There’s nothing wrong with the sun-drenched holiday favourites around the Med, but sometimes we all feel like a change of scene. So, if you’re looking for somewhere different to take the kids this summer, check out these top tips for a cheap holiday somewhere off the beaten track! We’ve come up with alternative ideas for family holidays that will give you and your kids the chance to see and do something a bit different this summer. All without breaking the bank!
Lisbon Coast, Portugal
Follow in the footsteps of Portuguese royalty, who have long summered along the gorgeous Lisbon Coast. Charming towns, full of aristocratic villas and elegant gardens, dot this beautiful stretch of coastline, which is also home to some magnificent beaches. Estoril and Cascais are two of the most popular resorts, or you could make for magical little Sintra. All of these seaside towns have a wealth of historic attractions and quiet natural landscapes to add to the eternal pleasures of sun, sea and sand. Admittedly not as cheap as the resorts of the Algarve further south, the Lisbon Coast is still a great-value destination, with plenty to keep kids of all ages amused. Plus, there’s the added bonus of beautiful Lisbon itself to explore, with its rickety trams, cobbled streets and fantastic art and culture.
Naxos, Greek Islands
Naxos is one of our favourite Greek Islands for an unforgettable family holiday. There are, of course, spectacular beaches and a host of water sports, but Naxos also offers a respite from the crowds that pour into larger islands like Rhodes or Corfu. It’s an excellent destination if you and your family enjoy outdoor activities, and offers everything from fantastic hiking and cycling routes to a huge choice of water sports. And its charming, whitewashed villages and inviting little capital of Naxos Town ooze authentic Greek charm. It’s a top choice for an alternative cheap family holiday in the Greek Islands!
Porec is an ancient town that sits in the heart of the Istrian Riviera, one of the most beautiful stretches of Croatian coastline. It’s one of the best value seaside resorts in Croatia, and attracts big summer crowds – all without losing any of its traditional charm. This is an excellent family holiday destination if you’re travelling with older kids or teens, as the lively little town has enough shops and nightlife to keep them happy, while younger kids will be happy messing about on the beaches.
Madeira is an enchanted island, spectacularly lush and green, and an ideal getaway for a family holiday with a difference. There are some wonderful hikes that will entice active families, plus a slew of charming old towns to explore, from the capital of Funchal to lovely Ponta do Sal. The beaches are stunning, with plenty of secret bays and coves where you can picnic in peace, and kids can run off steam in the island’s famous gardens. And, thanks to our fantastic holiday bargains, you’re bound to find a cheap holiday on Madeira that will suit the whole family!
Sunny Beach, on Bulgaria’s beautiful Black Sea coast, is currently the cheapest holiday destination in Europe. But you can beat the crowds and add a twist to your family holiday in the Bulgarian sunshine by making for the cosmopolitan port town of Varna. This elegant and historic city is home to ancient Roman ruins and a clutch of fascinating museums (including an excellent archaeological museum), so you can mix up beach days with a little culture. Best of all, you’ll find Varna fantastically affordable.