Inspired ideas and tips for the best family holiday destinations

Looking for family holiday ideas but don't know where to start? Not sure whether to stay at home or go further afield? We've got a few destination suggestions to whet your appetite. And we've given you some tips on where to go and what to do when you get there.

Explore exciting options for great family holidays in the UK and overseas

Whether you want an action-packed city break near home, a European seaside escape or an exciting far-flung trip, you'll find some inspiration here, as well as ideas on what to see and do when you reach your port of call.

Get out the bucket and spade for a fun family holiday on Portugal's golden coastline.

A short flight away from the UK, the Algarve is one of the best family holiday destinations out there. The locals are welcoming, the food delicious and there's a healthy dose of sea and sand to entertain children of all ages. Teenagers and older kids will relish the wild shores of western Algarve, where surfing, jet skiing and rock pooling are firmly on the menu. Families with babies and young children, meanwhile, will be well served by villa rentals in central Algarve, where the water's calm and there are plenty of facilities. And if they tire of hanging out by the sea, then there's a handful of excellent water parks in which they can get their watery kicks.

Take a wintery break and meet St Nick in the snowy wilds of lapland

Not all great family holidays have to involve sun, sea and sand. There's an equal amounts of fun to be had in the winter season, and what could be more magical for children than a trip to meet Father Christmas (known locally as Joulupukki) in Lapland, right in Finland's frozen north? Holiday homes here tend to be of the cosy log cabin variety and there's usually plenty to do right on your doorstep, from husky and reindeer sleigh rides, to visiting Santa in Rovaniemi and marvelling at the unforgettable Aurora Borealis. Of course, you could always buck the trend and visit Lapland in the summer, when the midnight sun creates the perfect conditions for outdoorsy family fun of the hiking and lake swimming variety.

Give the kids a history and culture filled family break in buzzing London

If you want a shorter kid-friendly holiday a little closer to home, then the nation's capital is a great place to start. Not only will you be able to find a plethora of family-friendly holiday lettings, there are plenty of activities for kids of all ages, from tiny tots to hard-to-please teenagers. The Tower of London, the London Dungeons and Clink Museum will please older kids will their tales of history's most gruesome bits, while teens can browse the vintage shops in Camden or Portobello Road. Toddlers and young children can check out the interactive exhibits at the Science Museum or Maritime Museum and burn off steam in one of London's many green spaces.

Head to Florida for beaches, Everglades and a world-famous mouse.

The best family holidays don't have to be short haul, and heading across the ocean to Florida is sure to deliver fun and frolics for children and grown ups alike. Secure a holiday rental in Orlando and you'll be in for a frenzy of theme park fun, from Disney to Universal Studios to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you're not up for a high-octane holiday, then make for the Florida Keys, where rental properties come with a side of clear seas and white sand beaches. Or, try the lush Everglades, where adventurous families can hop on a boat to explore the swamps and wetlands in search of alligators, snakes and birds.

Spain offers up plenty of family holiday ideas

An easy short-haul jaunt from the UK, Spain has everything your family could want, no matter how old your kids are. If you're looking to chill out at the beach, then the Mediterranean coast is your best bet. There are plenty of protected coves with calm, clear water along the country's long shoreline; and if you want to double up on the water-based fun you could rent a villa with a pool. Head inland and you'll find rural farmhouses and country cottages in which to lay your head, as well as hilltop forts, villages and castles to visit - perfect for young ones who want to live out their fairytale fantasies. Teenagers can get their big city kicks in vibrant Madrid or Barcelona, where there are plenty of hip apartment rentals to oblige.