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.
Madagascar is surely one of the most exciting and unique family holiday destinations. Imagine setting out on foot for close encounters with wild lemurs or taking a night walk in search of chameleons. There are fabulous things to do on the coast too, from snorkelling and sea kayaking to whale watching and visiting a pirate graveyard.
Boat trips and sandcastles, surfing and rockpooling, dangling crab lines off the harbour wall and riding ponies across the moors. It’s simple pleasures that make holidays in Devon such a guaranteed hit for families. These self-catering cottages cover all the best bits of the county, from the surf-swept north coast to rugged Dartmoor and the idyllic South Hams.
The journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh is a classic adventure, and there’s no reason why the kids can’t come too. In fact, Vietnam makes a brilliant family destination, mixing activities like boat trips in Halong Bay and visits to turtle breeding centres with time out on some of South East Asia’s finest beaches.
Upping the adventure stakes on a beach holiday, a voyage onboard a crewed gulet is a magical way to experience the Mediterranean, dropping anchor in secluded bays, swimming, snorkelling or relaxing on deck. With Peter Sommer Travels you also get an insight into local culture, cuisine and archaeology thanks to their expert guides and tailor-made itineraries.
I know what it’s like leaving the pooch behind when we go on holiday. Those mournful eyes and looks of recrimination – and that’s just the kids. Rural Retreats puts the woof and bounce back into UK holidays with its tail-wagging round-up of dog-friendly cottages. They could well become our second best friends…
This is so much more than just another family-friendly hotel. Located on Jersey’s south coast, The Merton has been refining the art of family-friendy for over sixty years. The result – thoughtful family accommodation, imaginative facilities (we particularly like the Aquadome), the right mix of dining options and spot-on child-care – and a beach close by.
The Halkidiki peninsula has some of the best sandy beaches in Greece. Stay at the Sani Resort and you also get a superb watersports centre. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to family facilities at this luxury resort. There are also children’s clubs for tots to teens, a crèche and a choice of four stylish family hotels.
A beautiful island with a rugged, herb-scented interior and a coastline riddled with coves and sandy beaches, Sardinia is a family holiday favourite – whether you like to hike, bike or flop on a beach. Forte Village resort is one of the best known beach beauties, but the experts at Sardatur have uncovered plenty more family-friendly gems.
Enter the world of manga comics and Harajuku Girls, bullet trains and Hello Kitty. Children love Japan, a fascinating country both futuristic and colourful, yet steeped in tradition and mysticism. Away from the cities there are temples, castles, mountains and beaches, along with endless new food experiences.
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.
Fancy a family holiday by the seaside? How about a villa on stilts above a tropical lagoon in the Indian Ocean? Or a beach villa with private pool? The sumptuous One&Only Reethi Rah resort in the Maldives offers barefoot luxury with a family-friendly twist. Its children’s programme treats your mini castaways to their very own clubhouse, swimming pool and special activities. One of a kind. And one of the best.
Family holidays in Spain don’t have to mean crowded resorts on the Costas. These inspiring trips take you to some beautiful and unspoiled parts of the country, whether you’re looking for child-friendly walking in the Pyrenees or a cycle through rural Mallorca. Everything’s taken care of, from trip notes and luggage transport to family accommodation.
One of Sir Rocco Forte’s newest hotels, Verdura Golf & Spa Resort is set on a gorgeous stretch of Sicilian beach. With rooms designed by Olga Polizzi, a spectacular spa, free kids club, teen activities and world-class golf courses, you may be tempted to stay put. However, even kids will love exploring this fascinating island.
Jamaica has beautiful beaches, vibrant towns, spectacular mountain scenery and, of course, a legendary reggae beat. You’ve got to visit the Bob Marley Museum in Port Royal and try jerk chicken at Boston Bay. And for stylish, laidback luxury, stay at the family-friendly plantation-style villas or interconnecting beachfront rooms at Round Hill.
Oman’s Musandam Peninsula is renowned for its world class diving and snorkelling. But the arrival of this Six Senses resort, which stands on a mile of sandy beach sheltered by craggy mountains, nudges it into an almost irresistible class – complete with guaranteed sunshine. It’s under two hours from Dubai, which has a range of nonstop flights from the UK.
Good ol’ Santa – he’s a busy man, especially in December, but he’ll always find time to welcome you to his wintry Lapland home. The most intimate and magical of the Santa pilgrimages, Esprit’s festive family holidays are sprinkled with adventure – take your pick from reindeer sleigh rides to riding a snowmobile. PS: Before you go, don’t forget to write to Mr Claus to tell him how good you’ve been…
It may be the closest Mediterranean island to the UK, but Corsica remains one of the region’s wild and unspoiled gems. It’s perfect for families who want to combine seaside fun with a splash of adventure – whether it’s horse riding in the mountains or trying out a new watersport. Corsican Places has the island covered – its villas and apartments are great value for families.
California is a holiday destination with everything – from ski peaks to sunny beaches, national parks to theme parks and cool cities linked by some of America’s best road trips. Our family has loved hiking in Yosemite, exploring Lake Tahoe and Alcatraz and seeking the thrills of LA – and some of the best food and wine Stateside.
When you’ve got teenagers addicted to skiing, the best (and safest) way to help them develop their skills is on a dedicated week of advanced training. Powder Byrne’s ski academies provide expert tuition in everything from racing and freestyle skiing to going off-piste – and you can even learn from pros like Martin Bell.
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.
If your kids are kicking their heels during the school holidays, send them off to camp. Sounds harsh? In fact, it’s a real treat with exciting adventures from mountain karting to quad-biking, sports and performing arts. There are locations throughout the UK, including one for older teenagers only.
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.