14 European Breaks To Take With Your Teens
14 European Breaks To Take With Your Teens

14 European Breaks To Take With Your Teens

Holidaying with teens can be tricky – but help is at hand. Spanning Greece to Italy, Austria to Sicily, we tapped parents on the SL team to round up some their favourite family friendly European resorts and hotels the whole family are guaranteed to enjoy.
By Heather Steele
Villa Le Fauci, Tuscany
Villa Le Fauci, Tuscany

The Peligoni Club

Zakynthos, Greece

The Peligoni Club is a family run beach club in Greece. It’s a members-only retreat for a fun-loving bohemian crowd who want delicious food and drink, friendly staff and a glorious setting, but without all the fuss that usually comes with high-end hotels. There’s no uniform accommodation on-site. Instead, guests are booked into a range of villas, cottages and B&Bs, either by the sea or in the beautiful hills of north Zakynthos behind the club, meaning you’ll stay in the best place for your family and can have the independence of a self-catering holiday. Peligoni is a place where teens can roam free, mingle with other guests and make their own fun without feeling like they are constantly being monitored. Whether it’s a 'Ringo Rampage’, a casual regatta or an evening dinner, teens will be made to feel right at home. There’s also a dedicated activity programme for the awkward age category (those who haven’t reached their teens, but are too old for the kids’ club). For adults, there’s a luxurious spa, well-equipped gym and a range of water sports activities. 

Visit Peligoni.com

Villa Le Fauci

Tuscany, Italy

Away from the crowds in a lesser-known part of the Tuscan countryside, Villa Le Fauci is a traditional 19th-century farmhouse converted to sleep 11 in four en-suite double bedrooms. The restoration has stayed loyal to the villa’s past, maintaining the original terracotta tiles, chestnut wood beams and interior stone walls. Outside, there are some beautiful spots for al fresco eating and the large infinity swimming pool includes an area for younger family members to splash around. A short drive away, you’ll find a lovely restaurant (highly recommended by the villa’s owner) as well as some local shops. You can also explore the historical towns of Volterra and San Gimignano, and the idyllic village of San Miniato, or head to Pisa, Florence and Siena for longer days out. The villa sleeps 11, which means teens will be able to have their own room.

Visit 8.Villas

São Lourenço do Barrocal

Alentejo, Portugal

For a villa-type holiday with hotel facilities on site, this recently restored farmstead fits the bill. Sitting in several acres of wildflower-strewn meadows, olive groves and vineyards in Portugal’s wild Alentejo region, the estate has 16 one-, two- and three-bedroom cottages, housed within original farm buildings along a central cobbled street. Open-plan kitchens and living areas offer ample space for communal living, and there are large open-air terraces and dining tables where you can make the most of the tranquil surroundings. Embracing the estate’s farm-to-fork ethos, you’ll get fresh bread delivered to your cottage each morning, plus a hamper of Barrocal’s own olive oil, fruit jams and sweet treats, alongside other locally sourced produce, to cook your own meals. Days can be spent discovering the spacious estate on foot, bicycle or horseback, or with a local expert for archaeological or ethnobotanical explorations. There are also pottery classes led by artisans and night-time stargazing with astronomers from a nearby observatory, with special learning experiences available for teens and children.

Visit Barrocal.pt

The Peligoni Club, Zakynthos
The Peligoni Club, Zakynthos

Sani Resort

Halkidiki, Greece

The Sani Resort is on the Kasandra peninsula in Halkidiki, about 50 miles from Thessaloniki airport. It is vast, set in 1,000 acres, with several beaches, five hotels (with a range of room rates) and 40-odd restaurants and bars. You can make your way between hotels by golf buggy – ideal if you choose to stay in a suite in the more luxe Porto Sani, which recently underwent an impressive refurb. There are loads of activities for kids of all ages, including the Rafael Nadal tennis centre, Chelsea FC Foundation football coaching, a zip-line adventure park, a water park, biking, diving, sailing and water-skiing.

