Family holidays in August
By Mark Frary, Editor of 101 Family Holidays
Looking for family holidays in August 2017? On this page you’ll find some great ideas both at home and abroad, whether you’re looking for a luxury break or a budget getaway during the school holidays. There are tips for families with children of all ages from babies all the way up to teenagers.
Obviously, August is high season which means high prices and busy resorts, as well as high temperatures in the Mediterranean. However, you can still get a deal if you travel late. Depart the UK in the last week of August and you’ll find prices significantly lower. Or you could save money by choosing a less obvious destination, such as the Alps (which are beautiful in summer) or see our pick of the best self-catering options for families.
UK family holidays in August
On the glorious coast of Cornwall Sands Resort Hotel is superb for families with lots of activities for kids and family-friendly rooms. Check out the latest special offers. Also In Cornwall I recommend Gwel an Mor which has five star wooden lodges and its own wildlife centre. See the latest special offers.
On the north coast of Cornwall, check out Trevella Park, which has great facilities including a heated outdoor pool and adventure playground, and a great range of posh tent with proper beds and duvets.
Want to explore the countryside? How about one of these working farm holidays or a glamping farm stay at the stylish Feather Down Farms. Or your could sign up for a family activity holiday with PGL. We’ve found more than 100 dog-friendly cottages around the UK, along with these luxury family houses and cottages in the New Forest.
In the Channel Islands, the Merton Hotel in Jersey has everything that parents and children could wish for. The large suites and serviced apartments are perfect families with facilities that include an Aquadome (pools, slides, fountains, sauna and steam room) along with a superb outdoor pool complex, including a Flowrider where kids can learn to surf.
Sheepskin has some beautiful (and unusual) cottages that provide a perfect solution for families, with no supplement during school holidays.
See our full guide to the best family holidays in England.
Mediterranean holidays in August
The Mediterranean is ideal for family holidays in August. Renting a private villa is a great option. I recommend the Greek islands of Corfu, Paxos and Lefkada, and gorgeous Kefalonia in the Ionians. I also like these villas at Pendamodi in rural Crete. See the latest offers.
If your kids like splashing about in pools – and you like a bargain – try First Choice SplashWorld which is a collection of 24 all-inclusive hotels, each with its own water park on site or next door plus free supervised children’s clubs.
In Spain we’ve found some great villas in Mallorca and on the mainland in Catalunya (see the special offers). In the pretty town of Sitges close to Barcelona, these designer villas are great for families.
In France, the Dordogne is one of the most popular regions for British families. It’s a great area to explore with river kayaking, gentle cycling and pretty villages and châteaus to explore. See this selection of family villas in the Dordogne.
If money is no object how about renting a luxury staffed villa with Scott Dunn, such as Quinta do Esperanca in the Algarve. Another option is Sir Richard Branson’s new Son Bunyola estate in Mallorca where three stunning villas are set in 680 acres of beautiful countryside. You’ll get your own private chef, along with a concierge service.
If you’re on a budget take a look at Siblu, which has a selection of villages in France that have comfortable mobile homes plus large swimming pools, free children’s clubs and sports. See the latest offers.
If you’re looking for a hotel in the Mediterranean, check out the stylish child-friendly Almyra in Cyprus. In Puglia, in the south of Italy, I recommend this selection of family hotels including the award-winning Borgo Egnazia and the teen-friendly Gattarella Resort.
In Greece, I really like Sani Resort, a classy beach haven that caters to kids of all ages. There are three hotels – Sani Beach Club, the luxury Sani Asterias Suites and the all-suite Porto Sani Village. If you want an upmarket all-inclusive at sensible prices, check out the stylish new IKOS Olivia.
Also in Greece, the Westin Resort Costa Navarino has really worked out how to please kids of all ages with its powder white sand beaches and endless facilities including water slides, bowling alley, adventure playground, two golf courses, mountain biking, open air cinema and water sports from paddle boarding to scuba-diving.
Sardinia has amazing beaches, along with gorgeous hotels including Forte Village and Chia Laguna Resort. The French island of Corsica has a wonderful selection of hotels, villas, apartments and residences.
If your kids enjoys riding bikes, why not consider a self-guided family cycling holiday in an unspoilt region of Europe. Your luggage is transported each day for you, and there’s a friendly family hotel (usually with a pool) at the end of each day. Our top recommended destinations are Mallorca and Catalonia.
If you have active teenagers, check out Powder Byrne’s new PB Sports Academies which will be held this summer in Elba, Sintra and Crete – featuring luxury accommodation, extensive facilities and professional training in tennis, football, surfing, scuba diving, water skiing and wake boarding.
You could hop aboard a gulet to sail along the coast of Turkey during the school summer holidays.
