Family holidays in February half term
By Mark Frary
Looking for family holidays in February half term? Here are some exciting ideas for you and your family both at home and abroad, whatever your budget. You’ll find recommendations for families with children of all ages through to teenagers.
Half term holidays in Europe
The Mediterranean is still a bit chilly in February. You may get some sunny days if you head south, but the sea will be cold and you could be unlucky and get some rain. The best strategy is to go to a hotel with plenty going on. Look for sports facilities, indoor pools and lots of organised activities.
The weather is likely to be very good in the Canaries – arguably the best short haul destination at this time of year. I recommend the Abama Golf & Spa Resort in Tenerife and the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort in Lanzarote which has kids clubs from babies up to 16 years of age.
In the Western Algarve, the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is stylish and perfect for tots and babies (the kids club takes children from 6 months). Alternatively, you could rent a luxury villa with private pool in the Algarve. Examples include Casa na Colina, which has a home cinema, children’s playground, pool table and heated swimming pool.
It’s also worth considering a villa in Mallorca or Corfu or Catalunya, or the beautiful Sani Resort in Halkidiki, Greece. If you’re travelling with a large family or group of friends, you could rent a chateau in France and take advantage of low-season prices.
Cyprus has a great climate in winter and the Almyra is a great beachfront hotel for families. Its stylish contemporary design belies a very child-friendly attitude.
For a short break with young children, you can explore Paris or Rome. Activities include a scooter ride around the Eiffel Tower, Gladiator school in Rome and lessons in making pasta or French pastry. Details from Family Twist.
February half term is peak period on the ski slopes of Europe. If you are happy to pay premium prices, I recommend Esprit Ski which offers superb childcare and family-friendly chalet hotels. See its latest special offers. Also take a look at Peak Retreats for good value skiing in France.
Iceland is only a three-hour flight away. You have a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights while touring this dramatic country – try an off-road trip in a 4WD Superjeep to get up close to natural wonders such as waterfalls, bubbling mud pools and exploding geysers.
If you’re on your own, check out these single parent holidays with Single with Kids.
Long haul holidays in February half term
You don’t need to fly great distances to find decent weather. I love the 8-day escorted tours offered by The Family Adventure Company such as trekking in Morocco.
Morocco is packed with things for kids to do, and it’s great value. Stay in a riad, explore the souks, climb into the Atlas Mountains and tour the ancient kasbahs. Lawrence of Morocco has a range of activities for children, or check out Families Worldwide which runs group family adventure holidays in Morocco. Its Kasbahs & Camels tour (6-16 yrs) includes mountain walks and a visit to Ait Benhaddou kasbah, seen in the film Gladiator.
Egypt offers lots of sunshine – you could lounge on the beach or learn to dive at Sharm el Sheikh Children aged 10 or more can get a PADI qualification which they can add to in future years.
Six hours flying time gets you to Dubai where you can expect 27ºC and 9 hours of daily sun in late February. For younger kids, I recommend staying at the One and Only Royal Mirage The Palace which has fabulous programmes for ages 4-11 and is close to a lot of the attractions. For teenagers, try the Atlantis, The Palm, which has its own Aquaventure Waterpark, or the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, which offers 50 activities and free entry to the Wild Wadi Water Park.
The Caribbean is perfect in February. It’s just 8 hours to Antigua then a short transfer to the all-inclusive Verandah Resort & Spa which has plenty to keep teenagers busy including non-motorised watersports and free instruction.
Club Med offers some of the best all-inclusive holidays on the planet with more than 80 beach and winter sports resorts all around the world, more than half of which are specifically designed for families.
If your family are keen on active holidays take a look at this amazing trip to Costa Rica. Alternatively, you could set off together on a family adventure in Vietnam with Selective Asia, or combine elephants, jungles and beaches in Sri Lanka.
It’s summer time in Mauritius where this collection of family hotels has special offers and free kids clubs with lots of free sports, including water-skiing. Also check out the beautiful The Residence Mauritius (see more offers).
February is a great time of year to visit South Africa. You can do it in a week with overnight flights, no jetlag and no anti-malarials required. Check out this trip to Cape Town, the Garden Route and a safari. If you love animals, consider a riding safari with Aardvark Safaris.
It’s also a good time for a safari and beach holiday in Tanzania – take an overnight flight then a light aircraft to Selous Impala Camp, where elephants roam freely and you will take game drives to see lion, giraffes and hippos. After a few days of adventure, head to The Tides, a charming hotel with cottages scattered along the beach.
February half term holidays in the UK
February is also a great time to rent a cottage in Cornwall – see this selection of 350 family-friendly properties. Or pick from a choice of self-catering accommodation in Devon with Helpful Holidays – all at low-season prices.
Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel is a great place for sporty kids. It offer a high ropes course, cycling, kayaking, fishing and horse-riding.
The Merton Hotel in Jersey is ideal for families with large suites and serviced apartments and facilities that include an Aquadome with swimming pools, slides, fountains, sauna and steam room, and a huge outdoor pool complex, complete with a Flowrider where kids can learn to surf.
Last updated: 28 April 2016
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