Dubai…¿Why not for a family trip?

When you think in Dubai the first thing that comes to your mind are business trips or shopping opportunity, so when a friend told us about his trip to this town with all his family we were quite surprised about all the fun they had there. Not only did they find a four-star hotel in Bur Dubai that was nice and well-priced, the Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa, where they stayed at two connected rooms (one for the parents and their little girl and the other for the 8 and 10 years old kids), but also they did lots of funny activities in which they all had fun. If they wanted to convince us for going to Dubai in one of our next trips they made a great job!

One of the visits they were more impressed with was the one to Aquadventure Water Park, a place you get to by monorail. It has a water park, an area for discovering underwater world and a highly special place: Dolphin Bay. Both parents and children had the chance to swim with the dolphins…yes, actually swim with them! One of those dreams many of us have since we were kids.

Also as a marine adventure, the Dubay Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, which apparently is of the biggest in the world. One of the best things is the aquarium tunnel, which offers you the possibility of walking right through the biggest tank so you can see very close to the over 300 sharks and rays that live in it. And though they didn’t personally do it, it seems that you can rent some sort of scooter that takes you deep below the surface of the aquarium!

They also visit three curious places. One of them is Kidzania, where children can role-play activities done by adults in real life, so they can meet their own abilities and interests. In fact, they ‘work’ as a fireman, doctor or journalist, amongst many other options, and in exchange they ‘get paid’ with the official currency of that place, the KidZos, that they can use to buy products and services in this entertainment center.

The next one is Sega Republic, a theme park about games and characters created by Sega company (you can find Sonic there, the hedgehog of the videogames), or Children’s City, a place in which children can not only play, but also learn how to build a bridge, test out space equipment, get up close to high technology or learn some more about astronomy at the planetarium.

But to us was particularly surprising the fact that they enjoyed some ice skating at the Dubai Mall. Yes, ice skating in the middle of the desert, it’s not a joke! And it also looks fantastic the Bounce Dubai, an urban playground with over 100 interconnected trampolines where you decide if you want to make it easy or really challenging, but a safe experience anyway.

And, definitively, since you are in Dubai you must at least once enjoy some romantic moments. As for our friends, they hired the babysitter service and they enjoyed ‘Dubai la nuit’ on a thursday, apparently one of the best days to do so. A well-deserved lovely dinner and a drink (yes, no-muslims are allowed to drink alcohol) on their own after a whole day with the kids.

Tips for travellers looking for a perfect family holiday on Fuerteventura

Warm, comfortable (due to its handy, compact size) and filled with activities to enjoy day and night: Fuerteventura has been, and will always be, one of the best destinations for those who enjoy travelling as a family. A way of travelling that provides you with unique and endearing family moments, but also requires a lot of prior planning and a study of the destination in question, paying attention to issues such as: temperature at the destination, service for the children, climatology, type of cuisine and much, much more.

Even if Fuerteventura is a place that has been able to adopt to various ways of travelling, the island has its different ‘pros and cons’ that should be taken into consideration to avoid last-minute surprises or badly-planned excursions, both in time and in form. If you have focused on Fuerteventura as a place where you’d like to spend your upcoming summer holidays please take note, because today we’re going to outline some ‘travel tips for families’ that will come in handy:

Fuerteventura

A warm climate, but with surprises

While everyone knows that the climate on the Canary Island is warm year-round, the fact is that the Atlantic Ocean makes the stuffy, warm temperatures that characterise the archipelago during the day change into a much cooler breeze once evening falls. Cool, as in…? Cool as in wearing (especially the children, so they don’t get cold) a thin jacket, a jumper or a knitted cardigan. But only in the evening.

Tasty, but spicy food

The culinary culture on Fuerteventura is – for sure – exquisite and very tasty as far as adults are concerned, but when it comes to your child (or children) perhaps it’s not that spectacular. This is because most children are not used to spicy food and the fact is that the Canary Islands have a lot of sauces and spices that feature strongly in their gastronomy. So don’t hesitate to ask for what ingredients each dish contains in case you have any doubts.

Excursions in nature with… bathrooms?

