Over the last few years, prices for family-friendly holidays have rocketed, with many families opting to save money by vacationing at home instead. Yet, rather than a trip to Blackpool, there is one European destination that can be incredibly affordable for families, with budget flights and a low cost of living. Even better, it still has scorching weather!

The Algarve, in southern Portugal, is framed by a stunning coastline. Predominately a region frequented by families, this means the Algarve is filled with restaurants and beaches that are extremely accommodating for children, making it simple to plan your holiday. Here are just some of the best activities you can add to your family’s itinerary:

A Boat Tour of the Sea Caves

The Algarve is known for its gorgeous beaches, which become extremely popular during peak summer season. Yet, it’s still entirely possible to find a secluded beach in the Algarve, where you can take one of the many boat tours on offer. These range from trips to beaches that can’t be accessed by land to spectacular sea caves with their own lagoons. Be sure to take some snorkelling gear and a camera as you may even spot some wild dolphins.

Family Adventure Water Park

Perfect for the whole family, the Zoomarine has something to keep everyone happy. First and foremost a water theme park, there are plenty of thrilling slides, a man-made beach and even a toddler wet area that is safe and fun for the younger children. The park is also home to lots of marine life, including spectacular live dolphin shows.

Stay in a Local Portugese Home on the Beach

As mentioned above, the Algarve is very reasonable when it comes to its prices, and this is reflected in its accommodation, including private rentals. You can easily rent an affordable and traditional Portuguese villa right on the beach. Just imagine waking up to a spectacular view every morning! These can be far more family-friendly than hotels as, instead of being all squashed into one room, you get that home-away-from-home feeling with a full house. Plus, kitchen facilities can be extremely useful for babies and toddlers.

Rent a Car and Go Beach Hopping in the Algarve

Home to 74 Blue Flag beaches, one of the best things about the Algarve is, that if the first beach you go to is too busy, then simply move on to the next beach. Renting a car and beach hopping your way through the Algarve is a fantastic way to explore this stunning Portuguese region.

Train for Wimbledon at the Local Tennis Academy

If the kids are being too energetic – what ever happened to snoozing by the pool? – then a trip to the Valo do Lobo Tennis academy is an absolute must. Here the kids will get to train like a tennis pro with either one-to-one coaching or in a group lesson where they’ll be able to make some holiday friends and have fun. Even better, there’s facilities for the parents with a steam room, sauna and swimming pool. There’s also adult tennis lessons too, to help you keep up with the kids!

Feed the Llamas at the Local Zoo

There’s nothing the kids love more than a trip to the zoo, especially when they can get up close and personal with the animals. Krazy World zoo has a host of different animals and shows, including live demonstrations with the resident crocodiles and birds of prey. A trip to the petting zoo is a must, with goats and llamas who all love a stroke. There’s also an exotic area with iguanas, camels and snakes. There’s even a pool and various carnival rides.