With the Easter holidays disappearing over the horizon and the children back at school it’s definitely time to start planning for the May half term! We don’t want to scare you but for many schools this is only 4 or 5 short weeks away… not long to plan the perfect half term break. Fortunately for you we’re here to help with a guide to 5 family friendly destinations for you to consider. If you’d like to book your trip to one of these fabulous locations or would like some more options our travel experts are waiting to help – give them a call on +44 1993 899430 or click here for more contact information.
With so many places to choose from we’ve narrowed our search to destinations with some sun, sea and hotels or villas that offer a place for you to relax combined with things to do that will keep the children occupied!
St Lucia – Sugar Beach
Branded by their tourism board as ‘The Perfect Destination’, St Lucia is a stunning holiday destination and perfect for a week’s getaway with the family. A natural landscape will greet you with miles of palm fringed beaches, rainforests, waterfalls and the majestic Piton Mountains. Escape the often grey May weather across Northern Europe and head for the tropical climate of this beautiful island. St Lucia is located close to the equator and as such doesn’t experience seasonal weather but instead remains remarkably warm during the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. They do have a wet season and a dry season however – the wet season kicks into gear from July so a visit prior to this would be perfectly timed.
We’d recommend a stay at the fantastic Sugar Beach Hotel. The Hotel has been cleverly placed between the twin Piton Mountains (an iconic emblem of St Lucia) and features white clap-board rooms, residences and bungalows which are spread down the hillside towards the incredible beach (from which the hotel must surely have got its name) and crystal clear sea.
There is no shortage of activities for the whole family on the island which you can tour by land or sea. Explore waterfalls, seek out rare wildlife and, if you’re feeling adventurous, don’t forget to stop at the world’s only drive in volcano located in Soufriere.
Back at the hotel there is plenty to keep your children’s attention (allowing you some time to relax on the beach or by the pool). Sugar Beach has a fantastic kids club, Generation V, for children aged between 4 and 12 and a range of teenage activities. Activities range from table tennis to treasure hunts and the club also features a complimentary sailing program. The layout of the hotel ensures room flexibility for families and a really family friendly environment.
Phuket - Kata Rocks
Phuket (or ‘Pucket’… it’s pronounced without the ‘h’!) is one of the largest islands in Thailand. It’s big at around 49km long so you rarely feel like you’re surrounded by water. An interesting mix of hip beaches and an artsy cultural capital (Phuket Town) morphs with the blissfully laid back southern tip of the island. Phuket has a reputation for luxury with high-end dining, luxury shopping and fabulous beaches available to you in one convenient location. After all, a week’s holiday can fly by and the less time spent travelling from location to location, the more time you and your family have to enjoy yourselves.
Photo courtesy of www.trendsandlife.com
We’d suggest checking into the truly magnificent Kata Rocks Hotel. A symphony of everything that can be great in a hotel (scenery, service, location), Kata Rocks is without doubt one of the best hotels on Phuket. Views extend to the horizon from each viewpoint. Sail like shades jut out over the rocks and lend Kata Rocks a super yacht feel. The design is of a style referred to as ‘Infinite Luxury’ and without a single detail lacking you could quite easily feel like you were aboard your own private charter yacht out on the Andaman Sea.
The light and airy Sky Villas can be two, three or four bedrooms making them perfect for a family getaway. The villas include everything you need including a kitchen, iPad, music library and washing machine allowing you to be as self-contained or sociable as you wish.
With the family checked in you’re spoilt for choice. Head to the oceanfront lap pool or take a walk to the beach. There are lots of water sports on offer which will keep everyone entertained.
One of the most popular activities to do with the children is a Sea Kayaking Tour. The strange and beautiful limestone scenery around Phuket is home to a secret world of caves, tunnels and interior lagoons. They can only be entered by sea canoe or kayak when the tide is just right. Enter and you’ll experience a hidden and unique natural environment. Definitely recommended… the children will love it and so will you!
Greece - The Romanos
Greece… and more specifically the exquisite coastal region of Messinia. Very few tourists make it to this region (the southwest corner of the Peloponnese). This can’t be because of its lack of beautiful beaches, charming port villages and impressive Venetian Fortresses. Most definitely their loss and your gain. A short two hour drive from Athens, the Messinian region is filled with vast olive groves, green valleys, mountains, gorges and coves. A perfect destination for the family that likes to explore!
Hiring a car will undoubtedly be the best way to explore. Start your holiday by taking a look around Kalamata, Messinia’s capital. The narrow alleyways lead you past boutiques, cafes and restaurants. If you have time find your way to the harbour or head to the two-and-a-half-mile beach where you will find plenty of water sports on offer. Make sure you sample some olives whilst in the city (which is home to what is thought to be the world’s oldest olive trees). Packed with flavour they really are something else!
