Some of the best memories are made during family holidays. It’s one of the few times a year where you can de-stress and focus on family bonding, discover new exciting cultures and continue a lifetime love of travel. And if there’s one thing we do best, it’s family travel – off-the-beaten-track destinations, quirky, spirited villas, we’ve got each element just right for you and your brood. So, if you’re ready to kick-start your next adventure, look no further. We’ve picked the 10 best family villa holidays for 2018.

1. Dordogne

Landscape view on Dordogne river in France

Dordogne river

With the eponymous river running through the heart of the Dordogne, travellers will adore the luscious green vistas, intricate history and tasty cuisine in spades. Summer is the most enticing time to visit, and there’s a good chance you’ll stumble across a celebration, seasonal market or a humbled local ready to give you their insider knowledge. Though this all sounds incredibly delightful, don’t expect to be alone – the sunnier days will see that attractions are busier than the usual. So if you’re not too keen on the hot weather, spring and late autumn are quieter alternatives.

Great for kids

Not sure if the kids will enjoy this villa holiday destination? Let us put you at ease. As mentioned earlier, the river is the epicentre that makes this region as special as it is, so why not take it to the next level and enjoy a spot of kayaking or canoeing. The river is pretty smooth, so kids of all ages can enjoy this beauty up close. And that’s only the beginning, if you want more family ideas, check out our post on the best kid activities in Dordogne.

Villas

Featured villas: Lartigue, Manoir Beaulieu, Villa Perle 

 

2. South of France 

Sunset in Cannes

Sunset in Cannes

When you think of the South of France, a few things may spring to mind. Whether that’s the images of the glamour of the French Riviera, the blindingly beautiful lavender fields in Provence, the snow-capped mountains of the Midi-Pyrénées or the vineyards of Languedoc, there’s space for everyone. And that’s the beauty of the south, all you have to do is pick an adventure, and there’s almost certainly a region for you. 

Great for kids

The South of France is hard to beat. With sandy beaches, imposing castles, horseback riding, aquariums and group cycling tours, families are well and truly spoilt for choice. But if you’re looking for something a little different from the ordinary, pay a visit to Argelès Aventure in Languedoc – this high-wire adventure park is one the whole family can enjoy. Even children as young as two can have a go with the unique ‘Ouisiti’ course, so nobody needs to miss out.

Villas

Featured villas: Bastide du Val, Chateau De La Victorie, L’Oustal Des Fluers 

 

3. Puglia

Pretty street in Puglia

Ah Puglia, the Italian region of the moment, but where do we begin? Travellers will be most impressed by the celebrated architecture at the heel of the boot, best summarised by the word ‘baroque’. Exhibited in Lecce and Gallipoli, the architecture best captures the essence of the region, one we’re yet to resist. And then there’s the food; earthy and modest – even the fussiest of eaters will be pleased. A real foodie favourite is burrata, a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. Yum!

Great for kids

The coastline is an endless playground for cartwheels, sand castles, snorkelling and creamy gelato. But Puglia also has a few theme parks the kids will love; roller coaster thrills and wildlife fun, perfect for a family of all ages. For more info make sure to check out the best kid activities in Puglia.

Villas

Featured villas: Villa Trullo, Villa Silva, Trulli Di Olive

 

4. Tuscany

Scenic Tuscany landscape with rolling hills and valleys

Tuscany landscape with rolling hills and valleys

Lyrical landscapes, ancient tradition and fantastic food that tickles all the senses, It’s no surprise Tuscany is an excellent family villa holiday destination. The pace is taken back, making it the perfect province to embrace slow travel. One thing is for sure; you won’t have to shy away from the food. Tuscan food is fresh, delicious and uncomplicated. Meals typically begin with an antipasto of cured meats, followed by primi, secondi and then dessert.

Great for kids

Castles to explore, towers to climb and Vespas to ride – kids of all ages will be kept happy. And when all else fails there’s gelato, right? You’ll never be far from a fun-filled spot, and with so much Renaissance art and architecture close by it would be a shame to miss out. Little ones may not be fans of long walks, but switch things up and explore Florence by bike or Segway. If you need more inspo, just read our blog on the best family activities in Tuscany.

Villas

Featured villas: Villa Raffaela, Villa Leopolda, Villa I Gigli 

 

5. Mallorca

Parc del Mar near the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, Majorca, Spain

Parc del Mar near the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma

This classic Mediterranean postcard is an oasis waiting to be explored. Mallorca is ideal for families, an appeal that stems from the welcoming, laid-back vibe that captures everything great about Spain and best of all there’s plenty to see, do and eat. It’s no secret Mallorca tops Europe’s summer holiday charts, but why? We put it down to variety. The stunning coast is a perfect reminder why the beaches have never lost their appeal.

Great for kids

Thankfully, Mallorca is relatively close to home, the flight is typically 2h 30 mins so travelling with little ones shouldn’t be too draining (or so we hope) but once you’ve reached your villa, Mallorca is yours to roam free. Quench the heat with a fun-filled day at Aqualand – one of the best water parks in the Balearics, explore the area by bike or gush over the local animals.

