101 Family Holidays

Click on the images to discover 101 family holiday ideas, recommended by leading travel writers William and Sally Gray. Also try our family holiday quiz.

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  • Gwel an Mor

    Gwel an Mor

    Our editors say...

    There’s so much about Gwel an Mor that we love. 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, we love resident wildlife ranger Gary Zammit, Cornwall’s very own Dr Doolittle.

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  • Luxury Cyprus

    Luxury Cyprus

    Our editors say...

    Fabled as the birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love, Cyprus has holidaymakers smitten by its beaches, climate and scenery. Where better place to unwind in luxury than the island’s Aphrodite Hills Resort? As well as a wonderful range of children’s activities, it offers a good choice of family accommodation from suites to villas.

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  • Summer in the Alps

    Summer in the Alps

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • PGL summer camps

    Summer camps and activity holidays

    Our editors say...

    Our children have long been fans of PGL. Their adventure holidays and summer camps are all smiles from start to finish. Kids get a sense of achievement trying out new activities, while parents get peace of mind knowing that everything is taken care of by professional staff. Safety is first and foremost, with fun a close second.

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  • Rent a French chateau

    Rent a French chateau

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • 5-star kids clubs

    5-star kids clubs

    Our editors say...

    Scott Dunn have taken children’s clubs to new and exciting heights with their inspiring range of Explorers Clubs, now available at five stunning resorts in the Med. A lot of thought has been put into the childcare, healthy eating and superb facilities at each one. And we love the choice of activities – from pottery making classes in Crete to bike rides in Sicily.

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  • Camp Beaumont

    Pack them off to camp!

    Our editors say...

    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 activities from mountain karting to quad-biking, sports and performing arts. There are locations throughout the UK and in France, a ski camp and a teen-only camp.

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  • Family holidays Portugal

    Portugal

    Our editors say...

    Most of us look no further than the Algarve when it comes to family holidays in Portugal. That irresistible coastline of sandy coves and cave-riddled cliffs has smugglers’ den written all over it. What we love about i-escape is that it reveals Portugal’s potential as a great all-round family destination – beach, countryside and city.

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  • Take over a large house

    Take over a large house

    Our editors say...

    Sharing a large property with family or friends is not only great fun and good value, but you get to stay somewhere truly fabulous. We recently tried it with a couple of other families and we’re now completely sold on the idea. Big Domain has an excellent choice of destinations, from the UK and Europe to Morocco, South Africa and the USA.

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  • Club Med

    Club Med

    Our editors say...

    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, we love the sound of the Flying Trapeze Academies!

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  • Kefalonia villas

    Kefalonia villa holidays

    Our editors say...

    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, we 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.

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  • South of France villas

    South of France villas

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Peru

    Peru

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • The Residence Mauritius

    The Residence Mauritius

    Our editors say...

    Fancy some serious pampering? You don’t even have to unpack your suitcases at The Residence where a butler attends to your every need. A 1920s style oasis of elegance and luxury on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, this stunning hotel offers gourmet cuisine, colonial suites, a Zen-inspired spa and indulgent kids’ club.

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  • Princesa Yaiza Hotel Lanzarote

    Luxury Lanzarote

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Horseback safaris

    Horseback safaris

    Our editors say...

    We’ll never forget the first time we went riding in Africa. It was at Ant’s Nest in South Africa, a fabulous bush home that’s just one of the choice picks from Aardvark’s line-up of horse riding hotspots. Within minutes of mounting up we were mingling with giraffe and zebra. Our children were utterly spellbound…

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  • Villas in rural Crete

    Villas in rural Crete

    Our editors say...

    Like most Greek islands, Crete has a couple of grotty resorts, but it also has beautiful countryside, mountains, historic harbours and miles of unspoilt beaches. It’s far enough south to enjoy a long season – ideal for Easter or October half term – and has some beautiful villas, many with private pools, and small hotels with bags of character.

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  • Villas in Corfu

    Villas in Corfu

    Our editors say...

    Quite possibly our favourite bit of any Greek island, northeast Corfu still has the wild forests and unspoilt azure coast that inspired Gerald Durrell to pen My Family and other Animals. It’s a magical corner of the Ionian, best appreciated from a villa tucked into a hillside or snug against a beach. CV Villas has the pick of the bunch.

