What family holiday is right for you?
There is no better time of the year to look ahead to the summer and a family holiday than wet and grey January
Gurgle teams up with i-escape to find top ten picks for family holidays this year. Whether you're a sun-worshipping fan, more of a city break family or full on adventure seeking family, there are some great ideas for everyone.
Value: Azur Hotel, nr Antalya, Turkey
Dubbed one of the happiest places he's ever stayed by iescape's Editor-in-Chief, this budget hotel has everything for a family holiday. By the beach? Check. Large pool with shallow section? Check. Safe large lawned gardens to run around in? Check. Super staff? Check. Restaurant serving lovely local food which is within baby monitor distance? Check. Great value for money? Checked.
Island escape: Flying Boat, Scilly Isles
The Scilly island of Tresco, being car-free and with a back-to-nature vibe, is paradise for families. And these self-catering cottages, which sleep 6-10, are found right beside the island's store, and have cots, high chairs, stair gates and kids crockery and cutlery so are perfect for those with smaller fry. There's a heated indoor pool, playground, pushchair-friendly paths.
Beach fun: Ammos Hotel, Crete
Ideal for families seeking a bucket and spade holiday with guaranteed good weather, this chic hotel is set right on a sheltered sandy beach, and one with safe shallow waters. If the beach fails to engage your toddler, there's a kids pool. The staff are friendly and patient with children, you can arrange for English-speaking babysitters, and there's even a stroller to borrow.
City break: Brilliant Apartments, Berlin
Cultural weekends away needn't end when the kids come too. Berlin is brilliant for families with easy public transport, child-friendly cafes and plenty of playgrounds. These self-catering apartments are found in the family-friendly Prenzlauer Berg district and have cots and bedding, high chairs and kids DVDs, plus an on-site cafe. And a children's petting zoo and farm nearby.
Kids club: Anassa, Cyprus
Their Kids Club caters for those from 4 months up to 17 years, divided into 5 age groups, and staffed by well-qualified English speaking staff. The creche has a proper sleeping room, and there's a small playground plus heated kids' pool. Their 'Baby Go Lightly' service allows parents to pre-order any baby items prior to arrival so they can travel light.
Adventure: Pristava Lepena, Slovenia
Unspoilt Alpine scenery just 2 hours from Trieste airport, and a host of fun activities for active kids to try out, make this lodge of wooden cabins great for families wanting to stay somewhere a bit different and try something new – which could be horse riding (lessons start from age 4), archery, canoeing and tennis. Kids under 2 stay for free, those between 2 and 6 are only 50% of adult rates.
Big families: Culloden Cove, Jamaica
This staffed villa has lush gardens tumbling to a cool infinity pool sitting above a private beach and jetty. With three bedrooms in the main house and a couple in the cottage, the property sleeps up to 12, ideal for two families, or an extended family party or celebration. Baby and toddler equipment provided includes car seats, high chair, nightlights and cots with bedding.
Winter sports: Le Portetta, France
For a first venture as a family to the Alps, this kid-friendly ski hotel is the go. Courcheval 1650 is officially designated a family-friendly resort, with plenty of gentle green and blue runs, and a children's ski school is opposite the hotel. You can also toboggan, try dog-sledding and skating. Family Rooms have separate bunk rooms, and the larger lodges can accommodate large family parties.
Country hideaway: Monte da Vilarinha, Portugal
Close to the beaches and tucked away in a hidden valley, these studios and apartments are around a pool and family-friendly diner (breakfast is included in the rates). There's a small playground for toddlers, a lawn for them to toddle on, and age-appropriate toys. And a pool to splash about.
Family adventures: RiverBend Lodge, South Africa
This game lodge caters perfectly for babies and children of all ages: babysitters are available for the littlest ones when their parents head out to see wildlife, or bespoke bug hunts and snake and raptor demonstrations can be laid on for pre-schoolers; of course the whole family is encouraged to go on game drives together and where possible families get their own vehicle.