Four Ideas for Unusual Family Holidays


Nice cars, good beer, fine composers – but surely not that great for family holidays? Well, actually, yes. The Fairytale Route covers 600km of pure enchantment between Hanau and Bremen – birthplace of the Brothers Grimm. Schwalmstadt is Little Red Riding Hood country, Sleeping Beauty nodded off in Sababurg Castle, Cinderella had a ball at Polle Castle, Rapunzel let her hair down in Trendelburg and, of course, Hamlyn is where the Pied Piper led his rats on a merry dance. In just about every town you will find fairytale tours, theatre shows and museums.

If you want a family trip that’s big on adventure, culture and scenery, but only feel like dipping a toe outside the ‘comfort zone’ of Europe, then Morocco is the place to go. Nip across the 13km-wide Straits of Gibraltar and you will find yourself transported into a world of exotic new sights, sounds, smells and tastes. Don’t feel intimidated. The souks of Marrakech and Fès may well leave you reeling, but Morocco has plenty of other less frantic highlights – from mule-supported trekking in the Atlas Mountains to surfing on the Atlantic coast.

Costa Rica
It’s not surprising that Costa Rica was a filming location for Jurassic Park. Trekking in one of the country’s cloudforests you can almost sense the Velociraptors skulking in the shadows. Perfect for nature-loving families, this Central American beauty has jungles, active volcanoes, Pacific and Caribbean beaches, plus lots of opportunities for adventure – but probably no dinosaurs (sorry kids). You can join a guided tour or plan an independent self-drive. Distances are short and there are plenty of guesthouses, eco-lodges and beach retreats.

Take the kids to Mongolia? Yeah, right – might as well fly them to the moon! Actually, a family holiday to Mongolia is not as daft as it might sound. Ulaan Baatar makes a perfect base for exciting and safe forays into two of Asia’s last great wilderness areas. At Jalman Meadows you can go hiking, horse riding and yak-cart rafting where an inflatable raft is towed upstream by bovine power, while activities at Arburd Sands on the Gobi steppes include wolf-watching and camel riding.