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Five Alternative Family Holiday Ideas

It can be difficult to find a holiday that offers unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and is also family friendly. People presume that kids want a beach holiday but they’ll have so much more fun on a trip with a variety of exciting new activities for them to try! We’ve gathered our five favourite alternative family holidays, read on to find out more:


For most families, a summer holiday to Europe means lots of relaxing and playing in the swimming pool and at the beach, with little else in between. This year why not embark on a fun-filled family activity holiday exploring the beautiful islands of Croatia by sea kayak on our Active Croatia trip? Explore the beautiful island of Lopud, cycle through the colourful villages of Sipan Island and have fun snorkelling in the warm Adriatic Sea. A great family seaside holiday with a difference! Croatia is a great budget-friendly, less-crowded alternative to neighbouring Greece and is equally if not more beautiful.


For a trip that feels very far from home but is only a short flight away, visit Morocco! Our Kasbahs & Coast trip is especially designed to let you experience the variety and colour of this fantastic country and is a great alternative family holiday destination.

For a real taste of the local life, stay in mountain villages with the friendly and hospitable Berber people and enjoy home-cooked dinners as well as learning how to make them! The lively and colourful souks of Marrakech are unlike anywhere else, and a visit to the Djemaa el Fna in the evening as it comes alive with acrobats, snake charmers and jugglers is an exciting and unforgettable experience.


For a fun alternative to a family skiing holiday, check out our Winter Slovakia trip. As well as skiing in the stunning Tatranska Lomnica, the highest ski resort in Slovakia, experience the thrill of husky-sledding, go snowshoeing through the wilderness and have fun whizzing down slides into thermal pools in Bukowina. With a fantastic range of winter activities, this is so much more fun than a skiing holiday! Slovakia is one of Europe’s most mountainous countries and is far less touristy than the ski resorts of the Alps, offering you a wonderful glimpse into local traditions and cultural activities.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is perfect for families who want a varied adventure holiday without travelling long distances between places – this beautiful country is fantastically diverse and smaller than Ireland! Our Active Sri Lanka trip is great for adventurous families: explore caves, go climbing and white-water rafting and enjoy cooking classes and dance shows – to name just a few of the activities you and your family can enjoy on this fun alternative family holiday. Enjoy fantastic wildlife-watching opportunities: watch herds of elephants and look out for leopards and a variety of birdlife. Sri Lanka is breathtaking, it’s affordable and it’s still often uncrowded. Now is the time to discover the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is completely unlike anything you and your family will have experienced before. Trips are packed with exciting activities that you can’t do anywhere else: zip-wire through the rainforest canopy, visit volcanoes and watch water and mud shoot up into the air from the crater, and explore Tortuguero National Park, watching monkeys, sloths and crocodiles. Finish off the trip with a day of snorkelling and relaxing on the Pacific beaches. Costa Rica is a great first experience of Latin America for families and is a family travel playground offering big adventures that every family member can enjoy.


Discover the vibrant island of Cuba, home to one of the most captivating cultures in the world. Our Cuba Libre! trip provides a perfect balance of culture, discovery and activity. Experience the country’s colonial past whilst having fun on a tour of Havana by classic car and visit the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara. Enjoy Cuba’s countryside on a canopy and zip line tour in Las Terrazas and explore the Valle de Vinales, one of Cuba’s most magnificent natural settings, on foot and by bike. Discover authentic Cuba when you visit a local community and stay in a Cuban Casa, and relax on the beautiful beaches of Cayo Santa Maria Island.


Slovenia is a perfect destination for a family activity holiday that feels out of the way but is still in Europe. Despite its small size it is full of beautiful varied landscapes, from soaring peaks and magical caves to unspoilt coastline and tranquil lakes. With more than half of its total surface covered in forest it is one of the greenest countries in the world and offers a range of exciting family-friendly activities with minimal travelling time between locations.

On our Alpine Adventure trip you can enjoy new and different activities every day, many of which your family will have never tried before which all adds to the fun. Try summer tobogganing, go white-water rafting down the emerald Soca River, zip-line through the tree tops on a high ropes course, explore karst caves by sea kayak and go rock climbing and cycling.


India is a fantastic family holiday destination because it’s so colourful and exciting, and the welcome for families is phenomenal. See the highlights of northern India on our Taj & Tigers trip: explore local towns, visit schools and markets and learn about the unique way of life here. Discover the magnificent Amber Fort and the ancient ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri and head into the heart of rural India, Ranthambore National Park, for incredible wildlife viewing including tigers. The trip ends with a visit to the Taj Mahal to watch the sun rise over this indescribably beautiful building.


Our Adventure in the Andes trip is great for families looking to visit a country full of wonderfully contrasting scenery and activities. Walk in the footsteps of Paddington Bear and hike a one day Inca Trail to the marvellous Machu Picchu, and explore it on a morning tour before the flocks of tourists arrive. Discover and learn about this ancient civilisation as well as the old Inca fortress of Saysayhuaman.

