The summer is one of the key moments of the year to focus on quality family time. Family vacations are occasions to create memories to last a lifetime, especially staying at an exceptional and enchanting destination. From floating overwater in Panama to exciting African safaris and from discovering culture and history in Italy to exploring the great outdoors in Canada, our award-winning villa experts have the perfect adventurous summer holidays that will marvel the whole family.
Big Timber Chalet, Whistler BC, Canada
Your family’s days will be packed with thrilling outdoor activities at this phenomenal chalet in one of Canada’s premier mountain resorts, available through our expert Sylvia Delvaille Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad.
Situated at the end of a private lane and encircled by virgin forest, the 7,500 sq ft Big Timber offers privacy while being right next to the resort. Six of the seven bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and the open concept living room, kitchen and dining room is the gather together and enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the mountains and forest. There is also plenty of outdoor living space with terraces, firepits and private outdoor hot tubs.
“The stunning location in beautiful British Columbia offers a vast range of activities from the tame to the very daring,” says Sylvia. “What’s great is that each family can piece together the right combination of both rugged, daring, fun, and experiences tailored to the level of daring the family can endure.”
Popular outdoor adventures include zipline trekking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking down the slopes, fishing, hiking through the forests, ATV and Rzr touring. There’s also the Blackcomb Adventure zone, ideal for younger children and Sylvia can land a helicopter on an ice cave glacier for lunch and a hike. Over the course of your trip you are bound to spot some birds… and possibly even some bears… from a distance! Back at the chalet kids can let loose playing a game of table tennis or foosball or watch a movie in the evenings in the media room with an 84 inch Apple TV.
Design a Great Canadian Summer Adventure with Villas and Apartments Abroad here.
Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp and Bush Villa
A tremendously memorable, exciting and original summer adventure can be throughly enjoyed in Kenya at Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp and Bush Villa. Cottar’s is a fifth generation run family safari service, as such, they value family tremendously. They accept kids of all ages and children aged 0-5 years stay for free.
“Rich with family history and the history of Kenya, we return to the original spirit and essence of ‘safari’, the golden era of professional guiding and adventure!” Describes Calvin Cottar, founder of the 1920s Safari Camp.
“Our Cottars family are passionate about Kenya, its conservation and community. We know the wildlife and the people of our area intimately and you are welcomed in and treated as personal friends and we hope you leave feeling like part of our family.”
Cottar’s has a number of fun family activities that the kids will surely love (and most parents too). A very popular family activity is their Masai Warrior School, where participants learn how to make a bow and arrows and then test them out on a target to see who the best shot is. You’ll also learn to make a fire using just sticks and dried grass, dress up like a traditional Masai and get dancing. Active pursuits include swimming and fishing in a nearby waterfall is also on offer, fun rounds of volleyball, swimming in the 25m private pool as well as their unique bush walk or run, getting up close and personal with the wildlife or enjoy a traditional game drive. Activities for the whole family to enjoy!
“The key to our family friendly ethos is that we realise that time spent with your family is so precious and so we do exactly what you want to do, the only thing scheduled in your day is your game drives,” elaborates Calvin. “We listen to you to find out what your individual interests are and then the adventure begins.
“Nothing beats watching a child’s face change from awe to delight as they come face to face with their first elephant or make their first bow and arrow with their guide. They will be immersed into the authentic safari experience and tribal interaction, looked after by our guides who truly engage with children and enjoy teaching them all about their surroundings, flora and fauna and the wildlife.”
Cottar’s Bush Villa has everything you would need to keep your family entertained in comfort and style surrounded by breathtaking views onto the savannah plains that carry the great annual wildebeest migration. The villa is over 10,000 square feet in size, and features a large living room, dining room, a magnificent viewing deck, and five en-suite bedrooms, all with stunning views. It has internet access throughout, satellite TV and DVD, and is powered with electric and solar energy.
For families, both big and small, Cottar’s is the perfect getaway, providing something for everyone. Create family memories to last a lifetime with Cottar’s at this link.
