Top 6 Family-Friendly Destinations in Europe
Now’s the time to start planning a European holiday that’s fun for the whole family!
“Adventure awaits!” If that’s your family’s motto, then spring break is the perfect time to visit Europe. What better way to make history come alive than visiting some of the most historical places in Western civilization?
Give the kids a crash course in world history this spring and check out these kid-friendly destinations. We’ve collected the top European spots for families to explore; where you’ll find plenty to see, do and eat in an unfussy environment that’s perfect for the young (and the young-at-heart!).
Dublin: When it comes to travelling with the family, you can’t go wrong with Ireland – home to some of the friendliest people in the world and a local culture that celebrates family life. It’s safe, welcoming and English-speaking (for the most part…notwithstanding the musical Irish accent), with excellent infrastructure. Add to that top-notch museums, including the Viking and medieval history museum Dublinia, and attractions like the world-renown library at Trinity College and you’ve got the makings of cherished vacation memories. Time it right to catch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in March, the country’s premier celebration of Irish culture and history.
Donegal: Ireland is small enough that you don’t have to limit yourself to the big city. Rent a car and explore parts further from the hustle and bustle of urban life. It’s where you’ll find the Wild Atlantic Way, the rugged northern coastline, and a region filled with castles, forests, lakes, mountains, and the Glenveagh National Park. Stop by a pub in any local village for a pint of Guinness while the kids devour fresh fish and chips – it’s only customary!
Rome: When in Rome, do as the Romans – and that means feel free to bring your family everywhere. Bambinis (children) are at the heart of Italian culture, and no matter how upscale the setting, you’ll find that Romans love kids and will go to great lengths to accommodate them. Need a high-chair or crayons? Most restaurants will have those on hand for younger patrons. Think historical sites like the Colosseum might not hold their interest? Think again. Many local tour companies offer specialized programs just for kids, with performers to engage children through storytelling and play.
Puglia: Head south to the heel of Italy’s boot for a taste of la dolce vita. Rolling farmlands with the freshest of produce ensure delicious meals and scenic drives. Olive groves and vineyards give way to clear blue coastlines. The “Maldives of Italy” (in Salento), is an ideal beach destination. Be sure to also make time for the many idyllic towns of the region, from Bari to Otranto. Good food and wine can be found in all, as well as a relaxing atmosphere that’s perfect for family getaways.
Athens: This ancient city has been popular with tourists for millennia. And with good reason, as home to the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and archeological museums that are the envy of the world. Avoid the summertime crowds by arriving in spring. Not only will lineups to major attractions be shorter, but the weather will be much more pleasant (summers can be brutally hot in the Greek capital). It’s the ideal destination for young and old alike, as Athenians love children and revere the elderly. So when it comes to family vacations here, the more the merrier – bring along the grandma and grandpa, or uncles and aunts, to help with the kids while you enjoy some rest and relaxation.
Crete: It’s the largest of the Greek islands and the most rustic. Mountains give way to beaches with crystal clear water at two of its most famous beaches, Elafonissi and Phalassarna, which consistently rank among the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Active families can go hiking in the mountains in the morning, and relax on the beach in the afternoon. Take a cooking class in Cretan cuisine to learn why residents here boast the longest life expectancy in the country – and among the longest in the world! The secret is the classic Cretan diet, which is sure to please even the pickiest of palates with its emphasis on fresh, local ingredients.
Get set for your spring break getaway! It’s as easy as contacting your CAA Travel Professional, for help choosing the perfect spring break destination and to arrange flights, hotel accommodations, travel insurance, and more. Visit your nearest CAA Travel store or call CAA Travel at 1-800-267-8713 and get your family en route to Europe!