One of the things we all love about Fuerteventura is the natural environment, the landscapes and the many excursions to unique corners of the island. Excursions that we recommend you study in depth to avoid having to run around looking for ‘bathrooms with changing facilities’. The best way of avoiding surprises is to find out beforehand at your hotel or from your travel agent what to expect, as they will surely come up with the best solution for you and your family.

Hotels for families on the island of Fuerteventura

One thing you’ll not have to worry about is finding a good, family-friendly hotel. On Fuerteventura there are plenty of hotels offering good value for money that cater to families on holiday. Among the most popular ones we find gems such as the IBEROSTAR Fuerteventura Palace, IBEROSTAR Playa Gaviotas, and IBEROSTAR Playa Gaviotas Park.

3 family excursions near Madrid, ideal for Easter

Whether you like the ritual celebrations of the Holy Week or not, the truth is that when travelling as a family the tradition of watching the processions and enjoying the works of art created by the artists of this country becomes slightly more complicated. The reason mainly being that the youngest members of the household are on holiday, they get tired of standing around and it’s up to the parents to provide them with a bit of assured fun instead.

Even if Madrid is the perfect destination to enjoy the Easter holiday with your family (which is why there are plenty of interesting hotel offers available at hotels such as Petit Palace Cliper Gran Via, Petit Palace Madrid Aeropuerto or others like  Petit Palace Arturo Soria hotel), some areas of the city are completely taken over by the processions of Holy Week, that’s for sure. So what does this blog recommend when it comes to travelling with children? It’s easy: rent a stroller or watch the processions from the train, looking for alternative plans in locations that are conveniently near the capital.

Aldea del Fresno

Aldea del Fresno

A walk through Fresno Village

Did you know that just fifty kilometres from Madrid you can enjoy the very best parts of a real safari, with zebras, tigers and giraffes? This and much more is what you will find in Fresno Village. This small village surrounded by two rivers is a unique place for a day of hiking, a family picnic and even an excursion that’s like a proper safari, provided by the park called ‘Safari Madrid’. The best thing about it? That you can access the park and enjoy the experience from the comfort of your own car.

The magic of a place called Aranjuez

Visiting Aranjuez is a bit like walking through a movie set. It’s a place you can get to very easily and quickly, as it’s only located some fourteen kilometres from the capital city. With its palaces, the views over the Tagus, its gardens and amazing panoramas, Aranjuez is an ideal spot to enjoy a family outing where there is also space for gastronomic encounters featuring unique produce such as asparagus and strawberries (two of the star products in this place). There is a lot on offer here.

Discover the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest

This excursion does take you a but further away from Madrid, but the Enchanted Forest (located just over 70 kilometres from the centre of the capital) is worth the effort and more. We’re talking about a garden with more than five hundred plant species from all over the world where there is no shortage of unique spots guarded by hedges cut into all kinds of fun shapes (that will delight the smaller members of the family).

This year the children choose the holidays

In reality, almost always or always, children choose the family holidays. All of us who are parents know who has the pan by the handle and no we are not precisely… The destinations that are shuffled around when booking a trip with children always have to be perfectly aligned with the needs of the kings of the house. Otherwise, vacations will be a failure. For them, and for you.

For this reason, there are more and more specialized hotels for families. Most are found in beach areas and full of tourist services as the sea and sand are one of the most friendly scenarios for the little ones and, let’s not fool ourselves, also for us. The beach is always a plus. And if the hotel is aimed at kids, that’s better than better. They are everywhere. They are more expensive than the classic hotels, but those who have tried them say that they are the worth the extra cost.

Northern Mallorca

The hotels for children in Alcudia are the highest rated in Spain. Reasons not to miss them: in addition to being a reference point for families, the northern area is a spectacular natural area for children to truly enjoy the outdoors, the beach, nature and games while sharing their days with children from all over Europe.

On your list of places to see with the family, you shouldn’t miss an excursion through S’Albufera de Mallorca, which is in the Playa de Muro area. Admire the views offered by the Cabo Formentor, sunbathe in its pristine cove of crystal clear waters or even practice kayaking along the beautiful coasts of the La Victoria area.

