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16 Dream Destinations for a Family Adventure Holiday in 2016

We’ve gathered our top dream destinations for family adventure holidays this year. Catering to all tastes and budgets and spread across the globe, it’s certain that one or more of these locations will make for your trip of a lifetime. In no particular order…

Elafiti Islands, Croatia

A holiday to these islands north-west of Dubrovnik is a perfect escape from the crowds. Lopud Island is car-free and full of interesting churches, exotic gardens and the beautiful Sunj beach. Sipan is the largest of the islands and is home to the remains of a Roman villa and a 15th century Gothic palace, and Kolocep is inhabited by only 150 people and offers beaches, steep cliffs and sea caves perfect for exploring by kayak. See the islands by bike and on foot, and travel to and from each one by sea kayak – a fun, picturesque and active way of getting around. Experience these beautiful islands on our Active Croatia trip.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Thailand is perfect for families and has amazing beaches – visit the tropical island of Koh Samui or Koh Lanta on our Rainforests & Islands trip where you can relax in the sun on stunning beaches and snorkel with thousands of fish on a coral reef in clear, warm waters. Beyond the beach, explore street-side food stalls, hidden Buddhist temples (including a 12m tall golden Buddha statue) and authentic family-run seafood restaurants. The island is known for its palm-fringed beaches surrounding coconut groves, and thick, mountainous rainforest. It is unique among Thailand’s islands because it has something for everyone – from timeless fishermen’s villages to picturesque waterfalls.

Bled, Slovenia

With its emerald green lake and stunning Alpine mountains as a back drop, this picturesque town is a perfect base to enjoy a family adventure holiday. Slovenia offers that out-of-the-way feel but with all the activities you could want – take to the tree tops on a zip lining adventure with rope swings and high rope bridges, enjoy the thrill of summer tobogganing and go white-water rafting down the Soca River on our Alpine Adventure trip. Walk along forest trails, through meadows and around lakes and explore the karst cave system of Skocijan by kayak. Slovenia is an ideal destination for families because its small size means that travelling is minimal, leaving more time to enjoy activities! Despite its small size Slovenia offers historic cities, Alpine mountains, thick forests and Adriatic coastline.

Iguassu Falls, Brazil

A must-see for anyone who goes to Brazil, the Iguassu Falls are one of the planet’s most breath-taking sights – a chain of hundreds of waterfalls stretching for a total of three kilometres, making them taller than Niagara and twice as wide. Enjoy panoramic views and an adventurous boat trip to get up close to the waterfalls and feel the spray on your cheeks. The falls are located in a stunning national park setting teeming with unique flora and fauna. Visits to the Argentinean and Brazil sides of the falls are highly recommended, and our Brazil Highlights trip allows you to do just that. The Brazilian side offers better panoramic views of the falls from all directions and from the Argentinean side you can walk into the heart of the falls at the Devil’s Throat.

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Welcome to North Africa’s highest mountain range, known by local Berbers as ‘Idraren Draren’, meaning ‘Mountains of Mountains’. Explore the peaceful Berber villages of the Atlas Mountains and see how the locals live. This is a trekker’s paradise and great for kids of all ages because instead of walking they can travel by mule! These mountains have a stunning combination of traditional villages, fertile valleys and Jurassic peaks, and staying with local communities along your route is a great way to experience their authentic lifestyle. 

The Mreznica River, Croatia

This river is one of Croatia’s finest and clearest rivers, special for its 93 waterfalls interspersed with pools of warm water, perfect for kayaking, jumping off waterfalls and swimming away from beach crowds. Emerald water, unspoiled woods and stunning landscapes make our Croatia River Adventure trip one of Europe’s most idyllic retreats. Explore the Mreznica area on a cycling trip through villages and along country roads, and go on a canyoning adventure in the upper Mreznica canyon, paddling past cliffs of carved white rocks and cascading waterfalls. The Mreznica is home to many protected animal and plant species, including the Golden Eagle and the Great White Egret, which you’ll have the chance to spot from your kayak.

Inari, Finland

For a winter trip with a difference, head to Finland for a snowy family adventure holiday. Inari is a fantastic, uncrowded place to learn about the Sami culture and an ideal base from which to enjoy a range of snow activities, from snow-mobiling to husky sledding. Kids will love having fun in the snow and making friends with reindeer and huskies on our Ice Pop trip. Siida is a museum located on Lake Inari, home to the Sami Museum and North Lapland Nature Centre and is a perfect place to learn about the identity and culture of the Sami people and the arctic animals. Active families can enjoy trying out various winter activities including tobogganing, cross-country skiing and kick sledging.

