was his first (and only) holiday on a plane and we went to Menorca with my parents. And now, this time of year has me dreaming of Spanish shores and googling ‘houses for rent in Spain‘ in the hope that we can go back there once more, even though it’s more likely we’ll be camping in Cornwall again, unless we win the lotto. I thought I’d do a bit of reminiscing and tell you all about my favourite Spanish holidays!
What I love about Spain
Spain has something for everyone. If you want hen do party nights and (dare I say it?) a bit of tacky, you could head to the likes of Benidorm. If you’re into clubbing and staying up till morning, there’s Ibiza and Mallorca. You can find culture and architecture in Barcelona and Madrid, and the island of Menorca is a wonderful destination for family getaways. Of course, there is much, much more to Spain than the better-known destinations and I’d love to spend time exploring more of the country one day.
Aside from holiday destinations, Spain has amazing food! I absolutely loved wandering up and down Las Ramblas in Barcelona, dipping in and out of tapas bars, or sitting by the sea eating a delicious seafood paella.
Spain is such a beautiful country with so much to see and do! Obviously, it has miles and miles of beautiful coastline, beautiful, soft sandy beaches, and great nightlife, as well as different cultural regions and historic cities. Most people probably think of Spain as hot sun and dry sand, but it has a surprising range of geographical features including green meadows, snowy mountains and desserts. It’s also a great place to visit out of season, when attractions are less busy and you can really take the time to explore. We went to Barcelona in February, and it was surprisingly warm too!
My Spanish holidays
So far, I’ve visited Barcelona for a short break, Mallorca as a couple and with a friend, and Menorca twice with my husband and parents – once child-free, and once with a three-year-old. Each of these was very different from the rest, and I’m not sure I can choose a favourite.
Barcelona was just beautiful. We were only there for a couple of days and I would love to go back to see more. I was wowed by the architecture; Gaudi’s presence is everywhere and it’s amazing! We took an open-top bus tour around the city, which gave us a great insight on what Barcelona has to offer; we saw the bullring, the 1992 Olympic Stadium, the Nou Camp, the Sagrada Familia and lots and lots of Gaudi! Our (basic) hotel was situated right in the heart of the hustle and bustle on Las Ramblas; we wandered up and down in awe of the street performers, markets, tapas bars and shops. It felt lively and vibrant and exciting! We also strolled down to the beach and harbour area and I loved that just a few minutes’ walk away from the busy Las Ramblas was a more relaxed feeling part of the city.
Mallorca was nice enough, but the holidays themselves I’d prefer to forget, for various reasons! The island, however, has plenty to offer and I’d like to go back one day, perhaps to the quieter parts more suited to families.
Menorca, however, I love. It’s definitely my kind of holiday! The island itself is pretty and so relaxed; it’s perfect for young families or non-party people like me! It has plenty to do, including castles and fortresses, lighthouses, quaint towns and harbours such as Fornells and the capital, Mahon.
Both times I’ve been, we’ve stayed in a villa. I much prefer this kind of holiday to an apartment package holiday. It can cost more, although, if you’re able to go with a fair-sized group, the cost per person can be very reasonable. Hiring a villa means you have your own space, and, more importantly (for me) your own pool! I love that I don’t have to fight over sunbeds at silly o’clock in the morning, or worry about what my mum bod looks like in a swimming cozzie, as there’s no-one else there to see it! Renting a house can be the perfect solution if you have young children; apartment holidays can be claustrophobic and noisy, but having a villa means you can spread out and make it your home from home.
Menorca has some beautiful beaches, which are very child-friendly. Gorgeous soft, pale sand and gentle waves mean it’s perfect for little ones who want to build sandcastles and splash in the sea, and they don’t get overcrowded, which is a bonus! Resorts are family-friendly and restaurants are incredibly welcoming if you have young children; don’t worry if your kids are picky eaters – there will usually be something on the menu (or not!) that will suit.
We absolutely loved our Spanish holidays and even writing this has made me long for a return visit! I think I might print out some photos and make a collage to brighten up my January days – and get saving so we can take Small on her first aeroplane holiday as I know she’d absolutely love it!
How about you? Where are your favourite family holiday destinations? Have you tried other parts of Spain? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.