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  • Morocco for kids

    Morocco for kids

    Our editors say...

    We took our twins mule-trekking in the Atlas Mountains when they were just four – and it still ranks as one of our all-time favourite family holidays. 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!

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  • Five-star Puglia

    Five-star Puglia

    Our editors say...

    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 this stylish resort.

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  • Villas in Catalunya

    Villas in Catalunya

    Our editors say...

    One of our favourite regions of Spain, Catalunya has family appeal stamped all over it – whether you’ve got toddlers in search of beaches, active kids looking for Pyrenean mountain adventure or teenagers keen to explore nearby Barcelona. This superb collection of villas covers all bases – and each one has a private pool.

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  • Iceland

    Iceland

    Our editors say...

    We’ve taken our kids to Iceland several times – self-drive touring in both the summer and winter… and we’ll be back for more. It’s such an exciting family destination. One day you could be whale watching, hiking to a waterfall or horse riding across a lava field, the next you could be gazing at the northern lights or lazing in a geothermal pool.

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  • Adventures in Indonesia

    Adventures in Indonesia

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • New Zealand

    New Zealand

    Our editors say...

    We know it’s a long way to go, but don’t let jetlag stand in the way of what could well be your best family holiday ever. New Zealand’s beaches alone more than justify the long haul, not to mention the jaw-dropping scenery – and kids will get a buzz from the fantastic adventures available, from surfing and mountain biking to tracking down Frodo.

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  • Cottages in Northumberland

    Cottages in Northumberland

    Our editors say...

    If you’ve overlooked Northumberland as a family holiday destination, you’re missing a trick. From the real-life set of Harry Potter to surf beaches, rolling countryside and friendly pubs, you’ll find plenty to do, and some great-value cottages where you can set up base camp. We rate it as one of the best British holiday destinations, year-round.

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  • Family safaris

    Kenya safaris

    Our editors say...

    A family safari is the ultimate I-Spy and there’s no better place to get spotting than Kenya’s wildlife reserves. Pride of place on your itinerary, the Masai Mara not only offers your cubs the chance to tick off the entire cast of The Lion King, but also to take part in other exciting activities like night drives and walking safaris. Wash the dust off afterwards with a few days at the coast.

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  • Cottages in the Lake District

    Cottages in the Lake District

    Our editors say...

    Renting a cottage in the Lake District is the gateway to unforgettable family adventures – whether you’ve got teens hell-bent on conquering Helvellyn or tots dabbling their toes in Rydal Water. The choice of activities is boundless – from canoeing and sailing to riding steam trains and exploring slate mines.

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  • Costa Rica family holidays

    Costa Rica

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Daios Cove, Crete

    Luxury Crete

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Sea Garden Beach Resort, Turkey

    Beach club in Turkey

    Our editors say...

    Mark Warner is renowned for its comprehensive children’s facilities and this all-singing, all-dancing, all-inclusive resort in Turkey is no exception, offering non-stop sports action for kids – big and small. Grown-ups get free sailing and windsurfing tuition, while children aged 2 to 17 can try their hand at a variety of watersports, tennis and other activities – all under expert tuition.

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  • Family hotels in Sardinia

    Hotels in Sardinia

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Young adventurers

    Young adventurers

    Our editors say...

    It’s never too soon to start travelling with your kids as this inspired collection of young family holidays shows. Some of our best memories are from adventures with our twins when they were toddlers – introducing them to gelato in Italy (messy), mule trekking in Morocco (magical) and playing hide and seek among ancient ruins (mildly alarming). Don’t wait until they’re older!

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  • Malaria-free safaris

    Malaria-free safaris

    Our editors say...

    People often ask us ‘When is it safe to go on our first family safari?’ and we always sing the praises of South Africa as a great, malaria-free option for young children. We’ve taken our twins to game reserves both in the Eastern Cape and Madikwe – the lodges are supremely family-friendly and the guides make a big fuss of your kids.

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  • Holiday villages in France

    Holiday villages in France

    Our editors say...

