As half term is looming, there can only be one thing around the corner – The Summer Holidays. My friends fall in to two camps. The organised and fully booked or the ‘fly by the seat of their pants’ camp. As a fully fledged member of the latter camp the former unnerve me. If you haven’t booked anything yet, but realise you want to and kind of have to if you don’t want the dregs – this post is for you.
Kindly written by Ed Burke at Seventy Ten Travel, he has collated suggestions from Europe to Further afield – to suit all ages and requirements.
EUROPEAN SHORT HAUL
Porto Elounda, Crete
This is a great value luxury option for families. The interconnecting family rooms ensure complete comfort and the idyllic setting will ensure relaxation from the get-go.
This 120 room hotel is one of three hotels in the Elounda SA Resort, which all share the same facilities (if you really want to treat the family then the Elounda Peninsula adds an extra layer of comfort and glamour).
Here you get the best of both worlds, the ambience of a small hotel with the facilities of a large resort and the space that comes with it. There is a great choice of restaurants, a superbly spoiling Six Senses Spa, The Kids Ark has a huge range of activities on offer for babies all the way up to teenagers and there’s a football academy as well as golf and tennis facilities. The beach is small but calm, so perfect pottering territory for the little ones.
Package Price: £6,925 based on a family of 4 (children aged 2-12), departing 29th July, staying in 2 interconnecting sea view rooms with breakfast and buffet dinner, return flights and private transfers.
Sun Gardens, Dubrovnik
There is something beguiling about Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Coast, the stunning coastline encased by crystal clear water, punctuated with delicate islands and intriguing historical remnants. Sun Gardens Dubrovnik allows families to enjoy this spectacular area without foregoing any of the often mandatory family requirements.
The Two Bedroom Residences allow more than enough space for everyone to get a peaceful night’s sleep (the secret to every successful family holiday!), as well as a sitting room, kitchenette and terrace – giving the option for a quiet night in every now and again. The dedicated kids pool and pebble beach is perfect for lazy days pottering around the resort, or for a mini adventure there is a boat service into Dubrovnik old town and further afield you could take a boat to explore some of the beautiful neighbouring islands and beaches. For a bit of parental R&R there is an excellent kids club as well as lots of supervised sport activities. There’s also an excellent spa and some superb restaurants to choose from.
Package Price: £5,895 based on a family of 4 (children aged 2-12), departing 7th July, staying in a Two Bedroom Residence with breakfast, return flights and private transfers.
Abama Ritz Carlton, Tenerife
You may remember Tenerife was one of our recommendations for the Easter Holidays. The summer is also a great time to visit. Despite being so far South the weather in July and August is absolutely perfect.
Dubbed ‘the island of eternal spring’ the July day time temperatures average is in the late 20’s with very little rain. Despite the perfect weather it’s not high season like the rest of Europe so you get good value for money. If you are looking for a world class resort hotel, then the Ritz-Carlton Abama should be high on your list.
Set within an enormous private estate on the less developed west coast, you are cocooned away from the masses and there is no real reason to leave. Firstly the food and drink is astounding, M.B holds 2 Michelin Stars for it’s Basque cuisine and the Japanese-fusion restaurant Kabuki has one star – these are complemented by a great range of alternatives both formal and informal. Adventures await children aged 4 – 12 at the enormous kids club.
All in all, the Abama is perfect for families looking for a spoiling break away.
Package Price: £6,245 based on a family of 4 (children aged 2-12), departing 7th July, staying in Two Connecting Rooms, Half Board with daily Kids club and Spa Circuit, return flights and private transfers.
ADVENTUROUS EUROPEAN OPTIONS
If you feel the children are old enough (or young enough), you may wish to to embark on a more active holiday. Getting out and about seeing places brings opportunities to create memories that last a lifetime. It also makes the holiday seem much longer and on returning home you’ll feel recharged and rejuvenated despite the additional exertion.
Ed and Rosie would be able to advise on many fun options and have detailed a few below.
Bring out the “von Trapp” in your family with a summer trip to the Alps. Whether you choose to visit the Sound of Music heartland of Salzburg or the convenient French Alps, there is a host of wholesome family fun to be had. Walk or take a lift up to the beautiful meadows and collect flowers, swim in the bracing lakes or cycle the designated routes (electric mountain bikes are now widely available).
Megeve is particularly fun in summer and easy to get to, with loads going on and some excellent hotels.
Italy, Slovenia and Croatia
This year for my annual family adventure, I will drive through Northern Italy and Slovenia to the Croatian Coast. Starting in Lake Maggiore we will show the children where we got married and spend some happy days swimming, boating, visiting the islands and enjoying the fabulous food.
We’ll then drive across to the Veneto region to visit Verona and Lake Garda (unfortunately the opera might be a bit late for the children, but we may try and have a peek). We will then bite the bullet and take the long drive to Pula in Croatia (you can get a boat from Venice if preferred). After a few days on the coast, we will venture into Slovenia, visiting the beautiful capital Ljubljana, before heading into the mountains to the Lake Bled region. Then it will back to Italy to drop the car in Venice before flying home.
Last summer, Rosie spent time exploring Transylvania in Northern Romania. The destination totally surpassed expectations and she’s already plotting her return there! It really is an idyllic destination not only for couples but also for families.
We covered a fair bit of ground visiting many traditional Transylvanian towns and villages, stopping along the way to nose into some ancient squares, overtaking many a horse and cart (which are still the mode of transport for many rural families), tasting some schnitzel and pork soups, striding up hillsides and of course driving the famous Transfagarasan pass (voted quite rightly by Top Gear as one of the best mountain roads to drive in the world).
However this area is not just for the speed seekers; with such a stunning array of historical buildings and countryside to explore I would absolutely recommend it to all ages and interests, especially for a real family holiday with a difference!
Accommodation here is in beautifully restored local houses and buildings; not only offering further insight into local life and culture but also offering extremely comfortable and tasteful rooms as well as deliciously prepared local food – all for a fraction of the price that you can expect to pay in Western Europe.
LONG HAUL DESTINATIONS
If you’ve been thinking about a long-haul trip this summer but not got around to organising anything yet – then don’t panic – it’s not too late to get something organised.
There are many long-haul options perfect for summer holidays and often they’ll work out a similar price to a high-end European resort.
Our top options for a family long-haul trip would be:
South African Safari
A combination of the Malaria Free, Big Five – Madikwe Game Reserve with a predator free Ranch experience in the Waterberg is a winning combination. There are lodges that specialise in creating magical African nature based experiences for families.
Ed would be delighted to advise on ideas and suggestions.
Indonesia or Thailand
Thailand, strictly-speaking in its rainy season, so choose carefully, however the East coast and Gulf of Thailand enjoy idyllic weather perfect for a tropical family beach break. Indonesia is also in its prime, with over 17,000 islands to choose from you’re spoilt for choice. Whether you’re partial to an action-packed adventure filled with wildlife and exploration or a relaxing stay in a world-class family resort on the beautiful island of Bali – Rosie has a treasure trove of suggestions to offer.
USA Road Trip
Ed has spent the last two summers exploring the US with his family. He would delighted to help you plan a memorable road trip. Whether you plan to hire and RV, explore the beautiful beaches and islands, visit the theme or national parks – he will have some great tips to help you get the most out of your trip.
If you would like any advice, help with your itinerary or to book a holiday or trip of a lifetime, contact Ed at Seventy Ten Travel
T. 020 8004 7937