It's easy to see why the country of Spain is the second most popular tourist destination in Europe – with its warm sandy beaches and clear blue seas all easily within reach from the private holiday villas in Spain that are available for booking near the coast, this is the perfect location for a summer holiday, whether it's with the kids for a quiet, family getaway, or with a group of friends for a party island break in the Canaries. This is also a top location for winter vacations with tourists trying to escape the colder months, as the south of Spain, in particular the coast of Andalusia, is often a lot milder than the UK thanks to its Mediterranean climate, which is another reason why it's such a beloved holiday destination.
Don't Forget the Canary Islands!
Of course, it is also a lot warmer throughout the whole year in the Canary Islands, which are situated in the North Atlantic just off the west coast of Africa and south-east of the Portuguese Azores islands. Enjoy the sunshine during your Gran Canaria holidays, where the lowest average temperatures tend to be around 17oC in January and February thanks to the tropical climate. Here, you'll find plenty of activities to do with the children if you're renting holiday homes in Spain for a family getaway, such as mountainbiking in rocky Fuerteventura, Sioux City in Maspalomas, a park built in a recreation of an old fashioned town in the American Wild West which is always a hit with the kids, as well as attractions parks like Siam Parque in Tenerife, but keep in mind how busy these get during peak seasons. If you want to spend some time in the great outdoors on a more active holiday, hike along the Ruta de los Volcanes to see the volcanic landscape, or through the Caldera de Taburiente, a green national park with many trails, ravines and waterfalls, both on the paradisiacal isle of La Palma, or head to La Gomera for the stunning Garajonay National Park with its amazing gnarled, mossy forests and numerous springs and streams.
Gran Canaria is very popular amongst tourists, who tend to travel to the south of the Island where the weather is warmer. Although the airport on the island is on the east coast, there are transfers to locations such as the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Maspalomas. The Playa del Inglés, a large seaside resort here, is especially popular amongst the gay community, and has many gay-friendly attractions, for example the Yumbo Centre, which is home to many of the best gay venues on the island and there is also a gay beach.
Discover the Andalusian Way of Life in Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol is located in Andalusia on the southern coast of Spain, and in recent years has become increasingly popular amongst tourists worldwide. Some of the most sought-after destinations on the coastline here are places such as Marbella, which attracts many due to the colourful Marbella nightlife, for example at the up-market Funky Buddha and Nikki Beach which bring in many celebrities and renowned DJs, as well as many other famous clubs. Puerto Banus is Spain's answer to St Tropez, with its harbour full of luxurious yachts and boats and celebrities cruising in their Lamborghinis – this is where the party's at during the summer! But don't worry if you're coming with your children, there are also plenty of other activities to take part in here, such as parks and playgrounds, watersports, visits to the many water parks and walks. Also located on the lovely Costa del Sol is Málaga, which is suitable for family breaks as there are many fascinating attractions such as the several museums, the Zoo, Dolphinarium and even a crocodile park! A 50 minute drive from Malaga is the town of Nerja, where you can also book self catering Spain holiday villas and take the children to explore the famous Nerja Caves.
Costa Brava – the Coast of Catalonia
The Catalonian Costa Brava is in the north east of Spain, and mainly known for being home to the magnificent city of Barcelona, as well as seaside resorts like Lloret de Mar, whose main beach is one of the favourites on this rugged coastline. Barcelona, the second most populated of Spain's cities, is filled with sightseeing opportunities, and there's no way you'll have time to get bored during your Barcelona holidays! Go shopping on the famous street of La Rambla, climb the Hill of Montjuïc (or take the cable car!) and visit the Palau Nacional and Montjuïc fortress where you'll have a great panoramic view of the city and go to Parc Güell designed by Antoni Gaudí for some outdoors relaxation. Other masterpieces designed by Gaudí in the city include the Casa Batlló, Casa Milà and the Palau Güell, all of which are stunning pieces of architecture with quirky, colourful interiors and unique exteriors which shouldn't be missed, as well as of course the incredible Sagrada Familia Basilica. Once you've had a tiring few days of seeing all the amazing sights that are on offer here, take a trip to Barcelona beach where you can relax.
Not far away on the Costa Brava is the town of Lloret de Mar, which is a great spot for a family walking holiday, as the Lloret de Mar – Fenals coastal path offers beautiful views of the sea and is suitable for children. Book a Lloret de Mar self catering apartment or other rental property and enjoy some wonderful cliff walks.
Golf Holidays in Spain
Spain is home to some of the best golf courses in Europe. You'll find the ideal holiday villas in Spain for a golfing holiday whether you're after a luxury, refined break, or if you're looking for a bit of golfing fun followed by a night out on the town, which you could find if you were to travel to most of the golf courses along the south coast, for example Real Valderrama, Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, and Finca Cortesin in Andalusia, which are all less than an hour's drive away from Marbella and also close to Málaga. Other courses include the Campo de Golf El Saler near Valencia and PGA Catalunya close to Barcelona. If you've visited Spain before but you're a golfing fan, how about heading to the Algarve in Portugal, which also boasts some excellent golf courses, such as those in Vilamoura, Monte Rei and Penina.
Beaches of the Costa Blanca
The Spanish Mediterranean coastline of the Costa Blanca lies in the province of Alicante, where you'll find the city of the same name which is a great spot for a family holiday, especially if you like walking! Not as touristy and much more Spanish than the resort of Benidorm, Alicante can provide some nice, easy walking routes, for example up to the top of cliff where the Castillo Santa Barbara, an old fort, is perched, and from where you'll have excellent panoramic views. Other nice walks in the province include the nature trail in Albir, and the limestone mountains of Alicante where you'll be surrounded by unspoilt crags and deep ravines, gorges and almond groves, but not tourists! Despite their proximity to cities like Alicante and Benidorm, these mountains are fairly unspoilt and unknown by tourists, who tend to flock to the seaside resorts and forget about the beautiful scenery beyond. Of course, if you rent a holiday home near the beach you'll be able to enjoy strolls along the sand too. Levante beach is probably the most famous in Benidorm, and is very popular amongst British holidaymakers looking for cheap Spain holiday rentals and fun watersports. However, this means that the beach can get extremely busy and crowded. Less well-known beaches include the cove of Mal Pas Beach, as well as Ti Ximo and Almadraba which are both quite difficult to get to so aren't suitable if you're holidaying with young children. If you like the sound of the sunny weather and lovely beaches that Spain can offer, but you're not so keen on having to share your holidays with so many other tourists, it's also worth taking a look at the quiet Italian isles of Sicily and Sardinia.