With blue skies, acres of golden sand and oodles of ice-cream, seaside holidays can be a fantastic break for the whole family. Providing, of course, that you pick the right beach and find a way to stop the kids from chowing down on handfuls of sand. Thankfully intrepid parents have already mapped out the best beaches for keeping children safe and sunburn free.
A grandfather and his grandson on the beach
Barequeçaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Barequeçaba is one of Brazil’s most popular beaches with young families and you’d never guess that this calm, secluded stretch of sand is south of the vibrant metropolis of Sao Paulo. Slow-dropping tides, weak waves and mild currents make Barequeçaba a good place to teach young children to swim. While many of the surrounding shops and cafes are geared towards young children, parents are also well set up with award-winning menus and breathtaking scenery. To avoid tiring short legs the Barequeçaba Praia Hotel is only 2 minutes walk from Barequeçaba.
The view from Paradise Beach in Croatia
Paradise Beach, Lopar, Croatia
Paradise Beach in Lopar, Croatia has everything visitors could possibly need for a successful family holiday. In addition to shallow water and brilliant sands, they’ve got ice cream parlours and mini-golf and bowling and even a section of the beach for dogs. A few years ago Paradise Beach was awarded a blue flag for the preservation and safety of the surrounding area. With plenty of shade, watersports for teenagers and a promenade of family-friendly cafes, families can happily spend the whole day here. The self-catered Apartments Dunja Piric are only 3 minutes walk from Paradise Beach and help visitors make the most of the local food markets.
Umina, named after the Australian Aboriginal word for “place of peace”
Ocean Beach, Umina, New South Wales, Australia
The Umina district of New South Wales was originally home to the Guringai Australian Aboriginal tribe and takes its name from the Australian Aboriginal word meaning “place of peace”. And it’s easy to see why the name stuck as young families flock to the area’s laid-back Ocean Beach. The water at this beach is extremely shallow, making it popular with inexperienced swimmers and the occasional bodyboarder. During the summer Ocean Beach is patrolled every day by amiable lifeguards who are – justifiably – proud of the beach’s blue flag. Families planning to stay for a week or longer love the community feel at NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park, and it's only 5 minutes walk from Ocean Beach.
Uvongo Beach in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Uvongo Beach, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
A seaside resort town near the mouth of the Vungu River, Uvongo Beach is one of the prettiest, calmest, places on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. The mouth of the river turns into a 23 metre waterfall when it reaches the beach, descending into a brilliant blue lagoon. Shark-netted and patrolled by friendly lifeguards, this beach is ideal for young families looking to swim safely in a relaxing environment. Speaking of which, the uninterrupted view along the beach is well set up for keeping an eye on young adventurers as they explore the many rockpools. Families hoping to keep young children on a regular sleep-schedule are recommended to stay at Driftsands Sea View Flats, which is only 2 minutes walk from Uvongo Beach.
Umbrellas waiting at Ammoudia Beach in Greece
Ammoudia Beach, Epirus, Greece
Ammoudia Beach borders a small fishing village on the north-west coast of Greece. With over 100m of shallow water, a very gentle incline from the beach down to the sea, and barely any waves, this beach is popular with local families and visitors. Umbrellas are available to rent for only a few euros and there is plenty of natural shade for when the midday sun gets too much. Young families are also well catered for by the local eateries, many of which have play areas for the children and flexible menus for picky eaters. Panorama Hotel is only 4 minutes walk from Ammoudia Beach and has unsurpassable views of the coast.
*The data analysts at Booking.com looked at endorsements for ‘beaches for children’ by Booking.com customers and chose the destinations with the shallowest water.