Canoe in Wells Gray Provincial Park, Canada
Picture it: by day you’re in a canoe, two people per boat, paddling the glassy waters of Azure and Clearwater Lakes, taking in the sight of cedar forests and far-off mountain ranges, breathing the fresh air, watching as spreys patrol the skies. By night you’re camping out on the lakeshore, toasting marshmallows over an open fire, watching the sky fill with stars. This is a multi-day canoe adventure in Wells Gray Provincial Park, in British Columbia, Canada.
And it’s amazing.
Snorkel at Aitutaki, Cook Islands
The lagoon at Aitutaki, one of the Cook Islands in the south Pacific, is almost too perfect. It’s too clear; it’s too warm; it’s too blue. It can’t be real. And yet, it is. Aitutaki also ideal for a family marine adventure, its calm, protected waters providing a safe playground for swimmers of all ages to enjoy what lies beneath. And that, of course, is marine life, a kaleidoscope of colour, a menagerie of fish and coral that will keep snorkelers of all ages enthralled for days..
Camp in Cradle Mountain, Australia
There’s no family adventure quite like a camping trip; nothing throws you into the great outdoors for a true bonding experience like pitching a tent, l lighting the gas stove and pulling up a few camp chairs. One of the best places for a holiday under canvas is Cradle Mountain, in Tasmania, Australia. Here you’ll find beautiful campsites amid the bush, with access to plenty of trails for hiking and lakes for swimming.
Ski in Val Thorens, France
Outdoor holidays don’t have to be all about hot weather. Some of the best times to be had as a family are in the cold – more specifically, in the snow. For a family ski trip, you could easily cast your eye towards Canada or Japan, the US or New Zealand. Our pick of the bunch this year, however, is Val Thorens in France, a family – friendly ski field with great facilities and excellent snow. Perfect for the kids’ introduction to the powder obsession.
Sail in the Whitsundays, Australia
There’s a feeling of freedom sailing brings that is difficult to beat. And there’s no freer feeling than being in charge of your own yacht, which even amateurs have the chance to indulge in in Australia’s Whitsunday Islands. Here, several companies offer “bareboating”, where a beautiful motor or sailboat, loaded with all the necessary supplies, is provided to
you and your family to take control of. All you need to bring is some rudimentary boating knowledge, and a desire to learn and enjoy.
Safari in the Serengeti, Tanzania
You know the look of amazement on your kids’ faces when they see a picture of an animal in a book, or when those animals come to life on a TV screen? Now imagine those wide eyes when you take them to see all of that famous animal life in the wild, with a safari in the famous Serengeti of Tanzania. You’ll see the “Big 5” here, of course: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalo. But it’s the little details and the big all-round adventure that will truly leave a lasting impression.
Raft the Upper Navua River, Fiji
Fijians really know how to put on some family-friendly fun. This is a country that loves kids – you really can’t go wrong here, whether you’re putting them in the charge of a babysitter for the day, or taking them on an outdoor adventure like this one: rafting the Upper Navua River on Fiji’s main island. This is a full day of adrenalin-packed fun, run by a bunch of guys who ensure rafters of all ages (from eight years and up) have a great time..
Cycle the Loire Valley, France
Fancy some wine, instead of whining? Grab the bikes and head out on a cycling adventure in France’s Loire Valley, an adventure that’s perfect for families with children of all ages. There are plenty of bike routes here that avoid busy roads and heavy traffic, meaning you can concentrate on the vineyards and the chateaux, the old villages and the natural scenery, instead of keeping half an eye on what the kids are up to. For the ultimate peace of mind, go on an organised cycling tour with a company like Backroads.