Selous National Park, Tanzania

Venture away from the crowds and deep into the largest game reserve in Africa – Selous National Park – for a thrilling family safari holiday. The park hosts populations of lion, leopard, giraffe, buffalo and more. The wildlife is particularly interesting here because Selous attracts east and southern African wildlife, both resident and migratory, making it an essential destination on a Tanzanian safari. There are so many different ways to appreciate the wildlife here: watch buffalo and zebra drink at a watering hole from a tree-house overhead, enjoy a boat trip looking out for hippo and crocodiles and go on game drives and walking safaris for great wildlife viewing on our Swahili Coast & Safari trip.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Vietnam’s most charming and delightful town, Hoi An is a perfect holiday destination combining beach and town in a relaxed and atmospheric setting. As you wander along the port and through the markets and pretty streets of the Old Town it is easy to see why it is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place is a fantastic example of Vietnamese history and culture – what’s more, some of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches are within easy reach. Explore the surrounding countryside by bike, visit local villages and learn how to make your own authentic Vietnamese dish at a cooking school. We offer a choice of family holidays to Vietnam, which all include time spent in this captivating town.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

One of Africa’s most iconic landscapes, the Okavango Delta is made up of countless waterways, lagoons and small islands in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. This attracts an immense amount of wildlife and birdlife, and the landscape here presents a fantastic contrast to the rest of Botswana. Stay in an authentic tented bush lodge built around a permanent waterhole attracting elephants, buffalo and other wildlife on our Botswana Adventure trip, explore the waterways by canoe and go on bush walks on the islands. Moremi Game Reserve encompasses a large area of the Okavango Delta’s wetlands and is rated as one of the leading wildlife areas of the world – watch elephant, hippo, lion and other game.

Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka

Rivalling the savannah reserves of Africa, Udawalawe has a stark beauty and easy game-watching due to the lack of dense vegetation. This is definitely the national park in Sri Lanka not to miss: for elephant watching it often outperforms many of the famous East African national parks – it is home to about 400 in total and during a visit it is not unusual to see whole herds of young and adult elephants feeding and bathing. Look out for leopard, water buffalo, monitor lizards and wonderful birdlife on an exciting game drive through this national park. See elephants in the wild and up-close at an elephant ‘transit’ camp, which cares for dozens of baby elephants that have been abandoned or injured, until they are well enough to be released back into the wild. Our Ceylon Discovery itinerary includes time here, or why not tailor-make your own trip?

Sepilok, Borneo

Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary is renowned all over the world for its work in rehabilitating orphaned orangtans. Around 60 to 80 orang-utans are living free in the reserve, in addition to 25 young orphaned orangutans housed in the nurseries. There are also several nature trails and canopy walkways in the reserve, from mangrove swamps to tropical highland rainforest, where wildlife including macaques and orang-utans can be seen. You can also go on a guided night trek, looking out for flying squirrels, snakes and scorpions. This is an amazing destination offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience in a beautiful rainforest setting. As well as the Orangutan Sanctuary you can also visit the nearby Sun Bear Conservation Centre and Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary and watch these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. Experience all this and more on our Planet of the Apes trip.

Sossusvlei, Namibia

Part of the world’s oldest and driest desert, Sossusvlei is one of Namibia’s most spectacular places to visit. It is a large white salt and clay pan surrounded by large red dunes, some of which are over 300m tall. Despite the harsh, arid landscape, a variety of flora and fauna that have adapted to survive can be seen here, including gemsbok, ostrich and aardvark. Watch the sun rise over the desert, take a walk like no other through the last 5km of the dunes and enjoy perfect photo opportunities. You’ll also be able to climb Dune 45, more than 170m tall and the most photographed dune in the world due to its fascinating star shape and accessibility, for spectacular panoramic views of the Dune Valley. Click here to see our Cheetahs and Dunes trip which includes a day in Sossusvlei or let us tailor make your family holiday to Namibia.

The Pyrenees, Spain

The Spanish Pyrenees are a great destination for a family adventure holiday in both summer and winter, with stunning, varied landscapes and a wide range of activities. In summer explore the delightful medieval towns of Berdun and Jaca, go on mountain walks, swim in rivers and mountain lakes and experience the thrill of zip-lining through the forest and white-water rafting. Relax in beautiful unspoilt countryside, with pristine river pools, alpine forest and monasteries clinging to the sides of cliffs. In winter the mountains offer endless options for winter activities. Go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing into the snowy wilderness, learn how to build an igloo, enjoy skiing and snowboarding and explore Berdun on a treasure hunt. Click to read more about our Active Pyrenees summer trip.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands are the ultimate destination for wildlife-loving families, full of awe-inspiring biodiversity and one of the few places left in the world where the human footprint is minimal. Many of the creatures here are found nowhere else in the world and have no predators, meaning that you can get up close to them and take amazing photos. Go snorkelling with playful sea lions, meet giant tortoises at the Darwin Research Centre and see quirky blue-footed boobies. Active families can have fun exploring the islands by kayak, bicycle and on foot, or relax on a family-friendly cruiser for several days with landings on the islands. Families Worldwide can help you tailor make your own trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

An unmissable part of any trip to Costa Rica, this active volcano (the largest active crater in the world, measuring 1.6km across) is located in a stunning national park. Watch the bubbling, steaming green lake at the bottom as it blasts sulphurous mud into the air and admire the nearby lakes of molten sulphur which are home to many cloud forest birds. Poas is ideal for families who want to look inside an active volcano without the difficulty of climbing one, and the national park is also one of the most accessible places to see cloud forest around San Jose.

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