The Independent Parent: Where can we take our young family for a cheap beach break?

Q. My husband and I want to take a holiday this September that will provide entertainment for our son (who will have just turned two) and some much-needed relaxation for us.

Q. My husband and I want to take a holiday this September that will provide entertainment for our son (who will have just turned two) and some much-needed relaxation for us. At the moment he is probably too young for children's clubs, but we would like to find a destination where there will be other children around. He loves the water and sand so a safe beach would be great. We also need holiday accommodation, preferably self-catering, which does not have high balconies or steps. A holiday cottage/villa with direct access to a beach would be perfect. We would ideally prefer a destination that is less than a three-hour flight away. We don't have a huge budget - around £1,200 for all of us.
P Mahoney, via e-mail

A. For a beach holiday with a small child in tow, Mallorca is ideal. It is about a two-hour flight away, and it should still be pleasantly warm (about 20C) in September. One of the best places for families is Puerto de Pollensa on the island's north-eastern coast, about a one-and-a-half-hour drive (55km) from Palma airport. This is an attractive resort set on a sheltered horseshoe-shaped bay with plenty of cafés and restaurants along a pedestrianised promenade. The long sandy beach shelves gently to the clean sea - ideal for a bucket-and-spade holiday with a toddler. The town centre is an easy walk too, as is the attractive yachting marina and port.

Villa Select (01789-764909; www.villaselect.com) features Pescador, a Grade I-listed fisherman's cottage. This tiny house is located right on the beach (where your toddler is bound to make friends), at the start of the famous traffic-free Pine Walk. Prettily decorated with lots of chintz, the cottage has a large front terrace overlooking the beach, a living room and a well-equipped kitchen, plus two bedrooms - one on the ground floor with en suite bathroom, and a larger one with air conditioning and shower on the first floor. This second bedroom is large enough to take a cot or camp bed (£20 charge for cot with bedding) for your son if you would feel happier to have him sleeping closer to you. This will cost £1,272 for seven nights' accommodation, departing on 11 or 18 September. The price includes charter flights from Gatwick to Palma (or from other UK airports at a small supplement) and transfers by taxi. At the resort there is no need for a car - it is very pleasurable to stroll down Pine Walk and the promenade with a pushchair. You could take a taxi to visit the picturesque Old Town of Pollensa, a 15-minute drive away, which will cost about €9 (£6). As Mallorca is such a beautiful island, you may opt to hire a car and drive around the spectacularly rocky Formentor cape, continuing west to visit the beautiful old towns of Soller, Deia and Valldemossa. Villa Select can arrange this for £145 per week, but if you book online through a broker such as Holiday Autos ( www.holidayautos.co.uk) you can get a reasonable car for around £105.

Holiday prices are likely to be significantly lower with the big tour operators. Unijet (08705 336336; www.unijet.com) offers the Aparthotel Flora, a three-star property 150m from the beach in the north-east corner of the Bay of Pollensa. This is a large complex with eight apartment blocks, a swimming pool, a children's pool and a playground, so it is bound to be social for your son. There is also a good selection of shops a short walk away. The downside is that most apartments have balconies or terraces, so you will need to request a ground-floor room when you book. A week's holiday for all three of you in a one-bedroom apartment, departing on 16 September, will cost £807.

For further details about Mallorca, go to www.visitbalears.com or contact the Spanish National Tourist Office (020-7486 8077; www.tourspain.es).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star