Playa Jandía

This is one of the destinations that has raised its prestige among travelers with children in recent years. It’s the peninsula of the extreme south of Fuerteventura. Its main charms are the incredible Atlantic beaches, long, fine sands and with lower waves than in the North of Fuerteventura. Spring weather throughout the year, which is almost a unique guarantee of sunshine; and the excellent services and attractions for children in the area. A natural park for excursions, the village of Morro Jable where you can show the little ones the daily routines of fishermen…

The hotels for children on Playa Jandía are another plus: they have specialized a lot and are getting better each year. Both in the offering of children’s activities and in the services they provide to parents, so that we can also give ourselves a well deserved break during vacation. The prices are quite affordable and have a high quality to price ratio.

Lanzarote

Besides being the perfect destination for the children to be amazed at and learn new and really interesting things about nature, Lanzarote is an ideal place to rest. Its volcanic landscapes propose a trip to the moon that will activate the imagination of the little ones. Its black sand beaches will surprise you and conquer your from minute one. And its theme parks, events and activities that are scheduled all year round in its most touristic centers form the perfect conglomerate to opt for this magical island as a vacation spot.
For accommodations, you can opt for beach apartments or decide on the hotels for children in Lanzarote, which are generally fairly well price (as it does well all year round, so not much increase in high season) and offer more free amenities than an apartment.

Father’s Day in Madrid

March 19th is coming … And you, without a gift! Telling your father that you love him is the best gift in the world, but giving a trip to Madrid can make you the son of the month. Forget wallets, ties, watches, books or socks. If you have 5 minutes, look for a flight, reserve a hotel and organize a family trip. Surely your surprise will be a great one.

Traveling to Madrid on a weekend is more than enough for you to enjoy a bit of fun, lots of culture and some rest. The capital offers a thousand and one activities on your agenda, no matter which dates you choose: in Madrid there is always something interesting to do and many of those things are also free.

For example, if you want the trip to be economical, look at the leisure and tourism web pages of Madrid all those free proposals that fill the parks, cultural centers and theaters of the capital. Hail them and there are many. Do not forget to book a walking tour: walking through Madrid is one of the most enjoyable things you can do because it’s in the streets where one meets the true essence of this unique city.

If you like to eat well, go through the San Miguel Market, the Cava Alta and the Cava Baja for the vermouth and tapas in La Latina, the taverns of the Plaza de Mayo, in the area of ​​Malasaña, just some of the trendy restaurants to treat yourself to.

For lovers of art, the Prado, Reina Sofia and Caixaforum are obligatory visits. If you go only 2 days, it is best to stick with 1 of the 3 and view it calmly. Check beforehand the temporary exhibitions that they offer to be able to decant for one or the other but, in fact, choose the one you choose, and you will get it for sure.

Cinema and theater are classics in any visit to Madrid, almost as much as the bocata de calamares, squid sandwich, in Plaza Mayor. The premieres change every weekend and the musicals can be booked directly on the Internet: do it in advance if you want to get a good place for the event because they have carried on for a long time and almost always fill up, and the best places go quickly.

El Retiro is also a place of pilgrimage in the capital. You will serve to break with the city and immerse yourself in its small oasis of tranquility and healthiness. If you go with children it is the perfect refuge to lie in the sun for a while on the lawn near its large lake, while they play and run away from the danger of roads and traffic.

Among all the accommodations in Madrid, you’ll find it very easy to find a hotel. Ideally, if you are a family unit, look for some that have family size or connected rooms. If what you’ve thought is that it’s only the parents who’ll enjoy the getaway, opt for one of the new hotels in the center of Madrid: Vincci The Mint, which has a fresh, elegant and fun design, with interesting events inside the same hotel; The IBEROSTAR Las Letras, which has a roof terrace and cocktail bar from where you can contemplate the Madrid skyline, with rooms on the Gran Vía of Madrid (also known as the Las Letras Gran Vía Hotel); The Petit Palace Puerta del Sol or the Vincci Capitol, for cinema lovers (it’s located just above the historic Madrid hall).

Top 3 restaurants for children (I): Majorca

Generally, when traveling with family and with our children – that is why to win in practicality and to save a euro or two – we are the majority that chooses our vacations in accordance with a complete boarding. Yes, breakfast, lunch and dinner at the hotel can not only be more economical, but also save us head spinning from having to think about a place that is suitable for us and for children.

