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Snorkelling at Playa de las Canteras, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Four family destinations by the sea where it's easy to enjoy the beach with children

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Going to the beach with small children is fun, but the most important thing is for it to be convenient. For there to be showers for cleaning off sand, toilets, access walkways, promenades, play areas, sports areas, a lifeguard service, etc. These are essential basics on many beaches in Spain. Among the different options Spain offers, this time we suggest visiting four destinations that are especially family-friendly: Alcossebre and Peñíscola (in the Region of Valencia), Mojácar (in Andalusia) and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (in the Canary Islands). They also offer many other things apart from the beach to enjoy with your family.

Peñíscola, for small pirates, adventurers or future kings of the seven kingdoms

In Peñíscola you can explore a beautiful village through a tour of its main heritage buildings, which can be transformed into a search for pirates or a knight’s adventure. During the summer months, guided tours are organised with these themes (in Spanish) and you can download them from their tourism website to do them on your own during the rest of the year. Also, you may recognise places on the walk because many scenes from the famous series “Game of Thrones” were shot here.

Views of Peñíscola

When it comes to enjoying the sea, the North and South beaches can be found next to the old town and have views of the Templar castle of Peñíscola. In addition, they are fully equipped, have a play area and offer the option of water skates or quick excursions in canoe or sailboat.Peñíscola is very close to the Sierra de Irta Natural Park, perfect for a getaway in nature. In fact, the park has several easy walking trails.Where is Peñíscola?: in Castellón, in the north of the Region of Valencia. The Benicarló-Peñíscola railway station is seven kilometres away and has connections to numerous destinations in Spain. The closest international airports are Reus, 130 kilometres away, and Valencia, 150 kilometres away.

Beach in Peñíscola

Things to do with your family in Alcossebre

In Alcossebre you can spend a perfect day on the beach and in the Mediterranean Sea. It has around 10 kilometres of coastline and wide, fully equipped beaches of fine white sand, such as Carregador, Romana or Las Fuentes. You can enjoy nautical activities such as kayak tours.If you’re there for a few days, a good option is to arrange a boat trip to visit the Columbretes Islands (regular routes usually run between April and September). You can also opt for an outing to the countryside following the easiest paths of the Sierra de Irta. It is also the perfect place for bicycle rides.

Playa de Alcossebre

Lastly, there is also a cultural visit that children usually like: Xivert Castle. Dramatised tours (in Spanish) are sometimes available, and on Sundays there is usually a guided tour about the Templars in the municipality (also in Spanish)Where is Alcossebre?: in Castellón, in the north of the Region of Valencia, around 40 kilometres from Peñíscola. Its railway station has connections to numerous destinations in Spain. The closest international airports are Valencia, 125 kilometres away, and Reus, 150 kilometres away.

Castle of Alcalá de Xivert

Mojácar, a family destination in Andalusia

This is a small whitewashed village in the mountains, with two distinct areas: Mojacar village, inland, and its coastline area, about 20 kilometres of coast with numerous family-friendly beaches. The most spacious and well-equipped beaches are Marina de la Torre, Descargador, Cantal, Cueva del Lobo, Ventanicas and Venta del Bancal. Among the many possibilities that they offer, you can enjoy children's areas and sports areas, the option of taking out a pedal boat or a short cruise on a catamaran along the coast.Besides enjoying the sea, we also highly recommend walking through Mojácar village. Many of its narrow streets are pedestrianised and you could enjoy a stroll to see the architecture of white houses typical of the Andalusian mountains, which make Mojacar so beautiful. A word of advice: go to the viewpoints of the Castle and the Plaza Nueva for splendid panoramic views of the sea and the mountains.

Panoramic view of Mojácar

While walking, you will notice a certain image keeps appearing on façades and in gift shops: the “mojaquero” or “índalo” doll. In the old days, it used to be placed at the entrance of homes as a protector. Today, people believe that it brings good luck.Among all the popular festivals that take place in Mojácar, there are two which children really love. One is the Fiesta de la Vieja (held on a Thursday in March or April), which consists of spending a picnic day in the countryside and making a piñata that the children break to get sweets. The other is Noche de las Velas (held in late July or early August). On this night, at sunset, the city is lit only by candlelight.Where is Mojácar?: on the Mediterranean coast of Andalusia, in Almería. The nearest railway station and airport with international connections are located in the city of Almería, around 80 kilometres away. It is also easy to get there by bus from many destinations.

Typical street in Mojácar

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where your children will want to return

There are many reasons why children fall in love with this city. For example, its urban beach, Las Canteras, turns into a huge natural swimming pool with calm waters during low tide. When snorkelling on this beach, you will see fish practically at the shore, and its calm waters are perfect for sailing or surfing beginners. Nearby is the Poema del Mar aquarium, one of the most spectacular in Europe. In the same area you can visit the Elder Museum of Science and Technology, where your children can be surprised by everything they learn while playing. In addition, you will find large parks in the heart of the city such as Santa Catalina, San Telmo or Doramas Park. In short, the city is great for children because they will have a great time.The promenade on Las Canteras beach is very pleasant and has a wide range of restaurants spaced out along its three kilometres. Next to the shopping area of Mesa y López is another urban beach, Las Alcaravaneras, which also has very calm waters. Calle Mayor de Triana is the other large shopping area, which is mostly pedestrianised. It is part of the old town next to the nearby district of Vegueta, where we recommend going out for a walk. 

Las Canteras beach

If you stay several days, you will have time to plan numerous excursions. For example, you could learn about the rich diversity of flora on the Canary Islands at the Jardín Botánico Viera y Clavijo (about 10 kilometres from the city). If you would like to visit more beaches, you will find the impressive Maspalomas in the south of the island, an extensive beach of large dunes by the sea where you can also ride camels. The area also has organised boat trips to spot cetaceans, and there are theme parks such as Palmitos Park, Angry Birds Park, Holiday World, Sioux City Park, Crocodile Park, Aqualand, etc. Inland you’ll get the chance to have an original experience: you’ll be able to walk on a sea of clouds, i.e. see the clouds at your feet. This phenomenon is common in visits to the mountains, for example in the area of Tejeda.Where is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria?: it is the capital of the island of Gran Canaria, one of the seven Canary Islands. Its airport, located around 25 kilometres away, has direct connections to a multitude of international destinations. Numerous cruises stop off at the city’s port.

Mas Palomas Nature Reserve

These destinations are accredited with the Family Tourism seal of the Spanish Large Family Federation.