Hidden Gems- European Destinations for Family Holidays!
Family holidays can be unforgettable experiences, for good and unfortunately bad reasons! Nothing with kids is ever easy, but standing in hot queues of tourists, or panicking when you lose one of them in a busy crowd- it’s the stuff of holiday nightmares! If you and your family are keen to get some sun, and make unforgettable memories, but are only able to travel during the school holidays (along with thousands of other families) here are some tips for destinations where you can do all that without fear of crowds or too many other tourists.
1- Guèthary– Located on France’s Southwestern coast, this little French town will leave you tanned and relaxed. A great location for you and the kids, Guèthary is location where holidays revolve around relaxing and going to the beach. Get the kids (and maybe even yourself?) surfing lessons, and by the time you leave, your kids will know how to, at least, stand up on the surfboard for more than 1 minute! Another fun activity to take a break from the beach and surfing, is visiting the Guèthary museum on top of the hill. The museum is not the biggest, so you’ll probably be able to visit its exhibitions in about 2 hours; nevertheless, stick around and take a walk through the surrounding gardens!
2- Taormina– not exactly off the beaten track, there will be tourists here with you, but compared to other seaside resorts Taormina can become a little home from home for you and the kids. The cost of living in Sicily is shockingly cheap, meaning dining will cost very little. Plus, rather than staying in a big hotel you can live like one of the locals in one of the many Taormina villas available in the summer, so you and the kids can have a little extra room and cook using the fresh local ingredients available! While you’re in Taormina, make sure you take the kids to the beautiful Ancient Roman Theatre Greco Teatro, take a hike up Mount Etna (yes Europe’s largest volcano), and finish it off with swimming to the tiny island Isola Bella.
3- Lofoten– An archipelago in Norway, this destination can be considered as being more than just one hidden gem, but instead a few little gems all connected to each other. With picturesque landscapes in every direction, the family will love staying in the colourful fisherman villages. Kayak from one island to the other, stay up and catch the midnight sun, or visit the Viking museum- Lofoten has definitely got you and the kids covered. And if you want to really make the trip special, don’t forget that Lofoten also boasts the possibility of seeing the northern lights, a sight not everyone is able to see in their lifetime, and an unforgettable experience.
4- Maastricht– Looking for a city full of life? Choosing the Netherland’s city of Maastricht will definitely give you a great family holiday. Located on both sides of the Meuse River, the Dutch city knows how to treat its guests. Take the kids around on bikes, out to dinner in one of the many restaurants in downtown Maastricht, or to one of the many castles on the outskirts of the city. If you’re feeling adventurous, a famous attraction in Maastricht is the many underground tours the city offers. From the casemates, Fort St.Peter, and various stations that protected soldiers during on-going wars, you and your family will feel like you’re stepping back into the past.
5- Zadar– Travelling here with your family means that you should be expecting one truly great holiday. A popular destination when visiting Croatia, Zadar is the spot to be if you want to live a vacation that includes beach, city, and nature. In fact, holidaying in Zadar means that each day has the possibility of being completely different from the previous day. Visit the nearby islands thanks to Zadar’s fantastic ferry connections, visit the old town and its ruins, and experience the Sun Salutation which is unique and beautiful in itself.
In collaboration with Emily J.