Visit Sani-Resort.com

Évian Resort

Évian-les-Bains, France

There is something for all ages at this resort on the French side of Lake Geneva – and the programme for teenagers includes tennis and golf camps, as well as various learning experiences. Évian is also the perfect base for forest bathing, canoeing, horse‐riding and hiking – one particularly beautiful walk takes you through the Chablais region. And, of course, come winter you are only a short hop from some of France’s best ski resorts in the Portes du Soleil area. You can opt to stay in the four-star Hotel Ermitage or the five-star Hotel Royal which provides free accommodation for under-13s.

Visit EvianResort.com

Vila Vita Parc

Algarve, Portugal

Built in traditional Portuguese style and set around lakes and fountains in lush gardens, this cliff-top resort in the Algarve is family friendly without compromising on style, space or quality. It offers something for everyone: from an outstanding spa (the only Sisley spa in Portugal) several very good restaurants, including the two-Michelin-starred Ocean, and wine tasting in Cave de Vinhos, which boasts Portugal’s largest private wine collection. Children from six months to teenagers are catered for, with a range of activities including tennis, football, golf, arts and crafts, and baking, as well as water sports. Older teens can join in activities and workshops that focus on supporting their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as equipping them with some essential life skills – look out for yoga and mindfulness, culinary workshops on healthy eating, and strength training classes such as HIIT.

Visit VilaVitaParc.com

Marbella Club

Marbella, Spain

Marbella is so much more than buzzy bars and tourist-friendly attractions. While it may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning a family getaway, the warm weather and quiet beaches make it a relaxing break for late summer. Marbella Club is one of the prettiest resorts in the area. The hotel can arrange tennis, water sports, horse riding and golf lessons, while in the evenings, the resort hosts family friendly movie nights. The whole resort, including the kids’ club, is beautiful, with bohemian touches and luxuries – and there are plenty of activities to keep your children entertained, from swimming in the natural rock pools at El Canalon to sea kayaking along the shoreline.

Visit MrAndMrsSmith.com

Évian Resort, Évian-les-Bains
Évian Resort, Évian-les-Bains

Daios Cove,

Agios Nikolaos, Crete

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and its rural coastline makes for an unforgettable holiday. There are some beautiful beaches on the island: Elafonisi is a remote lagoon-style cove to the south west, loved by locals for its shallow turquoise waters with pale pink foam and golden sand. Should you be looking for something more adrenaline-pumping, opt for a water sports lesson or boat ride. Daios Cove, a luxury resort near Agios Nikolaos, has two kids’ clubs as well as a teen-friendly activity programme. The resort has several pools, tennis courts and a comprehensive array of watersports on offer: guests can scuba dive, paddle board, windsurf and rent boats to explore the coastline. The resort comes with its own private beach, as well as a heated infinity pool with views over the bay.

Visit FishAndPips.co.uk

Casa La Siesta

Cadiz, Spain

Casa La Siesta is normally an exclusive adults-only retreat but during Easter, the summer holidays and October half-term, it becomes one of the best spots for a family getaway. The breakfast club lets children make their own treats, while afternoon activities include treasure hunts, sports and gardening. The staff will also organise arts and crafts, child-friendly yoga classes, cycling, surfing and Spanish language lessons. Cadiz, which can be found to the southwestern corner of Spain, is one of the oldest cities in the western world. Home to a beautiful old town, sparkling harbour, majestic castle and ancient cathedral, you’ll also find Playa de la Caleta – one of the prettiest, most secluded beaches in the area. For those wanting to try their hand at water sports, head to Canos de Meca, which boasts impressive waves, perfect for surfing.

