[copyright]The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, Tenerife; escape to the continent for some winter sun.[/copyright]
[copyright]The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, Tenerife; escape to the continent for some winter sun.[/copyright]

Winter Sun Family Holidays in Europe

European isn’t an obvious choice for a winter sun holiday, but the weather in the Mediterranean is mild and pleasant during the winter months. It may not be roasting hot, you’re unlikely to get a tan, and there will probably be rain at some point, but it will certainly be preferable to the UK weather. And for those travelling with babies or very young children who find the summer heat hard to tolerate, it can be the perfect time of year. For gentle sun, consider Tenerife and the other Canary IslandsMaltaCyprus, the AlgarveMadeira and the Azores.

Other benefits include the lack of crowds and lower accommodation prices. Do bear in mind, however, that if you’re travelling with kids, most family attractions will be closed for the season, so you will need to research things to do. It’s also a good idea to find a hotel or resort with an indoor pool – outdoor pools will usually be either closed or too chilly to enjoy (unless you bring light wetsuits). We’ve hand-picked our favourites in the region, but not all of them are necessarily open for the whole of the winter season. 
• James Villas: Family rentals in the Med.
• First Choice: Popular all-inclusive resorts in the Med.
• Club Med: All-inclusives with activities and childcare. 
• TUI: Popular family package holidays, often with free child places.


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Winter Sun places to stay in Europe

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Editor's favourite
Kids club

Oscar's Resort

North Cyprus
This resort in Northern Cyprus has plenty to offer all of the family from a relaxing spa for the parents and water slides for the kids.

Aphrodite Hills Holiday Residences

Luxury apartments and villas sleeping up to 10, on a huge complex with childcare, sporting academies, spa and golf course.


Chic but child-friendly hotel in Cyprus with a private beach, watersports and its own yacht.

Villa Olympians Beach

Walking distance to a Blue Flag beach, this modern villa in north-west Cyprus sleeps a family of 6 and has a private garden with pool.


A sleek contemporary beach resort with a Baby Goes Lightly service, private beach, open-air cinema and spa.

Hotel Elysium

Full-service grand family resort in an outstanding beachfront location in Cyprus with spa and kids club.

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Columbia Beach Resort

Pissouri Bay
An exclusive all-suite resort in a quiet beach spot in Cyprus, with endless organised activities and sports for all the family.

P&O Cruises: Britannia

Caribbean, Europe
Luxury family cruise-liner exploring Europe and the Caribbean, with fabulous on-board kids' clubs, plus activities and facilities for all the family.

P&O Cruises: Azura

Europe, Caribbean
A purpose-designed family cruise-liner with childcare, family cabins, activities for kids and adults, visiting the Med, Scandinavia + the Caribbean.

Holiday Village Aliathon

A highly rated all-inclusive resort including swim-up rooms, a spa, a high-ropes course and a football academy.

P&O Cruises: Ventura

Europe, Caribbean
A large cruise liner with so much to offer families, especially those with young children; including childcare day and night and lots of play areas.

Holiday Village Rhodes

An upmarket all-inclusive resort with swim, stage and football academies, plus a teen chill-out zone and a spa.

Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos

Stylish all-inclusive family resort in Paphos, with childcare options and day/evening activities.

P&O Cruises: Aurora

North America, Europe, Caribbean
A ideal family cruise ship, with childcare from ages 6 months to teens, family pools, sporting activities and evening entertainment.

P&O Cruises: Oceana

Europe, Caribbean
Explore the Med or the Caribbean on fly-cruise holidays aboard this family-friendly cruise liner.

Jardins do Lago

A fantastic historic property with everything to delight the family, on the stunning Portuguese island of Madeira.

TUI BLUE Atlantica Aeneas Resort

Nissi Beach
Across the road from the beach, set in landscaped gardens with a large pool, kids club + variety of places to eat on the all-inclusive option.

Electra Village

Nissi Beach
A big hit with young families, this all-inclusive family resort in Cyprus includes free access to a nearby waterpark and kids club for 4-12 year olds.

Reid's Palace

A peaceful setting, with lots on offer for children of all ages including a games room teenagers and a playhouse in the vast gardens.

Olympic Lagoon Resort Ayia Napa

Nissi Beach
Located near the beach, plus a kids club and 5 themed pools, this all-inclusive family hotel also offers little luxuries for all the family in Nissi Beach.