Family multi activity vacations in Spain

Family activity vacations in Spain give you room to roam. Adventurous souls are set free to canter across Catalonia on horseback, hike the Picos de Europa while learning Spanish, laze beside the lakes and on the sandy beaches of Andalucia, bike old smugglers’ routes in the Pyrenees, and count constellations in dark-sky Starlight Reserves.

“People tend to relax and de-stress quickly here,” says Ilaria Grieco, co-owner and host at our partner El Geco Verde. She lives with her family in the mountainous Altiplano de Granada in the Andalucian interior and helps run our most popular family activity vacation in Spain. “Young children can roam around freely in safety, with no need for parents to watch them the whole time.”

By offering child-friendly accommodation and hiring expert activity guides, our family vacation specialists create spaces where families can let loose. Parents and guardians don’t have to worry, because children will be in the safe hands of people who know whether your six-year-old will be comfortable canyoning, or if you should swap rappelling down waterfalls for rafting or wild swimming.
In Spain, going off-grid means you’re better connected than ever – connected to communities, nature and each other.
Keeping things nice and simple, family multi activity vacations in Spain usually stick to one hotel. Ilaria hosts guests in El Geco Verde, a terracotta-topped, whitewashed country hotel where olive trees shade the terraces and thick stone walls keep spacious rooms naturally cool. Children are always welcome in the dining room, where continental breakfasts and homemade dinners such as aubergine lasagne and Spanish tortillas are served – or you can take advantage of restaurant and tapas bar recommendations.

Some of the best family hotels in Spain technically lie off the grid. We’re not talking mountain huts lit by candlelight, but more along the lines of accommodation powered by solar electricity and surrounded by olive and orange groves. Here, going off-grid means you’re better connected than ever – to communities, nature and each other.

Off-grid doesn’t have to mean phone free, either. Some vacations even encourage techie troupes, matching you up with apps that unlock hiking maps or reveal routes through Spanish cities for wheelchair users.
We want kids to climb trees, swim in lakes and get active outdoors without any concrete.
“We want guests to get out there and have fun,” says Fiona Smart from our partner Mas Pelegri. Fiona and husband Gareth restored a decaying farm building from the ground up, giving it a second life as a family-friendly activity hotel and training center near Girona in north-east Spain. This is where you’ll stay on our family activity vacation in Catalonia. “We want kids to climb trees, swim in lakes and get active outdoors without any concrete.”

This is Spain, though, so there’s also plenty of time to siesta. You can rocket from canyon to coast in the cooler mornings, before slowing things down with cooking lessons and time by the hill-view pool.

Which part of Spain is best for a family activity vacation?

Our family activity vacations explore all of Spain, from the snow-dipped Picos de Europa mountains in the north to sun-baked southern Andalucia, where Morocco and Algeria stretch out just across the water. So how to choose? Here’s what our travel experts have to say about where to go on a family multi activity vacation in Spain…


Andalucia is one of the most popular spots for active families. Most visitors rarely step away from Seville, Granada and the Costa del Sol, so you’ll get mountainous inland regions like the Altiplano all to yourselves. This varied landscape complements the number of family activities on offer.

The rafting is always a winner for families and a really good laugh. Water fights between the rafts are almost inevitable.
“We are very proud of the eclectic range of activities we offer,” says Ilaria, “from guided stargazing and canyoning, which older kids really love, to pizza making and kayaking, which little ones can also enjoy. The best activities for bringing the whole family together are undoubtedly the flamenco dance class and rafting – both are fun for all ages. The rafting is always a winner for families and a really good laugh. Water fights between the rafts are almost inevitable.

“But our most popular activity is a visit to a local farm – it’s always a hit with all ages. You help to milk the goats, make your own cheese and bread, and pick vegetables in the organic garden, then share a meal. There are many activities scattered around in such a beautiful landscape; a car is essential to make the most of your stay.”

  • Read more about multi activity vacations in Andalucia
  • Catalonia

    “Catalonia is brilliant for families,” says Fiona. “There’s lots to do for children of different ages, from toddlers up to 18-year-olds. The weather is such that you can be outdoors and enjoying the countryside… We’ve had 87-year-olds who are into everything and parents with babies who are keen to get involved.”

    Horse riding is one of the most popular activities here, thanks to a Catalonian enthusiasm for everything equestrian. Even the prehistoric cave paintings in these parts depict wild horses. You can also sign up for hiking, cycling and mountain biking, canyoning, rock climbing, kayaking, yoga, rope courses and food toursAccessible activity vacations in Catalonia adapt rooms, food and activities for a range of abilities and ages.

