A Family playing ball on the beach

Beach Breaks

Our Top 4 Family Beaches In Europe


There are thousands of beautiful beaches across Europe, but which of those is suitable for your family? To get you inspired for your next James Villa holiday in the sun, we’ve put together a guide to four of the best family beaches in Europe. From the crystal clear waters of Sardinia, to the fun-filled beaches of the Greek island of Crete, there’s something for every family.

1. Plage des Marinières, France

Located on the shores of the peaceful commune of Villefranche-sur-Mer, the Plage des Marinières is a great beach for the whole family. The turquoise blue waters are shallow and clear, making it perfect for when your little ones fancy a splash around. The long stretch of golden sand is soft, and easy to walk on, meaning you’ll be free to run around without sandals or shoes on. On top of all this, the beach is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful cliffs, which help to make this spot one of the best in the Côte d’Azur for family days out.

In between building sand castles on the beach, and paddling through the sea, check out the nearby restaurants and snack bars, which sell a range of delicious goodies. From fresh seafood to ice creams and soft drinks, there’s plenty of choice available.

Kids splashing in the sea

Splash around in the calm waters of Plage des Marinières

2. Chrissi Akti, Crete

If you’re holidaying in Crete, and looking for the perfect family beach, make sure you check out Chrissi Akti (otherwise known as Golden Beach). As well as having soft sand for your little ones’ feet, and clear shallow waters, it’s a beach with a variety of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. You’ll have a choice of taking part in volleyball games on the sandy courts, snorkelling in the sea, and even playing in the children’s playground.

The area surrounding the beach is scented by the nearby eucalyptus and pine trees, and is dotted with beach bars, tavernas, and supermarkets, so you’ll have plenty of choice when looking for an afternoon snack.

3. San Pietro Beach, Sardinia

Located in the Costa Rei area of Sardinia, this picturesque beach is surrounded by towering, beautiful cliffs, and has fine sand that stretches for two kilometres, alongside the crystal-clear azure sea. The long stretch of sand means there’s plenty of room for kids to run around, and the shallow clear water makes for perfect snorkelling and paddleboat conditions. And, if your kids love animals, they’re bound to enjoy a ride on one of the local ponies.

Just outside the beach, on the Costa Rei Piazzetta, you and your kids can also look forward to riding on a carousel, jumping up and down on trampolines and digging into creamy scoops of gelato.

Two toddlers making a sandcastle

Make the most of San Pietro’s soft sand

4. Praia-do-Martinhal, Portugal

Located on the shores of west Algarve, this charming beach makes for a wonderful little family getaway. The sandy beach is perfect for building sand castles with and digging out moats, and the calm, shallow water is brilliant for those of you looking to try your hand at windsurfing or snorkelling. There are also the rocky areas of the beach, which collect small pools of water. These are the best places to find crabs and smaller fish, so if your kids do want to try out crabbing or fishing, you should stock up on some quality bait.

Outside of the beach, there are plenty of seafood restaurants, bars and snack shops for when you’re feeling peckish. There’s also a large car pack, for those of you who have hired a car and travelled further than walking distance.

A girl snorkelling

Discover a whole different world in the waters of Praia-do-Martinhal

For more holiday and beach inspiration, take a look at all of our destinations, where you are sure to find the perfect villa holiday for you.


Amanda is a Marketing Assistant at James Villa Holidays.

There are a few quirky things about me, one of them is my obsession with travel. My...

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See all articles by Amanda

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