Oliver’s Travels: 6 places to visit (and stay) with babies and toddlers

Sometimes the idea of going on holiday with our little ones sounds like a test from the parenting gods, and while – yes, that does sometimes feel like the case - it’s also a lovely feeling to go on holiday with your family and spend some quality time together (and if there’s sunshine, even better right?!). Let’s face it, temper tantrums are way easier to deal with when you’re lying by the pool basking in the warmth.

However, we know there are some absolute no-goes when it comes to family holidays… long airplane journeys, crowded resorts, and blistering heat we’re looking at you. So, we came up with - what we think - is an ideal list of places to visit with babies and toddlers, plus a few villas for good measure.

 

Oliver’s Travels is a luxury villa holiday company with a twist; from converted lighthouses and chapels to private islands and medieval fortresses, they specialise in quirky and extraordinary holiday homes for families and large groups. After all, why do ordinary?

France

France conjures up romantic holiday notions of walking through pastel-coloured meadows, sunbathing on golden beaches, indulging in decadent pastries, sitting on a veranda sipping refreshing rosé and enjoying a generally stylish break (aren’t all people who summer in France stylish?!).

France as a destination to visit when you have babies and toddlers is a bit of a no-brainer – it’s relatively easy to get to, the weather isn’t scorching, and it offers an easy-breezy escape from an otherwise hectic lifestyle.

Best time to visit: The weather varies from region to region, with the south of France benefiting from much hotter days, however we’d recommend avoiding the busy summer months and opting to visit in spring/late summer (e.g. September) where temperatures can still reach 24°, unless you’re heading to the Atlantic Coast where it’s generally cooler, even in the summer.

Avg flight time from London: 2 hours

You can also travel from London via Eurostar to Lille, Paris, Calais, Nantes and Strasbourg.

L’Oustal Des Fleurs, Languedoc

Where to stay: L’Oustal Des Fleurs, Languedoc | Sleeps 8 | From £43pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

>Baby-proofed throughout
>Cots and high chairs
>Heated child-safe indoor pool
>Fenced grounds
>Games room with consoles, table tennis and football, DVDs and toys
>Babysitting service available
>Maid service available

Les Petits Champs, Dordogne

Where to stay: Les Petits Champs, Dordogne | Sleeps 8 | From £29pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

>Heated child-safe pool
>Fenced grounds
>Cots, highchairs, bottle steriliser and baby monitor
>Close to the airport
>Outdoor and indoor entertainment, including swings, pool inflatables, books, toys and DVDs

UK

Sometimes the thought of making your way to a destination with cases and kids through airport security and crowds is just too much, so why not opt for a staycation? Don’t discredit the UK just because it’s not abroad… there’s so much to do right on our doorstep that we often forget that it makes an amazing holiday destination. Not to mention it’s way easier to get to with little ones in tow!

Best time to visit: We all know what the weather’s like in the UK… unpredictable at best. And to be honest, some places are just as good in the winter as they are in the summer! So, go whenever you want.

Emley Woodhouse, Yorkshire

Where to stay: Emley Woodhouse, Yorkshire | Sleeps 14-17 | From £43pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Food blender
> Stair gates
> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Plastic crockery
> Children’s books, DVD’s, toys and games
> Fenced grounds
> Animal farm nearby

The Grange, Somerset

Where to stay: The Grange, Somerset | Sleeps 10 | From £16pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Food blender
> Stair gates
> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Animal farm nearby
> Board games
> Enclosed garden

Spain

A popular choice among families, Spain is another no-brainer when you look at how long it takes to get there, the lovely weather, the similar culture and the number of Blue Flag beaches. Think back to your holidays as a child… does Spain heavily feature in your memories? More than likely because it’s a great family-friendly resort – it’s safe, fun, and offers loads of activities for every age!

Best time to visit: You can obviously visit in the summer, however this is the time when all families will descend on the sandy beaches of Spain, and since you’ve got little ones that aren’t quite at school age yet, it means you can take advantage of the warm and pleasant shoulder season months (March – May and Sept – Nov).

