Family ziplining (Dreamstime)
List 08 September

15 fantastic family adventure holidays

Having kids doesn't need to be the end of your travel adventures. With tour operators wising up to the fact that families want more than beaches and theme parks, here are 15 fantastic family adventures


1. Slovenia

Have an adrenaline-filled escapade

 

Use Slovenia’s landscapes as a playground on KE Adventure’s Julian Alps Jamboree – Family Adventure tour. Conveniently centred around Kranjska Gora, you will master a high ropes course in Bled and raft rapids along the Soca River. It’s not all gung-ho: wander the Postojna Caves and capital Ljubljana, and enjoy a leisurely walk to the Martulk waterfalls.

Who: KE Adventure (01768 773966; keadventure.com)

When: 22 Oct 2016; May, Jul, Aug & Oct ’17

How long: 8 days

How much: From £695/£545 adults/children (excl flights)

Ages suitable for: 8+

 

2. Peru

From classroom to Cusco

 

Leave the school desk behind for the real thing and embark on a whistlestop tour of the Incan empires on World Expeditions’ Cultural Highlights of Peru. See the former Incan capital of Cusco, foray into the Sacred Valley and two of its iconic ruins – Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo – before cruising Lake Titicaca and the floating reed islands of the Uros Indians. Sounds better than a textbook to us...

Who: World Expeditions (0800 074 4135; worldexpeditions.co.uk)

When: Dec 2016; Mar-Sep & Dec 2017

How long: 11 days

How much: From £1,395pp (excl flights)

Ages suitable for: 10+

 

3. South Africa

Rub shoulders with wildlife on a classic

 

Go big. Show the kids some animal magic by combining whales on the coast with elephants on safari with Audley Travel’s icon-spanning Cape Town and Kruger Safari trip. Explore the city, from Table Mountain to Robben Island. Spot African penguins at Boulders Beach, see humpbacks and tick off the Big Five.

Who: Audley Travel (01993 838550; audleytravel.com)

When: Year round

How long: 9 days

How much: From £4,000pp (incl flights)

Ages suitable for: 12+

 

4. Morocco

Mix Marrakech, desert, stars and sea

 

Induct the children into the magic of travel on Morocco Family Adventure with On The Go Tours, starting in Marrakech’s souks. Traverse the Atlas Mountains and plod the Sahara on a camel – where you can stargaze from a Berber desert camp – before chilling on the Essaouira sands.

Who: On The Go Tours (0207 371 1113; onthegotours.com)

When: Oct & Dec 2016; Feb-Aug, Oct & Dec 2017

How long: 9 days

How much: From £649/£399 adult/under 16s (excl flights)

Ages suitable for: 5+

 

5. Vietnam

Crack into Asian culture

 

Make bedtime part of the adventure on Rickshaw Travel’s Vietnam in a Nutshell a two-week trip. Wander Hanoi, sleep aboard a Chinese junk boat in Halong Bay and amble the streets of Hoi An. You’ll even cram in a Saigon food tour (on a Vespa) and a night with a local family on the Mekong.

Who: Rickshaw Travel (01273 322399; rickshawtravel.co.uk)

When: Year round

How long: 13 nights

How much: From £895pp (excl flights)

Ages suitable for: Best for 13+

 

6. Finland

See Santa on an Arctic adventure

 

Combine activities and Father Christmas on Discover The World’s Arctic Wildlife at Ranua tour. Feed polar bears at Ranua Wildlife Park before snowmobiling (special child versions available) through the tundra. At night, hunt the Northern Lights and finish with a visit to Santa in Lapland.

Who: Discover The World (01737 214250; discover-the-world.co.uk)

When: Dec-Mar

How long: 4 nights

How much: From £1,148/£856 adults/under 15s (incl flights)

Ages suitable for: 6+

 

7. USA

Show them the stars in Wyoming

 

Witness the 2017 total solar eclipse as a family on Grand American Adventures’ Solar Eclipse Family Discovery trip. Visit Yellowstone NP for its geysers, springs and trails; then Grand Teton NP for lakes, meadows and mountains for the big show.

Who: Grand American Adventures (0333 220 9791; grandamericanadventures.com)

When: 19 Aug 2017

How long: 9 days

How much: From £1,999pp (excl flights; 10% discount for 8-16 year olds)

Ages suitable for: 8+

 

8. Chile & Antarctica

Explore fjords and icebergs

Let your kids get their Shackleton on with Discover Patagonia and Antarctica, part of Hurtigruten’s Young Explorers programme, allowing them hands-on Expedition Team experience. Wind through the Chilean fjords and Tierra del Fuego before heading to the White Continent.

