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Take the Family › 5 Alternative Family Holiday Hotspots for 2018

5 Alternative Family Holiday Hotspots for 2018

Platja de Treumal.Platja de Treumal.

We’ve teamed up with family holiday provider Eurocamp to bring you five ever-so-slightly off-the-beaten-track destinations to try out this year. 

With its holiday parcs spread far and wide across the continent, Eurocamp isn’t just about enjoying the on-site facilities and comfy accommodation. Its parcs are perfectly placed to discover your new favourite European neighbourhood too. So why not try something different this summer, and experience one of these stunning destinations?

Northern Costa Brava

This glorious region of Spain is home to some of the finest beaches in Europe, so you certainly won’t be short of sun, sea and sand. Platja de Treumal (pictured) just outside the seaside resort of Blanes is one of our absolute favourites.

Away from the beach though, northern Costa Brava is full of surprises. Catalonia’s second-biggest city, Girona, is a gem. The ancient, walled ramparts have been conquered by Romans and Moors over the years – much, it has to be said, to the delight of the city’s tourist chiefs. Their influences are everywhere, from architecture to cuisine. The old town is a warren of narrow lanes, which is complemented by the river, and the overall impression is of a medieval city, with excellent (family-friendly) museums and, in The Rambla, lots of cafés and ice-cream parlours in which to refuel and rest weary little legs.

The busy tourist town of Roses stands on the ruins of Rhode, a Greek colony of the 9th century. It has a handsome natural harbour, 4km beach of fine sand and a beautiful promenade and marina. Great shopping and restaurants make this a real family favourite.

Figueres is known worldwide as the site of the Dalí Theatre Museum, one of Spain's most enjoyable museums, housing many of the Surrealist painter's works. There’s also a great, and slightly eccentric, Toy Museum here. Dalí fans should drive on to Portlligat, in Cadaqués, where his home is open to the public.

Stay at: Camping Riu. Close to a terrific beach, this parc enjoys a peaceful location that makes it great for younger families.

Zeeland

The islands and peninsulas of the Netherlands’ least populous province are made for relaxing, outdoorsy holidays. The island of Noord Beveland is where you’ll find the chic and sporty resort town of Kamperland, with neighbouring Walcheren (reached via a causeway) home to the largest town in the region: Middelburg. This trim and handsome Dutch town is full of cobbled streets, parks and museums. Kids love a barge trip along the canals that circle the core.

Cycling is, as you’d expect, fantastic here – for all ages. Quiet, flat lanes, dedicated cycle paths and woodland trails offer options for all levels of ability. Try Boswachterij Westerschouwen - a 6km route through the woods in the Kop van Schouwen, through the largest dune area of Zeeland. 

The Banjaard beach at Kamperland stretches for kilometres, with enough space to accommodate swimmers, sandcastle-builders, and kitesurfers and other watersports lovers. The water is clean and shallow, and warmer than you might think in summer! The next beach along, Neeltje Jans, is smaller but quieter. Watersports fans flock to the villages of Kamperland and Kortgene. Need a little more culture? The gorgeous Renaissance city of Ghent is only 90 minutes away. 

Stay at: Roompot Beach. This chic and sporty resort has everything you need right on site. But exploring this corner of the Netherlands is a must.

The Black Forest

The great thing about the Black Forest is that there are three easy routes to follow – the Black Forest High Road (Schwarzwaldhochstrasse), the Baden Wine Road (Badische Weinstrasse) and the German Clock Road (Deutsche Uhrenstrasse). Each takes you on a fascinating tour of the region, taking in the splendid spectacles of the natural landscape, familiarising yourself with the history and culture of the region, and sampling traditional food along the way. Perhaps the most scenic is the Black Forest High Road. 

En route, you’ll reach Triberg, famed for its glorious waterfalls. Seven cascades make up the highest falls in Germany as the Gutach river takes a headlong plunge into depths of 163m. 

Families looking for a real taste of outdoor adventure should head to Triberg’s High Ropes Course, where you can view the forest from a new and exhilarating perspective. Climb across swaying bridges and zip down the rope-slide – or test your skills on the spider’s web and rock formations at the nearby Adventure Park.

The Black Forest has a long tradition of clock-making. Deep in the forest, on a housefront in the village of Schonach, perches the world’s biggest cuckoo clock. Every hour, on the hour, the gigantic, 5m-long Eble cuckoo emerges from its six-ton ‘house’ to mark the passing of time. 

Stay at: Campingplatz Herbolzheim. This friendly little site in the heart of the Black Forest has a great pool and plenty of space to stretch out and relax. 

Northern Croatia

It’s not hard to see why Croatia’s island-studded coastline is a yacht-lover’s paradise. Thousands of rocky landfalls – some no bigger than a football field – make Kornati National Park the densest archipelago in the Mediterranean. All of which means there are plenty of places to explore on dry land too. You can set off from Zadar – the oldest continually inhabited city in Croatia, well worth a day of your time, especially to hear its famous Sea Organ, a coastal sculpture ‘played’ by the incoming tide. Families who love exploring will adore this corner of the Adriatic. Want a beach to yourself for the day? Without too much trouble, you’ll find one. You can also head to the pretty island of Vir, one of the largest, connected to the mainland by a bridge. 

The settlements of Vir, Lozice and Torovi along the shore have bars, restaurants and numerous coves and beaches. The loveliest little beach is Duboka draga (‘deep cove’), far from any settlement, in the northwest of the island. It’s a beautiful set-piece of crystal-clear blue waters, red rocks and green pine trees.

Stay at: Zaton Holiday Resort. One of the best options on the Dalmatian coast, it has a fantastic pool complex.

The Loire 

The Loire Valley is famous for its gently rolling countryside and vineyards dotted with châteaux. The best? A tough call. But we’d go for the fantastical Château de Chambord, a stunning Renaissance building supposedly designed, in part, by Leonardo da Vinci. The château is enormous – encompassed by a moat, 35km of stone walls and more than 12,000 acres of countryside. You won’t have time to see everything, but do take a wonderful horse and carriage ride through the gardens. 

The Fantasy Forest in Mosnes offers a vast array of outdoor activities, from mini -golf to paintballing, canoeing to treetop walkways. It's just 13km from the château. 

Blois, in the heart of the Loire valley, is delightful. The Château Royal de Blois features a great sound-and-light show on summer evenings, telling the story of the lives and loves, dramas and mysteries, of its previous inhabitants. 

Elsewhere in the town, La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin facing the castle is the only public museum in Europe that combines interactive visits and shows by magicians. Kids and adults alike will be spellbound. 

Stay at: Le Château des Marais. Just 5km from the Château de Chambord, this parc is very toddler-friendly, but, with its spa and Turkish baths, you’ll love it too. 

Read more about family holidays with Eurocamp.


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Offer of the Week

Pools at the St James's Club Morgan Bay in Saint Lucia.
Perfect for pre-schoolers, travel 1 Sept-15 Oct 2018. 7-nights all-inclusive in Saint Lucia from £1349pp, inc.flights, private transfers + garden view room.
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