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Top 10 family holidays in Portugal

Sandy beaches for the little ones, outdoor action for older kids… Portugal is ideal for family getaways. Our top 10 places to stay also include tips on where to eat and what to do

Proving that family friendly needn’t mean functional and uninspiring, the 10 self-catering rooms, studios and apartments at this hilltop retreat have been crafted from local materials – slate, terracotta, bamboo and the adobe-like taipa – to create a stylish and contemporary place to stay. There’s a playground, table tennis, playroom and DVD library for children and lots of opportunities to make friends around the crescent-shaped pool or communal barbecue. Pre-bookable meals in the poolside diner, spa treatments and babysitting service ensure this place is as much fun for parents as for children.
From €130 a night for a studio sleeping four, including breakfast. i-escape.com/monte-da-vilarinha/overview. Nearest airport: Faro (90km)

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Dam near perfect: Amsterdam pads that are both family-friendly and stylish

Canals, bikes, pancakes … Amsterdam is ideal for family fun – especially if you stay in a stylish home full of other kids’ toys

Free (or almost) family activities in Amsterdam

Most parents of small children will know that holidays with the kids aren’t really holidays; they are just childcare with a better view. Squashing three, four or five people into one hotel room, where each snore or cry wakes everyone else, can make going away more exhausting than being at home.

And, until recently, if you wanted an affordable spot that was as comfortable as home, or had an ounce of style, you could forget about it. But times are changing, with the arrival of outfits such as Baby-Friendly Boltholes, with its mix of well-equipped rental cottages, farm stays and villas, and a collection of family-friendly hotels from romantic-getaway specialist Mr & Mrs Smith.

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