Half term holiday ideas

Half term ski holidayHalf term holiday ideas on the beach

By Amanda Statham, Editor

Looking for ideas for the half term holidays? Here you’ll find some great ideas that will suit your children, whether you want to get away for some Mediterranean sun, stay at home in the UK or do something more adventurous. Note: all the travel companies featured are personally recommended by our editors.

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FebruaryMayOctober

February half term holiday ideas

This is arguably the best time of year for a family ski holiday, but don’t expect to get a cheap deal. I recommend Peak Retreats, an award-winning operator that specialises in budget ski holidays in top French resorts.

If you’re looking for winter sun and don’t want to fly long haul, try the Canary Islands where I like Abama Golf & Spa Resort. The Algarve is a great choice for a tennis holiday while The Gambia offers great-value beach breaks.

Active and adventurous families should consider Morocco which is a short flight from the UK, great value and packed with thrills. Check out this family holiday which takes in the highlights: the Essaouira coast, the Atlas Mountains and the city of Marrakech. If you want more of a beach holiday, I recommend the Rebali Riads near Essaouira.

You can still find sunshine in Europe if you head to the most southerly islands in the Mediterranean. See this handpicked collection of family accommodation in Cyprus.

Find more February half term ideas.

May half term holiday ideas

The last week of May is a wonderful month to explore the Med – arguably the region is better then than during the heat of August.

I particularly like the unspoilt beaches of Costa de la Luz and the craggy coastline of Catalonia. If you want an upmarket family villa, consider Mallorca.

Greece is great in May. Kids enjoy exploring the fascinating island of Crete where you’ll find stylish houses to rent. Details here. If you want a family-friendly luxury hotel, try the MarBella Corfu.

Simpson Travel has introduced its own bespoke crèche and kids clubs at some of its villas and hotels in the Greek Islands and Mallorca. You can stay in your own villa with private, fenced pool with a crèche on site staffed by English-speaking nannies, and outdoor activities for children aged 4-11.

You could join a group activity holiday – options include surfing and orienteering in Portugal, whale-watching and jeep safaris in Madeira, white-water rafting in Croatia and – for older teenagers – diving in Gozo.

I love the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia, both of which combine excellent beaches with sights, activities and, of course, fabulous food. In Sardinia, the best places to stay are the high-end Forte Village Resort and the good-value Chia Laguna Resort.

In Sicily, you can stay at one of these great-value rural hideaways. How about tractor rides on a working olive farm or delicious homemade meals at this converted farmhouse with swimming pool?

In France, this collection of rural family hideaways is packed with amazing places to stay, from a converted farmhouse in Provence to a working domaine in the Languedoc with tennis courts, infinity pool, spa and restaurant.

On mainland Italy the unspoilt region of Puglia is great for kids, with family-friendly hotels including the five-star Borgo Egnazia.

Get together with a bunch of family or friends and you could rent a stunning chateau in France – this works out much less expensive than you might think. Details from Oliver’s Travels.

Closer to home, you could rent a cottage in the Cotswolds or a family cottage on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Hop on a ferry to the Isle of Wight or take one of these working farm holidays in the UK.

Mediterranean beach clubs are ideal for families, with childcare for babies and tots, and plenty of sports and social activities to keep other kids amused. Check out the Paleros Beach Resort run by Mark Warner.

Also see our selection of the best sailing holidays.

If you enjoy cycling, try a gentle self-guided cycling holiday with Inntravel. Your accommodation is pre-booked and your luggage is waiting for you at the next hotel when you arrive. Or head to Northern Spain which has stunning beaches, rolling countryside, mountains, great food and traditional villages. Stay in one of these villas with private pool.

Find more holidays in May half term.

October half term holiday ideas

October is the end of the summer season – if you’re lucky you can get some lovely weather. It’s best to head quite far south, such as the Greek island of Crete. You can expect decent sunshine on a villa holiday in Corfu and Corsica.

If you have teenagers try this selection of active holidays with prices from just £475 pp. Popular choices include ghyll scrambling, mountaineering and abseiling in the Lake District.

Catch some late sun at the family-friendly Merton Hotel in Jersey or enjoy the freedom of self-catering with a cosy cottage in Cornwall.

And it’s a great time to visit Sri Lanka before the start of the high season. Check out this Family Adventure.

>> Find more holidays in October half term or visit our sister site, 101 Family Holidays. Also see our guide to the best adventure holidays for families.

Last updated: 11 March 2022

* Did you know you can save up to 40% on holiday prices? See all the latest deals.We publish new deals most weeks and you can get them delivered to your inbox by entering your email address below.

Before you book

Travel guidelines and advice are still subject to change. Check the latest travel restrictions for UK residents.