As much as I love a beach holiday, I really do prefer being active when we travel as a family. And by active, I don’t always mean a multi-stop itinerary that takes in every single sight possible! Sometimes it really works to plan your family holiday around an activity, whether that’s skiing, walking, sailing, horseback riding, swimming or any other sport that your family enjoys. As we gear up for a new year of travels, I’ve started to look at what adventures we would like to take in 2019. I have to say, that the following six fun holidays all sound very appealing!
Active holidays for families
Go wild swimming in Neverland
Eilean Shore is a private island off the west coast of Scotland that was reputedly the inspiration for J M Barrie’s Neverland. The island is devoid of cars, gets its electricity from their own hydro-electric power station and makes every effort to be plastic free and carbon neutral. It is, quite simply, a wilderness wonderland where families can spend their days crabbing, wild swimming, painting, hiking, kayaking and nature watching before sitting around a camp fire toasting marshmallows. Eilean Shore has various holiday homes available to rent between March and October.
Mountain Bike in Morzine
The mountain resort of Morzine is a brilliant destination for families year-round. In the winter, it’s home to some of the best family-friendly skiing in France and in the summer it becomes paradise for mountain bikers. With more than 650km (400 miles) of trails, 82 downhill tracks and 22 chairlifts, Morzine is one of the biggest mountain-biking centres in Europe. For families, there are a good choice of suitable mountain bike trails for riders of all abilities; just like in skiing marked trail maps show the easiest and the hardest routes. If you’ve not spent much time biking in the Alps then you should definitely hire a qualified local guide. There are a number of local bike schools in the area as well if you need to brush up on your riding technique.
Saddle Up in Montana
The family-owned and family-friendly Paw’s Up Resort in Montana is where parents and children can spend time together in the Great Outdoors. Activities include river rafting, rappelling, paintball, fly-fishing and, of course, horseback riding. Wrangler-led rides take you through trails forested with ancient Ponderosas, across the legendary Blackfoot River, through pristine meadows stopping at spectacular views. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never saddled up before, experts are on hand to help and there are customised lessons for kids in the resort’s equestrian centre. For a true cowboy experience, families can try their hand running and sorting cattle with an authentic cattle drive. Ride ’em cowboy!
Ride a reindeer in Finland
Ok, so you won’t actually ride a reindeer, rather you’ll be pulled along in a traditional Finnish sleigh by Dasher or Dancer or Prancer or Vixen. This might not sound like the most active of pursuits but in truth a family holiday to Finland is a brilliant active break. In addition to visiting a reindeer herder and his troop of reindeers you can take a cross-country skiing lesson, try stomping through the snow on snowshoes, ski downhill on some of the best snow in the world, enjoy a husky ride, drive a snowmobile through the forest and more. For an active winter holiday, Finland is hard to beat.
Serve an ace in Sardinia
A tennis holiday is a great getaway for families that want to improve their games or just have a friendly knock about (although in my family that would probably be a very competitive knock about!). Some places offer tennis coaching for children as young as three with dedicated courses to ensure that they have fun while learning new skills. For parents, there are coaching sessions for beginners through to advanced players with dreams of playing on Centre Court. These resorts tend to be located in beautiful destinations, too, so you can lounge by the pool or take a dip in the ocean once you’ve won your match.
Go skiing in Japan
Forget the Alps and head to Japan instead for an amazing family skiing holiday. Niseko, in Hokkaido in the north of the country, is one of Japan’s larger and more popular ski resorts and a great destination for kids. That said, it gets cold here so make sure you wrap up warm! Because of the sub-zero temperatures, however, it means that the snow here is glorious and brilliant for beginner skiers and experts alike (think lots of wonderful powder skiing on empty slopes). There are excellent ski schools for children of all ages as well as instructors for parents who need to brush up on their technique. One of the best things about skiing in Japan, however, is all the amazing food you get to eat when you come off the slopes!
Pin for later!