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A Perfect Itinerary for Visiting Spain’s Costa del Sol with Kids

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It has to be said that Spain shines as an exceptional family-friendly destination, making a trip to Europe with kids a walk in the park. Following our magical adventure to Walt Disney World in Florida last year, we embarked on our inaugural family journey to the Old Continent. Despite our kids being on the younger side, the experience was nothing short of fantastic. The Costa del Sol caters to all types of travelers, whether you’re venturing as a family, with friends, as a couple, or solo. The region boasts a wealth of stunning landscapes and must-visit spots that promise to enchant every visitor.

For those contemplating a trip to Andalusia with little ones in tow, here’s the scoop: it’s a sun-soaked paradise perfect for family exploration, regardless of the season. Truly an unforgettable experience for the whole family!

Don Pepe Gran Melia, the perfect Costa del Sol kids resort

Don Pepe Gran Melia Costal del Sol hôtels

To explore the Costa del Sol with kids, we set up base in Marbella, which is about 45 minutes from Malaga airport. We then drove around the area. We decided to stay at the Don Pepe Gran Melia, which is right on the beach and accessible via the promenade. The location is ideal to explore the popular attractions of the province of Malaga, admire the Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance, and enjoy the views of the coast all within a few minute ride from the resort.

In addition to spacious suites and a staff that is very generous with children, the hotel has an indoor/outdoor pool and a kids club that was perfect for all members of the family. We found a nice balance between sightseeing in the morning and relaxing at the end of the day, enjoying the hotel pool, the beach or the kids club facilities.

I still dream of our morning walks with a stop at Caffuccino! They serve great coffees overlooking the Mediterranean. An enjoyable stay, highly recommended!


MARBELLA - Espagne Costal del Sol en famille - Costa del Sol with kids Spain

Marbella instantly captivated us with its prime location along the Mediterranean coast. It’s a hit for its stunning beaches on the Costa del Sol, offering clear waters alongside family-friendly parks. The old town is a highlight, showcasing classic Andalusian architecture with white buildings and a historical aura that hints at its Arabic influences.

Puerto Banus marina is another crowd-pleaser, drawing us in three times with its array of shops. It’s complemented by restaurants, a lengthy promenade, and inviting sandy beaches.

Our family adventure included a boat trip from Puerto Banus Marina to Marbella, a great opportunity to soak in the beautiful landscapes. An unforgettable hour on the water with views of the coast!

Nerja and Frigiliana

Our day trip took us to Nerja and Frigiliana, two gems nestled closely together, renowned for their stunning beauty among Spain’s villages.

Nerja, perched along the coastline, offers awe-inspiring views of the sea from its towering cliffs. Its beaches, ensconced by high, orange cliffs, are a picturesque retreat. A visit to the Balcon de Europa is essential; it’s where we enjoyed a memorable dinner before strolling through the vibrant, flower-adorned streets, eventually making our way to the beach.

Those with a bit more time on their hands (and older children) may want to plan an afternoon at the famous Nerja caves, to admire the prehistoric cave paintings.

Later in the day, we explored Frigiliana. This quaint, white-washed village is set in the mountains, providing expansive views of the Mediterranean. The historic center, Barribarto, is a labyrinth of narrow streets, oozing charm at every turn. At the village’s entrance, a delightful playground offers swings and various play modules, perfect for a family visit.


Ronda, a captivating town located roughly an hour’s drive north from Marbella, offers a refreshing change of scenery. The journey there from the Costa del Sol provides picturesque views, making the drive a part of the adventure.

Upon arrival, we indulged in the local café scene, with Tejeringo’s Coffee standing out as a family-friendly spot. Their expansive patio was the perfect setting to enjoy their signature, oversized churros dipped in an assortment of sauces.

The town itself boasts spacious public areas that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Ronda is also well-equipped with numerous parks for children, adding to its family appeal. A visit to the iconic Puente Viejo bridge is essential, with its grandeur consistently leaving a lasting impression on visitors.

Is Costa del Sol good for families? Absolutely!

I’ve discovered that the Costa del Sol is a treasure trove for families, and here’s why: its blend of sun-drenched beaches, child-friendly attractions, and the warm welcome of its locals make it an unbeatable destination. Many of the cities and villages we visited featured play areas that were a hit with children of all ages, both mine and the local ones! There were plenty of fun activities and exciting adventures to be had in the area.

Our Spain family adventures here have been filled with joy, from building sandcastles on the soft shores to exploring enchanting old towns and indulging in delicious Spanish cuisine that even the pickiest eaters enjoyed.

My essential items for traveling to Spain with young children

Our first overseas trip on an overnight flight with the kids turned out to be a breeze, much to my delight! The crew at Air Transat was incredibly supportive, ensuring Céleste and Noah were comfortable throughout. Beyond the diaper bag stocked with the necessities (diapers, wipes, changes, water bottles, snacks, and more), I packed their favorite blankets and toys, plus a variety of games to keep them engaged during awake times. Coloring books, action figures, modeling clay, and a selection of small toys proved to be perfect for the job.

I spent a lot of time on the logistics for my kids, aged 18 months and 3 years, pondering over the ideal stroller choice for visiting Costa del Sol with kids.

Opting for our two Yoyo strollers over a bulky double stroller was a game-changer. Their compact design made them a breeze to handle and transport. This choice also proved advantageous for car trunk space in our rental vehicle. Additionally, having two strollers allowed for flexibility, enabling either parent to take one child out, such as when it was naptime for the youngest.

With a car rental, we conveniently added car seats for an approximate fee of $20 per day.

Moreover, the hotel where we stayed provided a crib, saving us the hassle of bringing one along. This thoughtful accommodation further streamlined our travel experience.

Otherwise, here’s a list of essentials for a family vacation in Spain:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Floaties
  • Water shoes (those famous Costa del Sol beaches, sometimes made of pebbles!)
  • Sunscreen
  • A pair of sunglasses
  • Caps or hats
  • White noise machine
  • And some familiar snacks

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

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