Whisk the family away on a classic adventure to Portugal, France or Morocco this summer
For the finest of foods
Everyone knows there’s nowhere quite like France for the best foodie breaks, but the real trick is to head to Provence. Utterly charming, it’s packed with family-friendly spots and famous for its fabulous food.
Head to the UNESCO World Heritage village of Les Baux-de-Provence to the very chic Domaine de Manville, a golfing estate turned luxury hotel, golf and spa. Their mezzanine rooms are perfect for families, while the pristine pool and gourmet restaurant are more reasons to hole up here on holiday. Our favourite meal? The BBQ lunch with giant grilled Gambas! There’s also a private ‘on demand’ cinema and a gipsy cart kids club.
Further afield you’ll find Roman Ruins, the medieval Baux castle, hiking in the pine forest to the singsong of the cicadas and one of France’s best weekly markets in pretty neighbouring St Remy. Must try delicacies include the Fougasse bread, the locally-grown sun-drenched fruit like peaches and melon, the pesto ‘pistou’ and the refreshing Rosé wines. The kids will be thrilled with breakfast brioches and the Éclairs au Chocolat, not to mention the ice cream selection.
For the very finest al fresco lunch, pop to the Michelin starred L’Oustau de Baumaniere, a haven of peace where Chef André Charial has been serving celebrities and mere mortals alike for years in his idyllic family-run hideaway.
Heading North towards Mont Ventoux and its vineyards awaits another perfect Provencal gourmet hideaway: Crillon le Brave. The village turned hotel, oozes shabby chic and impeccable taste. Its three restaurants, one serving only local produce, and another set in the 13th Century stables under stone vaulted ceilings are all run by Chef Jérôme Blanchet who serves the tastiest Seabass Carpaccio followed by Herb-Incrusted Lamb and scrumptious Strawberry sponge cake.
No doubt some of the finest foods you’ll ever be lucky enough to feast on!
For the most exotic city break
It might not seem like an obvious destination to take the kids to, but the Red City is so exotic and bewitching, even the younger travellers feel its magic.
Abuzz with activity and life, there’s so much to do and see; from Place Jemaa El Fnaa with its snake charmers and food stalls, to the calming Majorelle Gardens Yves St Laurent once called home, this city keeps the family engaged.
Even the frenzied souk is child-friendly thanks to the Moroccan’s warm welcome for little ones. Older kids will enjoy the shopping experience with a plethora of bags, shoes, nick-nacks and clothes on display while the younger visitors can spot kittens and chameleons! Need a break? Discover the joys of meat skewers on the Terrasse des Épices, a busy rooftop restaurant in heart of the medina or head to the Trou au Mur, one of the latest gastro-restaurants in town for seafood pastillas, classic tagines or mac’n’cheese for the less adventurous!
Further afield a day out with Epic Morocco at the Terresd’Amanar natural reserve where kids can fulfil their lust for adventure horse-riding, zip-lining or hiking. They can also organise excursions dune buggy driving, camel trekking or overnight camping in the desert.
Just out of town, the peaceful Fairmont Domaine Royal Palm offers the perfect balance of luxury and family-friendly. Perks include an amazing kid’s club with a beautiful wooden tree house, life-size wooden sheep, a shallow pool and plenty of cool workshops, as well as a huge all-white spa, and atmospheric top-notch restaurants.
For the best of beaches
Head to the Algarve with its whitewashed fishing villages, golfing greens and relaxed holiday vibe. The Southernmost slice of Portugal is famous for its beautiful sandy stretches, turquoise waters and majestic cliffs with over 150 beaches to pick from. It has become a haven for families with resorts and outdoor activities aplenty catering for all tastes, including Zoomarine a theme park where you’ll find an aquarium, rides and slides, as well as pools for all ages and get the chance to swim with dolphins.
Located right on Vilamoura beach the 5 star Tivoli Marina resort comes with all the trimmings including several high end restaurants, the exclusive Puro Beach Club, and entertainment for kids from toddlers to teens, not to mention a spa, golf desk and amazing big blue views. It’s also a 20minute walk to the stunning Falesia beach.
Prefer something more rugged? Sagres is set along a beautiful stretch of protected coastline. The MartinhalSagres Beach Family Hotel is the ultimate in family friendly with everything you need in a beachside hotel and more. Book a spacious, luxurious two-floor villa for magnificent sea views. Our highlight? The Surf shack bar at sundown and the excellent food at the beachside Dunes restaurant!
For the most classic history
To see the city’s history on every corner, opt for a different means of transportation. Try a tour in a classic car with the Traction Parisienne vintage beauties, or a two-day Paris by TukTuk pass. It allows you to hop on and off at all the major sights, ticking off major landmarks like the Concorde, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and of course, the Eiffel Toweren route!
Don’t forget to make the most of the city’s parks by planning a picnic on the Champs de Mars below the Eiffel Tower, or to visit the ParcMonceau, an ideal break after the Champs Elysees whatever your age.
While the younger crowd will enjoy the Jardin des Plantes, home to the French capital’s oldest zoo opened in 1794, parents will appreciate its grandiose period architecture. It’s also worth stopping by the Muséed’HistoireNaturelle in the same location for its impressive dinosaur gallery.
Got daring teens? Venture into the city’s catacombs, a labyrinth of crypts dating back to the 18th century.
Last but not least, the Louvre with its 35,000 pieces on display is a must do, but to make it more engaging book a treasure hunt run by THATMuse – a great way to keep the kids focused!
To sleep in style, book into a 5 star Parisian ‘Palace’. The newly refurbished Hotel de Crillonis a masterpiece in luxury hospitality, while the Royal Monceau is almost as famous for its weekend brunches as for its Nobu restaurant.
Visiting at the height of summer and looking for something more laid back? Book into the famous Piscine Molitor, now a hip designer hotel with its iconic 1930’s pools (indoor and outdoor), a rooftop bar and heaps of modern art reminding us of its recent history. ◼
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© This article was first published in June-July 2018 edition of World Travel Magazine.