Visit CasaLaSiesta.com

Gradonna Mountain Resort

Großglockner, Austria

Active families should head to Gradonna Mountain Resort in the south of Tyrol. A haven for skiers in the winter, come summer the resort transforms into a nature and hiking paradise. This timber Alpine resort is located on a slope above the village of Kals and offers unobstructed views of Großglockner, Austria’s highest mountain. At the resort you’ll find yourself at the gateway to the Hohe Tauern national park, where an extensive hiking region with 250km of trails starts right on your doorstep. Guests can experience unadulterated fun across the park, as use of the Kals lifts in summer is included. Activities available include tandem paragliding, canyoning, rafting, climbing, inline skating, carriage rides and horse riding.

Visit Gradonna.at

Casa La Siesta, Cadiz
Casa La Siesta, Cadiz

Pine Cliffs

Algarve, Portugal

This Southern stretch of Portuguese coastline is famous for its pristine beaches, mountainous landscape and cosmopolitan towns. For sun worshippers and water lovers, there are more than 150 beaches in the region – Praia da Amoreira in Aljezur is ideal for budding surfers. One of the most loved stretches of sand in the Algarve, Praia da Marinha is often celebrated for its clear waters and golden cliffs. Pine Cliffs is often regarded as Europe’s best family resort. With direct access to the beach and plenty of water sports on offer, expect to find luxurious touches and beautiful rooms. All activities – including basketball and the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy – are supervised and must be booked in advance. For a day out, families should visit the Ria Formosa Nature Park, which is home to lagoons, marshes and sand dunes – making it great for wildlife spotting.

Visit PineCliffs.com

Rocco Forte Verdura Resort

Verdura, Sicily

Verdura Resort in a valley on the south coast of Sicily, surrounded by orange, lemon and olive groves. Here, adults can swim a few laps in the infinity pool, take long, leisurely walks along the beach, play a round of golf on the 18-hole championship course, or retreat to the expansive spa, while budding footballers can take part in the Juventus Training Experience and there are professional instructors on hand at the resort’s swimming academy. Adults and kids can practice their backhand and tee off in style at the tennis and golf academies or try adrenaline-fuelled water sports on the Mediterranean. There are also karate and fencing classes.

Visit RoccoForte.com

Villa Pia

Umbria, Italy

Villa Pia is an award-winning family villa in Lippiano, a traditional Italian town on the border of Umbria and Tuscany. The main house is a 15th-century country manor house, once the summer residence for a Florentine family. The large, rustic house and converted barn and stables, provide 17 bedrooms, all with private bathrooms. In the main house there are communal rooms for dining, and space for you and your family to relax and play games. There are two swimming pools, a trampoline, indoor soft-play room, all-weather tennis court, ping pong tables, plus a courtyard play area filled with climbing frames. The team also provides cookery and art classes for children of differing ages. Beyond the gates, guests can enjoy local Italian ice-cream in the village or discover Lippiano’s 10th-century castle and woods, which are perfect for walking, mountain biking and horse riding.

Visit VillaPia.com

Costa Navarino

Messinia, Greece

Costa Navarino is in Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese, one of the most unspoiled landscapes in the Mediterranean. The venue is home to three five-star deluxe hotels – The Romanos, The Westin Resort and recently opened W Hotel – the Anazoe Spa, four signature golf courses, over 20 fine-dining venues, a wide range of sports, outdoor and cultural activities, plus an array of five-star services. Indoor options at the cutting-edge sports and entertainment centre offer hours of fun for all ages and include sporting activities such as basketball, bowling and volleyball. Teens will love the climbing wall, biking, hiking, kayaking, plus the two Bayern Munich FC football camps and Mouratoglou Tennis Center. Most excitingly, Costa Navarino offers Division 16, a one-of-a-kind teens concept with a 60s vibe. It features classic American dishes with a healthy twist, signature mocktails, a dessert bar, original photo booth, bowling alley and state-of-the-art escape room with a mission to save the planet. At night, there are DJs and karaoke stages.

Visit CostaNavarino.com

Pine Cliffs, Algarve
Pine Cliffs, Algarve
Rocco Forte Verdura Resort, Verdura
Rocco Forte Verdura Resort, Verdura

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