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).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
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
  • Get to the point
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

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power