May half term is the perfect time for a holiday getaway! If you’re like me, by May you’ll be fed up of the winter chills and will be ready for some warm rays of sun on your face. But whilst noticeably warmer away, the weather is not usually unbearably hot and is therefore so much more manageable for little ones than in the peak of summer. The other really good news about going away in May, is that as it is at the start of the season, places tend to be less crowded and there are some really good bargains to be had.
After almost ten years of travelling with little ones, here is our round up of family friendly places to visit during the May Half Term break which have all been tried and tested by us. We think they make an ideal choice for a half term break away in the sun and I hope you like them too!
This is one of my favourite destinations in Greece, we like it so much we’ve been back three times! It has everything you could need for a family holiday; sunshine, plenty of stunning beaches and coves, calm waters, lots of restaurants and charm oozing from its every pore.
Central to its appeal are the views of the acropolis, which sits high and proud on it’s rock, with small pretty whitewashed houses dotted across the slopes below and surrounded by the bluest of waters. It’s no surprise that this is one of the most photographed scenes in Greece.
The town itself has lots of little alleyways, crisscrossing like a maze, apparently deliberately designed that way to confuse pirates but which now provide a lovely setting for an evening stroll amongst the quaint shops and restaurants. Have an evening meal on one of the copious rooftop restaurants all serving up delicious traditional greek cuisine and offering views of the lit up acropolis.
The main beach has plenty of loungers and has a few nice seafood restaurants for a spot of lunch. It’s a bustling beach with plenty of people watching opportunities and there are a few pedalows, but that’s about it, nothing too tacky here.
A must visit is the picturesque beach of St Pauls, a tiny cove where you will no doubt end up witnessing a very hot bride and groom get wed in the quaint little church at the bottom. There’s no refreshments at this cove so go prepared. The waters here are calm and slope out gently, making it ideal for little ones.
A wonderful day’s sailing experience can be had with Next Port Away, where you will be able to have a go at the wheel, stop for plenty of snorkelling opportunities and have a lovely lunch in a local beachside taverna.
Stay in your own private villa or we recommend the 5* Atrium Palace which has family rooms and suites available and is located just outside of Lindos.
The very small and authentic resort of Skala Prinos, on the island of Thassos, is perfect for those looking to get away from it all. There are just a handful of tavernas lining the front which serve up delicious seafood and traditional Greek cuisine and which are just as full of locals as they are tourists. In an evening we enjoyed tucking into a meze of giant beans, grilled peppers and plenty of seafood.
The small un-crowded beach, so narrow it has just one row of loungers with the sea lapping at your feet, is perfect for little ones with its calm shallow waters and good sand for sandcastle building.
The airport transfer is very manageable, as you’re only on the bus for about 20 minutes and then the rest of the transfer is by Ferry. This means you get to soak up the rays almost as soon as you step of the plane and little ones get to stretch their legs after being cooped up on the flight. If your kiddies are anything like mine they’ll see the Ferry ride as an adventure, making the transfer easier all round.
While you’re there why not take a day trip on the Ferry with the locals across to mainland Greece and the town of Kavala. Explore the old town and walk up the very steep winding narrow streets to the Castle, which will reward you with magnificent views and a nice cold beer when you reach the top. Little ones will no doubt enjoy exploring the tower and dungeon rooms.
We stayed in the small and friendly budget Hotel Socrates on a room only basis. The rooms were a little basic, but we loved the fact that it had an idyllic setting right on the beach and was just a 5 minute walk into the town.
La Caleta, Tenerife
A cross between a villa holiday and a hotel holiday can be found in the Hotel Suite Villa Maria resort, which is a complex of mini 5 star villas. For a family, we found the two bedroom villas perfect with spacious bedrooms and a small living area.
The hotel is well equipped for little ones with a childrens play room, a park area, mini golf, kids activities, a paddling pool and kids club. There are also two lovely onsite pools (one heated) and a small pool side snack bar.
