Anyone who has ever taken a brood of young children on holiday will know that the requirements are basic but essential: child-friendly food, loads of activities, and a swimming pool or beach in short walking distance of your accommodation. Luckily, in one of Spain’s most popular family resorts, Mallorca’s Palma Nova, you will get everything you need for the perfect, hassle-free family holiday.
Let’s start with what Mother Nature provided for this beautiful bay on the southwest side of Mallorca. The calm, shallow water here makes it an ideal location for a beach holiday with young children because they can safely splash around in the water without getting out of their depth. Add to that the golden sand and the perfect weather and you’ll have to agree that Mother Nature was clearly thinking about the little ones when she created Palma Nova.
Of course, you don’t get this kind of perfection without the secret getting out, and I’m not going to pretend that you and your family are going to get the resort to yourselves. This is a very popular holiday resort, particularly with the British, but it’s not a ‘party’ resort (like its close neighbour Magaluf). It tends to be full of a quieter crowd made up of families and ex-pat residents.
In actual fact, the tourist development here is what makes it so ideal for young families, with its many activities, playgrounds, and child-friendly cafés and restaurants. Even nearby Magaluf is a godsend when you’re here with young children, thanks to its seemingly endless waterparks, theme parks and kids shows. So embrace the crowds, because they, like you, are coming here for a well-earned family getaway.
The great news is that there are three beaches in the resort, all linked by a convenient promenade, and all close to the centre of town. Safety isn’t a concern either with lifeguards on duty throughout the summer months and first aid stations in case of any little accidents. Altogether, they make for a perfect place to flop for a day on the sand with your little ones.
This is the biggest beach in the resort and a good place to head if you’re looking to dip in and out of the sun. Lined by excellent cafés and restaurants, you can bring your bucket and spade and when the kids get bored just pop into a nearby beach bar for cold drinks or ice cream.
I have to admit, this is where I spent most of my time with my kids. It’s a great Blue Flag beach – made even better by the fact that the authorities here imported soft, fine sand to enhance the natural golden stuff – with all the facilities you would expect (and need). There’s even a playground on the promenade here, for when the kids get bored of sand castles and paddling.
Playa Palma Nova
This is probably the busiest beach, although at a whopping 1km in length it never feels too crowded. A popular stretch for water sports and boat trips, it’s a good base from which to set off for an excursion, or to try some of the child-friendly activities like kayaking and sailing.
As much as we parents might yearn for long days lounging in the sun, the reality with young children is that there is only so much beach they can do before they’re looking for fresh entertainment. Thankfully in Palma Nova there is loads for them to do beyond the sun, sea and sand.
This is not just a little minigolf course set in a corner of the resort; Fantasia Minigolf is a world of minigolf which had my little ones whooping with joy all the way round. There are a whopping 54 holes to be played here across three separate, tropical-themed courses. Expect waterfalls, tropical foliage and loads of fun trying to pot balls through crazy obstacles in this park set just behind the beach in the centre of the resort.
Imagine combining bouncy castles and a water park and you come somewhere close to the Aqua Arena experience. Huge inflatables floating on the sea create a crazy fun park for children to clamber over and slide down. Life jackets are provided and children under eight have to be accompanied by an adult but, believe me, you won’t mind a bit once you’re sliding down an inflatable slide into the water!
Make sure you book yourself a half-day sailing trip to some of the more beautiful, secluded bays on the island. The scenery is stunning and when the boat drops anchor you’ll get the chance to swim or go exploring in a two-person kayak. A truly memorable experience!
How to Get to Palma Nova
Another key consideration for a family holiday with little ones is travelling time. Thankfully Palma Nova is a breeze to get to with regular flights flying from the UK to Palma Airport offered by a range of budget airlines including easyJet and Ryanair. The flight time is around two and a half hours, which is short enough to stop the kids from whinging. I would definitely advise booking your airport transfer before you set off. If you’re looking for an economical option then go online and book a shared transfer with Shuttle Direct. The journey time is around 25 minutes.
Where to Stay
Aparthotel Aquasol – The Aparthotel Aquasol is well geared up for families with spacious apartments, a supermarket on site, live evening entertainment, a games room and even its very own poolside ice cream kiosk!
Las Palomas Apartments Econotels – With a selection of studios and one-bedroom apartments, which all work well as family rooms, the Las Palomas Apartments Econotels is a good choice just a few minutes’ walk from the beach.
Ibersol Son Caliu Mar – The four-star Ibersol Son Caliu Mar has great facilities for children with two swimming pools (one especially for them), spacious rooms with balconies, a lively, shaded kids club, and live entertainment.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is the leading provider of airport services across Europe and North Africa. It offers a great range of airport transfer services with something for every budget. From the economical shared group transfer to the economy private car for you and your family, it provides the perfect way to get from the airport to your accommodation.