Le Vigne – Tuscany, Italy
This wonderful seven bedroom villa is set on a vast private estate in Tuscany and only 30 kilometers from the beach. Available through excellent.villas by Trust+Travel, it has a fabulous range of facilities to keep the kids and young adults occupied among which is a marvelous riding center.
The beautifully decorated estate includes 800 square meters of indoor space within various buildings and one hectare (2.4 acres) of outdoor space on a vast private estate in Maremma, a lesser known part of Tuscany stretching along the coast.
The main villa is home to a large family kitchen, a bright loggia transformed into a comfortable a living room, a TV room with Satellite TV and surround sound system, a billiards room and six of the en-suite bedrooms. The seventh en-suite bathroom is found in the annex and there is also a pool house with a summer kitchen, changing room, state-of-art hammam and bathroom. On the estate is a wonderful riding facility with a club house for events, a bird sanctuary, and the ruins of the 12th-century Castello di Pia de’ Tolomei, immortalized by Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy.
The villa is surrounded by a lawned garden, covered patio and large terrace on the roof for al fresco dining. Guests can enjoy strolling through the paths of the gardens and woods, swimming in the 10 x 5 m pool, challenging each other to a round of ping pong table or tennis (at the court shared with another villa), or doing some riding at the equestrian center which has jumping facility and private riding lessons and guided excursions on the estate or to nearby natural parks, even as far as the sea. Guests also have access to private nine hole Golf Club.
For a seamless, hassle-free holiday, maid service is included in the rent and a cook can be arranged at an additional fee to prepare delicious Italian meals that will appeal to the palates of all your family members.
The villa is currently available June 19th to July 22nd and July 29th to August 25th. Learn more about this fantastic family holiday villa by reaching out to Trust+Travel here.
Aspen House – Queenstown, New Zealand
Whist things might be heating up with the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern is buzzing with a wealth of winter activities for all ages and abilities. Offering plenty of sunshine, majestic lakes, snow-capped alpine beauties, and an unrivalled selection of activities and attractions, it comes as no surprise that Queenstown, New Zealand is as popular a destination to enjoy all seasons. Our experts at Touch of Spice have the perfect villa for your winter family trip Down Under.
Aspen House is a luxurious villa encompassing four bedrooms, each with its own en-suite, and is privately located enjoying majestic views of Lake Wakatipu, the snow-capped Remarkables Mountain, and Queenstown City. A short distance to Queenstown shops, restaurants and bush walks, explore the area on foot or head out on a scenic 25 minute drive to the Remarkables ski fields for a skiing adventure.
“Enjoy the high altitude experience of a guided snowshoeing walk in complete solid from the outside world, or conquer the back country, only accessible by helicopter, with an afternoon of snowmobiling through the wilderness of the central most inland mountain range in New Zealand,” tempts Kelcey Radford, marketing manager of Touch of Spice.
“For a more traditional winter experience, enjoy dog sledding through the stunning alpine trials of Otago, or experience the overnight tour, staying in a picturesque backcountry hut. Heli skiing, glacier landings, and ice driving are other one-of-a-kind winter thrills, that you can only find in the Southern hemisphere during this time of the year.”
Savor some downtime back at the villa, sitting around the large gas fire, set in a beautiful stone fireplace with TV above, playing chess on the platinum chess set or just snuggling up on a winter’s night with a glass of Pinot or hot chocolate, while watching the sun setting on the snowy mountains. Kids will love tasty meals easily prepared on the barbecue and enjoyed on the outside rustic dining table and chairs. Afterwards they can roast marshmallows on the large outside log fire, or warm up in the outdoor hot tub.
Plan an adventurous wintery holiday to New Zealand this “summer” with the assistance of Touch of Spice at this link.
Happy House, Saint-Tropez, France
On the outskirts of Saint-Tropez, only a 5 minute drive to its Place des Lices, is this delightful family friendly villa, available through Villas Prestige & Services. A children’s paradise, in addition to a large lawn, pool and gorgeous sea views, it has an abundance of outlets for endless hours of family fun.
