Stylish family travel experts at i-escape Kids Collection have uncovered a host of new options for family holidays this year, many in ‘under-the-radar’ locations.
There are choices to suit families of all different shapes, sizes and budgets including central Italy, ancient France, the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus, a Croatian car-free island, and even a chic-chalet in the Austrian Alps for mountain lovers. Prices start from as little as £910 for a week’s stay in August for a family of four in Croatia.
Rustic charm meets contemporary cool in the Marche region – Borgo Tranquillo, Arcevia, Italy
In the Marche region of central Italy is Borgo Tranquillo, a rural Italian hamlet transformed into an exclusive self-catering hideaway by London escapees Adriane and Frank. They created four loft-style apartments and a two-bedroom villa with sleek interiors.
For more under-the-radar trips, read our list of 12 destinations in Europe.
There’s a central chic clubhouse, where a floating spiral staircase sweeps down to the spa and stunning black infinity pool beyond. There are 15 acres of gardens for free-range families to enjoy including a 2.5km nature trail. The hilltop village of Arcevia with its ancient palazzos, churches, and pizza restaurants is just a five-minute drive away. Or head to Senigallia, 35km away, which has some of Italy’s longest beaches and plentiful seafood restaurants.
A 7-night stay in an apartment sleeping a family of four is priced from £2107 and the apartments are priced from £1183. This is based on a self-catering basis and can be booked via i-escape / Borgo Tranquillo.
An authentic beachside guesthouse on a car-free island – The Fisherman’s House, Croatia
A 20-minute speedboat trip from Hvar’s quayside and you reach Croatia’s car-free island of Sveti Klement and welcoming guesthouse, The Fisherman’s House. The third generation of the Matejević family are now in charge together with children, cats and a dog adding a homely atmosphere. The accommodation is in six basic but comfortable rooms, two are family friendly sleeping up to four. This type of holiday is about realigning with the elements – swimming before breakfast, exploring the paths that crisscross the islet, taking a beach picnic, kayaking or simply snoozing in a hammock. Everyone gathers around wooden tables and fisherman’s lamps to feast on fresh seafood and homemade wine in the evenings.
A seven-night stay half-board in a Quadruple Room (double with a sofa bed) sleeping four is priced from £910 year-round. Visit i-escape / The Fisherman’s House.
Three self-catering gites within a French Farmhouse – Chartreuse Le Cariol, Dordogne, France
This elegant country house once provided shelter for the Knights Templar. Fast forward some 800 years, you’ll find a very comfortable retreat for families with three gites. The devil is in the detail here with beautiful antiques in each room and flower-beds bursting with edible goodies and faultlessly designed kitchens. Parents will love the sauna built next to the ancient water source and the Jacuzzi positioned perfectly for sunset, there’s also yoga in the garden on request. For children, there’s masses of outdoor space to roam in, the pool to splash in, trees to climb and trampolines to bounce on. Get artistic during a painting class that can be arranged in the owners own studio. This property offers a delightful sophisticated yet family-friendly vibe, and is an ideal base for exploring the great gastronomic region of the Dordogne with its castles, caves and vineyards.
Price for a seven-night stay in a Gite Jardin sleeping up to a family of five and a baby starts from £1533 on an accommodation only basis and rises to £2191 during August. Visit i-escape / Chartreuse Le Cariol for details.
A Scandi-Chic chalet hotel in the Alps with a spa and mountain hikes – Valluga, Austria
Located in the charming mountain village of Sankt Anton is Valluga, a modern styled, good value hotel with a groovy international vibe and plenty to do in the summer months. It’s the third hotel from Swedish couple, Mikael and Johanna Landstrom (their best known being Hotel Portixol in Palma de Mallorca). Rooms and family suites are spread over three levels of the chalet-style building. They are all decorated with Scandinavian design, married with a playful Tyrolean twist. Older children will love the river rafting and mountain biking with almost 4,000km of routes to explore. Many activities in the village are free in summer including night hikes and archery. The via ferrata around Sankt Anton is worth a try too: a hybrid of scrambling and rock climbing. The hotel has its own spa, with a heated pool and treatment such as Mountain Fresh Facials and Alpine Foot Massages.
A seven-night B&B stay is priced from £1981 based on a Family Suite sleeping up to four during July and August. For further details, visit i-escape / Valluga Hotel.
A boutique spa hotel uniquely created across several restored houses in the heart of the Troodos Mountains – Casale Panayiotis, Cyprus
Another new addition to i-escape is the small spa hotel, Casale Panayiotis, in the Troodos Mountains in central Cyprus, an hour’s drive from Limassol. The hotel is made up of seven dwellings, all restored houses, spread through the village. Rooms vary from open plan Standard Studios to Junior Suites with private balconies or courtyards, and larger two-bedroom Family Suites. Older children and adults will love the range of interesting activities including trout fishing and bee keeping, whereas little ones will enjoy the novelty of roaming around the village rather than being in a conventional hotel. Baby cots are free of charge too and you get a choice of restaurants serving traditional Cypriot fare, all with kids menus. The state-of-the-art spa has a heated hydrotherapy pool, an ice cave, steam room and foot-baths; other activities can be laid on such as basket weaving.
Prices for a seven-night stay in a Family Suite sleeping up to four starts from £1099, (or from £1218 during August). This is based on a B&B basis. Further details: i-escape / Casale Panayiotis.
i-escape Kids is the specialist family-friendly accommodation collection from the boutique hotel specialists at www.i-escape.com. It now offers a portfolio of almost 1,000 options across 50 countries worldwide, including stylish hotels, B&Bs, beach houses, cottages and apartments.