One of our favourite resorts, located on the southwestern coast of the Peloponnese (and just an hours drive from Kalamata), is The Romanos Resort. Resembling a classic village it is home to a range of rooms, suites and villas. The villas in particular are family friendly with up to three bedrooms, living and dining areas and large terraces with pools.
For the golfing fans amongst you you’ll be pleased to hear the resort is known for its golf with two championship courses spread over the undulating dunes. And if the children aren’t yet up to keeping up with you on a round then they will be more than happy at the Romanos club for children. A wide variety of activities is laid on for them including eco-walks, dressing up days and crafts.
When you’re not at the resort and have finished exploring the local villages and forests then head to one of the many, often deserted beaches dotted along the coast which offer a mixture of calm waters for those of you with young families or rolling waves for the aspiring surfers.
Mauritius - Four Seasons Anahita
Mauritius is without doubt one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Crystal clear seas, coral islets, volcanic, green mountains and swaying palms will greet you upon arrival at the island. One of our favourite destinations for a family friendly getaway you’ll be able to enjoy a perfect week’s holiday with plenty to see and do. The climate in Mauritius is likely to be perfect for the half term week at around 27 degrees C. Not too hot but definitely beach weather!
We highly recommend the Four Seasons Anahita for your stay in Mauritius. Part of the Anahita Wilderness Sanctuary, you will enjoy the high standards expected of the Four Seasons brand whether you are staying in one of the mainland or island villas. Each of the 132 villas features a private landscaped terrace with plunge pool, an open-air bathroom, private outdoor garden shower, along with all the luxuries you might desire.
With so much to see and do it’s hard to know where to begin! Let’s start with what the kids might get up to with a visit to the islands famed rainbow dunes (also known as the Chamarel Coloured Earth). These are a natural phenomenon and, as the name might suggest comprises of sand dunes which are vibrant reds, greens, indigo's and violets. Definitely striking! Next, immerse them in some local culture with a trip to one of the many open-air village markets. Let them loose with some pocket money and see what they come back with! Back at the Four Seasons the kids can enjoy a cooking class in a kid-friendly kitchen at the Hobbit Village Kids’ Club. Or if they are after something more active then a lesson at the Golf Academy might fit the bill. And make sure they stop by to say hi to the Resort’s resident tortoises, Gromomo and Ticolo who have taken up residence by the ninth hole on the golf course.
Photo courtesy of www.tripfreakz.com
And of course whilst the kids are off enjoying themselves, you’re free to take a day out scuba diving or sailing. Or head to the Oceanfront golf course (all resort guests enjoy unlimited , complimentary golf during their stay). And don’t forget to relax! Take a few hours out at the Resort’s spa with treatments carried out with a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean.
Oman - Six Senses Zighy Bay
If you’re after something a little different in terms of location then Oman might just tick that box. With average temperatures in May of around 34 degrees C this is a holiday destination for those who like it hot!
And where better to go than the Six Senses Zighy Bay resort? Located on the northern Musandam Peninsula, Six Senses Zighy Bay is the perfect destination for a week away with the family in the sun. The luxury villas are all provided with a private Butler service and most have private infinity pools (perfect for the kids to burn off some energy in!).
There is no shortage of activities for everyone in the family. In fact, the Resort provides a 45 page booklet (!) detailing all the different activities available. The Microlight flights and Paragliding caught my eye but a Scuba diving session or moonlight Kayaking might be more for you. The kids are well catered for on the activity front as well with a huge selection of things to do including Diving for Gold, Pizza Making and Wadi Swimming. All activities for the kids are coordinated through the Chaica’s Club for children aged 4 to 10 and the Teen Club for, well, the teenagers!
And you’re not confined to the resort either. If you fancy a trip out then a Dhow cruise in the Arabian Ocean is a special experience. Slip through the water besides the Fjords of the spectacular Musandam and explore small bays and unique fishing villages. Organised as a 5 hour cruise, your trip includes snorkelling and kayaking plus a gourmet lunch provided by a speciality chef team.
You might also like to combine your trip to Zighy Bay with a seaplane excursion to Dubai for a day of retail therapy, dining and urban buzz. Back in the resort, relax with some treatments at the Six Senses Spa.
More information and bookings
Our travel team are committed to organising the perfect holiday for you and your family this May half term. We understand you have unique requirements and pride ourselves on our ability to match your needs with the ideal destination for your holiday. Call us on +44 1993 899430 or click here for more information.