The vast, air-conditioned 500 m2 villa is surrounded by an expansive 10,000 m2 garden. It sleeps 16 in eight en-suite bedrooms. In front of the living room, there is the pool terrace with a 12 x 6 meter heated pool, a large dining table and barbecue. There is another large terrace on the other side with a sitting area area and table for breakfast, dinner or enjoying the sunset. The grounds also feature a 22 x 36 meter soccer pitch, a tennis court with night lighting, a pétanque pitch and a play ground for children. Guests can also enjoy the ping pong, foosball and billiards tables. There are beaches and watersport opportunities within a short drive, plus biking, hiking and a wide range of active and cultural pursuits that are found in the South of France.
Guests can arrive via the Heliport or there is covered parking to protect your vehicles from the hot sun. A housekeeper ensures that you are comfortable and have a wonderful and joyful stay at Happy House.
Plan your perfect family vacation on the lovely and sunny Cote d’Azure with Villas Prestige & Services here.
Borgo Finocchieto – Tuscany, Italy
This enchanting, restored medieval hamlet is the perfect summer destination bringing together history, charm and an abundance of activities the whole family will love. With accommodation for up to 44 guests in 22 suites, plus an excellent array of onsite amenities and nearby activities, the Borgo Finocchieto is ideal for a family reunion, birthday celebration, or any other special family occasions.
“The secluded, well-contained nature of the property and numerous opportunities for entertainment (both on-site and easily arranged off-site) have created a place where parents find they can readily relax with their children,” says Pascale Queriot, Sales and Marketing Consultant of the Borgo. “On-site amenities that are kid favorites include the swimming pool (with a shallow end and inflatable toys), tennis, basketball and bocce courts, and a media center complete with DVD player, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3. There are also several adult-size bicycles for older children.”
In addition, there is a great number of fun outings can be organized from horseback riding to helicopter tours of Siena or hot air balloon rides from nearby Montisi. The Borgo’s chef is happy to cater to younger palates and staff can help you stockpile your children’s favorite snacks. Babysitting services can also be organized should the adults in the group want to enjoy any of the many opportunities for trips or activities off-site.
Please both young and old in a multigenerational group during a special family getaway to the Borgo Finocchieto at this link.
Boca Overwater – Bocas del Toro, Panama
Kids and parents alike will be wowed with an exciting summer trip to this exceptional and sustainable villa which sits on stilts in a gorgeous UNESCO recognized Panamanian archipelago.
The unique property is a seven-minute boat ride from the Bocas International Airport, a 40-minute flight from Panama City. The villa is built on 135 stilts and is connected to a 15 hectares island by a 130 meter dock.
“On a four-year trip around the world, the creator was looking for the right indigenous families to work with, ones that took pride in impeccable work, but also that would truly benefit from the income earned. She found the right combination in Las Bocas del Toro,” details Sylvia Delvaille Jones of Villas and Apartments Abroad, who arranges holidays at the villa.
“It was very important to her that everything be socially responsible and handcrafted, so it can tell a story of the local indigenous people. When guests are at the house, you can touch, feel, smell and breathe every object while finding out about each of their stories. In addition, 50% of all proceeds from income from rentals go towards the local school.”
Every moment in this special environmental microcosm is exciting for children. On the island they can pick fruit from the orchard, join in on some farming and spend hours on scavenger hunt to track down baby crabs and rainbow of butterflies. Watersports include snorkeling, swimming with baby turtles, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, kiteboarding and more. Private tours around the islands with our private 30-foot motor boat, jungle expedition and beyond.
Offer your children an amazing opportunity to connect with nature this summer at the Boca Overwater by reaching out to Villas and Apartments Abroad here.
Tarkuni Lodge – Tswalu, South Africa
For those looking for an extremely private and unique safari experience, the Tarkuni is the ideal lodge and it offers numerous attractions for families. Available through cazenove+loyd and set in the magnificent Kalahari Reserve, it is the biggest privately owned reserve in South Africa, spanning over 100,000 hectares. There are some very rare species found at Tswalu and being a very dry area many of the animals are desert-adapted, including the Kalahari lions, white rhino and of course the ever popular meerkat families. You might even be lucky to catch a glance of an aardvark or pangolin on a night game drive.
