Going on a summer vacation with the family can be exciting and fun. There’s no better way to spend quality time with your loved ones than through a trip to some of the world’s most beautiful islands.
However, looking for that perfect destination to visit can be daunting. You need to consider the needs and preferences of every family member and ensure you choose something everyone will love. To help you decide where to go, refer below for a list of the best islands to visit for family summer vacations.
This post is part of our Best Destinations series
1. Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife packs enough variety to keep everyone in the family happy. It has gorgeous sandy beaches, family-friendly hotels with children’s amenities, thrilling water sports, colonial-era buildings, tall mountains, and a lush subtropical forest. So, whether you’re a family who loves nature, adventure, history, or culture, it will leave you in awe.
Whether you’re a family of nature lovers or not, you’ll absolutely enjoy exploring Teide National Park. It’s a gorgeous park along the slopes of an active volcano from where it was named. Towering 3,718 m above sea level, Mount Teide is Spain’s highest mountain.
The best way to get to the park is through the Teide Cableway, an aerial tramway that goes up the top and offers extraordinary views across the islands. If you visit on a clear day, you can also see the neighbouring Canary Islands.
Of course, no visit to Tenerife is complete without hitting the beaches. Due to its volcanic sand, some beaches have distinct black sand, although you’ll also find the usual golden sands, perfect for those with little kids who want to play in the sand. The island boasts over 64 km of beaches, ranging from bustling resorts to more serene bays and coves. Thanks to its warm weather, you can enjoy comfortable swimming all year round.
2. Corfu, Greece
If you want to take the family to Greece for your summer vacation, head to Corfu. The gorgeous island is one of the largest and most popular Greek islands, welcoming thousands of families each year. It has breathtaking nature and a variety of things to do to keep everyone in the family entertained. You also won’t have a hard time looking for a place to stay since you will find excellent accommodation options in Corfu that cater to families.
Featuring calm and clean waters surrounded by lush greenery, the numerous sandy beaches of Corfu are perfect for families with kids. Compared to the Cycladic, the Ionian islands are more suitable for those with younger kids. Head to Paleokastritsa, a lovely village home to the island’s most famous beach resort. It has family-friendly facilities, beach bars, seaside restaurants, and water sports for all ages.
The town of Corfu is a joy to stroll and ideal for walking around with your little ones. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most elegant towns in Greece. Because of the strong Venetian influence, it will remind you of the famous Italian city.
3. Kauai, Hawaii
Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Kauai will make your family vacation more enjoyable. The island boasts lush scenery and a chilled-out vibe, allowing you and your kids to spend quality time. It is also ideal for families who love nature since it has scenic trails to hike, taking you to majestic waterfalls and secluded beaches.
If you’re a family of nature lovers, you should visit the Napali Coast, a remote section of Kauai famous for its extraordinary natural beauty. Families with older kids can hike the 11-mile Kalalau Trail to Napali. But the hike can be strenuous and may be best suited for experienced hikers. A better alternative is to explore by boat. You will find catamaran tours taking you to the coast and includes fun activities like snorkelling and kayaking.
As expected, Kauai has many beautiful beaches. So, if you prefer a more relaxed family vacation, take the family to the beach. Check out Lydgate Beach Park, which has a sheltered swimming area safe for toddlers. The beach is complete with facilities, including picnic tables and playgrounds.
4. Barbados, The Caribbean
Families booking a trip to the Caribbean should consider spending some time in Barbados. The gorgeous island offers something for everyone, from stunning landscapes and scenery to captivating beaches. Thus, you can guarantee that everyone in the family will have a great time.
While you might think that a holiday in Barbados is all about the beaches, there are many fun attractions on the island that you should visit with the kids. One of these is the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, a fantastic place for your little ones to enjoy close-up encounters with rare wildlife, from tortoises to parrots, peacocks, and iguanas.
For fun days at the beach, you should visit Folkestone Marine Park and Museum, an artificial reef and recreational zone allowing you and your little ones to explore the blue waters. It is the perfect place for families with kids old enough to scuba dive. You can also try snorkelling and come across colourful marine life and corals.
5. Crete, Greece
Families will find plenty of fun adventures in Crete, making it an ideal island to visit for a summer vacation in Greece. It has incredible scenery, rich culture, ancient ruins, rocky coves, and gorgeous beaches. There are also numerous parks and play centres for your little ones to enjoy fun and excitement.
The Venetian port of Chania is an ideal base for your family holiday in Crete. It’s a lovely place to explore with the family, with plenty of cafes and cute little shops fronting the sea.
Due to its rugged topography, Crete has several caves with cultural and historical significance. Some of the island’s most beautiful caves include the Sfendoni, Melidoni, and Iedon Andron Caves. It’s worth taking a guided tour to learn more about the history of these caves.
Crete has many beautiful beaches. But if you only have time to visit one beach, make it Chrissi Akti Beach. It has soft sands, where your little ones can play while you lounge around and work on your tan. The beach is also suitable for snorkelling, especially on the west side of the beach.
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