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Best family-friendly villas in Europe: where to stay in France, Italy, Croatia, Portugal and beyond

Looking for a spacious base for a blissful family holiday? With pools, hot tubs, toys and games, we’ve found some of the most kid-friendly villas in Europe, whether you’re travelling with restless tots or picky teens.

By Jenny Elliott | Last updated Jan 6, 2023

Best family villas in Europe

It’s little wonder families love villa holidays. After all, with their separate bedrooms, living areas and kitchens, they offer everyone a little more space, privacy and flexibility than a standard hotel room - and many come with family-friendly facilities. What’s more, if you’re travelling with a large group, villas can offer excellent value for money, especially when booked well in advance.

Of course, with so many choices in so many gorgeous European destinations, finding the perfect stay for you and your brood can feel like a challenge. So, to save you time, we’ve consulted the Mumsnet forums and read hundreds of reviews to track down the villas in Europe that will wow both adults and children.

What are the best family-friendly villas in Europe?

1. Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel, Algarve, Portugal

Martinhal Sagres Resort, Portugal

Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel | Check availability

"Martinhal in Portugal has villas on a resort … best of both worlds, especially with the kids" - recommended by Mumsnet user, MsSquiz

This upmarket resort, overlooking a sandy beach on the Algarve, has a choice of plush two-bed houses and villas, alongside its standard doubles and quadruple family rooms.

The villas are well equipped for families, with highchairs, dishwashers, baby gates and that all-important coffee machine. It’s the resort facilities that have the real wow factor, though. Not only are there five swimming pools (with toddler pools and indoor and outdoor options), but there’s a tennis court, a bike pump track, a football academy and a minigolf course. There's also a well-stocked games room with consoles, air hockey and family cinema nights.

There are five bespoke kid’s clubs on-site, catering for six-month-old babies through to teens keen to surf or dive. Leaving parents plenty of time to check out the high-end spa – sheer holiday bliss!

Sleeps: Four or five

Nearest airport: Faro Airport (73 miles)

2. Villa Chic, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

Villa Chic Lanzarote

Villa Chic | Check availability

"Quiet, near the harbour, away from bars but near enough if you fancy a big night.” - recommended by Mumsnet user, superram

One of the major selling points of this pretty two-bedroom villa on sunny Lanzarote is its outside space. Not only is there a kid-pleasing pool (which can be heated), but there’s also a cute garden cabana - with a TV and a fridge - ideal for escaping the midday heat. Come the evening, gather for a family BBQ, followed by a dip in the Jacuzzi.

Inside, the master bedroom has a super-king bed, and the second bedroom has two singles, with the aircon meaning everyone should get a restful night’s sleep. The supermarket is a short walk away, and you’re also handily placed for some well-rated restaurants.

Sleeps: Four

Nearest airport: Lanzarote Airport (four miles)

3. Villa Vrelo, Konavle, Croatia

Villa Vrelo Croatia

Villa Vrelo | Check availability

"Owners live on site, fresh water mountain spring you can get jugs of ice-cold water from, lots of terraces so you can eat outdoors and a fancy BBQ fire cooker thing, aircon, lots of bathrooms, washing machine etc … Lovely village 10 mins drive away with supermarket and butcher's" - recommended by Mumsnet user, RippleEffects

This sprawling five-bedroom retreat in the lush Croatian hills near Dubrovnik makes an excellent-value family base, especially if you’re travelling as part of a larger group.

Hiring a car means you’re well placed for day trips to Dubrovnik’s beautiful Old Town, as well as some pristine beaches. That said, there’s plenty at the property to keep children entertained, including a pool with a volleyball net, a small football pitch, a badminton net and a ping pong table.

The owners are onsite if you have any queries, but the villa has a private entrance and exclusive use of the facilities. Cots are available free of charge.

Sleeps: 10

Nearest airport: Dubrovnik Airport (11 miles)

4. Hotel Suite Villa Maria, Costa Adeje, Tenerife

Hotel Suite Villa Maria, Tenerife

Hotel Suite Villa Maria | Check availability

"Hotel Villa Maria in Tenerife is wonderful" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Snarkybag

This stylish villa resort on the Costa Adeje offers families space and privacy, as well as access to all the facilities you’d expect at a 5-star hotel.

The detached villas range from cosy one-beds to generous three-beds, and some also have their own pool or hot tub. Kids will love making friends at the shared family pool and playground. Plus, there’s a well-stocked kids’ club for 4 to 12-year-olds - allowing grown-ups the chance to test out the treatments at the Naiad wellness centre.

The resort restaurant gives parents a break from meal prep, and it's even possible to order dinner to be delivered straight to your door.

Sleeps: Four

Nearest airport: Tenerife South Airport (14 miles)

5. Villa Ataboeira, Algarve, Portugal

Villa Ataboeira, Algarve, Portugal

Villa Ataboeira | Check availability

"Look at Villa Ataboeira in Portugal with James Villas. Stayed there in the summer, and it was beautiful"  - recommended by Mumsnet user, MummyH2016

Want to invite the grandparents or maybe some friends on your next family trip? This chic seven-bed villa in the idyllic Algarve countryside, could be just the place for everyone to indulge in some well-earned R’n’R.

The communal areas are bound to be a hit with kids, who can play pool in the games room or kick back in the large lawned garden, complete with a built-in BBQ and an infinity pool. Cots and highchairs are available free of charge, and although the property doesn’t have aircon, the thick walls, pretty window shutters and fans make sure everyone can stay cool.

