Each of these sensational Caribbean resorts sits on a dazzling stretch of powder-sand beach with unlimited water sports and accommodation that includes spacious family suites. A couple even have waterparks, complete with lazy river rides and surf simulators. But it’s the imaginative, action-packed Kids Camps that will prove the biggest hit for kids.
Rich, varied, plenty to get stuck into and always immensely satisfying, we think Andalucia is the paella of Spanish family holiday destinations – whether you want to get active on the beach or delve into the Alhambra. And with this enticing range of luxury hotels, resorts and haciendas from Kirker Holidays you can feel confident you’re experiencing the best of sunny southern Spain.
Great news for Greek island lovers – the sleek and shiny Daios Cove resort on Crete now has an outstanding Explorers children’s club, putting it among the most desirable luxury family boltholes in the Med. We’re weak at the knees just contemplating that infinity pool, while kids won’t waste time getting stuck into the organised activities.
People often ask ‘When can I take the kids on safari?’ Many reserves have restrictions on very young children while long, pre-dawn game drives can take their toll. For kids of six and older, South Africa offers some great, malaria-free options. I love Shamwari in the eastern Cape, with its family lodges and Born Free big cat rescue centres
For kids the world is one great big classroom, but the best way to learn something new is on a small group trip with an expert guide. Gaze at the stars with an astrologer, learn about the animal kingdom in the wild or uncover the secrets of ancient civilisations. They’ll come home brimming with new skills as well as great memories.
Superb value and guaranteed fun, Siblu’s holiday villages in France are a sure-fire hit with families. Each one has an amazing pool complex, free kids’ clubs and loads of activities for tots to teens. Parents, meanwhile, will appreciate the excellent self-catering facilities and comfortable mobile home accommodation (yes, they really do have en-suite bathrooms).
Perfect for nature-loving families, this Central American beauty has jungles, beaches, active volcanoes, plus loads of opportunities for adventure. Spielberg’s Jurassic Park was filmed here, but you won’t find any dinosaurs (sorry kids). Instead, there’s amazing wildlife, ranging from turtles and toucans to treefrogs – and you can see them all on these fabulous itineraries from Families Worldwide.
There’s so much to love about Gwel an Mor. The lodges are stylish, yet cosy, the restaurant serves superb local food, the clubhouse has an indoor pool and spa and the rockpools of Portreath and Gull Rock bay are a short walk away. Most of all, you’ll love resident wildlife ranger Gary Zammit, Cornwall’s very own Dr Doolittle.
Winter sun is not the only treat on offer at Lanzarote’s Princesa Yaiza Hotel Resort. Basking in luxury, you’ll also enjoy fabulous suites (some with PlayStation and free babysitting), a choice of restaurants and pools plus a golden-sand beach right on your doorstep. Children get all-singing, all-dancing kids’ clubs, while parents can relax at the Thalasso Spa.
Are your teens starting to get a tiny bit bored with family holidays? Then now’s the time to inject some adrenalin on an exciting group tour exclusively for families with teenagers. Think white water rafting, hiking, safari adventures and mountain biking in some of the world’s most dramatic settings.
This fantastic collection of family villas is a real eye-opener, dispelling the myth that Ibiza is just for partygoers. Tucked away in quiet parts of the island, properties range from stylish villas to rural fincas, all with gorgeous swimming pools. Oliver’s Travels also have some great ideas for child-friendly activities on Ibiza.
It might not have the classical clout of Rome or Florence, but Puglia offers rich pickings for culture vultures – from the Baroque splendour of Lecce to Alberobello’s fairytale streets lined with conical-roofed trulli houses. Natural highlights include unspoiled beaches, rolling hills and olive groves – best appreciated from the comfort of one of these stylish family-friendly resorts.
White-water rafting one day, mountain biking or rock climbing the next… a family adventure holiday is a great way for you and your children to try out new activities. The Family Adventure Company has some great value options to places like Croatia, Morocco and Iceland for well under £1000 per person, with loads included in the price.
Bored, sulky teenagers on holiday? Not a chance with Powder Byrne’s inspirational Sports Academies. Many teens want to be active, challenged and independent on holiday, and these specialised summer programmes (covering tennis, football, surfing and scuba-diving) deliver just that with top instructors in some of the coolest resorts in the Med.
Get them wrong and a city break with the kids can feel more like urban warfare. Not with Kirker Holidays though. They’ve checked out some great-value, family-friendly hotels close to top sights in some of our favourite cities. Trip Notes make sightseeing a pleasure, while the Kirker Concierge is pure genius, arranging everything from museum passes to restaurant bookings.
What an inspired collection of family friendly cottages! The moment you snuggle up with Sheepskin’s small-but-perfectly-formed portfolio of properties you’ll just want to pack up and go. There are cottages in Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire, pet-friendly boltholes in the Brecon Beacons, luxury retreats in Shropshire and seaside escapes in Cornwall to name a few.
Somehow you just know you’re going to have a great time at a Club Med resort. They’ve had 40 years to perfect the art of the all-inclusive family holiday. But that hasn’t stopped them from innovating. Children’s clubs in 14 resorts are now designed around local themes and the environment. On the activity front, you’ll love the Flying Trapeze Academies.
Taking your kids on holiday is one of life’s great pleasures, but it’s not something that every parent can afford. There are more than 2 million children in the UK whose families don’t have the money for even a day trip to the seaside. That’s why we proudly support the Family Holiday Association, which works to provide much-needed breaks for deprived kids.
Arranging a family skiing holiday can be a rigmarole. Travel with a company that knows the best family resorts, offers catered chalets and hotels that are spot-on for families, provides a full range of childcare, pre-books your equipment and throws in some great deals. Esprit’s been doing just that for more than 30 years.
You can’t beat a family holiday in a gorgeous Mediterranean villa – or, at least, I didn’t think you could until we came across Scott Dunn’s luxury staffed villas. And I’m not just talking about someone popping in to do the housework occasionally. Each magnificent property has its own host, nanny and chef, guaranteeing ultimate freedom and relaxation.
Antigua is the Caribbean without complications. World-class beaches, direct flights from the UK, short transfers and charming local people make it perfect for families. Tropical Sky has selected three great value all-inclusive hotels that boast fabulous beaches, spacious suites and free kids clubs. Your job: just relax and enjoy.
We had a beautiful late summer visit to the Algarve recently – gloriously warm days on safe beaches followed by beautiful fish in local restaurants in the evening. The rugged coastline is perfect for walking and you’ll chance upon some great “smugglers’ cove” beaches on the way. There are also boat trips galore, old towns and castles, tennis and waterparks.
Boasting Britain’s best sandy beach (not counting those at the coast), the Cotswold Water Park is awash with activities, from sailing, canoeing and cycling to angling and water skiing. It makes a great day out, but you really need to stay the night to fully appreciate all that this water wonderland offers. The Four Pillars Hotel has some of the best options for families.
Having fun together. That’s what family holidays should be all about – simple really. These action-packed trips from Activities Abroad guarantee there’s never a dull moment – whether it’s kayaking in Turkey or white-water rafting in the Alps. They’re ideal for families with teenagers looking for a challenge, or to share experiences with children of a similar age.