Summer family holidays are an annual event that the whole family can look forward to. The great thing about your kids getting older is that you can actually start doing things together which you all enjoy (a reward for the hours you spent in playgrounds with them when they were little).
While at home you might be more used to looking at the top of your teen’s heads as they stare endlessly at their phones, a summer holiday on Spain’s beautiful island of Mallorca is a great chance to get out and do things together as a family.
From trying out watersports together for the first time to hiking through the stunning countryside or soaking up the atmosphere at a local fiesta, there’s so much to do in Mallorca that they will hardly have time to post it all on social media.
One of the best holidays I’ve had with my own teens recently was in Mallorca’s beautiful Cala d’Or. We were lucky enough to be there when the Fiesta de la Mare de Deu del Mar was on, a fiesta held on the 15 August each year. We had a great time all hanging out together, listening to the live music and watching the vibrant procession.
The rest of the time we spent enjoying the amazing range of watersports available (we all particularly loved the snorkelling, which is stunning up and down the coast here). And yes, we even took a breathtaking (in both senses of the word) hike through the Mondragó Natural Park.
If you are heading to Cala d’Or for your family holiday this year then you’re in for a treat. Here’s my run down of my favourite teen-friendly activities in and around the resort.
I have to say that, for my family, watersports is the perfect cross-generational activity. We all love the water: I love introducing them to some of the activities I enjoy, and they love daring me to try some new ones. As long as there’s water we’re happy, and at Cala d’Or there’s was certainly plenty to keep us content.
This beautiful beach nestled into the rocky landscape with its stunning pine forests is the best place to head if you want to try diving. We went there for a diving trip and ended up spending the day splashing around in pedal boats, snorkelling and playing beach volleyball.
I’d never tried windsurfing before, and I’m not sure it’s my forte, but Esmeralda is famous for its windsurfing and the kids managed to persuade me to try it out. There are loads of sites to hire windsurfs here and some really good instructors, who even managed to make me look halfway passable.
There are a range of wind-based watersports on offer at the beach including catamaran and dinghy sailing and even some surfing. You can hire all the equipment here and there are some great guides on hand to teach you.
Hiking in the Mondragó Natural Park
If you’ve got teens of your own, you might be wondering how I persuaded mine to accompany me on a hike in the middle of August! The answer is simple: I showed them a picture of Cala Mondragó.
Voted one of the top ten beaches in the world by the Sunday Times, the beach in the Mondragó Natural Park is protected parkland and so is wonderfully unspoilt. Just 15 minutes outside of the town, you can hike through the park along the rocky coast line and through its pine forests to reach this stunning stretch of sand – well worth the sweat once you dive into the crystal clear waters here.
Fiesta de la Mare de Deu del Mar
Try, if you can, to book your holiday to coincide with one of Mallorca’s great festivals. The Fiesta de la Mare de Deu del Mar is held on the 15 August each year and is a celebration of ‘the lady of the sea’.
Get ready for some serious fun as the whole town (we’re talking infants through to grandparents) party all day long, enjoying live music and great local food, before joining the impressive marine-themed parade around the harbour in the evening. You’ll find lots to do, including sporting events to watch and, if you’re lucky, take part in.
How to Get to Cala d’Or
Flights into Mallorca arrive at Palma Airport and take a little over two hours from the UK. There are a range of airlines which offer direct flights to Palma including easyJet, Thomas Cook and Jet2.
I’m not sure what it is about teenagers which makes them so adverse to hanging around while travelling, but in my family we’ve solved the problem of waiting for transfers by always booking a Shuttle Direct airport taxi before we set off. If you book a private car to pick you up at the airport with Shuttle Direct, the driver will be there to meet you when you land and will drive you directly to your accommodation. The drive is less than an hour, so your teens won’t have too much time to complain.
Where to Stay:
Ona Village Cala d’Or – The stylish apartments at Ona Village Cala d’Or offer all the space you need to enjoy a family holiday without feeling like you’re getting on top of each other. There’s a garden with a pool and an onsite bar for cold drinks, not to mention that it’s six minute’s walk from the beach. In the rooms the kids can keep themselves entertained with the free WiFi and TV with DVD player.
Barceló Ponent Playa – If you and your family are sporty you’ll love the Barceló Ponent Playa. Just minutes from the beautiful Ferrera Beach, the hotel also has a tennis court and mini golf course. And, of course, there’s the free WiFi all kids require!
Hotel Cala Dor – Indulge in some stunning Mallorcan style at the Hotel Cala Dor, set in its own tranquil cove. There’s a beautiful sun terrace and pool looking out over the beach and a great restaurant where you can enjoy local cuisine. Fitness-keen teens will appreciate the gym, and the free WiFi.
About Shuttle Direct:
Save yourself from stress at the airport by booking a Shuttle Direct airport transfer online before you leave home. The leading provider of private and group transfers in Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct will send a driver to meet you at the airport and transport you directly to your hotel so that you and your family can get on with enjoying your precious holiday together.