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.
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 family adventure holiday packed with thrills and spills in the great outdoors. Think white water rafting, hiking, safari adventures and mountain biking in some of the world’s most dramatic settings.
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.
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.
We took our daughter to Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains with another family and we loved it: renting a riad with a cook worked brilliantly for us. Dip a toe outside the ‘comfort zone’ of Europe and Morocco rewards you with amazing scenery, some really exciting and unusual activities, plus beach resorts with great surf!
Iceland is as exciting as it gets. A self-drive holiday is the way to explore this fascinating country and you’ll find geysers, waterfalls and lava fields around every corner. It’s great in both summer and winter and is a great spot for catching those elusive Northern Lights, particularly in autumn and spring.
If your kids are like mine and love the Percy Jackson novels, they will love visiting the Greek mainland and seeing all of that mythology made real. This is a fascinating corner of Greece, rich in legends, and there is much to appeal to the kids, from long stretches of golden beach to family climbing on the island of Proti.
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.
There is little wonder that Cornwall is the perfect family holiday destination – our kids love body-boarding and stunning beaches like Watergate and Whitsand bays are the perfect place to spend a summer’s day. Classic have the kind of cottages you hate to leave. Superb locations, beautifully furnished, child-friendly inside and out.
Year-round fun in the sun – that’s what Dubai is all about. From sleepy pearl-fishing villages to mesmerising metropolis, this outlandish city has grown into one of the world’s top family-holiday playgrounds. If spectacular luxury resorts, pristine beaches and mega-malls don’t leave you breathless then wacky water parks, desert adventures and fascinating souks surely will.
My teenage daughter loves her music and the Hard Rock Hotel concept and their new hotel in Tenerife is right up there on her bucket list. Xboxes and cinema with no adults to ruin things are good too but the ability to create her own in-room playlists make this is a perfect destination for her. Thank goodness she has inherited my musical tastes.
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.
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.
Once the last of the snow has melted and summer comes around, the Alps spring back to life, with hillsides carpeted with flowers and sunshine glistening off lakes. Stay in a cosy Alpine village and choose from a menu of thrilling activities, from mountain biking and rock climbing to glacier skiing and white-water rafting.
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.
Some of our best experiences as a family have been in the saddle and I love the idea of taking a villa or cottage holiday on the Continent without having to load up the car with bikes. Tapping into Headwater’s local knowledge of three of Europe’s most attractive regions is another plus.
You can rely on Greek Islands Club to find some of the most intimate villa retreats in the star-studded Aegean and Ionian, and on Kefalonia, I think they have hit the family jackpot. There’s a wide choice of supremely family-friendly properties on this fascinating island, many within an easy walk of a beach, tavernas and shops.
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.
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.
Designer villas, rustic farmhouses, historic townhouses… if you’re after a holiday home in Spain with real ‘wow factor’ look no further than this stunning collection of luxury villas in and around Sitges on the sunny Spanish coast of Cataluña. Each one’s an architectural masterpiece, with a swimming pool to die for and a great location close to beautiful beaches and buzzing Barcelona.
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.
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.
Feather Down Farms lead the herd when it comes to luxury camping in the UK. Lift the flap or open the log cabin door and you step into a snug den complete with wood-fired stove, oil lanterns, three bedrooms (including a secret cubbyhole for kids) and everything you need for a back-to-nature holiday on any of 30 working farms.
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.