7 amazing family holiday rentals your kids will never want to leave
Whether you have tots or teens or something in between, our kid-cool holiday homes in locations around Europe will make their eyes light up. From state-of-the-art games rooms to seriously cool pools and lots of outdoor sports facilities, the following family holiday rentals all have amenities that junior guests will love—plus something rather special for parents too.
Family fun in Foz do Arelho, Portugal
On the unspoilt Silver Coast 80 km north of Lisbon, this family retreat sleeping 12 pleases parents with its sleek contemporary design while wowing kids with its heated infinity pool—glass-fenced for safety. From the comfort of the sun terrace or a poolside lounger, you can keep an eye on little ones in the colourful playground with its lagoon and ocean views, and there’s also mini-golf and a games room. Meanwhile, indoor and outdoor gyms, a hot tub, and a sauna will help you stay fit and relaxed, and bodyboards and a canoe are at hand for the energetic. Free bikes put you in easy reach of a watersports school, quaint fishing villages, gleaming golden beaches, and golf courses.
Making magical memories in Malta
A vast games room with a full-size snooker table, pool table, air hockey, pinball machine, ping pong, and table football will bring out everyone’s competitive side in this opulent six-person villa. But don’t miss out on all the open-air fun, including a pool with a shallow area for kids, a play area, a mini-golf course, and bikes to borrow. Parents will want to make a beeline for the sunroom with its hot tub or the Finnish sauna in the grounds. Despite the quiet residential location, you’re a mere five-minute drive from a beach and waterpark, and 10 minutes from the island capital, Valletta.
Scenic in Salzburg, Austria
Wonderful for younger children, this picture-perfect apartment for four in a traditional chalet on an organic farm lets them go semi-feral amidst lush meadows and Alpine peaks. As well as petting and feeding the resident animals, kids get the use of play equipment, including a trampoline, sand-pit, toy tractor, table tennis, and balancing pole. Nearby there’s hiking, lake-swimming, and mountain-biking aplenty, but if that’s all too much for you, flop into a hammock between the fruit trees and enjoy the sight of the kids running free; this bucolic farm is just an hour south of the child-friendly city of Salzburg. Don’t miss the congenial owners’ sociable barbecues or campfire feasts of local sausages and toasted marshmallows.
Laidback living in the Luberon, France
The very place for discerning teens, this luminous 10-person Provençal farmhouse has a stylish games room with table football and a pool table, as well as a super-cosy TV room in which to take refuge from the adults. But you won’t need to badger them to go out—in the extensive garden lies a pool, a hot tub, and a pétanque court, and there are bikes to borrow. Parents go a bundle for the chic decor—all cool whites and neutrals bringing together classic and modern elements—as well as the sauna. Gorgeous river-valley views to make it hard to compute that you’re just 30 minutes from Marseille Provence Airport or the Avignon TGV railway station.
Country house comfort in Croatia
In enclosed lavender-scented grounds surrounding a sparkling swimming pool and alfresco badminton court, this traditional holiday home at Svetvinčenat in the heart of olive oil and wine country is just 14 km from the nearest beach and 25 km from Pula Airport. Kids of different ages are catered for—younger guests adore the wooden playhouse and play equipment amidst the trees, plus the bright indoor playroom, but there’s also a football field, table tennis, and bikes for exploring the local forests. Five simple rooms with gleaming parquet floors sleep up to nine people.
Medieval meets modern in Liguria, Italy
This 17th-century stone house belies its charming setting in a tiny medieval village-—its high-spec games room and lounge feature a full-size American pool table, electronic darts, and an arcade machine with around 100 iconic games. Plus for the biggest kids, their own beer and wine fridge! And let’s not forget the main lounge with its home cinema system, or the HDTVs in all four sleek bedrooms sleeping a total of nine. Outside, it’s equally impressive: There’s an infinity pool with views over olive groves down to the sea, a gated playground, and both poolside and rooftop terraces. You’re a 10-minute drive from the beach at Toledo, or tackle the wonderful coastal cycle path.
Child-friendly chic in Cyprus
Created by parents mindful of making life easier for other young families, this contemporary four-person villa comes with everything you might require if travelling with babies or toddlers. This includes a fenced, well-shaded outdoor play area; toys and flotation devices for the outdoor pool; and practicalities such as cots, high chairs, stair-gates, sterilisers, and full air-conditioning. For all that, there’s a hip, grown-up feel to it all—not least on the roof terrace with its vineyard views, ideal for sundowners when the little ones are tucked up for the night (there’s even a socket for plugging in a baby monitor!). Everything you need—Fig Tree Bay beach and Protaras with its restaurants and supermarkets—is an easy stroll away, and the owners have babysitting contacts.