Catalunya region, Spain. Image: Getty
Costa Brava & Costa Dorada
What: Spain Holiday
still has a good range of accommodation for both areas this summer, with pricier coastal properties the most popular. A rural Spanish property — even just 30 minutes’ drive from the coast — can offer better value for money. Rural properties are usually more spacious and authentic, and closer to less touristy villages.
Best choice: Casa de Cuaña (property id: 21991), is set in a pretty village, 10 minutes’ drive from the walled city of Girona. Sleeping up to 12, it has a large fenced pool, and an outdoor terrace with a kitchen area, BBQ and basketball court.
Cost: A week’s stay at this 18th-century stone house costs from £2,142 (18 July-1 August or 15-29 August), flights not included.
Pontikonissi, Corfu. Image: Getty
Crete & Corfu
What: Sunvil Holidays
still has scope to stay on these two Greek islands, notably in the west of Crete where there’s a choice of one-bedroom apartments with pool, including flights and transfers. There are also villas on Corfu — with flights and car hire, but these are booking up fast. Flights are still available from Gatwick and Manchester.
Best choice: The Afrodite Apartments in west Crete. These roomy one-bedroom apartments with self-catering have a shared pool and gardens, and are 10 minutes’ walk from Kalives and three minutes from a beach.
Cost: Seven nights from £2,604 for a family of four in early August, including flights from Gatwick and transfers.
Couples riding bicycles through rural field. Image: Getty
Catalonia & Majorca
reports it still has availability on its self-guided family cycling holidays in Catalonia (Bikes, Back-Roads & Beaches) and Majorca (Quiet Lanes of Majorca). Both trips take families along quiet backroads and cycle paths, and have relatively short routes, allowing for plenty of time to explore villages and beaches en-route. Both trips come with accommodation in either small, family-run hotels, local inns or agroturismos.
Best choice: In Catalonia, families cycle from the mountain foothills via paddy fields to quiet Costa Brava beaches. Luggage is transported from hotel to hotel each day and routes are left relatively short to ensure there’s plenty of down-time.
Cost: Six nights half-board from £2,080 for a family of four. Includes maps and cycle hire. Flights and transfers are extra.
Croatia, Plitvice lakes National Park. Image: Getty
Croatia & Malta
What: Activities Abroad
has places over the school holidays in Croatia and Malta, with packages to the former focusing on the Plitvice Lakes National Park, Starigrad, and Novigrad, where activities include sea kayaking, zip-wires and stand-up paddle boarding. Accommodation is in hotels and apartments. On the Maltese island of Gozo, activities include a boat trip, sea kayaking, climbing, abseiling and more, staying in converted farmhouses, hotels and apartments.
Best choice: The seven-night Adriatic Family Adventure, based in the Croatian fishing village of Novigrad, with various activities, such as river canoe safaris, cycling, hikes and 4WD tours, staying in a coastal hotel.
Cost: From £973 per adult / £950 per child (8-12), including flights, transfers, some meals and activities.
Published in the Summer 2015 issue of National Geographic Traveller – Family