Family holiday trips often focus on making sure the kids are entertained, and all too often this results in repeat visits to the ‘same old’ resorts or theme parks. Even city visits seem to be confined to the better-known capitals, such as London, Paris or Rome. I find it very surprising that some of the great destinations for families that we have discovered still seem to be so underrated. I have detailed below three locations that we have all found to be particularly rewarding. They are easy to get to and there are plenty of cheap flights available.
The Emerald Isle
Ireland has been a popular tourist destination for centuries, and people who want to explore the country often focus on Dublin or Cork, or the rural coastal areas of Galway Bay and the Ring of Kerry. However Northern Ireland, part of the UK, also has much to offer, with fabulous scenery, great beaches and splendid mountain views. I take my family there at least once a year.
The city of Belfast has a range of new, vibrant cultural sites, including the Titanic Quarter, which is a marvellous attraction and will keep adults and children alike entertained. Hotels are found in all parts of the city and make a great base for exploring the rest of the province. For example, the Antrim coast road winds along the east coast to the north as far as the Giant’s Causeway. Exploring the paths and trails in the glens makes for a great family day out, as does enjoying the beaches of soft sand at Waterfoot or Cushendun and treading on the amazing basalt columns at the Causeway.
Northern Ireland has suffered for many years from the stigma of civil disturbances and violence, however since peace broke out it has been transformed, and its friendly cities, lush countryside and sleepy coastal towns and villages offer marvellous opportunities for your next family holiday.
In a children’s fairy-tale, all cities would look like Munich. This is a metropolis that welcomes everyone; the city slogan translates as ‘Munich likes you.’ The fabulous architecture of the castles and palaces is more beguiling than Disney towers and my children loved to eat their Kinderteller, or ‘child’s plate’, in one of the family-friendly beer halls, many of which had live music during lunchtime.
With great amusement parks, toy museums and puppet theatres, Munich is underrated only because it is Germany’s third city, after Berlin and Hamburg. If you’re considering a visit to the country as part of a holiday itinerary – make sure Munich is your destination of choice.
Cala Luna, Sardinia
If beach holidays are a must for your family at certain times of the year, a trip to Cala Luna, or ‘Moon Cove’, in Sardinia could be just what’s needed for a great break. Look for hotels in the Gulf of Oresei area to visit this fabulous beach, which is a sheltered crescent of white sand that backs onto cliffs made of limestone.
Cliffs usually mean caves, and that’s just what my kids love about being here – they can be intrepid explorers on land as well as mean swimmers in the freshwater lagoon. Cala Luna tends to be overlooked because it is on the eastern rather than the northern side of the island; however the warm sands and deep blue seas make it an ideal family holiday destination.
Have a look at the variety of hotels at http://www.expedia.co.uk/Hotels and pick the perfect one for your family holiday!