For a more exclusive adventure, take the children on a guided gulet cruising holiday along the coast of Italy, Greece, Croatia or Turkey. You’ll be on a traditional Turkish gulet which is perfect for visiting deserted coves and swimming in clear seas. A guide will show the family around local cultural sites.
We’ve also found some great single parent activity holidays including glamping breaks in tipis and wigwams and ‘bucket and spade’ resorts in Majorca. Their August holiday in Pembroke, on the Welsh coast, is an annual favourite.
Family holidays in the countryside
You could take an independent family walking holiday with Inntravel, where you walk from hotel to hotel with no fixed itinerary as your luggage is transported for you. Popular destinations include Spain’s Catalan Coast and the Italian Dolomites.
If you’re travelling with a large family or group of friends, you could rent a chateau in the French countryside – for example, Chateau Joncaises in the Lot Valley sleeps up to 16. See the latest special offers.
For older children, try these activity holidays in Spain or take a look at Borgo Scopeta Relais, a gorgeous country retreat near Siena that has lots of family facilities. If your kids are eight or older and love horses, you can even learn to play polo at Polo Valley Ranch in Sotogrande in southern Spain. It’s a great family bonding experience and no riding experience is necessary!
Or head to France or Spain for one of these innovative active villa holidays where you will stay in a private villa (most have pools) and get rental bikes included to fit all the family.
If you just want to get away for a few days, try Efteling in Holland, a fun theme park created around fairy tale themes and set in beautiful countryside.
Long haul family holidays in August
This can be a great time of year to spread your wings and go long haul. Unlike in Europe, you won’t pay a premium for travelling in the school summer holidays, and lots of places enjoy good weather in our summer.
The Caribbean is popular in August. Take a look at these family-friendly all-inclusive hotels in Barbados, and the all-inclusive Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua which is set in 30 acres of beaches, pools and gardens and has non-motorised watersports – with instruction – included in the price.
Another great all-inclusive option is Beaches Resorts which has well-equipped and stylish hotels in Turks & Caicos, plus Negril, Boscobel and Sandy Bay in Jamaica. For very young children, Carlisle Bay in Antigua is a good choice.
Japan is a non-stop whirl of excitement. Children of all ages love the high-tech, neon-lit cities where they can discover the home of manga comics, anime, Hello Kitty and Tamagotchi. Ride the bullet train, visit a Samurai castle and explore the wooden buildings of ancient Kyoto. See more family holidays in Japan.
For the ultimate educational holiday, set sail on a small-ship cruise to the Galapagos Islands where you and your kids can get up close with seals and marine iguanas (remember them from Sir David Attenborough’s Planet Earth II?). This Family Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary hits all the right spots.
Perhaps you want to teach your kids a more profound lesson how privileged they are? Try one of these amazing family volunteering holidays where you can work with local people or spend a few days on a wildlife conservation project in exciting destinations such as Costa Rica, Zambia and Thailand. Download a free guide to making your holiday more meaningful.
Kenya is one of the best African destinations for families in August. Try this amazing 12-day wildlife and beach family safari. Or this Kenya Migration Family Safari which includes three nights in Rekero Camp, sleeping in comfortable family tents.
If you don’t want take malaria tablets, go to South Africa where you can view the Big Five in malaria free safari reserves such as Madikwe and Pilanesberg, both well known for their excellent children’s programmes.
Madagascar is great to visit in August: children can track lemurs on foot at night, take a whale-watching trip, enjoy stunning beaches and explore a pirate cemetery. This lemur tracking safari is a great introduction. You can also enjoy the thrill of a horse riding safari in Kenya or Botswana.
Summer is right time to visit Tanzania where a safari and beach holiday could team up Selous Impala Camp in the bush with Breezes Beach Club, a lovely hotel with cottages dotted along a gorgeous beach.
Choose between a great selection of self drive adventures in the USA including an epic five-day family rafting trip down Cataract Canyon (minimum age 10). Take a guided hikes through Utah’s Arches National Park and discover Native American culture in Monument Valley.
It’s the dry season in Borneo – the best time of year to visit. This is a great destination for adventurous kids, combining orang-utans, rainforest, tribal culture, hiking and beaches. See this selection of family itineraries.
It’s also a good time to visit Thailand where I recommend these family adventure holidays. Head to the steamy south for a Beach and Jungle Adventure, or go to Northern Thailand for lower temperatures and hill tribe encounters, river rafting and a hot air balloon ride.
Indonesia is fast emerging as one of the most exciting destinations for adventure family holidays. Try sailing, deep sea fishing, kite surfing, water-skiing, snorkelling and scuba-diving. A 14-day tour of Java and Bali includes an elephant-back adventure, horse-riding, white-water rafting and a volcano trek.
Few destinations in Asia are more thrilling than Vietnam – a vibrant, welcoming country with bustling cities, colourful temples, white-sand beaches and exciting street food. It’s low season in July, so not too crowded.
Last updated: 2 March 2017