    For maximum family fun and minimum spend it’s hard to beat a self-catering apartment in a French holiday village. You’ll find pools, slides, kids clubs, boating lakes, tennis courts and golf courses to keep the children busy – and a well-stocked food shop on site. One of the most popular is just an hour’s drive from Calais.

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  • Paris with young kids

    Paris with young kids

    Our editors say...

    If you thought Paris + Kids = Disneyland, think again. You can have just as much fun exploring the French capital on one of these hugely imaginative short breaks tailor made for individual families. Everything is organised for you, from transport and accommodation to activities ranging from treasure hunts and cookery lessons to city tours in a vintage Citroen 2CV.

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  • Maldives for kids

    Maldives for kids

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Teen activity holidays

    Teen activity holidays

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • All-inclusive Mauritius

    All-inclusive Mauritius

    Our editors say...

    For blissful beach holidays, Mauritius is a no-brainer (great weather, warm seas and no jet lag), but choosing your resort is not so easy. Most boast excellent family accommodation; they’re bursting with activities and the all-inclusive options promise great value. Beachcomber has a dedicated family holiday section featuring some of the choicest properties.

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  • Adventure holidays for teenagers

    Teen adventures

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • The Algarve for tots

    The Algarve for tots

    Our editors say...

    Set on Portugal’s dramatic south-eastern tip, Martinhal is that rare combination of super family-friendly and genuinely chic. Genius touches include a trampoline in front of the beachside restaurant allowing mums and dads to relax with an aperitif whilst kids bounce. There are kids activities galore and a top-notch spa that even offers parent and child treatments.

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  • Family walking holidays

    Family walking holidays

    Our editors say...

    We think we’ve found the secret to whinge-free walking holidays with the kids. Inntravel’s footloose and fancy-free self-guided trips not only take you to some of Europe’s most beautiful walking spots (from Austria’s Tyrol to Spain’s Catalonia coast), but they also include detailed maps and notes, luggage transport, great family hotels and well-paced itineraries sprinkled with non-walking days.

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  • Cosy cottages

    Cosy cottages

    Our editors say...

    What an inspired collection of family 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 cosy cottages in Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire, pet-friendly boltholes in the Brecon Beacons, luxury retreats in Shropshire and seaside escapes in Anglesey.

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  • Family cycling holidays

    Family cycling holidays

    Our editors say...

    Getting the bikes out for a family cycle is always a great way to spend time together. These cycling holidays from Headwater combine fun, free-spirited adventure with a range of imaginative itineraries throughout Europe. It’s not all ‘puff and pedal’. Luggage is transported for you, and there’s a comfortable family hotel at the end of each day.

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  • Siblu holidays

    French camping in style

    Our editors say...

    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).

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  • Walk with donkeys in Spain

    Walk with donkeys in Spain

    Our editors say...

    What a simple and brilliant idea. Take a beautiful patch of Spain, a self-guided walking trail and a succession of comfy hotels; add a donkey and you’ve got all the essentials for a relaxed family walking holiday. Your four-legged friend is always there to respond to plaintive cries of “Carry me!”, while an equally helpful person transports luggage for you.

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  • Cottages in Cornwall

    Cottages in Cornwall

    Our editors say...

    Classic have the kind of cottages you hate to leave. Superb locations in Cornwall, beautifully furnished, child-friendly inside and out, plus that extra little touch – a sunny terrace or a path to the beach. So far, our family has stayed at five fabulous properties from Boscastle to Sennen Cove. That just leaves 345 to try…

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  • Farm camping holidays

    Camping down on the farm

    Our editors say...

    Safari chic with wellies on, Feather Down Farms lead the herd when it comes to luxury camping in the UK. Lift the flap on these canvas creations and you step into a snug den complete with wood stove, oil lanterns, three bedrooms (including a secret cubbyhole for kids) and everything you need for a back-to-nature holiday on 30 working farms.

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  • Cotswold Water Park

    Cotswold Water Park

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • British Virgin Islands

    British Virgin Islands

    Our editors say...

    Our twins still smile at the memories of the time we chartered a luxury crewed yacht when they were seven. Sailing to deserted beaches, taking the helm, flopping overboard for a snorkel… what a trip! Try it yourself in the British Virgin Islands where Turquoise Holidays have launched a spectacular family holiday programme with luxury resorts as well as sailing.

