Although school holidays may look slightly different this year, families are as ever gearing up for a summer getaway. From active mountain adventures to relaxing getaways on sun-drenched beaches, LOTUS reveals this year’s top summer family destinations in Europe.
BEST FOR… MOUNTAIN ADVENTURES – ANDORRA
Tucked on the border between France and Spain, Andorra, ‘the country of the Pyrenees’, is a mountain adventure playground, perfect for families looking for a multi-active, remote escape.
Family mountain parks across the country offer activities for all ages, from go-karting. trampolining and archery to kayaking, zip-lining and husky-riding. Families love tackling the forest adventure circuits, which consist of passing from one tree to another via ropes, ladders and bridges up to 20m in the sky and offer unbeatable views of the mountains for those brave enough to look up. The stunning, rugged scenery offers endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, horse-riding, climbing and canyoning. Activity adventure companies offer excursions and guides for all mountain sports to ensure the best experience.
Destination specialists Adventure Andorra is offering a seven-night, self-catered multi-active holiday in August from £495 per person. The package includes one day guided cycling, one day guided hiking, half-day canyoning excursion and water rafting.
For further information, please visit www.visitandorra.com/en/
BEST FOR… A LUXURY GETAWAY – CRETE
The Domes of Elounda resort offers families the perfect luxury escape. Located on Crete’s north east coast, the hotel provides both child-focused activities as well as superb adult-only areas. The Core is an area for families and couples to enjoy open air festivals and art exhibitions as well as indoor and outdoor cinema, basketball, tennis and football academies. There are also different food trucks to try out, shops, natural walkways and an eco-playground to explore. The amphitheatre, at the heart of the Core, hosts live music events, bubble shows and children’s activities. These include star gazing, the Little Gardeners and Mr & Mrs Recycle programmes. The hotel’s private sandy beach, the swimming pools and spa, and an Ofsted-approved Montessori club are all located close by.
Sovereign Luxury Travel (01293 832 459, www.sovereign.com) has a seven-night stay at the Domes of Elounda from £4,889 per family including flights, transfers and half board. Price based on two adults and two children staying in August.
All bookings with Sovereign Luxury Travel are backed by the ‘Book With Confidence’ promise – a comprehensive package of flexibility and incentive initiatives including reduced deposits, a later final payment date, free amendments and free cancellation up to 10 weeks before departure, should the customer need to make any changes, www.sovereign.com/about/travel-with-confidence
BEST FOR… A MULTI-GENERATIONAL FAIRY TALE BREAK – EFTELING
Efteling, the fairytale theme park located in the south of Holland, is the ideal destination for families to reunite for a fun-filled multigenerational short break, where attractions, roller coasters, theatre shows and gardens mean there are activities to suit all ages.
The theme park is open, welcoming a smaller number of visitors per day in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. As a result, there is an extra evening opening slot, so visitors can choose to visit during the day (from 9am to 6pm) OR in the evening (from 7pm to 11pm).
During the summer, guests can cool off in the shady Fairytale Forest or riding the water attractions such as the Piraña river rapids ride and the water coaster, The Flying Dutchman. There is plenty of entertainment such as the popular open air show Raveleijn, which has been updated for this summer, and UK visitors can now enjoy a crazy ride on the new family roller coaster, Max & Moritz, which opened in June.
Those that opt to visit in the summer evenings can enjoy the magical, illuminated Efteling in the dark and can ride the roller coasters until late in the evening. The entertainment programme is almost identical in the day and evening, while the water show Aquanura is now also playing several times a day.
Holiday Village Efteling Bosrijk is set in the heart of nature, offering spacious self-catered houses and hotel rooms that overlook a beautiful lake and a woodland forest. A four-person family room in ‘Landhuys’ for two adults and two children this summer starts from €430 for one night. The price includes two days park entrance and breakfast.
For further information, please visit www.efteling.com
BEST FOR… BEACH HOLIDAYS – SOUTH SARDINIA
Chia Laguna Resort in Sardinia, one of the Mediterranean’s leading family resorts, provides the perfect spot for families with young kids and teens. Little ones can spend their days at the mini club and play, paint and learn how to make an authentic Italian pizza or even hop on and off the ‘Chia Express’ train that leads to the beach, whilst adults explore the diving and nautical water-sports centre.
Citalia (01293 831 970, www.citalia.com) has a seven-night stay at the Chia Laguna Resort – Hotel Village from £5,279 per family including flights and transfers on a half-board basis. Price based on two adults and two children staying in August 2020.
All bookings with Citalia are backed by the ‘Book With Confidence’ promise – a comprehensive package of flexibility and incentive initiatives including reduced deposits, a later final payment date, free amendments and free cancellation up to 10 weeks before departure, should the customer need to make any changes, www.sovereign.com/about/travel-with-confidence