  • Read more about multi activity vacations in Catalonia
  • Picos de Europa

    The toothy peaks of the Picos de Europa National Park are the backdrop for family activities in this mountainous part of northern Spain.

    “Families enjoy the opportunities to do things together,” says Ana Rodríguez García, from our partner Peak Me Languages. “Not everyone knows a language; not everyone is sporty. But to have a mix of the two things means that everyone can have a bit of what they enjoy. Lots of families do this vacation because they think they can better help their children. The parents might not speak Spanish, but lots of children learn it in school.”

    Those Spanish lessons can be combined with caving between dripping stalactites in the underbelly of the Picos, canyoning and canoeing along rivers, and hikes with mountain guides. Families with confident kids can even tackle the heady heights of the via ferrata, clambering up the side of a mountain using a gauntlet of manmade ladders, handholds and walkways.

    “Some people love it, some people find it exhausting, some people find it so exciting that they don’t notice they are doing something quite strenuous,” says Ana.

  • Read more about activity vacations in the Pico de Europa
  • Travel Team
    If you'd like to chat about Family activity or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

    What are family activity vacations in Spain like?

    Tailor made family adventures

    Our most popular family activity vacations in Spain are tailor made. Our partners can customise a suggested itinerary to suit you and your family’s preferences, abilities and attention spans.

    “Most families cope really well,” says Fiona. “However, those with older teens sometimes struggle to get the kids off their phones. I’ve seen a mum really wanting to try everything, but the rest of her family just wasn’t interested. The dad wanted to read by the pool and the kids wanted to hang out and do nothing…. It’s important to be realistic about what type of vacation you’re signing up for.”

    Even if you’re traveling as a unit, you can make friends with other families from around the world at activity centers and over the hotel breakfast table.

    Tailor made family vacations are also good for those traveling on a budget. You can choose to pre-book just a couple of activities and explore the trails and lakes yourselves on free days.

    … or sociable small group tours

    Small group family activity vacations in Spain have a real sense of camaraderie. You’ll follow the same itinerary as other families, usually in groups of 8-16, depending on the activity. There’s often a minimum age of 10, as children need to be old enough to keep up with the group. Almost everything, including accommodation, food and most meals, is included in the price. Most small group vacations are a week long, with the chance to add a few beach days at the end.

    Activities for (almost) all ages

    Activities can be adapted to a variety of ability levels and interests. You might be surprised how, when accompanied by an encouraging and experienced instructor, even young children can enjoy kayaking, canyoning and rafting. Weight limits can crop up on white water rafting trips; there’s a 40kg weight minimum for some higher-grade rapids, which can exclude preteens.

    “In the school vacations our guests are mostly families with kids aged 6-18,” says Ilaria. “We have seen an increase in grandparents vacationing with their grandchildren or coming as part of the family group. We sometimes hire out the whole hotel as a venue for landmark family celebrations and it is lovely to see the generations coming together like that.”

    Traditional Spanish accommodation

    Accommodation ranges from family-run mountain hotels to grand Andalucian country houses. They’re always fit for families, though, stocked with extra-large rooms, accessible swimming pools with ramps and shallow ends, board game libraries and delicious, unfussy food.

    Some family hotels in Spain offer half-board, so you can start the day with homemade breakfasts and a packed lunch, while left free to take your pick of tapas bars in the evening. Local food and wine are always on the menu – Andalucian smoked ham, perhaps, or Rioja pressed from grapes grown in the same valley.

    When to go on a family multi activity vacation in Spain

    Most families travel to Spain during the European school vacations, with July and August the most popular months. The sometimes scorching weather is nothing to worry about, though – our partners are well accustomed to adjusting itineraries so that high-energy activities take place well outside of the midday heat.

    In late autumn and winter (November-February), seasonal activities such as canyoning and rafting might only be available to experienced adults, as heavier rains and snowmelt speed up the rivers. Equally, hot summers might leave canyons parched, so you’ll be scrambling down dry riverbeds rather than splashing along streams.
    Photo credits: [Page banner: Miguel Navaza] [Intro: Benjamin Elliott] [Andalucia: Unsplash+] [Catalonia: shahir shah] [Picos de Europa: Javier Rincon] [Tailor made family adventures: David Domingo]