Six of the best family holidays

Splashing about with tropical fish in crystal-clear seas, trekking through lush rainforests or marvelling at mysterious ancient sites. Whatever flavour of adventure you're looking for, our family holidays will linger long in your collective memory.

Best for little swimmers: Barbados

Warm, year-round sunshine and a dramatic coastline make Barbados a natural playground for the family to explore. On the west coast are glittering beaches and still waters perfect for swimming, while the south-coast is best for surfing and sailing. Discover an underground world of limestone caverns and waterfalls at Harrison’s Cave in St Thomas at the heart of the island, where there’s a special explorer tour for children to learn about cave formations, wildlife, the eco system and water conservation.

A day or two browsing the lively craft stalls and live music around Oistins is a must for families keen to experience the culture of the island, too.

Discover: Snorkel over shipwrecks on a Luxury Catamaran Cruise.

Stay: In one of the most dazzling beachfront spots on the island, the beautiful Fairmont Royal Pavilion is perfectly positioned for families who want access to the best beaches of the west coast and a luxurious retreat from which to explore the rest of the island.

Best for novelty seekers: Mauritius

Whether encountering curious monkeys at sacred temples, sampling local street food in Port Louis market or meeting the giant tortoises at Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, Mauritius has plenty of options for families looking for variety. Mix beach days – relaxing for the adults, endless fun for the kids – with active adventures on this beautiful Indian Ocean island. For something a little different, visit the wonders of the Seven Coloured Earth at Chamarel: where layers of differently coloured sands give the startling impression of stripes.

Discover: From hidden dining spots you’d otherwise miss to insights about the local culture, delve deeper with Mauritius Your Way. Explore at your own pace in your own car with a driver and personal guide who can share their extensive knowledge of the island with you.

Stay: Relax at an all-inclusive haven – cool and contemporary Long Beach resort is one of our top picks for families.

Best for inquiring minds: Crete

Rich in history and culture and set within a stunning Mediterranean landscape, Crete never fails to captivate travellers of all ages with its Venetian architecture, sunken cities and beautiful cypress trees. One of the best ways to explore the island is behind the wheel of your very own Jeep, driving through lush gorges and off-roading up dirt tracks to explore mountain villages and take in fabulous views.

For kids who like to get stuck in, head to Krana for traditional workshops in cheesemaking at the foot of Psiloritis, the island’s highest mountain. And when you’re ready for a beach day, the small island of Elafonissi, just off Crete, is famous for its dazzling pink sands.

Discover: Join a Crete Snorkelling Experience in the crystal-clear turquoise waters of Chania for a chance to see starfish, sponges, crabs and maybe even an octopus.

Stay: Crete has plenty of top-class family hotels. Grecotel LUX ME White Palace has luxurious family rooms and suites, many with glittering sea views. Book a beachfront Villa Lux Yali with a private heated pool for the extra wow factor.

Best for nature lovers: Borneo

Watching wildlife in its natural habitat can be an awe-inspiring experience, especially for young minds. So, for the more intrepid families, Borneo can be an inspired choice. Take a guided trek into the rainforest and look out for cheeky macaques and elusive pygmy elephants. Then head to the turquoise shallows around the smaller islands to snorkel for a sight of colourful reef fish, blue- spotted rays or even turtles. With superb accommodation to luxuriate in after all the excitement, this island guarantees to instil a love of wildlife and of exploration.

Discover: The ultimate Borneo experience is our Orangutan Encounter trip, where you’ll get to see these charming and highly intelligent creatures up close.

Stay: Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Kota Kinabalu is only a 45-minute drive from the airport, but feels wonderfully remote, tucked between a sweeping beach and a forested nature reserve.

Best for restless spirits: Sri Lanka

Fascinating ruins, wildlife-rich national parks, lively cities and sweeping tea plantations – there’s a mind-blowing list of things to see on this tropical, teardrop-shaped isle, so it’s perfect for families who don’t like to sit still. The contrast of white-sand beaches and lush green mountains provides a striking and beautiful natural backdrop to your holiday. Whether visiting ancient temples or searching for elephants in the wild, Sri Lanka is a thrilling and memorable experience from start to finish.

Discover: One of the best ways to explore is on one of our bespoke car and driver itineraries. You’ll be accompanied by an expert driver and guide, who’ll share the secrets of their homeland along the way.

Stay: Round off your travels by the golden beaches and mangrove-fringed Bentota river.

Best for trailblazers: Kenya

It’s the stuff of family legend – listening to captivating tales of Maasai warriors around a blazing campfire then falling asleep under the stars to the distant sound of lions roaring.

This is one the most exhilarating holidays children can go on – where they are able to immerse themselves in culture and the natural world in ways that go far beyond anything they'll see on a wildlife documentary. The Maasai Mara is home to one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the world, with big cats living alongside giraffe, zebra, impala and hyenas.

After glamping in the National Reserve, you can head to the white sands of Watamu to relax in the shade of coconut trees, dipping your feet into water so clear you can see swarms of tropical fish swirling around your toes.

Discover: The 11-day Kenya Fly-in Family Safari by Alfred& includes a city stay in Nairobi, wildlife-spotting in the Maasai Mara and time to relax on the white sands of Watamu.


For more bright ideas, visit our family holidays page or talk to our experts for first-hand tips and advice.

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