I know many parents who worry about taking their older children on holiday as they fear that they will become bored and grumpy. This is understandable (especially with teens!), which is why I always suggest picking somewhere that will provide plenty of opportunities for action and adventure.
on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol is an excellent destination for families with older kids as it is known as a glamorous city with a great beaches and an even greater climate. Not only this, but its impressive natural surroundings mean that there are dozens of thrilling activities to try.
These activities should keep your teens engaged and happy, which will make the experience a memorable one for all.
Here are my recommendations for fun activities to try on your trip:
On a Bike
The Costa del Sol is a beautiful part of the world, perfect for exploring by bike. This is helped by the fact that it never rains during the warmer months of the year!
I always think that a city tour is the best way to start a trip as it helps you to get your bearings whilst seeing and learning about the entire city. There are plenty of great bicycle tours in Marbella, including guided tours that will showcase the history, culture and traditions of the area.
In addition to tours, Marbella also has many wonderful bike trails that will allow you to explore the surrounding area and experience authentic Marbella. Yep Bike Marbella, G2 Move Bike Rentals and Marbella Rent a Bike are all recommended rental centres where you can also find out more about trails in the area.
On a Horse
You will want your trip to be filled with unique experiences for your teenagers so that they can show off to their mates when they get home. Horseriding is very popular in Marbella thanks to the year-round sunshine and natural surroundings.
If it is their first time, it is worth signing up for a few introductory lessons. Pony Club Villacana is a highly rated equestrian centre which offers riding schools, kids camps and beach rides (good photo opportunities!) for all ages and abilities.
In addition to riding, horse racing is also popular here – there is the opportunity to attend these races, a thrilling and fun experience! Also, you are situated near one of Europe’s top Polo clubs in the Santa Maria Polo Club in Sotogrande. You could head out to watch one of their tournaments, or even introduce your kids to the sport with a beginner’s course.
In the Water
No summer holiday is complete without a dip in the water (especially in the very warm Costa del Sol!). The waters off the coast are lovely and warm, making them ideal for water sports or just a paddle in the ocean.
If your teenagers are seeking adrenaline, then I suggest that you take them to Jet Ski Marbella Watersports – one of the leading water sports operators in all of Spain. There are also opportunities for scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing and much more in the Med.
It is not just the ocean where you can enjoy family fun in the water. Youngsters will love canyoning, where they can explore the dramatic canyons of Marbella by climbing, jumping, swimming and abseiling. Fishing or kayaking in the breathtaking mountain lakes are other popular activities that allow you to escape the busy city centre and enjoy the sublime natural surroundings.
Looking to escape the sun? There are also dozens of terrific indoor activities to consider.
Costajump– A relatively new attraction, Costajump is an enormous indoor arena that is filled with trampolines wall to wall! In addition to flying around the room, they will be able to try different games and activities, such as doing their best Michael Jordan impression with the Basketball Dunk Challenge or participating in a giant airborne game of dodgeball! Whilst they burn up plenty of energy, there is a viewing gallery or cafe where you can escape the madness.
Cooking workshops – This is an activity that I always recommend to parents as it encourages their kids to get in the kitchen! Obrador Dulce & Salado Catering Cati Schiff is a welcoming cooking school that offers fun workshops for all abilities and ages. Who knows, they may develop a knack for cooking and be keen to help out at home!
Indoor theme parks – Fantasy Land is a cool place with many indoor and outdoor activities to try, whilst BrainQuest in the city centre is a real-life adventure game where you must put your heads together to overcome a challenge. The Sea Life Centre in Benalmadena is supposed to be superb and features over 5,000 different creatures, plus there are many other museums, sports facilities, activity centres and more in the city.
How to Get to Marbella
Fortunately, Marbella is simple to get to so it should not be too stressful or result in any grumpy teens! The best route is to fly from one of the London airports into Malaga (AGP) airport – this is around 2.5 hours and the flight is made by airlines such as easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways.
I strongly recommend pre-booking a Shuttle Direct transfer to take you from the airport to your hotel. This saves you waiting around at the airport and provides a fast and comfortable journey (roughly 40 minutes)
Where to Stay:
Luxe Villa Puerto Banus– A spacious villa found 5 miles outside the city centre, it is difficult to get bored here thanks to the 3 outdoor pools, tennis court, golf courses in the surrounding area, free Wi-Fi and the beautiful garden. The villa also has a kitchen, dining area, 3 bathrooms and air-conditioning.
About Shuttle Direct:
Beat the taxi queues at the airport by pre-booking a transfer to your hotel with Shuttle Direct, one of the top transfer providers in Europe. Once you arrive at the airport, simply jump in the back and a friendly local driver will whisk you away to your destination.