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  • Bush and beach in Tanzania

    Bush and beach in Tanzania

    Our editors say...

    Few holidays tick more boxes than a safari/beach combo – explore the African bush, tracking down big game and staying in a tented camp, and then chill-out time, snorkelling and swimming on the Indian Ocean. Exsus have made it irresistible by combining Tanzania’s wild and wonderful Serengeti with a gorgeous hotel on the beach.

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  • Vietnam family holidays

    Adventures in Vietnam

    Our editors say...

    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, we think 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.

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  • Luxury staffed villas

    Luxury staffed villas

    Our editors say...

    You can’t beat a family holiday in a gorgeous Mediterranean villa – or, at least, we didn’t think you could until we came across Scott Dunn’s luxury staffed villas. And we’re 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.

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  • Amazing Florida

    Amazing Florida

    Our editors say...

    Bring it on! We love Florida! Where else can you get face to face with Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter, Cinderella and a real-life astronaut all within the space of a few days? Or swim with manatees one morning, and plunge down a mega waterslide the next? Whether your idea of fun is to paddle a kayak in the Keys or take a simulated mission to Mars, Florida delivers, big time.

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  • Family holidays in Northern Spain

    Amazing Northern Spain

    Our editors say...

    This is one of Europe’s best-kept family holiday secrets. Northern Spain has so much to offer, whether you’re a teenager in search of activities in the Picos de Europa, a ten-year-old on the hunt for dinosaur footprints along the Asturias coast or a toddler sampling golden-sand beaches in Cantabria. Mum and dad will enjoy the beautiful countryside, historic towns and regional cuisine.

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  • Corsica

    Corsica

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Thailand with teenagers

    Thailand with teenagers

    Our editors say...

    Thailand is ripe for adventure and this superb 10-day guided trip for families with teenagers is bursting with activities – from well-established favourites like treks in hill tribe country to more unusual options such as a jungle jolly in a floating hotel. In just one action-packed holiday you’ll get to experience exciting cities, wildlife encounters, tropical islands and fascinating culture.

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  • Egypt

    Egypt

    Our editors say...

    If your kids are into adventure, Indiana Jones or hieroglyphic code-breaking, Egypt makes an exciting and educational destination. The secret to a successful trip is to combine fun with fact – something that On the Go Tours achieve with camel rides, sailing on the Nile and snorkelling in the Red Sea. We also like their choice of hotels – each one with that all-important pool.

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  • Caribbean all-inclusive

    Caribbean all-inclusive

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Turkey with style

    Turkey with style

    Our editors say...

    We’re all for combining beach bliss with a little culture and adventure – and Turkey’s Lycian Coast has all three in bucket loads. Tear yourself away from its stunning bays and you could be cycling through fragrant pine forests, exploring the impressive ruins of Ephesus or setting sail on a traditional sailing gulet.

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  • Six Senses Zighy Bay

    Six Senses Zighy Bay

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Sands Hotel Cornwall

    Sands Hotel, Cornwall

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Dog-friendly UK cottages

    Dog-friendly UK cottages

    Our editors say...

    We 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 our 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…

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  • Round Hill, Jamaica

    Round Hill, Jamaica

    Our editors say...

    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, we’d recommend a stay at the family-friendly plantation-style villas or interconnecting beachfront rooms at Round Hill.

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  • Teen sport academies

    Teen sport academies

    Our editors say...

    Bored, sulky teenagers on holiday? Not a chance with Powder Byrne’s inspirational new Sports Academies. Many teens want to be active, challenged and independent on holiday, and these specialised summer programmes (covering tennis, football, surfing and sailing) deliver just that with top instructors in some of the coolest resorts in the Med.

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  • Jersey has it all

    Jersey has it all

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Esprit Alpine Adventures

    Activity holidays with free child care

    Our editors say...

    Esprit has mastered the art of family activity holidays, with 30 years’ experience in the Alps and some of the best children’s programmes in the business. Head to the mountains in France or the Italian Lakes, for a host of activities, free child care and family-friendly accommodation.

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  • Family Holiday Association

    Family Holiday Association

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Ontario fly-drive holiday

    Ontario fly-drive holiday

    Our editors say...