Cazenove+loyd have been sending families to the Tarkuni, the private house on the reserve, for many years. Recently redesigned to uncompromising standards of comfort and elegance. Its five luxurious suites, each with a magnificent en-suite bathroom, accommodate a maximum of 10 guests in total. Tarkuni also has its own dedicated team including a host and private chef to ensure meticulous and completely personal service.
The lodges guides also run a hugely successful junior rangers programme which gets children involved in numerous fun but educational activities. On arrival, every child is welcomed with a backpack full of guides and tools; they get their own opportunity to chat with our hospitality staff about what they would like to do. Activities include archery (beginning by making your own bow and arrow), spoor identification and casting as well as tracking on foot. Children’s bush walks are hugely educational and often end with a fantastic picnic – parents can come too.
Have an exciting and unforgettable family holiday in South Africa this summer with cazenove+loyd at this link.
La Fattoria – Tuscany, Italy
Our experts at Homebase Abroad have a wonderful six-bedroom Tuscan villa perfect for families looking to mix culture and outdoor activities on a summer holiday to Italy.
Situated near Lucca, the private 55-hectare aristocratic estate is surrounded by perennial beds, cypress trees, well-kept lawns, 1800 olive trees, dense woods and rolling fields. La Fattoria is a 17th-century restored farmhouse found on the estate and flanked by a lovely unrestored and vacant villa dating from the 17th and 18th centuries and another unrestored villa, dating from the 15th-16th centuries, is located in the woodland.
The interior of the villa features original ‘cotta’ floors, though the beamed ceilings have been whiten with ‘calcio’ to give the rooms a lighter, contemporary look. Some large rooms were transformed into oversized, marble-finished bathrooms. There is a spacious living room with linen-covered sofas, a working fireplace, a large plasma TV, satellite TV and DVD player.
Meals can be savored in the refined dining room with a table for 12 and lit by an elegant Venetian chandelier or outdoors under the shaded pergola or in the courtyard with original spring-fed washing tub and a barbecue. The 12 x 6 meter pool, with a diving board and nighttime lighting, is especially appreciated in summer, it’s bordered by umbrellas and sun beds living room under the shade of a white linen ‘curtain’ seats 8.
Popular family activities include visits to the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, walking tours of historic Lucca, a trip to Vinci, hometown of Leonardo da Vinci where to you tour a museum containing replicas of his inventions, 4×4 excursion to the marble quarries of Carrara, private boat rides along the Tuscan coast from Forte dei Marmi, horseback riding along the beach in Marina di Vecchiano or enjoying the lovely area around the villa on walks and bike rides.
Spend a spectacular summer in Tuscany with Homebase Abroad at this link.
Athos Barge Cruise – Canal du Midi, France
Our experts at Barge Lady Cruises love welcoming two and three generation families to the canals of France. For a family cruise this summer, they recommend the Athos, a 10-passenger barge which cruises down the Canal du Midi, located in the southwest of the country.
“We know that families can truly relax and bond while floating on tranquil waterways miles away from their homes and usual responsibilities,” says Stephanie Sacks of Barge Lady Cruises. “And the Athos is such a perfect fit for families.”
Cruising the lively waterways of the Canal du Midi, the barge is supremely comfortable and cozy, boasting the largest deck in the region. Ambiance and décor is informal and the cabins are “country French” in feel, with lovely flower bouquets and beautiful tiled baths.
Cuisine is of course gourmet for the grown-ups with goodies and nibbles prepared perfectly by the crew’s private chef for even the smallest of passengers. Adults enjoy a myriad of regional wines and local spirits onboard as well, while “mocktails” and sodas are specially served to the littles.
