For many of us parents, a family holiday involves sun, sand, a bucket and spade, and ice-cream available close by. Some parents may have a burning desire to venture off the beaten track, but feel they can’t as such a trip would not be suitable for families. For those who need a break from the norm, here are some quirky ideas which happily accommodate children.
For those parents who love the great outdoors, you might want to consider staying at an ecolodge in Sweden. Kolarbyn Ecolodge caters for families with moose and beaver safari trips as an added bonus. You and your family can get back to basics by swapping electricity and running water for fire and wood. Each forest hut comes with its own fireplace so for dinner you can select your ingredients from the food shed, collect water from the spring, chop your own wood and start cooking. Just two hours’ drive from Stockholm the ecolodge is situated in the Bergslagen Forest where you can canoe on a silent lake, hike or collect berries and mushrooms. All your meals are provided and if you get chilly you can fire up the floating sauna.
Continuing the theme of the great outdoors, but with a stronger assurance of sunnier weather, a holiday in a yurt in Catalonia, Spain might be an option. Nestled on the edge of Els Ports Natural Park, the handcrafted yurt comfortably sleeps four and stays cool through the hot summer months. Wear out the kids with an abundance of activities on offer such as walking, cycling, playing in waterfalls or painting. Or you can amble through vineyards and olive groves to get to the medieval village of Arnes which has shops, restaurants a market as well as an outdoor swimming pool. The Estrets River borders the area and its clean and safe waters flow into the mountains where all manner of wildlife can be spotted. The nearest airport is Reus from which a minibus can collect and drop off.
Another guaranteed warm escape which you may not have considered for your family holiday is Egypt. There are a number of resorts which cater for children, offering kids’ clubs and babysitting services so they can enjoy playing while you explore the rich culture. There are a number of hotels near to the Red Sea Riviera, some close to the beach and all offering an extensive entertainment programme including a whole host of sporting activities to choose from. There is a varied choice of restaurants to cater for those fussier little ones. As a family you can snorkel or visit Splashworld; a newly opened waterpark which is separated into different areas aimed at different age ranges. This ancient land brimming with cultural hotspots provides something to satisfy everyone’s needs.
If you fancy staying closer to home and remaining on dry land holds no appeal then how about a holiday on a houseboat in Devon? Many of the wide beam barges are permanently moored on a private jetty and can sleep up to five people. This idyllic setting close to the North Devon coast promises a feeling of isolation with no television and surroundings filled with nature. You can even catch organic rainbow trout to serve up for dinner at no extra charge. With a beach only 20 minutes away and 35 acres for the kids to explore, you’re guaranteed some peace as a parent. Organisers recommend the stay suitable for children over five years old.
For a faster paced break you may have ruled out an adventure holiday in Wales if you have children but in Snowdonia National Park there is bed and breakfast accommodation that specializes in fast and furious activities for all the family to enjoy. From lama trekking and zip lines to steam trains and scrambling, there is something to suit all age ranges and children under three get to stay for free. Family- orientated guides ensure all activities can be done locally. And for when you need some respite from the fast lane there are beautiful beaches nearby or you can indulge in a spot of fishing or a trip on the local steam train, which is a stone’s throw away from the house.
Don’t be afraid to explore holiday options outside of the usual plain vanilla holiday package, you may be surprised as to what you discover; a holiday that leaves the whole family happy, including the parents.