Specific to Spain and very reasonably priced for the quality, paradors are state-run hotels often set in restored historic buildings such as palaces, monasteries or Arab fortresses. Most have restaurants serving traditional Spanish food, including kids’ favourites; some have children’s play areas. We love the Parador de Jarandilla de la Vera in the Extremaduran countryside west of Madrid. A medieval castle once home to Emperor Charles V, it has a pool, a garden of orange and olive trees, and a restaurant serving the likes of suckling pig and repápalos (deep-fried breadcrumb balls with milk and cinnamon).
Self-catering villas have long been popular for family holidays in mainland Spain and on its islands, while apartments can be a similarly flexible choice in resorts or large cities. Otherwise, there’s plenty of choice of child-friendly hotels, holiday villages and campsites in Spain, some with kids’ clubs. Spain is also a good country for motorhoming, or there are a variety of family activity and adventure holidays – see the Best Organised Trips tab.
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