Although the majority of destinations work very well with this system, the truth is that there are other points of our country where it is worthwhile to opt for half board to give yourself a family dinner at a child friendly restaurant. Given that covering all in a single article would be impossible, this month we began the route of restaurants for families putting the focus on the beautiful island of Majorca. Let’s go there and bon profit!

Katmandu Park

House of Katmandú

Trains Restaurant

In the popular neighborhood of Santa Catalina, one of the most popular in Palma, is Restaurant Trens. A very good quality restaurant (and with reasonable prices) in which you can eat almost everything and delight the little ones of the house.

The reason? Not only will it seem like you are eating inside a train car of the 1920s, but the place in question has an area where children can enjoy miniature moving trains.

The House of Kathmandu restaurant

On the reverse side, there is an authentic Thai house in which you can discover the terrifying Yeti and experience a really fun day. All with the possibility of eating delicious dishes in an open-air restaurant and only a short distance from the beautiful beach of Magaluf. All of this is what we can find at the Sol Katmandu Park Resort, Sol Hotels & Resorts.

Located in the most pleasant and natural area of Magaluf, this idea created by Sol Hotels will not only let your children have a good time, but let you enjoy an unforgettable day with your family.

The Palma Aquarium restaurant

And if what you like is to enjoy the natural world, there is nothing better than giving yourself a whole morning in Palma Aquarium and then tasting a delicious burger in one of its two restaurants. Considered one of the most important aquariums in the world, Palma is also a perfect place for children of all ages. In addition to a route perfectly adapted to baby carriages – the place has a chiquipark in which the little ones will have a bomb.

Holiday at sea, or in the Tabernas desert?

Even if the choice of hotel, destination and food (half board or full board) are aspects that are more than relevant when going on a holiday, it must be remembered that – when we’re talking about family holidays – exit or failure is decided by whether the family’s youngest members are offered something different to what they are used to in the family’s day-to-day life.

Boat trips are always good and yes, the play parks at hotels often distract the little ones for a couple of hours a day, but how would you feel about combining your rest with unique visits to amazing national parks, giant aquariums and hiking through pristine landscapes?

Sounds great, right? To give you some choice, Family Destinations present three holiday destinations that are ideal for all those who are looking for a top quality tourist destination with a range of family leisure activities with a difference.

 

Tabernas desert

Tabernas desert

 

 

Almería: a day in the old West

Even if it competes with other destinations such as Murcia or the coasts near Valencia, don’t forget that Almería is a place where you can find untouched beaches, authentic locations and unique landscapes. Landscapes such as the popular Tabernas desert, a natural stage where some of the most popular Westerns from the 60s and 70s were filmed.

Take a walk through a proper desert and get to know the sets from the old Westerns – it’ll be an exciting visit, that’s for sure. If you’ve chosen a hotel such as Cabogata Mar Garden Hotel & Spa you can get to the park in less than half an hour.

Huelva: between the Coto Doñana and la Rapita

Unknown by many (partly due to its location) the province of Huelva is one of the richest and most original in the entire Andalusian region. Not only is it home to destinations such as Cartaya and Punta Umbría, it’s also where the land shelters gems such as the Coto de Doñana, one of the most important natural parks in the world, home to species unique to these lands.

Huelva is also from where Cristobal Colon launched his expedition on his way to conquer the new world. More specifically that location is the Puerto de los Palos, in la Rapita, a place where you can enjoy walks through life-size replicas of the Pinta, the Niña and the Santa María. You can get there in less than an hour if you’re staying at the Garden Playanatural Hotel & Spa.

Mallorca: of all for all

Out of all the coastal destinations that this country has to offer, the island of Mallorca offers the most possibilities for a family holiday. With family-friendly hotels designed for adults and children alike (hotels such as Cala Millor Garden Hotel), the island offers unique attractions such as Jungle Park in Santa Ponça and visits to Palma Aquarium (the aquarium with the deepest shark tank in all of Europe) and unique landscapes where you can take your family hiking.