Staying in a villa can be a fantastic option for families, and they really come into their own when you have small kids – you can prepare meals for babies or fussy-eating toddlers in the kitchen and you can make use of the separate bedrooms for your little one’s naps. Come bedtime, you and your partner can enjoy a grown up meal while the kids sleep in their rooms. You could even have a cheeky wine too!

We asked family holiday experts Tots To Travel to share with us their favourite five villas for families with under-fives. The fab thing about a Tots To Travel holiday, whether a cottage, gite, villa or chateau, is that you’re guaranteed 20 essential items of baby-friendly equipment, from a sterilisers, toys and books to blackout blinds. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it?

1. Villa Maria in Costa Adeje, Tenerife

Fabulous for families with under-fives, Villa Maria in Costa Adeje gives you the unique mix of having the privacy and flexibility of your own villa with all the benefits of a 5* hotel.  What’s more, Tots families also benefit from an Essential Kit Guaranteed and villas with enclosed gardens.

Mix in the all year round sun, a large adventure playground and play room full of toys, three heated pools, beautiful beaches and year-round warm weather and what you have is a relaxed, stress-free holiday that works for all the family.

Families can enjoy exploring the coastline, beaches and marina. The Siam Water Park, Aqualand or the Zoo and Jungle Park are firm favourites of the kids.


2. Penny’s Place, Charente, France

If you thought a lie-in was a relic of a past life then check this out!  At this charming farmhouse in the Charente region of France, Norland Nanny, Penny is on hand to give your children their breakfast, leaving you to catch some deserved duvet time.

When you’re not catching up on lost sleep, relax around the pool or cook up a feast on the BBQ while your children play happily in the sandpit or with the host of both indoor and outdoor toys on hand.

There’s also lots to explore nearby with plenty of walks and cycle rides not to mention the experiencing the local French cuisine.

All the essential baby and toddler equipment is waiting for you when you arrive, leaving extra room in your suitcase to fit in that bottle of wine you became very fond of and just had to take home!


3. White Surf Villa, Praia do Martinhal, Portugal

Just a few moments’ walk from the stunning, white sandy beach at Martinhal is White Surf Villa.  This luxury baby and child-friendly five bedroom villa is ideal for two families looking to get away from it all.  Here you’ll find stylish and contemporary accommodation with plenty for family friendly credentials.

First of all, there is a comprehensive “kit” for families with under-fives (including toys, bath toys plus practical kit like black out blinds) the pool has an electric hard cover and there is plenty of shade for the kids.

What’s more, the Algarve is a great place to take your little-ones as it enjoys a fantastic Mediterranean climate, has some spectacular beaches for the kids to play and lots of places to visit and enjoy. The fishing village of Sagres is just a short stroll away with its laid-back vibe, and numerous seductive cafes and bars.

Tots To Travel offer five elegant villas to rent at Praia do Martinhal.


4.Villa Hemera, Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus

Think of a giant playground for families and this is what it would look like.  This is where you see your children’s eyes light up at the Haagen Dazs ice cream parlour and the enormous adventure playground, not to mention the beaches and swimming pools.  Meanwhile you can relax and let one of the 12 restaurants shoulder the burden of cooking and the childcare centre to take the strain whilst you disappear off to the spa.

One of ten villas that have been carefully selected by the Tots Team, Villa Hemera offers the ultimate child-friendly holiday.  The villa boasts massive outside space with a large infinity swimming pool, protected by an electric cover, offering peace of mind for parents with toddlers who love to explore.

The terrace and dining area provides plenty of space to bask on the sun loungers and there is a lovely shaded spot right outside the living room, with comfortable seating to absorb the views and enjoy sipping on something chilled!

From children’s clubs – including a crèche for babies from 6-36 months – to private beaches, horse riding, spa and golf, this fantastic resort has something to keep the whole family busy.


5. La Finca, Costa Blanca, Spain

This rustic farmhouse, nestled in the middle of an orange grove is a secret hideaway for happy kids!  When they’ve finished climbing the trees and collecting oranges, the children love the large, enclosed, outdoor pool and play area with a football goal, slide, swing and playhouse.

The nearest town is Pedreguer, just a few minutes’ drive away. Pedreguer is a traditional Spanish town with its bars, shops, bakeries and supermarkets.  On Saturdays they hold their weekly market where you can stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables.

Alternatively, with the beach just ten minutes away and plenty of other interesting places to visit, you’ll have plenty to keep everybody entertained.  And once your happy children are exhausted, you can lie back in the evening warmth on the sun loungers around the immaculate pool area, or snooze in the garden hammock.

European villas perfect for families