I’m dreaming of a holiday by the sea this month!

Once Christmas and New Year are over my thoughts always turn to holidays and what we can plan to make the year ahead fun.

Maybe it’s the chilly weather, maybe it’s the long nights or maybe it’s just that January feeling, but I’m already plotting our next holiday and Spain is top of my list.

So my mind is turning to what we could do; checking out Spanish villas for rent, beautiful beaches, and child-friendly places to visit, because we need to keep the little scamps entertained somehow.

Spain is one of my favourite places for a family holiday because I had so many gorgeous trips there as a child.

I have fond memories of lazy days spent by the pool, playing on lilos with my brother, sunbathing, making new friends, exploring the sea wearing goggles and evenings spent dancing around the pool.

So I’ve made a little wish list of things I would love to do, with my children in mind as I don’t think we can get away with leaving them behind, on my next Spanish holiday.

1. Barcelona

Barcelona is so very vibrant

What can I say? A beautiful city full of culture, gorgeous food, beautiful architecture and something new to discover around every corner.

For me a visit here would involve a lot of relaxing strolls, taking in the city by foot. I would love to see the stunning Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, the Magic Fountain and the Palau de la Musica Orfeo Catala.

The Basilica of the Sagrada Familia – so stunning

I also imagine the choice of food is incredible! This could be a visit as part of a long holiday or a long weekend.

2. All the eating

I adore Spanish food and wish we had more restaurants local to us at home that served tapas. My children would definitely find something to love among the huge amount of choice, I’m sure.

3. The beach

I used to love playing in the sand as a child. I’m sure my kids would love a holiday close to the beach where they could build sand castles and run through the surf.

I love the thought of spending every day at the beach until it’s time for dinner and then having an evening stroll by the water. There’s something about being by the ocean that just makes me feel relaxed.

4. Water parks

I would love to take my kids to one of the many water parks in Spain. There are some absolutely incredible ones, such as Siam Park in Adeje and Aqualandia in Benidorm.

I can remember thoroughly enjoying floating along lazy rivers and charging down slides when I was growing up, so I would love to experience this with my own children.

5. Lazy days by the pool

There’s nothing better than just taking it completely easy by taking the short walk to the pool and just planting yourself there for the day.

I love reading a book in the sun or shade in between enjoying the occasional dip in the pool to cool off. This would be particularly great when the children are a bit older and we don’t have to panic so much about them being safe in the water.

Both my kids love swimming and so they would be in their absolute element.

6. The beautiful museums

There’s so much stunning architecture in Spain and I love the idea of soaking up a bit of culture.

I love visiting galleries and Spanish museums have some of the most beautiful collections of art in the world. I love the thought of doing the Art Walk in Madrid, which is comprised of three museums very close to each other in the heart of the city. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona would also be a dream to visit for me.

7. Madrid

While Spain has so much to offer along it’s beautiful coast, I also like the thought of exploring another of its cities. I’ve heard Madrid is an incredibly friendly place and that there are some gorgeous dining spots to be found as well.

8. Water sports

It’s not a holiday unless you’ve fallen off of a banana boat, surely? In all seriousness though, I think being abroad and by the sea is a great opportunity to try something new.

When the children are a bit older I would love to see them trying out snorkelling, waterskiing, riding on a jet ski (although I may be terrified!) and the banana boat, of course.

9. A break from the normal routine

I often forget to slow down a bit and just relax. That’s why taking a holiday and giving yourself a change of scene can be so very therapeutic.

I love the holiday routine in Spain of eating dinner late and having a good siesta in the afternoon. It’s not just the kids that need to take an afternoon nap every now and then!

10. Gibraltar

Although it’s technically Britain, you’re still on holiday! There’s so much to do in this beautiful place, not least marvel at all the references to the homeland.

One of the most amazing things to do with the family would be seeing the monkeys who live there. Gibraltar is home to the only wild monkey population in the European continent. Apparently some of the monkeys will actually climb on tourists as they’re so used to visitors.

Seeing these monkeys in their habitat would be so amazing for the kids

Seeing and scaling the Rock of Gibraltar has also always really appealed to me. The views look absolutely stunning. Other things to do on my list would be visiting the Europa Point lighthouse and browsing the shops and restaurants, as I gather quite a few have fish and chips on the menu.

Are you planning your summer holidays now? Where are you heading? Do you have any recommendations for Spain with kids?