This holiday also offers plenty of adrenaline-filled activities: go paddle-boarding on the pretty Lake Piuray, cycle along the River Urubamba and ride the rapids in an inflatable canoe. Creative kids will love learning how to make their own bar of Peruvian chocolate and crafting a special pottery souvenir in the Sacred Valley.


With South-East Asia becoming increasingly popular as a tourist destination, Myanmar is a great alternative to its more westernised neighbours and offers an unforgettable adventure for families – check out our Myanmar Discovery trip. Daily life in Myanmar revolves around family, making this newly emerging country a truly family friendly place.

Travel back in time as you explore Bagan’s ancient temples by horse & cart, and enjoy magnificent landscapes untouched by mass tourism. Get involved in local life with fun, hands-on activities as you learn to cook authentic Burmese food and craft your own clay souvenir. Hurry here, as the word is well and truly out about this charming, extraordinary country!


A safari in the Serengeti is a bucket-list aspiration for many, and you can see the big highlights as well as more exclusive parts of this amazing country on our Serengeti Family Safari trip. Go on the ultimate African safari, looking out for the Big 5 on game drives across the vast Serengeti Plains. Canoe down private trails on the shores of Lake Victoria and learn about the traditional way of life on a fishing village visit.

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s premier attractions and a world-renowned natural wonder – enjoy wonderful views from above and drive among an unequalled concentration of wildlife inside the crater – the highest density of lions and overall predators in Africa is found here. Experience traditional life on a visit to a fishing village, stay in a Masai village and try out an array of cultural activities, from drumming lessons to preparing local meals.


Nepal is a wonderful destination for outdoor lovers and the Himalayas provide a stunning backdrop for our family Himalayan Adventure holiday. This trip combines jungle, activity, wildlife and adventure with lots of hands-on activities for kids including a lesson in making a traditional Nepalese dish. Go on a ‘mini trek’ in the Himalayan foothills and watch the sun rise and set over the mountains, experience the thrill of white-water rafting down the Trisuli River and see wildlife in Royal Chitwan National Park. Look out for rhino, monkeys, birdlife and even tigers from your safari jeep, river canoe and on foot, and explore the vibrant bazaars of Kathmandu at the beginning and end of your holiday.


Oman offers a rare chance for visitors to immerse themselves in the Arab world, with its traditional charms and Bedouin values. Discover Oman’s abundance of natural beauty and the ancient soul of Arabia on our Dolphins & Dunes trip as you visit abandoned villages, immense forts and stay in an authentic Bedouin desert camp overnight. Adventurous families will enjoy sand boarding or horse riding in the desert, walking through Oman’s ‘Grand Canyon’ and riding a camel.

Oman’s coastline offers great wildlife watching experiences: see turtles laying their eggs on the beach, go dolphin watching and snorkelling with colourful fish. Cruise up the coast on a traditional dhow, swim in Wadi pools and experience local life in fishing towns and mountain villages.


Malaysia is a great destination to travel with kids – the people are very friendly and welcoming with children and there is a wonderful variety of landscapes, activities and wildlife. Explore historic Malacca on foot and by river cruise, and visit the ‘Garden City’ of Putrajaya and vibrant Kuala Lumpur. Get up close to nature on a firefly tour of a wetland reserve, walk through the jungle on the world’s longest canopy walkway and cruise along the river into the heart of Taman Negara, looking out for monkeys, buffalo and a variety of birdlife on our Adventure Malaysia! trip.

Learn about growing and processing tea in the Cameron Highlands and visit ‘Orangutan Island’ on a boat ride to watch these magnificent creatures roaming free. Penang Island offers palm-fringed beaches and plenty of family friendly activities, making it the perfect place to wind down at the end of a holiday.


This country is a great alternative family holiday destination to other European countries because it offers an impression of the ‘Europe that was’. Learn about this hidden gem’s fascinating history as you explore the charming World Heritage towns of Gjirokaster and Berat, and experience Albania’s timeless culture on our Adventure Albania! trip.

Walk in the pine forests of Llogara National Park, visit stunning waterfalls, thermal pools and canyons on a hiking day and go rafting on the Vjosa River. Relax at the end of your holiday on beaches rivalling anywhere else in the Mediterranean and swim in the Blue Eye Spring, regarded as a national treasure. Visit this undiscovered part of Europe soon, as it will not remain unspoilt for long.


Just a short flight from the UK, Corsica boasts astounding geographical diversity – from glittering bays and stunning beaches to breathtaking valleys and jagged peaks. Its compact size makes it a great choice for families looking for varied activities with minimal overland travel. Our Island Explorer trip is based in the picturesque Alta Rocca region.

Enjoy adrenaline-charged activities such as zip-wiring and high ropes, canyoning and rock climbing and explore the island’s pine forests, scenic villages and stunning Alta Rocca Mountains on foot. Corsica offers beautiful unspoilt coastlines, perfect for relaxing on the beach or trying out an array of water sports. There is plenty of free time on this trip to be as active or relaxed as you want.

Inspired? Let us take you there

Call us on 01962 302 062 for more information on any of these trips, or contact one of our Families team to help plan your perfect alternative family holiday.