Forget about Disneyland or the usual resorts on your next holiday with the family. Instead, take the kids to places that will allow them to experience things they are sure to treasure for the rest of their lives!
From exploring a remote village in Jordan to taking hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia and exploring the stunning landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, here are six unique destinations for family adventures.
America – Washington State
Home to numerous mountains, Washington state is a haven for adventurous families looking to climb snow-capped peaks. Avid climbers can summit Mount Adams or Mount Rainier. In winter, you can climb the snow-capped Mount St. Helens.
There are also various opportunities to experience thrilling mountain bike rides in Washington. Galbraith Mountain, located in the northwest corner of the state, offers world-class mountain biking facilities. You’ll also find the Colville National Forest in the east, with dozens of mountain biking routes, including the Old Stage Trail #1, the only wagon trail in the forest trail system.
Washington has plenty of different accommodations to cater to families of all kinds. But for families who love outdoor adventures, glamping in Washington is highly recommended. You’ll be staying in a fully furnished tent set in the middle of the forest, a wonderful way to spend quality time with the family while being surrounded by nature.
Jordan – Dana
While Jordan is famous for the archaeological site of Petra, the country is also a haven for families who love outdoor adventures. Hiking through the country’s dry river beds, known as “wadi”, is a popular outdoor activity in Jordan.
Jordan’s Dana Biosphere Reserve boasts some of the best hiking trails in the country, which has more than one spectacular wadi trail. Dana is also home to a sleeping village perched on a mountain, overlooking the expansive Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan’s largest nature reserve. It has numerous hiking trails suitable for hikers of all levels. Some routes will only take a few hours to conquer, while others could take a few days!
Although the Dana Biosphere Reserve is not often included in the standard itineraries for holidays to Jordan, it’s a must-visit for families traveling to Jordan who love to hike. Aside from the magnificent views, Dana’s hiking trails are not crowded. You could spend the entire day trekking and not bump into another soul! If you want a quieter alternative to Jordan’s crowded tourist sites, head to Dana.
Turkey – The Cappadocia region
Turkey has a lot to offer for all kinds of travellers looking for Turkey inspired luxury family travel. But for families who love adventures, Cappadocia is the place to be. The region is rich in both culture and history, but what makes it stand out is its distinctive rock formations and houses carved out of caves.
Taking a hot air balloon ride has got to be the first thing families should do in Cappadocia. Tourists worldwide would come flocking to the region to experience this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. As your balloon glides over the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, you’ll marvel at the stunning landscape with the breathtaking sunrise views in the background. Upon your safe landing, you’ll be treated to tasty snacks, and the adults can toast to a glass of champagne.
Cappadocia’s soft sandstone has made it easy for locals to carve the caves large enough to become their homes. Nowadays, some of these cave homes have been converted into hotels. For families of adventurers, staying in these cave-like accommodations in Cappadocia is highly recommended. Wandering around the fairy chimneys in the Love Valley of Cappadocia is another popular thing to do for families. As you explore the valley, you’ll encounter interesting phallus-like rock formations that look out of this world.
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Madagascar – Andasibe
With its varied terrain and numerous opportunities to encounter interesting wildlife, Madagascar is a wonderful place to visit for families who love adventures. The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is highly recommended for families interested in taking up outdoor activities in Madagascar. It’s a rainforest that consists of two distinct protected areas – the Mantadia national park and Analamazoatra special reserve.
The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is the perfect place for watching endemic species on the island. As you hike through the park, you’ll have the opportunity to come across incredible waterfalls and magnificent natural pools. You’ll also discover various animals, so keep your eyes open during your hike. The Andasibe-Mantadia National Park is home to the biggest lemur in the world – the indri. So, as you explore the park, you could encounter an indri, about 31-inch tall! If you go for a morning hike, you’ll hear them singing through the forest, which will delight your little ones.
Families visiting the Andasibe-Mantadia National Park will also be given access to a conservation project researching different varieties of lemurs, such as bamboo lemurs and black-and-white ruffed lemurs. They will learn how to keep track of the endangered lemurs and spend some time with the researchers to understand the issues faced by the wildlife of Madagascar.
Scotland – The Highlands
There are many reasons why the Scottish Highlands is a favourite destination for families, especially those who love to explore the outdoors. With its dramatic scenery that consists of looming mountains and lush valleys, not to mention ruined castles perched on the edge of a cliff, there are plenty of interesting things for families to discover in the Highlands.
For families with kids who are big fans of Harry Potter films, taking a ride at the Jacobite Steam Train across the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct should be on top of the itinerary. For the more adventurous families, trekking to the summit of Ben Nevis, the UK’s tallest mountain, is highly recommended. If your kids are not fond of trekking, there is a cable car that can take you to the top.
Take the kids to the Cairngorms National Park to stalk golden eagles in the vast wilderness. Meanwhile, a different type of natural beauty awaits you on the shores of the remote islands of the Outer Hebrides. And in between seeing the sights, take a rest at the cosy pubs. Sample sumptuous British fares at the many acclaimed restaurants in the Highlands.
Bhutan – Bumthang
South Asia is an incredible place to visit on a family holiday if you’re looking for something really different, and Bhutan on the edge of the Himalayas is a wonderful destination to choose. The Bumthang District is perhaps the most historic area out of the 20 dzongkhag that make up the country, so it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a holiday where you can all learn more about a new location’s culture.
Bumthang is a holiday destination that is better suited to families with older children and will particularly delight those who enjoy active trips, as the district is made up of four mountain valleys which are known for their scenic views and hiking routes. The real highlight is definitely the vast range of temples and monasteries available to visit, offering plenty of chances to teach your children more about Bhutan’s religious history and observe Buddhist practices in beautiful, ancient buildings.
Many consider Bumthang to be the spiritual heart of the country, so if you’re looking to take your family on a meaningful and authentic Bhutan holiday then this is a great choice. Taking part in an organised tour is a great option to ensure that you see the highlights of the district and can enjoy a range of exclusive experiences, as well as getting valuable insight from local guides.