Where do you recommend for a family holiday in europe with beach and mountain activities?
I love Croatia’s Dalmatian coast — with the almost-landlocked Novigrad Sea providing (usually) tranquil waters on which to try out your hand at sea kayaking, canoeing or just mucking about on a double-decker pedalo in front of the sandy/shingle beaches.
Along the coast, you’ll find the emerald pools of the Krka National Park’s vast Skradinski Buk waterfalls. It’s really good fun to swim against the falls, trying to fight their powerful flow.
Paklenica National Park offers near-vertical rock climbs along a chasm-like karst canyon. The summit hike, through a boulder-strewn forest, is a beauty and fine even for little (if determined) legs. A six-mile kayak safari along the gentle rapids of the nearby Zrmanja River comes with water-slide-like drops and some icy plunges off (safe) cliffs.
But the winner, voted by the kids at least, is zip-lining some 9,200ft up in the Omis Dinara mountains, via eight wires taking you at speeds of up to 40mph down to the river valley floor.
How to do it: A seven-night Adventure on the Croatian Adriatic with Activities Abroad costs from £910 per adult and from £850 per child (July/August departures), based on four sharing a family room, including return flights (London and regional departures) to Split, transfers, most meals and guided activities, suitable for children age eight and over.
Where’s best for an adrenalin sports holiday in the Alps?
Try Area 47 in Austria’s Ötztal Alps. Experts, novices and families alike are welcome at this vast mountain playground in the Tyrol, where you’ll struggle to pack it all in. The wakeboard lake alone is 200,000sq ft. Packages start from €158 per person including two nights’ B&B accommodation, wakeboarding, mountain biking, equipment, and entry to the water area.
Where would you suggest for our family’s first group adventure?
With centres in Northern France, and sampler weekends, a trip with Family Adventure Holidays, is a good way to dip your toes in a group adventure holiday. You can opt in or out of such activities as giant catapult building, sand yachting, escape rooms and treasure hunts. At £249 per adult, £199 per child for a three-night break including full board, accommodation and activities, it’s a safe bet.
Published in the Adventure guide, distributed with the September issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)