It’s quite a hilly resort but they will take you to your room by golf buggy if your legs are feeling tired or if your kids just want the novelty factor of the ride, which ours always did!
The small resort of La Caleta is within walking distance, (about 20 minutes downhill but uphill on the way back) although due to its secluded setting a car hire is recommended.
The resort is much quieter than many of the Tenerife resorts and is ideal for those looking for a relaxing holiday outside of the Billy Britain parts of Tenerife. The place has a very chilled feel to it and has some great restaurants on the front. There is also a small park in the town where you can enjoy a drink alfresco and watch them play.
As the beach here is mainly pebble, we drove to Playa Del Duque beach everyday in the neighbouring resort of Costa Adeje, which was a lovely big sandy beach (unusual in Tenerife). Here you will also find La Tore Del Mirador restaurant, with a wonderful elevated setting with views over the beach and some of the best fresh seafood.
Through the hotel you can book a small and uncrowded boat trip with Tenerife Sailing Charters (or you can book direct) and if you’re lucky you will get to see turtles, whales and dolphins. They also make a stop off for snorkelling straight off the boat. Be warned though, the waters are pretty cold in May!
If you’re staying in La Caleta with kids, you can’t possibly go without visiting Siam Waterpark, which was recently voted number 1 in the world by Trip Advisor. There’s enough water parks and pools there to keep you going all day!
Caleta de Fuste, Fuerteventura
If you’re looking for more of a hotel based holiday you can’t go far wrong with staying half board at The 5 star Sheraton Beach, Golf and Spa Hotel in Caleta de Fuste.
It is perfect for families with toddlers and young kiddies as it has a fantastic little splash pool with novelty characters spurting out water and a much larger pool for more competent swimmers. There is also a kids club so you can have a couple of hours of indulgence in the onsite spa or have a round of golf while the little ones are being well looked after.
The rooms are stylishly decorated and are spacious enough to easily fit in a family of four or has junior suites available for larger families. The hotel is very well equipped with its four restaurants, piano cocktail bar, spa and outdoor pools, so you don’t need to venture far from the hotel if you don’t want to.We loved the hotel, it was like a tranquil oasis and was just what we were looking for.
It has the best beach right in-front of the hotel, which also has the wonderful Chiringuito restaurant, which is built out on the rocks in the middle of the sea and is accessed by a pedestrian bridge, so you feel like you are eating in the middle of the ocean.
The hotel is just a 10 minute drive from the airport so you can’t really get a shorter transfer time and for a weeks break you don’t even need to bother with hiring a car. The resort itself isn’t much to write home about, although there are a handful of restaurants and a nice small marina area.
If you do want to explore, why not hire a car for the day and head to Corralejo Dunes where you can have a camel trek or visit the pretty fishing village of El Cotillo with its old harbour and fish restaurants.
Golden Beach, Malta
Malta is one of the worlds smallest countries which means you can pretty much travel around it in a day trip! It has turquoise crystal waters, chilled out beaches and is packed with history and heritage, housing some of the oldest buildings in the world.
For the best beaches head to the Northern part of the island, where not only are there the best beaches but it is more chilled and laid back than the bustling and built up resorts of St Julians and Bugibba.
Whilst we loved Golden Sands beach, the neighbouring blue flag beach of Ghajn Tuffieha was by far our favourite beach as it was quieter and had just the one shack serving up delicious salads and pizzas. But be warned the steps up from the beach aren’t for the faint hearted and make it quite a trek for little ones, but then you’re rewarded with a quieter and more tranquil beach for your efforts.
You will definitely want to hire a car as there are so many sight seeing opportunities in Malta, from the many quaint villages which are well worth popping in to see to the magnificent historic town of Mdina. I also recommend taking the car ferry across to the charming island of Gozo (takes 30 minutes), and when you’re there you can easily navigate around the island in a day.