    This corner of Canada is crying out for a family adventure. It’s only a seven-hour flight to Toronto and this well-paced self-drive holiday combines excellent hotels with exciting activities. Top of most children’s wishlist will be the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls, but we’re pretty sure that the kayaking and mountain biking in Ontario’s backcountry will be just as memorable.

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  • Mallorca villas

    Villas in Mallorca

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Family cottages in Devon

    Cottages in Devon

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Educational holidays

    Learn with an expert

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Non-stop thrills in Canada

    Non-stop thrills in Canada

    Our editors say...

    Canada’s Pacific Coast and Rockies form a spectacular backdrop to this 10-day adventure, tailored to individual families. Fly in a seaplane to Vancouver Island, ride a sleeper train to Jasper National Park, go horse riding in Banff and take a helicopter flight over the Columbia Icefield – this is one long thrill ride from start to finish.

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  • SplashWorld

    SplashWorld

    Our editors say...

    For many kids the best part of a holiday is splashing about in a pool or – better still – a water park. SplashWorld keep it simple with all-inclusive hotels in sunny locations, free supervised kids clubs and lots of water-based action right on your doorstep.

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  • Budget family adventures

    Budget family adventures

    Our editors say...

    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 Adventure Company has some great value options to places like Croatia, Morocco and Turkey for well under £1000 per person, with loads included in the price.

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  • Ski Esprit 2012

    Ski with the experts

    Our editors say...

    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 nearly 30 years.

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  • Volunteering holidays

    Volunteering holidays

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Sani Resort

    Sani Resort

    Our editors say...

    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 stylish family hotels.

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  • Croatia

    Croatia

    Our editors say...

    With its turquoise shallows and emerald isles, the Dalmation Coast of Croatia is ideal for kayaking – one of our favourite holiday activities. But you don’t have to look far to find other family-friendly adventures, from scaling the walls of Dubrovnik’s Old Town and exploring Plitvice Lakes National Park to sailing in the Adriatic.

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  • Family holidays Australia

    The Land of Oz

    Our editors say...

    Your kids won’t get a better Christmas present than this stunning two-week holiday Down Under. Packed with goodies, including Sydney, the Sunshine Coast, Queensland rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, it wraps up four of Australia’s most exciting and spectacular family destinations. You also get to stay in some great places, including a villa on Hamilton Island.

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  • The Ritz-Carlton, Abama Tenerife

    Luxury Tenerife

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Working farm holidays for children

    Working farm holidays

    Our editors say...

    Bottle-feed the lambs, collect the chicken eggs, help the farmer milk the cows … it’s all go on a farm holiday and children love every minute of it. This rural round-up of working farms in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset offers cosy accommodation in cottages, farmhouses and barn conversions – all in gorgeous countryside. Don’t forget your wellies.

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  • Isle of Wight breaks

    Isle of Wight

    Our editors say...

    Think the Isle of Wight is old-fashioned and uncool? Think again. This grand dame of British seaside resorts might have Victorian heritage, but it’s evolved into a hotspot for outdoor sports, fossil hunting and back-to-nature family holidays. The island also has a huge choice of good-value self-catering properties.

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  • Japan with kids

    Japan with kids

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • All-inclusive Antigua

    All-inclusive Antigua

    Our editors say...

    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. We’ve selected a great value all-inclusive hotel that boasts two sheltered beaches, spacious suites and a free kids club. Your job: just relax and enjoy.

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  • Visit Santa in Lapland

    Visit Santa in Lapland

    Our editors say...

    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…

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  • South Africa

    South Africa self-drive

    Our editors say...

    One of our all-time favourite destinations. We took the children to South Africa when they were just five, and they loved it. Boredom is simply not an option – not in a country where, in one day, you can stand on top of Table Mountain, paddle with wild penguins and then tuck into good ol’ fish and chips.

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  • Andalucia

    Andalucia

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Sri Lanka adventure

    Sri Lanka adventure

    Our editors say...

    With an irresistible blend of dazzling monuments, edge-of-seat wildlife encounters and palm-fringed beaches, Sri Lanka makes a fantastic family destination. Travel in style and comfort with your own private guide and chauffeur on a tailormade itinerary which can take in a multitude of sights and sounds from elephant back safaris to colourful temples.