Avg flight time from London: 2 hours

Villa Burras, Mallorca

Where to stay: Villa Burras, Mallorca | Sleeps 6 | From £49pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Bath toys
> Changing mat
> Night lights
> Child cutlery, bowls, cups etc
> Potty
> Stair gates
> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Non-slip bathmat
> Child’s toilet seat, changing mat and step
> DVDs
> Child-safe pool (fenced)

Villa Es Costes, Mallorca

Where to stay: Villa Es Costes, Mallorca | Sleeps 8 | From £58pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Maid service included
> Fenced grounds
> Children’s outdoor play park

Italy

Gorgeous art, bustling piazzas, the tastiest food and the most beautiful architecture – Italy is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Europe for various types of travellers. History buffs, foodies, culture vultures, and explorers can all find lots of things to get up to in Italy. But what about when you’ve got a baby or toddler?

Italy is known as a friendly country, and the locals welcome young families with open arms! Whether you want to stay near all the action so it’s easier to go out on day trips, or you’d rather stay somewhere rural and secluded where you and your little ones can enjoy each other’s company, there are loads of options to get the exact holiday you want/need.

Best time to visit: Like most European countries, Italy is great in summer – but obviously it’s more crowded. So, if you head there just after the busy summer months you’ll still benefit from the warm weather, without the tourist hordes. Italy enjoys long summers way into October, with it still sometimes reaching a balmy 24°. Not bad for an out of season holiday.

Avg flight time from London: 2 hours 30 mins

Villa Gioia, Sardinia

Where to stay: Villa Gioia, Sardinia | Sleeps 10 | From £63pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Baby bath
> Baby monitor
> Baby proofing
> Bottle steriliser
> Plastic crockery
> Potty
> Pushchair
> Stairgates
> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Child-safe pool
> Toys
> Fenced grounds
> Beachfront
> DVD library
> Pre-arranged grocery shop can be arranged with nappies, wipes etc

La Casetta, Umbria

Where to stay: La Casetta, Umbria | Sleeps 3 | From £56pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Toys
> Fenced grounds

Croatia

Dramatic coastlines, medieval-walled towns, and year-round weather (pretty much, anyway – it still hits 19° in October!) … Croatia has been on Europe’s ‘hot list’ for a good few years now, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be dropping. And there’s a ton of reasons why we think this is the case – aside from the aforementioned points – it doesn’t take long to fly there, it’s good value for money, and it hits one of the big 2020 travel trends… it’s an ‘all amusive escape’. Meaning you can get a bit of everything, from beautiful beach life to rugged mountains and stunning national parks.

Best time to visit: For parents with babies and toddlers, the shoulder season in Croatia is perfect (May-June and Sept-Oct) … pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and sandy beaches great for a paddle.

Avg flight time from London: 2 hours

Villa Lovrenco, Dalmatia

Where to stay: Villa Lovrenco, Dalmatia | Sleeps 14 | From £49pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Child-safe pool with a children’s section and water slide
> Wendy house with a slide in the garden
> Walk to the beach
> Great for multiple families travelling together as the villa is separated into 4 units

Villa Ljubica, Dalmatia

Where to stay: Villa Ljubica, Dalmatia | Sleeps 8 | From £22pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Fenced garden
> Less than an hour from the airport
> Children’s play area outside with slide and swing set (with toddler seat)
> Set across one level
> Heated pool

Portugal

Warm weather year-round, family-friendly resorts, and a welcoming vibe for young families, Portugal is the ideal destination to visit with babies and toddlers. Families have been travelling to Portugal for years because it’s well catered to them – English is widely spoken, the cuisine is diverse and offers just as much western food as Portuguese, the locals are friendly, there are plenty of well-equipped beaches, and the scenery is beautiful. It’s everything a family with young kids would want… because when the kids are happy, the parents can relax!

Best time to visit: Again, like most places in Europe, shoulder season is the ideal time to visit… especially with little ones who would struggle in the blistering heat of the summer.

Avg flight time from London: 2 hours 30 minutes

Villa Concetta, Algarve

Where to stay: Villa Concetta, Algarve | Sleeps 8 | From £74pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Resort villa
> Fully supervised children’s village with explorable pirate ships, children’s swimming pool, ‘racetrack’ for toys on wheels and bouncy castle
> The team organise a programme of fun activities for children ages 6 months – 8 years
> Babysitting services available
> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Fenced grounds
> Toys
> DVDs
> Walk to beach, village and restaurant
> Less than an hour to the airport

Villa Agua, Algarve

Where to stay: Villa Agua, Algarve | Sleeps 6 | From £34pppn

Why is it ideal for babies and toddlers?

> Cot(s)
> High chair(s)
> Child-safe heated pool with safety fence
> DVDs
> Less than an hour from the airport
> Walk to restaurant
> Resort events such as easter egg hunt, dance classes, and family games

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