Choosing a family holiday can be difficult. Teenagers and toddlers like very different things, and you’ll also want to pick a place you can enjoy as much as the kids. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you. Here are our top five action-packed destinations for all the family.
Gran Canaria, The Canary Islands
If you’re looking for a beach holiday without the inconvenience of a long-haul flight, a trip to Gran Canaria comes highly recommended. This picturesque island is renowned for its diverse scenery and gorgeous sandy bays – such as Anfi del Mar, or the Blue Flag beaches of Puerto Rico, with their calm waters – perfect for smaller children.
There are numerous family-friendly activities across the island, from Lido Waterpark, to Sioux City Park, which has a Wild West theme. Take animal-loving kids to Palmitos Park, which is home to dolphins, exotic birds and butterflies, or on a camel ride across the dunes at Maspalomas.
Gran Canaria is a popular all-inclusive destination, and many of the resorts are very family-friendly, with kids’ clubs, playgrounds, and activities for the whole family.
Many people think of Austria as a winter destination, with its skiing opportunities and cute Christmas markets. But it’s fantastic to visit during the summer too, especially with children. Base yourself in the quaint alpine town of Saalbach, and you’ll discover an endless amount of family-friendly activities.
Saalbach is situated in the Glemm Valley, also known as ‘The Valley of Games.’ Here you’ll find themed adventure hiking trails complete with rope bridges and water cannon games, as well as a sightseeing “Noddy” train and a fabulous rope course. There’s even a couple of waterparks where you can cool off.
You and your family will love getting out and about in such beautiful surroundings. Best of all, a lot of activities are free with the Joker Card, which is provided to you by your hotel.
If you’re looking for a city break that will also engage the kids, head to Nantes, a French city where the old, new and just plain odd sit alongside each other. Take the kids to Les Machines de L’Île, an amusement park based around the weird and wonderful novels of Jules Verne. Go on a carousel ride inspired by 20,000 Leagues under the sea, or ride across the park on a 48-tonne mechanical elephant.
On Île de Nantes you’ll find a series of trampolines, and Square Merceur Playground, which is shaped like a sea monster. During the summer, the city comes alive with an outdoor art trail called Le Voyage à Nantes, which can be followed on foot or by tram. You’ll love exploring this city of surprises.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
If you’re looking for a holiday that combines wilderness with beaches, and fjords with Vikings, head to the Lofoten Islands.
These stunning volcanic islands will wow you – and the kids – with their beauty. You can explore the calm fjords on a sea kayaking trip, stopping off at a beach for a bracing dip. Take a boat trip to Refsvikhula Cave, where you’ll find 4,000-year-old paintings. It’s near Bird Mountain, too, where thousands of sea eagles and puffins nest.
Kids will also love Borg, a Viking settlement. You can try out Viking activities, such as archery, axe throwing and longboat rowing, followed by an authentic Viking meal. You’re so far north that during midsummer there’s 24-hour daylight, which means plenty of time for exploring, and barbecues until the small hours. Make sure you take eye-masks so you can get some shut-eye!
Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica
If you’re looking to travel further afield, the small Central American country of Costa Rica is great for families. You’ll be able to soak up the sun on out-of-this world beaches, and explore the island’s rainforests and mountains, looking for wildlife.
Playa Tamarindo is the perfect spot for families. This characterful town boasts a stunning beach, and it’s right next to a national park, where you can spot turtles and over 150 species of birds. There’s plenty of scope for exploration, from kayak trips to horse-riding excursions. Kids will love this active beach holiday. What’s more, there’s a fabulous range of all-inclusive accommodation on offer.
Wherever you choose to visit, you’re guaranteed a great time. However, if you’re going away with small children, we recommend going all inclusive. It takes the hassle out of travelling, and you’ll save hundreds of pounds in meals, drinks and snacks. Here are some more ideas for family holidays by Holiday Hypermarket, many of which offer all inclusive deals.