Finding fun for all the family

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A recent study showed that one in four couples choose an ‘extended family holiday’ – preferring to holiday with parents and grandparents [Esure survey of 2,00 people August 2011]A week away provides quality time with loved ones who can be hard to see throughout the year.  There are also many added bonuses too – grandparents love to help with the babysitting, cousins are great playmates and often a villa all together can be quite a cost effective option. If you are looking for a holiday for your extended family, you may find that catering for the different generations can sometimes be tough, so CV Travel has found some great destinations and luxury villas that the whole family will love. 

Tuscany – for relaxed days and long lunches


While similar destinations which are only a short flight from the UK can feel a bit rugged and desolate, Tuscany’s thriving green rolling hills never fail to disappoint. Tuscany’s year-round mild and sunny climate, mixed with glorious countryside makes for a region-sized children’s playground. In almost every town and village in Tuscany there is a children’s play area right in the middle with climbing frames swings and slides. Children will also love the numerous horse riding and cookery classes that are available. For a perfect family get-together, Tuscany also has all the perfect ingredients to help catch up with loved ones over long meals. At local markets you can pick up some of the region’s finest ingredients; from truffles and olives to fresh vegetables, cheeses and bread, for a mouthwatering picnic which everyone will enjoy.  The perfect accompaniment is a good bottle of wine and the region is packed with vineyards that produce it.


Some of the world’s most famous wine regions are located here, such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Carmignano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.  Tuscany is not short of villas either.  The Casa Simona , near Siena, are a perfect choice for families up to 12 who are looking for adjacent villas that share entertaining areas to eat, drink and relax together yet enjoy some private time in their own house.  The villas are situated  in 60 hectares of land; with olive and walnut groves, vineyards and gardens, which adults can wander and kids can run through.  There is also a magnificent pool to swim, play and relax by. A group of 12 guests can share Casa Simona from £2,920 per week, excluding flights. 


Mallorca – for sun, sea and sand mixed with old towns and mountains


Families who are looking for a sunshine filled beachside retreat will love the beautiful Mediterranean island of Mallorca which is a paradise of diverse dramatic scenery from mountain ranges to golden sandy beaches. The Bay of Pollensa is considered to be one of the most beautiful areas of Mallorca. Situated on a south-facing bay with sandy beaches and warm shallow water, it is a great choice for families as children can be entertained with activities including sailing, wind surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving. As a contrast, behind the bay are the rocky cliffs of the Sierra de Tramuntana which can be explored by the more energetic members of the family.

Those who prefer meandering round old towns will love the nearby town of Pollensa which is an impressive maze of cobbled streets and ochre sandstone houses, In addition, the traditional village of Campanet and old town of Alcúdia, are both only 15km away. Alternatively days can be spent wandering along the waterfront promenade, stopping at the colourful cafés and restaurants which offer some of the finest food on the island, including fresh seafood and local specialties. Later in the evening, teenagers and young adults can enjoy the vibrant nightlife on offer.


A good place to stay is the La Felucca which is situated in the stunning Bay of Pollensa and has striking views across the groves to the mountains and the monastery on Puig de Maria. Sleeping six in the three bedroom main house and four more in the adjacent cottage, it is great for families who have teenagers or grandparents who may prefer their own space. The villa has terraces which are perfect for communal dining and there are lots of activities to keep kids and adults entertained, such as a private pool, table tennis and a children’s play area. A week’s stay can be booked from £2,025 based on 10 guests sharing, or £1,460 based on 6 guests sharing.


Wales – for somewhere a little closer to home:


You don’t have to go abroad to have a luxury family retreat and with children and grandparents to organise, sometimes the flights are more hassle creating stress before you arrive.  The UK has a lot on offer for family holidays. For example, the Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales is spectacular with multicoloured beach huts providing a backdrop to the sandy beach of Llanbedrog. Mynydd Mawr in Lleyn Pensu, boasts the best views in Wales. Parents, grandparents and children alike will enjoy pointing out dolphins swimming in the bay and seals basking in the sun. During the spring and summer, numerous birds, including the rare chough can be spotted nesting on the most inaccessible ledges of the high cliffs. The area also prides itself with having the best expanse of coastal heath in Europe, where heather and western gorse are dominant species and create spectacular colours in July and August. Members of the family who enjoy long walks, can take the coastal path which has recently been opened around the whole peninsula. 


If you are after a traditional summer holiday, you will enjoy the simple fishing village of Porthdinllaen, where children build sandcastles and adults enjoy a drink at the pub on the beach. There isn’t any shortage of activities for children either; with many museums and railways, the opportunity to paint pottery at Mynytho Pottery, or if your kids are more of the outdoors type, Lleyn Adventure Activities centre offers outdoor activities such as rock climbing, coasteering and kayaking. With no flights to fork out for, more money can be put towards finding the most luxurious villa. Beach Farm, situated on the Welsh Lleyn Peninsula, is in its own private nature reserve.  With a private beach and five acres of grounds, there is plenty of space for the kids to play.


The greener members of the family will approve of the barn’s conversion which used only locally sourced materials and houses its own heat pumps which provides the hot water and energy for the household appliances. The farm is made up of three individual buildings, a restored farm cottage, barn and dairy. This  gives the different generations their own retreats, yet the cottages are set up for families to easily get-together, with a large enough table for all in the main cottage to gather round and a stone circle and fire pit, which is great for sitting out during the long summer evenings. A 4 night mid-week stay at Beach Farm costs from £1,050, and a week’s stay from £1,400, based on 14 guests sharing.

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