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  • Adventures in India

    Adventures in India

    Our editors say...

    From tracking tigers in ‘Jungle Book’ forests to riding in a rickshaw to the Taj Mahal, a family adventure in India is one big thrill ride. Rajasthan and Kerala left our children wide-eyed with wonder. They were mesmerised by the train journeys and chaotic streetlife, while the hill stations and houseboats offered a gentle change of pace.

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  • Costa Navarino, Greece

    Costa Navarino, Greece

    Our editors say...

    When we first took our kids to the Peloponnese their eyes lit up on discovering that the winged wonder horse Pegasus was born here. It’s a fascinating corner of Greece, rich in legends, and this resort is the perfect place to stay. The beach is truly epic and kids will love the nature centre and recreational park.

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  • Single parent holidays

    Single parent activity holidays

    Our editors say...

    Family holidays are precious, hard-earned and over all too quickly. Getting them right is especially important for single parents, when time is at a premium. Single With Kids is a brilliantly simple concept – the holidays are in small friendly groups, exclusively for single parents, and range from cheap camping breaks and party weekends to five-star beach resorts.

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  • Family ranching holiday

    Home on the range

    Our editors say...

    British Columbia is one of the world’s great outdoor playgrounds. Right at its heart lies the wild and beautiful Cariboo region where the Echo Valley Ranch & Spa provides a comfortable base from which to explore the backcountry. Activities – many tailored for children – range from horse riding and 4WD safaris to fishing and gold-panning.

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  • All inclusive Mexico

    All inclusive Mexico

    Our editors say...

    The Mexican Riviera is a beach made in heaven for families: gently shelving sand slipping into the warm Caribbean, almost guaranteed sunshine and, best of all, some excellent all-inclusive resorts. We particularly like Dreams Resorts & Spas. The family rooms and suites are gorgeous – although kids will no doubt prefer the weekly campouts on the beach.

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  • Family villas in Italy

    Family villas in Italy

    Our editors say...

    Kids love Italy. We think it’s probably something to do with the staple diet of pizza, pasta and gelato, but there’s no denying the country’s huge family-holiday appeal. Whether you’re looking for a Tuscan villa with a pool, a farmhouse in Umbria, a cottage by the sea or even a Venetian palazzo, this collection of properties from Oliver’s Travels is simply irresistible.

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  • City hotels for kids

    City hotels for kids

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Ile de Ré

    Ile de Ré

    Our editors say...

    The Ile de Ré on the French Atlantic coast is where smart Parisians decamp in summer, but it also has some great value accommodation. A long thin island of beaches, sand dunes and pine forests, it’s criss-crossed by family-friendly cycle paths connecting sleepy villages, historic ports and local markets.

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  • Boutique city apartments

    Boutique city apartments

    Our editors say...

    From Paris to Prague, this stylish collection of family-friendly apartments makes a city break in Europe with the kids more fun, more flexible and more affordable. Not only have i-escape visited and reviewed each characterful property, but they’ve put together a great online search facility for planning a city break just how you like it.

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  • Family gulet cruise Turkey

    Set sail on a gulet

    Our editors say...

    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.

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  • Go wild in the Galapagos

    Go wild in the Galapagos

    Our editors say...

    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. During a snorkel off Isabela Island, we counted 26 green turtles. The Galapagos are the ultimate wildlife-travel treat – and this cruise/hotel combo is perfect for families.

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  • UK holiday parks

    UK holiday parks

    Our editors say...

    From Kent to Cardigan Bay, Northumberland to the North Cornwall coast, Haven’s 35 holiday parks are never far from a stunning beach. The question is, will you be able to tear yourselves away from the on-site waterparks, sports activities and family entertainment? The excellent range of self-catering accommodation now includes luxury safari tents.

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And finally...

  • Best of Brazil

    Best of Brazil

    Our editors say...

    It’s not all jungle. Brazil has iconic cities like Rio and Salvador; there’s the watery wilderness of the Pantanal, the ground-shaking Iguacu Falls, a spectacular coastline, carnival, samba, football… one trip isn’t enough to sample all the delights of this amazing country. But this family itinerary combining the Costa Verde with the Pantanal does nicely for starters.

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