What makes a perfect family reunion getaway? For many, it’s the ambiance and the sceneries. Some go for the amenities and action-packed activities, while others prefer rich history, fascinating culture and mouthwatering cuisine. When you plan a vacation for a group of people with different interests and needs, you would be hard-pressed to pick a destination that fits everyone’s expectations. But, believe it or not, it is possible.
Some destinations manage to pack everything anyone could ever want in one setting – great views, colourful culture, and good food mixed with a dash of adventure, some relaxation, and loads of fun. Here are five getaways that the entire family can enjoy while trying new things and creating new memories together.
The largest and most populous of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Mallorca is famous for its world-class resorts, sheltered coves, and Romans and Moorish ruins.
The most popular thing to do on this beautiful island is to explore the beaches. You can sit on the sand and soak up the sun, sail along the coast, or swim in the warm waters. For a dose of thrill, you can go sea caving or coasteer the island’s craggy limestone cliffs. Some of the most well-known beaches are Playa de Muro, Llucmajor, and Cala Llombard. But if you want somewhere more quiet and remote, head to Platja des Coll Baix or Calo des Moro. For something luxurious, venture to Puerto Portals, with its yacht-dotted marina and lines of flashy cars, upscale restaurants and high-end boutiques at the waterfront.
Palma, the capital of Mallorca, is a must-see, and you will want to spend at least a couple of days in the city. Ramble around the maze of cobbled streets in the old town, marvel at the majestic Palma Cathedral, explore the Almudaina Palace and shop at the famous food market, Mercat de Santa Catalina.
Escape the capital and head to the quaint town of Soller on an old-fashioned train. In Soller, visit the Can Prunera Museum to see the modernist artworks of Joan Miro. Get on a scenic drive down to Sa Calobra, then drop by the picturesque hilltop village of Deia, famously known as the home of artists, poets, and celebrities.
Head to the laid-back seaside port of Cala Figuera, bask in the scenic views on the Calvià coastline, discover the ancient architecture and hidden gardens in the old town of Alcúdia.
Because you’re spending time with family, make sure you stay in spacious luxury Majorca villas that are private and safe for comfort and convenience.
The mythic yet thoroughly modern, the gorgeous land of Greece has it all. Sunkissed sandy beaches, dry and balmy weather, phenomenal cuisine, towering rugged cliffs, cerulean waters, and a history that goes way back to antiquity.
A must-do in Greece is to see the ancient landmarks and archeological sites, including the Acropolis, the Oracle at Delphi, the Epidaurus Theater, and the Hephaestus Temple. Check out the Triumphal Arch of Galerius and the 4th-century Rotunda in Thessaloniki. Climb up to the centuries-old monasteries of Metéora, perched on top of rocky outcrops looming over the Thessaly Plain.
To find the best beaches, sail to the famous Greek islands. Start at Santorini and visit the cliff-top towns of Fira and Oia. Enjoy the coves in Paleokastritsa on the island of Corfu, swim to the blue caves of Zákynthos, cliff jump on Hydra, party in Mykonos, get lost in the medieval maze of Rhodes. If you want to see how stunning the Greek outdoors is, climb the iconic Mount Olympus, hike the scenic Samariá Gorge, and go boating to the Melissani Cave.
All the exploration will work up your appetite. Be sure to try authentic Greek dishes at a taverna.
Perhaps no other place in England has a landscape as diverse as Cumbria. It is, after all, home to England’s highest peak and largest lake, the Lake District and parts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Much of the county is rural, so it is ideal for families who want to spend time away from the bustling and crowded cities. Cumbria has a wide range of excellent Cumbrian accommodations to suit your family’s needs – from spacious country houses and lakeside cabins to self-catering cottages and rustic farmsteads.
There are countless reasons why Cumbria is the ideal setting for a family reunion, the most apparent of which is the accessibility to the great outdoors. It has gentle walks, easy water activities, and nature trips for young children, the elderly, even the dog. For thrill-seeking family members, there are challenging hikes, adrenaline-fuelled water sports, and wild swimming. But, no matter the age, you will all love the Chocolate Factory at Hawkshead, where you can create and design your own sweets. And speaking of food, do not forget to try the famous Grasmere gingerbread.
Whitewashed clifftop villages, vast stretches of olive groves, extravagant churches, and more than 800-km of coastline peppered with stunning beaches, Puglia has everything you could want in a holiday destination. Surprisingly, it manages to fly under the radar. So, if you seek to escape the crowds in Venice or Florence, head to Puglia, which is just as stunning but way more private and exclusive.
Puglia’s long coastline abounds with arches, caves, cliffs, and astounding rock formations. The water is pristine and balmy, which makes it ideal for swimming. Head to the dreamy town of Polignano a Mare for its famous cliff-fringed cove of Lama Monachile or to Gallipoli for the crescent-shaped sand and pebble beach of La Purità. You can find quieter beaches in Porto Selvaggio and Gargano.
For some culture and history, visit the UNESCO World Heritage town of Alberobello to see clusters of the famous 17th-century trulli, dry stone structures with conical roofs. Venture to Ostuni, a fortified medieval village perched on a hill overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Go to the city of Lecce, also known as the Florence of the South, and admire its baroque architecture.
And because you’re in Puglia, you should sample its well-known local dishes, including Orecchiette with broccoli rabe, Purea di Fave con Cicoria (fave puree) and tiella, which is similar to the Spanish paella.
The Loire Valley
The lush Loire Valley is not only for wine connoisseurs and castle lovers. The region offers a great range of holiday activities and accommodations for families. If you think only the adults will love chasing châteaux, think again. Many château tours feature fun adventures for young ones, including workshops where they learn to create medieval crafts, see the inventions of da Vinci, or take care of animals on a mini-farm.
For adventurers, the Loire Valley’s vast and striking countryside is ideal for biking, but so are its small sleepy towns, big cities, and vineyards. One of the best biking routes is the scenic Orléans on the Loire à Vélo Cycle Path. If you love art, go to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours, where you will find works of great artists such as Rubens and Monet, alongside Roman and Greek artifacts and French sculptures. Children will love the Natural History Museum in Tours, with its live collection of reptiles and insects, as well as the mammoth display on the first floor.