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In partnership with Spain Tourism Board

The Best Family-friendly Vacation Destinations in Spain

From sun-drenched beaches to volcanic parks.

By Irenie Forshaw

When it comes to family vacations, Spain has it all. From sun-drenched beaches to volcanic parks, it’s the type of place you can visit countless times – and still find somewhere new to explore. To help plan your next trip, we’ve compiled a list of the very best family vacation destinations in Spain.

Whether you’re traveling with little ones or teens, our carefully curated list is ideal for families who love exploring the great outdoors and connecting with nature. Each entry is packed with ideas to keep the entire clan entertained from rock climbing and hiking to windsurfing and whale watching.

Our list features off-the-beaten-track locations that are quieter than the bustling resort towns and popular tourist spots. These idyllic destinations are perfect for reconnecting with family and embarking on an adventure to create memories to last a lifetime.

[See also: The Best Traditional Festivals in Spain]

Costa de la Luz

costa de la luz
The coast is peppered with whitewashed villages / ©Shutterstock

Kicking off our list of the best family vacation destinations in Spain is Costa de la Luz – a picture-perfect stretch of the Andalusian coast that extends from the Province of Cadiz and the Province of Huelva all the way to the mouth of the Guadiana River.

With its lush pine forests, unspoiled beaches and hidden coves, it’s a wonderful spot for avoiding the crowds. The coast is peppered with whitewashed villages threaded with narrow cobblestone streets and pretty churches.

Situated on the southernmost tip of Spain’s Iberian Peninsula, Tarifa is a must-visit. Famed for being one of the country’s best windsurfing destinations thanks to its blustery location on the Strait of Gibraltar, it’s ideal for those who love water sports. Among the windiest spots is Playa de Valdevaqueros – a golden sandy beach popular with kite surfers. There are several windsurfing schools with special courses available for kids.

Tarifa is also a great spot for whale watching; starting in spring, pods of killer whales begin arriving at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea to hunt bluefin tuna. Consider booking one of Firmm’s excursions with a marine biologist for the chance to spot bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales and sperm whales.  

Las Médulas

las medulas
The striking red cliffs are especially beautiful at golden hour / ©Shutterstock

Next, we head to Las Médulas – a historic gold mining site located between Leon and Ponferrada in the region of El Bierzo, Leon. Be sure to visit at sunset: the striking red cliffs lined with wildflowers and chestnut trees are especially beautiful at golden hour.

Once the largest open-pit goldmine of the Roman Empire, today Las Médulas is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The breathtaking landscape is the result of ruina montium (wrecking of the mountains), an ancient Roman mining technique that used water pressure to crumble down the soil revealing the gold hidden below.

Ideal for adventurous families, there is so much to do here from exploring the natural caves to hiking and horse riding through the area’s trails. It’s also well worth driving to the nearby city of Ponferrada to visit the Templar Castle – a sprawling fortress constructed by Ferdinand II in 178 AD to protect pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago.


The charming town of Valderrobres is the perfect family vacation destination / ©Shutterstock

Our list of the best family vacation destinations in Spain would not be complete without mentioning Matarraña. Situated in a remote corner of Aragon bordering Valencia and Catalonia, it’s the perfect spot for those seeking an off-the-beaten-track location away from the tourists.

Often compared with Tuscany due to its charming medieval villages and impeccably manicured vineyards, it’s a tranquil spot ideal for a laid-back family holiday. Spend a few days discovering the towns of Valderrobres, Calaceite and Cretas before venturing out by bike or horseback to explore the Puertos de Beceite National Park.

Around a ten-minute drive from Valderrobres, you’ll find the Observatorio de Aves Mas de Bunyol. In this vulture observatory, visitors can watch Jose Ramon and his wife feeding their birds each day. Matarraña is also home to an array of secluded ponds including an idyllic natural pool just outside the Beceite village.

As for dining, foodies are in for a real treat. The Matarraña region is known for its exceptionally good olive oil, cured ham and peaches, and there are plenty of traditional eateries to visit, dotted throughout the hilltop villages.


Garrotxa family vacation destination spain
Garrotxa is famed for its stunning volcanic landscapes / ©Shutterstock

If you really want to immerse yourself in nature, Garrotxa is a safe bet. Set among the foothills of the Pyrenees in northern Spain, this ruggedly beautiful region of Catalonia is famed for its stunning volcanic landscapes.

The entire family will love exploring La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park – the best-preserved volcanic region on the Iberian Peninsula that features 40 volcanic cones. You’ll be relieved to hear none of them are active any longer with the last eruption, Volca de Croscat, occurring around 11,000 years ago.

Keep an eye out for the incredible wildlife; the park is home to an array of creatures including wild boar, foxes, short-toed eagles, woodpeckers, marsh tits and peregrine falcons. For sweeping views of the landscape, consider climbing the slopes of Montsacopa volcano (be warned it is rather steep so this is best for teens and more experienced hikers).


mount teide family vacation destination spain
Mount Teide is the highest peak in Spain and the third tallest volcano in the world / ©Shutterstock

Last but by no means least on our list is Tenerife. The largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, it’s one of the best places in the country for soaking up nature with the family. At the center of the island is Mount Teide – a striking volcano that at 12,100 ft is the highest peak in Spain, and the third tallest volcano in the world.

Explore the Teide National Park by bike or foot, looking out for the island’s unique lizards and geckos. Be sure to bring your binoculars too; bird lovers can spot kestrels, grey herons and the endemic blue chaffinch.

Elsewhere, you’re spoilt for choice with family-friendly activities. Consider spending an afternoon at the island’s gorgeous botanical gardens or drop by the monkey park for the chance to see ring-tailed lemurs, Cuban crocodiles and giant tortoises.

[See also: The Best Eco-Friendly Hotels in Spain]

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