Best of all, family fun on the Athos is offered every day and coordinated by the barge’s crew, which includes a dedicated tour guide. The itinerary includes kid-pleasing activities such as kayaking on a nearby river, horseback riding, visits to beaches and parks, picnicking, bicycling, tennis – just to name a few! Barge owners Julian and Dannielle Farrant live in the area, and are parents themselves of two children, so their expertise on family-friendly sightseeing in the region is second to none.
Design a fantastic floating family holiday in France with Barge Lady Cruises here.
Martello House, Barbados
The summertime is an excellent time to visit Barbados and our experts at Blue Sky Luxury are making it exceptionally alluring for family holidays to the island with their “Hello Family Holiday… Kids Play Free” promotion. You can save up to 15% on a selection of their superb villas and kids can enjoy a range of complimentary activities from submarine dives to cave tours.
The island is a welcoming, safe holiday environment where visitors and families can enjoy a great variety of summer events while absorbing authentic Barbadian life. Their stylish eight-bedroom Martello House is an ideal option for a summer escape to the island. Surrounded by manicured gardens, it is located on a ridge overlooking the Royal Westmoreland Golf Course and out towards the sparkling Caribbean Sea. The spacious living room opens out to a beautiful covered verandah, infinity edge swimming pool and phenomenal vistas of the coastline.
All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and one of the two master bedrooms is found on the top floor and features vaulted ceilings and folding doors that open out onto a private patio. One bedroom is located in a separate guest cottage. Additional amenities include of a fitness gym, games room, snooker room with kitchenette and a surround sound media room ideal for movie nights. There is a full time staff of a housekeeper, chef and butler.
When you are not relaxing at the villa, the beach is a definitely highlight for the whole family. A few steps away from most of Blue Sky Luxury’s holiday homes are the island’s powdery beaches, ideal for building sand castles, taking to the water paddle boarding or surfing, or on a catamaran cruise. Kids love spotting the island’s array of marine life, especially the baby turtles.
Venturing inland, junior adventurers will be thrilled with off-road safaris and tours to Harrison’s Cave whilst both young and old will enjoy learning about the island’s colonial history at the Sunbury Plantation house, or the 300-plus year old Mount Gay rum plantation. There are also world class golf courses, where kids can enjoy lessons and Welchman Hall Gully, where you can observe monkeys play in the trees.
Enjoy a fantastic beach holiday in the Caribbean this summer with Blue Sky Luxury at this link.
Schloss Kogl, Austria
Austria’s lake district, Salzkammergut, offers an extraordinary collection of activities for families and our experts at the gorgeous baroque Schloss Kogl, can help you design a thrilling family getaway to the area. Here’s what the castle’s owner Monika Mayr-Melnhof recommends for a perfect family day:
“After breakfast at Kogl, pack your swimsuit, walk five minutes to the tiny “Kogl“ train station and jump aboard to go to Attersee. Walk through the little village until you reach the “Teehaus,“ our private place at the lake with all facilities to spend a relaxed day at the lakeside. The kids will adore swimming in this pristine lake, taking a ride in the row-boat and lying in the sun. On windy days you can watch hundreds of sailing boats or maybe rent one yourself.
“Around lunchtime we can drop off everything you would like for a nice picnic at the lake. The fridge will already be well stocked with cool beverages. After lunch you could make your way to the mini golf course, rent electric boats to see the shore from in the village,or have an ice cream at Rohringer’s, or spend some time on the public beach with playground and giant slide and french fries as an afternoon snack.
“It is nice to stay there also for the evening, when everything around calms down a bit and the mountains start to become a beautiful blue.”
Other than the lake, guests can enjoy many sports in the area including golf at the Attersee 18 hole club, biking the 345 kilometers of trails found at Attergau, hiking, horseback riding, tennis.you can play your private matches on our sand court in the park , when the weather is nice and dry, or on rainy days indoors public in Sankt Georgen and right at the castle you can swim in the pool, play table tennis or table football or do some bowling in their historic alley. There are also many beautiful towns in the area for sightseeing and a day in Salzburg is a must!
Enjoy a fabulous outdoor holiday in this gorgeous part of Austria and at the splendid Schloss Kogl castle at this link.