Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel groups in the world with 370 hotels in 43 countries offering everything from exclusive luxury through to family holidays. The Meliá Hotels & Resorts brand operates in cities and popular holiday destinations across the globe. In Paris alone we had our pick from of the Champs-Elysées, Notre-Dame, Tour Eiffel, Place Vendome and the Paris Opéra. We opted for the 4* Meliá París La Défense as it’s a bit different. Uniquely designed in the shape of a ship’s hull, it offers panoramic views across the city as well as being family friendly.
You might think Berlin is off limits when it comes to a European city break with kids but in actual fact there are sights, attractions and parks aplenty. One of the things I love about this city is its diversity and how it really does appeal to all ages. From the well known sights you’d automatically associate it with to attractions specifically geared towards children.
With an intriguing history that dates back to Roman times, spectacular landscapes and exceptional architecture, you can’t help but fall in love with Aragon. Situated off the beaten track in the heavenly north east of Spain, this region combines discovery, exploration and adventure – our perfect ingredients for a family holiday. There’s no shortage of things to do either. Whether it be visiting the most well preserved castle in Europe, observing staggering rock formations that overshadow the trees or exploring an extraordinary natural park that surprises you at every turn.
It’s remarkable how diverse the Aragon region in the north east of Spain is. Our morning was spent exploring one of the most well preserved castles in Europe before admiring these staggering rock formations which tower above the trees. After we’d enjoyed a gastronomic feast at the magnificent Real Posada de Liena, it was time for white water rafting! Thankfully we had time to let our food go down as we got all the necessary gear on before heading to the Gállego river.
Designed and built in the 19th century by Gustave Eiffel’s company, the Eiffel Tower was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Standing 324m tall, it’s recognised today as one of the most iconic monuments in the world, much like the Empire State Building in New York, The View From The Shard in London and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is the world’s tallest building.
We always enjoyed booking last minute weekend breaks to Europe before POD was born. Our holidays further afield were researched and meticulously planned although rarely locked down months in advance. Key considerations for us were the destination, including what we could visit locally, and how we’d get there. Plus accommodation, available activities and food options were researched ahead of time. There’s so much more to think about when finding the ideal family holiday and a lot of choice too. Here are a few top tips to get you started before you confirm that booking.
More often than not the best discoveries are made off the beaten track. One of those was when we were in Cantabria travelling from the Picos de Europa to Santander. Suances in the Besaya region is said to have superb beaches as well as being a hotspot for those wanting to surf the waves. That said as we neared this marine town, it became apparent the beach we were heading for was a popular tourist destination. So instead we opted for the smaller Playa de Tagle where POD hoped to play on the beach with the locals.
Rucksacks have become an essential piece of kit in the Dove household over recent years. Of course we travelled a lot before POD came along but these days most of our adventures are outdoors based. We’ve always loved exploring, especially off the beaten track, and we continue to do so even with our six year old daughter in tow. There’s nothing better than blowing away the cobwebs, discovering new places and giving your child the best experiences is there?
Family travel requires a different approach to travelling as a singleton, a couple or a group of adults. Certainly in our pre-parenting days, we often took impromptu ski, sun or city breaks across Europe. While we always researched long haul holidays, our attitude when we reached our destination was very much to go with the flow. We’d change our plans at the drop of a hat and regularly did because we could. Our trips as a family continue to be based on discovery, adventure and exploration but they do require a little more research, planning and organisation. Recommendations from other family travel bloggers is a fundamental part of the process and the advice can be invaluable. Family travel bloggers are a friendly bunch who certainly adopt the community spirit when it comes to helping each other. Here is the ultimate list of our UK faves in no particular order.
We’re of the opinion that you should never travel to the same destination more than once. Occasionally it doesn’t work out that way, like the time we got diverted to Tahiti while en route to New Zealand. We took our honeymoon in Tahiti and had the most incredible time in both Tikehau and Moorea. As such, we always said we wouldn’t go back. And yet there we were dancing with the locals at the airport adorned with flowers!
Last summer was the first time we’d visited Northern Spain having taken trips elsewhere in the country many times. We loved it so much we’re heading back there this summer albeit to a totally different region. If you’ve not been to Northern Spain before, here’s a little taste of what it’s like.