[copyright]The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, Tenerife; escape to the continent for some winter sun.[/copyright]
[copyright]The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, Tenerife; escape to the continent for some winter sun.[/copyright]

Winter Sun Family Holidays in Europe

European isn’t an obvious choice for a winter sun holiday, but the weather in the Mediterranean is mild and pleasant during the winter months. It may not be roasting hot, you’re unlikely to get a tan, and there will probably be rain at some point, but it will certainly be preferable to the UK weather. And for those travelling with babies or very young children who find the summer heat hard to tolerate, it can be the perfect time of year. For gentle sun, consider Tenerife and the other Canary IslandsMaltaCyprus, the AlgarveMadeira and the Azores.

Other benefits include the lack of crowds and lower accommodation prices. Do bear in mind, however, that if you’re travelling with kids, most family attractions will be closed for the season, so you will need to research things to do. It’s also a good idea to find a hotel or resort with an indoor pool – outdoor pools will usually be either closed or too chilly to enjoy (unless you bring light wetsuits). We’ve hand-picked our favourites in the region, but not all of them are necessarily open for the whole of the winter season. 
• James Villas: Family rentals in the Med.
• First Choice: Popular all-inclusive resorts in the Med.
• Club Med: All-inclusives with activities and childcare. 
• TUI: Popular family package holidays, often with free child places.


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Winter Sun places to stay in Europe

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Editor's favourite
Kids club

Adrian Hoteles Roca Nivaria GH

All-inclusive or half-board, luxury beachfront hotel with free childcare from 4-months-12 years, bike hire service and top class spa in south-west Tenerife.

Mirador de Lobos

Private holiday villas on a golf course just a short drive from the beach on Fuerteventura.

Villa Olympians Beach

Walking distance to a Blue Flag beach, this modern villa in north-west Cyprus sleeps a family of 6 and has a private garden with pool.

Aphrodite Hills Holiday Residences

Luxury apartments and villas sleeping up to 10, on a huge complex with childcare, sporting academies, spa and golf course.

GF Victoria

An upmarket aparthotel including a zen garden where kids can learn yoga and Pilates, plus two spas.

Hard Rock Hotel

Stylish music-themed hotel in the south of the island, with music lessons, a freshwater lagoon, and kids' clubs for all ages.

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Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort

An upmarket family-friendly hotel on the Algarve, with a kids' club, open-air cinema and spa.

P&O Cruises: Oceana

Europe, Caribbean
Explore the Med or the Caribbean on fly-cruise holidays aboard this family-friendly cruise liner.

P&O Cruises: Aurora

North America, Europe, Caribbean
A ideal family cruise ship, with childcare from ages 6 months to teens, family pools, sporting activities and evening entertainment.

Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos

Stylish all-inclusive family resort in Paphos, with childcare options and day/evening activities.

Self-catering holiday home, Alpbach

Experience the Austrian Alps in summer or winter from this traditional wooden chalet with Alpine views.

TUI Magic Life Fuerteventura

With a vast choice of activities, facilities and places to eat, drink and relax, this is a top all-inclusive option on Fuerteventura.

Algarve Family Villas with Oliver's Travels

A collection of luxury family holiday villas on the Algarve, with options to suit all family requirements.

Martinhal Quinta Family Resort

A new luxury resort in the Rio Formosa Nature Park, with villas with private pools plus a kids' club.

P&O Cruises: Ventura

Europe, Caribbean
A large cruise liner with so much to offer families, especially those with young children; including childcare day and night and lots of play areas.

P&O Cruises: Azura

Europe, Caribbean
A purpose-designed family cruise-liner with childcare, family cabins, activities for kids and adults, visiting the Med, Scandinavia + the Caribbean.

P&O Cruises: Britannia

Caribbean, Europe
Luxury family cruise-liner exploring Europe and the Caribbean, with fabulous on-board kids' clubs, plus activities and facilities for all the family.

H10 Suites Lanzarote Gardens

A modern family resort on the coast on Lanzarote with childcare from 6-months - 17 years and daily access to a nearby waterpark.

Four Seasons Country Club

Ideal for active families, this 4-star self-catering resort is perfect for golf and tennis lovers, no matter what age.

GF Isabel & Siam Park Waterpark

Offering self-catering and all-inclusive options, this family hotel on Tenerife is close to the beach and offers unlimited access to a waterpark.