Snorkelling is really great here, as is the diving apparently but ours kids aren’t old enough to try it yet. A boat trip to the blue lagoon is another must visit, I don’t think I have ever seen such waters so turquoise. You can get a boat trip which will take you to the lagoon and past where the Popeye movie was set back in 1980.
The beauty of visiting Malta in May is that it is just about cool enough for sight seeing but warm enough for sunbathing and swimming. We recommend staying at the Radison Blu Resort and Spa, Golden Sands which is right on the beach and has the most amazing panoramic views. It has four restaurants and three bars and babysitting if required.
Salema, The Algarve
It’s no secret that the Algarve is a favourite destination for many families. Driving for about an hour west from Faro and along the coast away from the busy resorts of Albfeira and past Lagos will bring you to Salema, a much lesser travelled and largely unspoilt corner of Portugal, which is dotted with whitewashed traditional houses and still has fishermen pulling their boats up onto the beach with their daily catch.
If its golf that you’re after, there are some great courses nearby in both the Parque De Floresta and Boavista resorts or if you want to do some sightseeing head into the bustling Lagos, with it’s pretty harbour, ancient city walls, sunny piazzas and cobbled streets.
The chilled out resort of Salema, which sits on the blue flag sandy beach has a handful of good restaurants to choose from. Our favourite was Boia, right on the beach serving up fresh seafood. This is the place to try sardines!
We stayed in a spacious villa with a private pool in the Parque De Floresta resort booked through Owners Direct. There are plenty to choose from and the resort has a collection of villas, onsite restaurants, golf course and swimming pools. You will need a car from here to drive to the nearby beaches and explore the local area. Alternatively stay in one of the villas right in Salema through Simply Salema.
Happy Half Term! I would love to hear from you about your travel plans and where you are heading over the holidays, or all about your favourite May break holiday spots.
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I’ve never been to Malta or Tenerife but I do love Portugal and Greece. I think Greece is one of my favourite countries I’ve ever been to, the sea there was spectacular, I’ve never seen water so clear!! We aren’t going away over the half term but we have lots of fun days out planned and two birthdays to celebrate!
Nice to have a staycation too, especially if the weather is nice. So many great places for day trip 🙂
What a fantastic post. Greece is up there on my list of places to go next year. So many people from work have raved about it!
I love Greece, the waters are always so clear and warm and I can’t get enough of the food!
We are looking to book a holiday for next May so this was super useful, we are thinking of Greece but as we have never been before we were unsure where to visit x
I love booking holidays, how exciting. We love Lindos, it’s a lovely area. 🙂
Look like fab places to visit. We normally stay at home for May half term and it is mine and Matthew’s birthdays so we have trips to family and special treats planned
May is a lovely month for birthdays. My youngest one has hers in May too. Happy birthday to you and Mathew, hope you have some great celebrations 🙂
I would love to visit Greece. Sounds like an amazing place.
Oh it is, definitely one for the bucket list!
I love Lindos, have very fond memories of our visit a few years ago
Yes it’s lovely isn’t it, we love it there 🙂
Greece is very top on my list. Hoping to go there this year.
ooh exciting – I love Greece. The water is so warm there even in May 🙂
They all look so good!! Anywhere with turquoise sea does it for me, Greece looks good have never been before.
I have been to the Canary Islands a few times and loved it. I will need to give Greece a visit though!
Greece is my favourite, especially Lindos 🙂
We were thinking of going away for half term. Great list. I haven’t been to Malta since I was a little girl x
Thanks – Malta is such a lovely place, gorgeous beaches 🙂
Fab top picks! I Love Greece and the food is amazing! 🙂 x
Me too – yes I love the food too!
Ooh these ideas sound and look fabulous. We’ve been to most of these countries before we had the children so it’s great to have family-friendly recommendations.
Great tips! I’d love to visit Greece again and have been thinking of Thassos because i’ve heard it’s not too tourist’y. Maybe in September!
Yes Thassos was lovely, in May there were very few tourists in the part we were staying. I think the island is like that generally. I think September would be a good time too 🙂