Villas

Featured villas: Can Canica, Cala Garba, Villa Amarille

 

6. Costa Blanca

Benidorm beach with rows of deckchairs waiting for sunbathers

Benidorm beach with rows of deckchairs waiting for sunbathers

There’s more to Costa Blanca than meets the eye, and once you move past the ‘brits abroad’ culture, you’ll discover the pretty ancient villages, incredible mountain adventures and unforgettable spa experiences – not what you expected eh? But what you’re probably well aware of, is the flock of tourists that return to the white coast year upon year. If that isn’t your cup of tea, you can find great deals during half-term and Easter break – just book your flights and villa well in advance. 

Great for kids

Costa Blanca has truly perfected the art of entertaining youngsters. Of course, there are the beaches that offer hours of bucket and space fun, but one of the best pastimes is cycling. You can rent bikes from Marco Polo and explore the hidden villages inland. Kids will love it!

Villas

Featured villas: Villa Romina, Villa El CidCasa Fontana

 

7. Corfu

Beautiful Paleokastritsa beach on Corfu, Kerkyra, Greece

Beautiful Paleokastritsa beach on Corfu

Renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage status, blankets of olive groves and bountiful produce, Corfu’s layers of history can be found just about everywhere. And then there are the cobalt-hued seas that the island is renowned for – you have to see it to believe it! One the best holiday pleasures is hands down the food, so if you’re worried about over indulging you’ll be pleased to know that Corfu’s Med diet is one of the healthiest and tastiest on the planet – so it’s a win win.

Great for kids

If you’ve got kids with energy to burn, there is no end to the ways you can use Corfu’s beautiful natural scenery to keep them entertained. Sail on a glass-bottomed boat, snorkel in crystal-clear waters, hike in the mountains, go horse riding in the countryside or cycle through olive groves – it’s all yours for the taking.

Villas

Featured villas: Villa Althea, Barbati View, Villa Blue

 

8. Algarve

Beautiful beach with boats in Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

Carvoeiro beach, the Algarve

After a couple of tiresome months, the Algarve is the perfect retreat to reconnect as a family. You see, it has all the ingredients for a fun-packed holiday, while still making time for those lazy days. You might canoe on the waters of the Atlantic one day, and the next morning you’ll be bird-spotting – the variation is outstanding. July and August are peak season, but the Algarve boasts over 300 days of sunshine a year – so the time of year is up to you!

Great for kids

You don’t need to worry about occupying the kids; the difficulty is knowing where to start. Of course, when in doubt the beaches are the first port of call. Your children can shell-pick, the teens can have a go at paddle boarding, and you can top up your tan. Or perhaps, together you can take a boat trip to explore hidden caves. The choices are endless!  Take a  look at the best family activities in the Algarve.

Villas

Featured villas: Casa Da PraiaVilla Sale e AcucarVilla Floresta

 

9. Crete

Outdoor resturant in Crete

Views overlooking Mediterranean

A generous spirit, welcoming locals, and glittering views over the Med, Crete is a must. Foodies will be in the very heart of good food – everything is made with passion and love, right down to the olive oil. You’ll notice that many tavernas often produce their own meats and seafood, which is all part of the culture. Pair off any good meal with a shot of Raki, Crete’s national spirit.

Great for kids

The locals will take you and your clan in like their own, so saddle up to embrace the friendly Greek lifestyle. Your kids will have a playground to explore at every corner, whether that’s the gloriously warm ocean waters, building historic sand castles or thrill seeking at water parks – the list really does go on, and on. And there’s even more, check our blog to experience Crete with kids.

Villas

Featured villas: Sea View VillasVilla OrpheusBlue Sea Villa

 

10. Cornwall

The East Looe river in Cornwall family villa holidays for 2018

The East Looe river in Cornwall

Over the last couple of years, Cornwall has found a newfound quaint style, so it makes perfect sense that British holidaymakers are swapping busy European city breaks for this seaside oasis. You just can’t beat summers here, especially when the weather is spot on. June is a favoured month; combining the sublime weather with incredible cliff-walking – it’s just to die for. And while you’re there, you may as well enjoy the first-class surf. Newquay is a surfers paradise, and if you go in August, you’ll be around for Boardmasters, the ultimate surf and music festival on the Cornish coast.

Great for kids

You don’t have to fly around the world to have fun. With forests, castles, and beaches for days, Cornwall was made for family holidays. If you have a mini master chef in your midst, pay a visit to Rick Stein’s legendary cookery school. The classes are super fun and light hearted; the eight to 11-year old class is set to tackle straight forward challenges and the 12+ is a little more challenging.

Villas

 

Featured villas: Sandcrest CottagePraa Sands Beach HousePorthmeor Cottage

We hope that’s got you excited for some brand new family adventures. If you need any help picking a villa or a destination, get in touch with our Concierge Team

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