Trying to find a summer holiday destination which not only has the sunshine and beaches you’re looking for but also enough activities on offer to keep young children happy can be a chore. If you’re looking for the guaranteed sunshine and beaches of Spain without the crowds, bustle and prices of Benidorm, then Dénia could be just the ticket.
Less than an hour up the coast from Benidorm, Dénia is a compact town of around 30,000 people which lies at the foot of the stunning mountains of the Montgo National Park and looks out over the Mediterranean. Its several pretty Blue Flag beaches offer views of the Balearic Island of Ibiza, which lies just 146km off shore.
Thanks to its size Dénia is very easy to get around, even with young children in tow, so you will quickly become familiar with the traditional narrow streets and old-world charm of its harbour and old town.
Family Fun in Dénia
Dénia is a great family-friendly location with plenty of local playgrounds, beaches, train rides (and even a castle) ripe for exploration by you and your little ones. Being so close to the facilities and activities of Benidorm, you even have the advantage of being able to pop down the coast for a day trip to enjoy the hustle and bustle of some of Spain’s best child-friendly theme parks.
Hitting the Beach
Dénia has two beautiful Blue Flag beaches, both of which offer long stretches of golden sand perfect for sandcastle building and playing ball games. Both beaches also have play areas with climbing frames and play equipment so when the kids get bored of paddling in the sea there’s something else to keep them occupied.
Take your little ones back in time with a trip to the town’s castle. Built in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, first by the Moors and then remodelled over the ages by the Spanish, the castle is not only a fun place to explore – it also offers great views out over the town to the marina to the sea beyond.
Take a Train through Town
One of the best ways to reach the castle is to take the little train through the town’s narrow streets. Buy your tickets beside the main Tourist Office and then jump on board for a journey through Esplanade Cervantes, the harbour, Les Roques Quarter in the old town and then up the hill to the castle. Kids will love the ride and you’ll get to see more of this beautiful Spanish town.
All the Fun of the Fair
There are many play areas dotted around Dénia, including several along the beachfront and a toddler’s play area beside the harbour at Explanada Cervantes. If the kids really need to let off steam then head down the Carr. de les Marines a Dénia to the Parque Les Basetes. Set just back from the beach this is a great park with roller-skating area and play equipment. There’s also a fun fair here throughout the summer months with plenty of rides to appeal to younger children.
Dénia was actually once famous for its toy manufacturing; kids will love the old examples of dolls, train sets and cuddly toys on display at the town’s Toy Museum based in the old station on C/ Calderón.
Theme Parks of Benidorm
For a family day out it’s a great idea to take the scenic tram journey down the coast to Benidorm to enjoy some of the child-friendly thrills and spills on offer at some of its theme parks. For water fun head to Aqualandia with its special areas reserved for little tots. If your children like animals then they’ll love a day trip to Mundomar, an interactive animal park specially devised for children. Terra Mítica is a theme park with a historical slant, informing and teaching kids about Roman, Greek and Ancient Egyptian culture as well as thrilling them with rides and slides.
How to Get to Dénia
The closest airport to Dénia is Alicante which is served by a variety of flights from across the UK on airlines including: Monarch, Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways and Iberia. The quickest and most hassle-free way of getting your family from the airport to Dénia is by booking an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct before you set off. Choose from a shared group transfer or private car and your transport will be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Rosa – With both rooms and self-catering family bungalows, the Hotel Rosa is located just one minute’s walk from the pretty sand beach. The hotel has its own pool, garden and restaurant, while supermarkets and shops are just a short walk away. There’s a bus stop just 137m from the hotel to take you into town or to the harbour.
Aparthotel Ona Ogisaka Gardens – The apartments at Aparthotel Ona Ogisaka Gardens are just a four-minute walk from the beach and are a great option for families. There’s a kitchenette with fridge and microwave, and the hotel provides a welcome pack of food for your arrival. The kids will love the two outdoor pools and one indoor, while you’ll love the relaxing spa.
Belvedere Atico Dénia – The apartments at Belvedere Atico Denia are a practical solution for young families, with a dishwasher, oven, microwave and coffee machine as well as stair gates to the stairs. The outside space is great for little ones with a swimming and paddling pool as well as small playground, as well as good access to the local beach.
About Shuttle Direct:
Providing airport transfers to destination across Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct offers more than a million routes in over 50 countries. Book online and a Shuttle Direct car or minibus will pick you up from the airport when you arrive, saving you the hassle of standing in a taxi queue with the kids and all your luggage, and then having to barter over prices.