October half term’s the perfect excuse to squeeze in some well-needed family time after all the back-to-school madness. We’ve found the best holiday hotspots for fun, sun and sights, so round up the troops and get that holiday countdown ticking!
The largest Balearic Island is still a balmy 24°C in October, so it gets a big thumbs up for sun-drenched family stays. Its golden beaches are quieter than summer too, so there’s oodles of space for sandcastle building and all-day chilling. Es Trenc’s Caribbean-like sands and crystal-clear waters should be top of your lounging list. There’s a nature reserve that backs onto the beach, perfect for wildlife wanderings once you tire of lolling on the shore.
If your clan love nothing more than exploring, then make a beeline for the capital, Palma. Crisp sunny days provide the perfect setting for shopping, dining and sightseeing your way around this charming city. And Palma Aquarium’s the perfect antidote if you get any rainy days during your stay.
Costa del Sol
This ever-popular Spanish Costa ticks all the boxes when it comes to fun-packed, family-friendly getaways. Why not whisk the kids away for some fun in the sun and treat yourself to a late summer break?
In October, balmy temperatures are still up in the high teens and creeping into the twenties, so lazy beach days are still very much on the cards. Welcoming resorts include Torremolinos and Benalmadena, and there’s a whole host of kid-friendly beaches, bars and restaurants to check out. Holidaying with a family of thrill-seekers? You could spend a day whizzing down the slides at Aqualand Torremolinos or checking out more than 300 reptiles at Crocodile Park.
Steeped in art and history, blessed with buzzing resorts and spoiled when it comes to beaches, Lanzarote’s long been a favourite for all-the-gang getaways. This volcanic wonder’s well known for its year-round sunshine, so it’s one of your best bets for a blue-sky break this October.
For older kids, there are few things cooler than the Timanfaya National Park. They’ll feel as though they’ve landed on another planet as they discover the mars-like landscape and delve deeper into the island’s volcanic past. For smaller tots, the soft sands of Playa Papagayo are a real treat. This shimmering showstopper is nestled in a nook on the southern coast, so there’s plenty of shelter from those Lanzarote winds. If you fancy exploring a little further afield, the dinky island of La Graciosa is just a 30-minute ferry ride away.
The Antalya Area’s a brilliant option for a half term hangout, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better-value beach break in the Mediterranean. Be sure to pack your bucket and spade as this region boasts a whopping 650km of standout sands. There’s something for every type of beach-goer, from perfect-for-paddling coves to Blue Flag beauties like Konyaalti Beach.
For families that can’t sit still, there are plenty of adventures to be found. The Duden Waterfalls are a great place to start. This natural wonder splits into two but the upper falls are more accessible, handily located in the centre of the city. Discover hidden caves then tuck into a picnic amongst the lush green surrounds of the national park. There’s plenty to keep kids entertained on the water too. The marinas are chock-full of wooden gulets (traditional Turkish sailing boats) which are geared up for seafaring escapades.
With more than 200km of sun-speckled coastline to choose from, it’s no wonder the Costa Blanca is a winning destination for beach-loving families. And when the temperatures are still in the mid-twenties and above, you’d be silly to miss out on a day of sandcastle making and sunbathing.
Benidorm’s much-loved theme park, Terra Mitica, provides thrills and spills for all ages with its hair-raising rides and live shows. Within the varied region, you’ll also find a circus, handful of waterparks and lush green spaces primed for adventures. It’s a great choice for those with kids of any age!
This stunning stretch of Spanish coast comes up trumps for active days out in a picturesque setting. The name Costa Brava translates as ‘Wild Coast’, so you can expect dramatic mountain scenery and untouched natural beauty. Walking, cycling and water sports are all really popular here which will help your little ones let off some steam in the sunshine.
Good times are go on Lloret De Mar’s trio of terrific beaches and there are plenty of al fresco paella restaurants ready to seat you in Tossa de Mar. Get ready for a good, old-fashioned seaside break.
Families in need of a tranquil retreat will find that and more in magical Menorca. All those blissful bays to choose from and so many restaurants for al fresco dinners, what’s not to love? It’s not just for those looking for a go-slow getaway though, it’s also an ideal pick for sporty tribes! The island’s best explored on two wheels, and you’ll find everything from winding coastal roads to hilltop trails. Pick one that best suits your family’s pedal power then get ready for some fresh air fun!
Are your little ones big on all thing’s nature? Then a trip to Lloc de Menorca Zoo should be top of the agenda. Here your own cheeky monkeys can come face to face with lemurs, porcupines, kangaroos and so much more. S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park is another must-see. This UNESCO-listed nature reserve is criss-crossed with walking trails that immerse you in the island’s wildlife.
With its all-ages attractions, sun-kissed sands and history-heaped sights, the Costa Dorada’s storybook stuff for families. And come October you’ll get all this island bliss without the crowds and purse-pinching price tag! Salou’s the resort of choice for trips with the whole tribe. Hop between soft-sand beaches, then get ready for lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ as the three fountains put on a dazzling aquatic display. Away from the coastal resorts, kids will have a blast exploring cities like Tarragona, where Roman ruins and tucked-away treasures are all on the menu.
PortAventura World’s the jewel in the Costa Dorada’s family crown and has everything you could possibly want from an adrenalin-packed day out. You’re bound to find something to thrill the whole family as there’s a huge selection of epic rides to choose from, including the rip-roaring rollercoaster, Shambhala, which whizzes by at speeds of up to 83mph! Or why not step into a water wonderland at Aquopolis Water Park? Race each other on the rapids, relax in the chill-out zone or watch fascinating animal shows.
Portugal boasts year-round sunshine, so in October, it’s the ideal destination for a family getaway. We’re talking temperatures up in the low to mid-twenties – perfect! You can take your pick between the Algarve and Madeira and enjoy mainland or island delights.
Treat the kids to a fancy afternoon tea at Belmond Reid’s Palace in Funchal, brave the Kamikaze at Slide & Splash waterpark in the Algarve or hunt down souvenirs and trinkets at one of the many local markets.
Posted: 9th Sep 2022.