Aging Expectations

Family Friendly Spain

Spain is an amazing place to visit. Even with the kids!

I’m happy to bring you a feature post from Katie. She is the food and travel addicted blogger behind delightso.me. She has put together a few highlights from her many family trips to Spain, guaranteed to appeal to all ages.

So, enough chatter…here are the highlights!

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There’s just something about the Spanish way of life which is instantly calming – the sunshine, the siestas, the relaxed pace of life all add up to make Spain one of the world’s most family friendly destinations.

But, despite the Spanish philosophy of not doing anything today that can be put off until mañana (tomorrow), it’s also a vibrant, vivacious country with no end of attractions to keep the whole family entertained.

With such a wealth of family attractions in this vast and varied country, and plenty of package deals to choose from you’re sure to find attractions and entertainment which suit your family, whichever region of Spain you decide to visit.

Spain

 

1. Valencia’s animal attractions

Small enough to find your way around, but big enough to contain a wealth of dynamic cultural attractions, Valencia makes an ideal family city-break, or a stop off as part of a long trip. We visited both Valencia’s zoo – the Bioparc, and the aquarium, the L’Oceanographic, thinking they would appeal only to our children, but finding we enjoyed them just as much ourselves.

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Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/andruby/4537902553/

Staying as faithful as possible to African habitats, the Bioparc uses natural barriers to get visitors up close and personal with the animals. We pass within touching distance of cute Madagascan lemurs before eating our lunch in full view of roaming giraffes in a café which feels like a safari lodge. And, the aquarium, on the other side of the city, is no less impressive, with millions of gallons of water housing 500 species of marine life, including the star attractions, the sharks.

 

2. People watching in Marbella

While renowned as the playground of the international jet-set, Marbella, in Spain’s ever-popular Costa del Sol, is not just for partygoers. Marbella’s seafront, the Paseo de Maritimo runs along behind the beach, offering visitors a vast choice of cafés, restaurants and shops.

And, as no cars are allowed in this scenic part of town, it’s not only popular with joggers and dog walkers, but is very safe for little ones. Marbella is also famous for its beautiful green spaces and one of our favourites is La Alameda where you can take a picnic in the tropical gardens.

At Marbella’s most exclusive spot, Puerto Banus, you’ll spot super yachts and catamarans aplenty as the rich and famous moor up to flash the cash in the many designer boutiques or dine in one of the famous fish restaurants. Take a stroll around the marina, enjoy some people watching, and you might even spot a celeb or two.

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Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7587876@N02/542421381/

3. Horse-riding in the Andalusian hills

While the Costa del Sol may be famous for its beautiful beaches, its countryside is no less breathtaking. We discovered one of the best ways to take in the vistas of orange groves and farmland was on horseback, visiting a trekking centre near the whitewashed hilltop town of Comares. With horses for both the experienced rider, and the novice, we passed not a soul except for shepherds grazing their goats. The ultimate getaway-from-it-all experience.

 

4. Barcelona bus tour

Compact in size, but big on culture, Barcelona is an incredibly family friendly little city. Take the hop-on hop-off tourist bus for the hassle-free way to see the sights. Our children delight at sitting on the open-top top deck as we pass by the Barri Gothic quarter with its fairytale architecture and Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia cathedral.

As day turns to early evening, we stop for a bite to eat at Amaya at the start of Las Ramblas dipping rustic Catalan bread into chunky fish soup brimming with white fish and shellfish.

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Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bispham2/9167058130/

5. Seville’s Isla Magicá

One for us big kids too, Seville’s Isla Magicá is a must visit if you’re travelling with children. A vast park with eight themed areas, there are death-defying rides like the El Jaguar hanging roller coaster, but also plenty of attractions which cater for younger children, including our favourite, the Magic Carousel, an old-fashioned affair where you ride painted horses.

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Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/turismosevilla/4771731520/

 

Thanks, Katie!

We adored Barcelona when we visited Spain and the bus tour was our favorite!

If you’re exploring Europe, be sure to check out these posts too…

10 European Family Trips

48 Hours in Barcelona

The Best of London

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