Destination ideas and top tips on the best holidays for toddlers

Want to get away from it all with your toddler but need some destination inspiration? Check out our guide to the best destinations for holidays with toddlers, from short breaks to long haul escapes.

The best holidays for toddlers at home and abroad

Whether you're soaking up fresh air in the English countryside or lying by a beach in Spain, we have advice on the best destinations for holidays with toddlers and give you the lowdown on what to do when you get there.

Enjoy a holiday with toddlers in Cyprus

Take your tots to Cyprus and you won't have any complaints. It has a wide range of activities on offer to please adults and toddlers alike, as well as food for both adventure seekers and fussy eaters. And the beaches - both sandy and pebbly - come with shallow clear waters that are perfect for those who aren't yet steady on their feet. For lively family fun, Paphos, in western Cyprus, is your best bet, while holiday rentals near quieter resorts such as Kyrenia in the north, give you the chance to chill out as a family away from the crowds.

Find out why Lanzarote is one of the best holiday destinations with toddlers

With reasonably short flights from the UK, balmy temperatures year round and plenty of activities for energetic little ones, the Spanish island of Lanzarote is deservedly popular with families. Holiday lettings near the beach offer either gently sloping sandy beaches and safe shallow waters, or wilder shores that offer more for the grown ups. But holidays with toddlers here aren't all about the beach. At Timanfaya National Park you can take a camel ride through the dunes and see a miniature volcanic eruption, while Lanzarote's biggest aquapark at Costa Teguise offers shallow pools and toddler-friendly slides, as well as bigger thrills for older chidren and adults.

Toddler-friendly Portugal should be on your radar

One of Europe's best destinations for toddlers, Portugal offers a wide range of activities that your little ones will love, from building sandcastles on the beach to riding Lisbon's brightly coloured trams. For a beachside escape, a holiday home on the Algarve will keep you and your brood entertained, with clear seas, wide sweeps of sand, playgrounds and toddler friendly eateries all in the vicinity. Lisbon, meanwhile, has a compact and walkable city centre, with vibrant red and yellow trams to move you up and down the city's hills should your little one get tired. Toddlers will also be enamoured with the country's most famous sweet treat - pastel de nata - a flaky custard pastry.

Enjoy a holiday with your toddler in Mauritius

If you're not afraid of the long flight and have the cash to spare, Mauritius can make for an idyllic holiday with a toddler. The beaches are lined with soft sand and the water is pleasantly warm - perfect for little toes. Villa rentals near Grand Baie, in the north of the island, will give you access to all the best beaches and the most cosmopolitan scene - there are great bars and restaurants here, many of which are happy for you to bring your little one. If nature and greenery are more your thing, then make for the island's southwest, which has a lush, green core, stuffed full of forests, mountains and waterfalls.

Take your little ones to the Isle of Wight

If you're looking for traditional British bucket-and-spade fun you can't go far wrong with the Isle of Wight. Easy to get to and blessed with wide sandy beaches, it's the perfect place for a toddler-friendly break close to home. Cottage rentals anywhere on the island will leave you well placed to visit beaches and open green spaces - both of which are great places to let your toddler blow off steam. Activities come in the form of farms, amusement parks, a toddler-friendly steam train and dinosaurs. There's a dinosaur museum in Sandown on the east coast and you can follow in the footsteps of these legendary giants at the west coast beaches of Compton and Brook.

Chill out by the beach in toddler-friendly Cornwall

Cornwall's beaches are some of the best in the world - and there are so many that you're bound to find one to suit you and your toddler. Holiday lettings near Newquay leave you well placed to enjoy the vibrancy of this popular seaside resort town and there are wide sandy beaches, a sheltered harbour, a zoo and an aquarium for your toddler to enjoy. If you want to get away from the coast, toddlers will marvel at the sprawling indoor rainforest at the Eden Project, as well as the wild fields and woodland on its outer estate. The Lost Gardens of Heligan with their rope bridge and sub-tropical gardens also make for a magical day out.