Cornwall is special. It grabs you in a big sandy hug and won’t let go. If you went there on holiday as a child, you’ll want to take your own children there. A genuinely family-friendly hotel, Sands Resort rolls out the red carpet for its younger guests with everything from adventure play areas and Ofsted-registered children’s clubs to flexible mealtimes and visits from Newquay Zoo.
The Ritz-Carlton, Abama has a faithful family following, and it’s not hard to see why. Luxury accommodation, spa, Michelin-starred restaurant and 18-hole golf course aside, it takes childcare and kids’ facilities to new heights with everything from family pools and sports academies to kids’ clubs, free children’s dinners and cinema nights on the beach.
School leavers have long enjoyed the challenges and rewards of volunteering holidays. Now Hands up Holidays have devised a brilliant way of involving families. Their trips combine an educational volunteer experience with a fabulous adventure exploring a fascinating destination and staying in luxury accommodation – the ideal way to make your travels more fulfilling.
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.
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…
Our drive along the Garden Route rates as one of our favourite holidays ever, taking in reef-fringed beaches, waterfalls and, all against the backdrop of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Whale watching, wine tasting for the grown-ups and abseiling down Table Mountain make South Africa a great place to explore with the family.
Have your kids ever wondered what Paddington Bear’s home was like? Marmalade sandwiches are pretty thin on the ground, but what you do get is a fantastic adventure destination for families, jam-packed with condor-spotting in Colca Canyon, a train ride to Machu Picchu and a boat trip to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca.
It’s never too soon to start travelling with your kids as this inspired collection of young family holidays shows. We started early with ours, hopping between fun and educational locations around the world – dog-sledding in Finnish Lapland, sailing catamarans in Catalonia and experiencing culture and adventure in Turkey. Don’t wait until they’re older!
Imagine sailing around coral-fringed islands aboard a 34m yacht, snorkelling on pristine reefs and venturing into the realm of the Komodo dragon. It’s just one of the exciting family holidays to Indonesia offered by Exsus. Another option combines luxury and adventure in Bali and Sumatra, while the Invigorating Indonesia itinerary fills an unforgettable fortnight with everything from elephant-back riding to white-water rafting.
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.
Away from the busy resorts there’s a quieter side to Mallorca, rich in local character and blessed with stunning countryside and exquisite sandy coves. You just need to know where to look. Fortunately, Vintage Travel have been doing just that for nearly two decades, picking and choosing the island’s most idyllic family-friendly villas.
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.
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.
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.
It’s not only fans of Merlin or Cinderella that will have a ball at one of these amazing French chateaux. Childhood dreams aside, each one of the 200-plus properties makes a superb base for a unique self-catering family holiday. Many have swimming pools and sleep between 6 and 60 people – great value if you want to take the whole family or travel with friends.
An exotic choice of destination for the long summer holidays but so worth it. Don’t miss the giant caves of Mulu – one of them could swallow five St Paul’s cathedrals. You also have to spend a night in a communal Iban longhouse and see orang-utans in their natural habitat. Older kids will love the challenge of climbing Kinabalu
You couldn’t dream up a cast of creatures with more child appeal – from marine iguanas that snort water from their nostrils to frigatebirds shaking bright red, party-balloon throat pouches – and it’s all there, right at your feet. The magic continues underwater. The Galapagos are the ultimate wildlife-travel treat – and this cruise/hotel combo is perfect for families.
Horse-riding has often featured in our family holidays, whether that’s riding through rainforests or hacking on mountain trails. Horse safaris are a brilliant alternative to taking a 4×4, as it lets you get really close up to the wildlife. Cantering alongside the wildebeest during the annual migration is unforgettable.
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.
The South of France is wonderfully diverse, from the long sandy beaches of the Atlantic coast and mountains of the Pyrenées to the stylish resorts of the Côte d’Azur. Rent a villa with private pool and you’ll have the perfect base for any family holiday. We reckon Vintage Travel has the pick of the properties.
Imagine this: you and your family sailing a yacht in the sparkling Ionian sea, flitting between islands and weighing anchor in idyllic coves for a beach barbecue or dip in the sea. Flotilla sailing is the way to go. A lead boat provides all the support and back up you need. And if you’re new to sailing, start off with a week of instruction.
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.
We have always loved big house parties with family and friends. There is the flexibility to run things on your own schedule rather than by hotel mealtimes and, usually lots more space to spread out. We have stayed in some incredible properties around the world too – castle, barns, forts and party houses that offer something special compared to home.
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.