The tranquil location means hiring a car is recommended, but this does mean you can reach both the blue-flag beach in Gale and the lively resort town of Albufeira in around 15 minutes.

Check availability

Sleeps: 14

Nearest airport: Faro Airport (22 miles)

6. The Assisi at Pian Di Cascina, Umbria, Italy

The Assisi at Pian Di Cascina, Umbria, Italy

Assisi at Pian Di Cascina | Check availability

"Very easy and relaxing, and the kids loved it" - recommended by Mumsnet user, zafferana

Parents of toddlers and young children will adore staying at this 20-acre estate in the beautiful Umbrian hills. Each of the eight properties here is well-stocked with games, books and toys. And helpful baby equipment like cots, sterilisers, blenders and bath mats can all be provided for free.

The gated communal pool contains a small slide and a heated splash pool, and kids will love exploring the playgrounds (with a zip wire) and charging about the large playing field. The kitchen means you can prepare meals to suit your family’s schedule and tastes. However, it’s also possible to request breakfast goodies from the local bakery or order homemade lasagne for an easy family supper.

Bigger groups can hire the whole villa – ideal for a special family celebration.

Sleeps: Two to 30

Nearest airport: San Francesco d'Assisi Airport (20 miles)

7. Bahiazul Resort, Las Palmas, Fuerteventura

Bahiazul Resort, Fuerteventura

Bahiazul Resort | Check availability

Bahiazul Resort Fuerteventura does an excellent job of combining chic luxury with family-friendliness. Each white-washed villa has its own private pool and walled rooftop terrace but also features practical amenities like a highchair, a washing machine and a dishwasher. There’s a playground in the resort for kids with energy to burn, while active parents can head to the gym or treat themselves to a rejuvenating treatment in the spa.

The resort offers a bed-and-breakfast rate, so you can start the day by tucking into a generous buffet of fresh fruits, pancakes, bacon and eggs. You’re also a short drive from the Acua waterpark and some of the island’s best sandy beaches.

Sleeps: 2 to 10

Nearest airport: Fuerteventura Airport (22 miles)

8. La Grange at Les Hiboux, Western France

La Grange at Les Hiboux, France

La Grange at Les Hiboux | Check availability

"A cluster of rural gites near Crezieres. There are many activities on-site for both children and adults" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Ricekrispie22 

This dreamy 18th-century farmstead, deep in the French countryside, houses four holiday homes designed especially with families in mind.

Not only do the gites share a sociable pool (which, for peace of mind, is located behind a wall with a lockable, self-closing gate), but there’s also a boules pitch, large sunken trampoline, a small playground and bikes for all ages. Tweens and teens will no doubt make a beeline for the games room, with its table tennis, table football and pool table. Meanwhile, parents may get a little time to relax on the sunny terrace.

Should you be part of a larger group, Le Grange is a good choice of gite; it has six bedrooms, three bathrooms, plus a well-equipped kitchen (with bonus points for the dishwasher).

Sleeps: 12

Nearest airport: 62 miles

9. Villa Avgerini Paxos, Greece

Villa Avgerini Paxos, Greece

Villa Avgerini | Check availability

"Another vote for Paxos … we've stayed at the Villa Agerini" - recommended by Mumsnet user, thecircusclown

If you’re searching for a laidback Greek getaway with older children, this elegant villa on the quieter island of Paxos makes an excellent choice.

The four spick-and-span properties share a good-sized pool, and you’re opposite a pretty, pebbly beach for dips in the crystal-clear water. Then, come the late afternoon, take a short walk along a coastal path from the pretty harbour town of Gaios, with its tavernas, bars, and boutiques. Alternatively, set out earlier to zip across to the stunning beaches of nearby Antipaxos by boat.

Sleeps: 4 or 5

Nearest airport: There are no direct flights to Paxos; ferries take around one hour from Corfu.

Are villas good for a family holiday?

Villas make a great base for a family escape, offering lots more space than a hotel room, with no need to go to bed at the same time as the kids (or worse, have to hide in the hotel bathroom while the little one naps).

The kitchen facilities mean you can stay in and have some relaxing (and money-saving) meals. What’s more, if you opt to stay in a villa within a larger resort, you’ll get lots of space and privacy, plus all the facilities of a hotel.

What family-friendly features should you look for in a villa?

It might sound obvious, but it’s a good idea to start by checking the villa advertises itself as being family-friendly (some will only accept children over a certain age). Also, if you are travelling with small children, you may want to think about choosing a property with a gated pool. Alternatively, opt for a villa without a pool (perhaps in a larger resort with communal facilities).

Also, to make sure there are no wails of ‘I’m booored’, think about what kids can do in and around the villa. Properties with games, sports equipment and nearby beaches, waterparks or biking trails are bound to be popular.

What’s the best family-friendly villa in Europe?

Of course, picking the best family villa in Europe depends a lot on your children’s ages. For parents of babies and toddlers, it’s hard to beat The Assisi at Pian Di Cascina, in the beautiful Italian countryside. However, if you have older kids and fancy some seclusion not too far from the action, staying at Villa Chic in Lanzarote is a great choice.

That said, for families who have the budget and want space to sprawl, plus plenty of onsite entertainment, we think the Hotel Suite Villa Maria and the Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel may well come out top as the most family-friendly European villas.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which family-friendly villas in Europe were being recommended.

We then did some online research, looking at what family-friendly villas in Europe had won awards or feature in 'best accommodation' lists across trusted travel publications, and what guest reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best family-friendly villas in Europe at the moment.

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