The best European destination for family holidays

The best European destination for family holidays

If you have kids it’s likely you’ll be planning your holiday around them. But the novelty of the beach and pool only lasts for so long, so we’ve gathered a selection of the best family holiday destinations in Europe so you’ll always have something excitin…

The Alps

The Alps may not immediately spring to mind when you think of summer holiday destinations in Europe, but whether you’re in France, Italy or Switzerland, this stunning mountain range has plenty to offer to the outdoor-obsessed families. Once the snow melts and the skiers head home, there’s a new landscape of lush slopes and mountain tracks to explore, with temperatures of resorts such as Valmorel in France and Saint-Moritz in Austria at a consistent 20-22oC. That means it’s perfect for hiking, pony-trekking and mountain biking in the fresh mountain air, or even caving, canyoning, canoeing and paragliding. When you need a break from the outdoors, your hotel should offer plenty for the whole family, from kids clubs and outdoor swimming to relaxing in a spa and sampling the delicious local cuisine.

Greece

The hundreds of islands, fantastic climate and Instagram-ready scenery of Greece make it top of the wish list for many families. If your family’s into ancient history, then follow in the steps of the Greek Gods in Athens at the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Ancient Theatre of Dionysus, where shows and celebrations would regularly attract crowds of 15,000. Once you’re done with Athens, it’s time for some island-hopping to experience the real Greece, so jump on a ferry to islands such as Skopelos, where scenes of Mamma Mia were filmed, Hydra, an unspoilt car-free oasis loved by artists and musicians, and Andros, which boasts some of the finest beaches in Greece.

Dordogne, France

The region of the Dordogne in France has many delights for families, but one of the best is paddling down the river in your own canoes. Pack a picnic and take it a few miles down river for a truly memorable countryside experience. If you prefer your activities with a little more geology in them, take a trip to the Gouffre de Proumeyssac, a spectacular cave with stunning crystal formations that take the breath away. And if your kids like a few scare stories, tell them it used to be called the ‘Devil’s Hole’ and it was an 18th Century dumping ground for dead bodies.

Andalusia, Spain

Thoughts of Spain’s Costa del Sol may conjure up images of high-rise hotels and all-you-can-eat breakfasts, but this most famous of European coastlines has plenty of charm and traditional culture if you know where to look. Of course there’s the legendary 150km coastline, with 22 of its hundreds of beaches awarded Blue Flag status, whether it’s the tranquil Burriana in the centre of Nerja or the stunning El Cristo in Estepona. But head inland and you’ll come across Andalusian hill towns and villages seemingly untouched for centuries, such as Frigiliana and the ancient white town of Casares. And for genuine family fun, let them loose on Aqualand Torremolinos, the largest water park on the Costa del Sol, featuring Kamikazee, one of Europe’s highest water slides.

Rome, Italy

Rome really brings the age of gladiators and bloodthirsty Roman audiences to life in the Colosseum, and your kids will have the most gory fun walking around this ancient monument imagining the epic battles and fights that were a feature of life 2,000 years ago. As well as the main arena, show them the labyrinth of tunnels where the gladiators and animals would wait until propelled upwards through a system of trapdoors and ramps for the baying crowd above. And if they fancy their own sword skills, sign them up for Gladiator School, where they can learn how to fight like a Roman warrior.

Prague, Czech Republic

The city of Prague may not have a huge water park or beach, but it’s one of the best places in Europe for kids, with child-friendly museums, fun fairs and huge playgrounds devoted to giving your kids a fantastic time. Take a ride on the funicular to the top of Petřín Hill, where you’ll find a mind-boggling mirror maze and pony rides, before heading to one of the many puppet shows held in theatres across the city. When you’ve done all that, make sure you keep a few hours back for a trip to the Lego Museum – the largest in Europe – which features a staggering 2,500 models.

Sicily, Italy

The Italian island of Sicily offers world-class resorts that are some of the best all inclusive family resorts in Europe, as well as a rich array of historical remains and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Mount Etna is a must-see (in fact, you can’t really miss it) so hire some bikes and take a ride on its lower slopes through its lush forests and lava fields. If your kids don’t mind getting dirty then take a boat trip to the Aeolian Island of Vulcano where they can get covered head to toe in volcanic mud.

European festivals

dramatic scenery of Secret Solstice in Reykjavik, Iceland to the sprawling Colours in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Both have a vast range of activities and entertainment for children of all ages, such as arts, crafts, sports, comedy, theatre, and even a band or two. A little closer to home, Camp Bestival in Dorset is specifically designed for families going to a festival for the first time, while Latitude in Suffolk focuses on art, cabaret and adventure for little ones, with a flock of Technicolor sheep to keep them company.

For the best family holidays in Europe, check out Club Med’s range of all-inclusive resorts.

Club Med Sun - The best all-inclusive sun holiday experience