Who: Hurtigruten (0203 553 9466; hurtigruten.co.uk)

When: 6 Dec 2016 & 3 Dec 2017

How long: 18 days

How much: From £5,393 pp (excl flights)

Ages suitable for: 7-13

 

9. Costa Rica

Go Swiss Family Robinson – Latin style

 

Realise a childhood treehouse fantasy on Ultimate Family Holiday in Costa Rica with Exsus Travel and a canopy stay in Monteverde. Supplement it with a rafting adventure, birthing turtles in Tortuguero and a sunset at Manuel Antonio NP.

Who: Exsus Travel (0207 337 9010; exsus.com)

When: Year round

How long: 15 nights

How much: From £2,695pp (incl flights)

Ages suitable for: All ages

 

10. Sri Lanka

Tea, temples and turtles

 

Take the kids on a tea-riffic escape on Selective Asia's Sri Lanka Family Adventure tour. Be wowed by UNESCO-listed Kandy and its Temple of the Tooth Relic, before spotting Tamil tea pickers on a train and climbing Lipton's Seat (named after the Scottish tea baron) in the Haputale Mountains. Finish with whale watching (blue and sperm) and visit turtle hatcheries for a conservation snapshot of the beach-fringed coastline.

Who: Selective Asia (01273 670 001; selectiveasia.com)

When: Year round

How long: 12 days

How much: From £4,361 per family (2 adults\1 child; excl flights)

Ages suitable for: All ages

 

11. Malaysia

New and old for the young and older

 

Sit back and let All Points East take care of your fully escorted Malaysia: Coast to Coast Family Tour. Mix the old and new, with trips to vibrant Kuala Lumpur and Penang's UNESCO-listed George Town. Visit the Orang Asli Tribe in the ancient Belum rainforest and snorkel among turtles and reef sharks off the tropical Perhentian Islands.

Who: All Points East (023 9225 8859; allpointseast.com)

When: Selected dates Mar-Sep 2017

How long: 14 days

How much: From £2,595 (incl flights)

Ages suitable for: 7-17

 

12. Ecuador

Wow the kids with wildlife

 

Watch the children get dazzled in the home of Darwin on G Adventures' Family Land Galapagos trip. Give them a crash course in exotic wildlife and see the islands from different perspective; swim, snorkel, hike and kayak the Galapagos, spotting frigatebirds, sea lions and more. Make stops at a tortoise-breeding centre and, the place where all the learning happens, Charles Darwin Research Station.

Who: G Adventures (0344 272 2060; gadventures.com)

When: Dec 2016; Mar, Jul, Aug, Dec 2017; Mar, Jul, Aug, Dec 2018

How long: 8 days

How much: From £1,299/£1,169 adults/children (excl flights)

Ages suitable for: 6+

 

13. Namibia

Take the scenic route

 

There won't be cries of 'Are we there yet?' on Steppes Travel's Namibia – Family Self-Drive Adventure tour. On this top family road trip, cruise through the Sossusvlei Dunes and pitstop at the UNESCO-protected petroglyphs in Twyfelfontein before exploring the country's wildlife-rich lands: spot Cape fur seals and bottlenose dolphins off the Skeleton Coast, track big cats in Okonjima Nature Reserve and rhinos in Etosha NP.

Who: Steppes Travel (01285 601753; steppestravel.co.uk)

When: Year round

How long: 14 days

How much: From £1,895 (incl flights)

Ages suitable for: Under 12

 

14. Tanzania

Take the children to authentic Africa

 

Swap the kids' smartphone for their first safari on Families Worldwide's Swahili Coast & Safari trip. Learn to track wildlife in Saadani NP, glimpse hippo, crocodiles and monkeys along the Wami River, spot leopards and lions in Selous Game Reserve, and rub shoulders with locals in a Maasai village.

Who: Families Worldwide (01962 737560; familiesworldwide.co.uk)

When: 18 Dec 2016 & Jul and Aug 2017

How long: 11 days

How much: From £3,364/£2,589 adults/children (incl flights)

Ages suitable for: 7-18

 

15. Egypt

See the handiwork of pharoahs

Swap school for Ancient Egypt on Encounters Travel's Nile Family Adventure tour. Begin in Cairo for the Pyramids and Sphinx, then hit the rails to Aswan to gawp at the Temple of Philae and the temples of Abu Simbel. Hop on a traditional felucca sailboat to Luxor for more temples and tombs in the Valley of the Kings, before returning to Cairo to wander the maze-like Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.

Who: Encounters Travel (0800 088 6002; encounterstravel.com)

When: 22 Dec 2016 & Feb-May 2017

How long: 9 days

How much: From £584 (excl flights)

Ages suitable for: 6+

 

Main image: family ziplining (Dreamstime)