Best Summer Holiday Destinations You Can Visit With Your Family
Schools out, its summer time!
Plenty of families across the UK use the school summer holidays to pack their bags and take their children off on fun, educational and relaxing holidays. Whilst the Alps are best known for being a world-famous skiing destination, during the summer there are plenty more activities to be enjoyed in these wild and rugged hills that range from something for the adventurous daredevils, through to flower arranging workshops and getting close and personal with mountain goats!
Children come in all shapes and forms and there is never a ‘one size fits all’ summer holiday to keep the whole gang satisfied… but since Inghams have such a huge selection of destinations that come with an array of exciting and engaging activities in resort, we’re confident we’ll be able to rustle up the perfect family holiday for you!
From white water rafting, through to exploring mysterious cliff top castles, there is no end to the fun to be had on your summer holiday to the lakes and mountains regions. We’ve pulled together 11 of our favourite destinations and some of our favourite things to do with the kids in tow, taking into consideration ages, interests and those vastly varying energy levels.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Berchtesgaden, Germany
Come and see the castle that inspired Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty! Children absolutely love the Neuschwanstein Castle, which is located in Berchtesgaden in Southern Germany, nestled up against the base of the Bavarian Alps. The castle itself is instantly recognisable and is a gothic baroque playground, with hundreds of grand sprawling rooms, full to the brim with history of Kings, Queens, Princesses and Princes.
You would be forgiven in thinking that Neuschwanstein Castle has stood on its rocky outcrop for thousands of years, but actually it was a glimmer in the romantic eye of King Ludwig II of Germany, who made his dream become a reality. Ludwig II was a romantic fantasist who was bewitched with the idea of creating himself a castle, and home, filled with ideas of chivalry and knights and maidens.
There is also an active children’s programme at the castle to keep the little ones engaged, with Leo the Lion acting as the guide. Children can learn about aristocracy, tackle puzzles in classic works of art, learn to identify different symbols in coats of arms and more.
While the castle itself is obviously the main attraction, the climb up the hill is very rewarding for children as well, with opportunities to stop for a snack and a bite to eat.
With splendid panoramic views, the Alpenhotel Kronprinz in Berchtesgaden looks out over the iconic Watzmann Mountain, and is only a 5 minutes’ walk from the centre of town. A comfortable and homely Alpine-style hotel with a delicious restaurant, there is also a leisure area with a sauna, steam room and a infrared cabin. Children will also love the weekly barbeque the hotel hosts (weather permitting!).
2. Aurach Wildlife Park, Kitzbühel, Austrian Tyrol
If your children are less into learning about knights and tales of chivalry from Germany, then perhaps they would enjoy getting close and personal with the local wildlife in the Aurach Wildlife Park in Kitzbühel, Austria. Approximately 200 animals live here in Tyrol’s largest outdoor enclosure on 40 hectares and you can enjoy a fantastic day time tour of the four-footed friends!
A real educational trip, children can learn all about deer, lynx, wild boar, yak, zebu, marmots, wild ducks, pheasants, peacocks, ibex amongst other Alpine and mountain animals. The whole wildlife park is an educational adventure for children, who can join the mascot Willy the Wild Boar, who will get you to copy the playful characteristics of animal behaviours, learn interesting facts about surviving in the harsh climate, learn how a mountain goat keeps his balance… and more!
Best part, there is also a little petting zoo! Donkeys, rabbits, goats, llamas, sheep and many more animals love getting a pat on the head (and maybe a tasty carrot too!), and are more than happy to strike a pose for your family holiday photos. All the animals in the petting zoo are docile and tame, and have met hundreds of children in their lifetimes.
The Aurach Wildlife Park is situated a short distance from the beautiful summer resort of Kitzbühel, where there are plenty of activities to keep the whole family occupied all year around.
Hotel Kaiserhof in Kitzbühel is filled with Austrian charm and tradition, and celebrates a prime central location directly opposite the Hahnenkamm gondola for easy access for walks that families will enjoy, as well as a 5 minutes’ stroll from the Old Town. There is a swimming pool with panoramic views, a terrace and free E-Bike hire for the hotel guests (subject to availability).
3. The Green Ring Walk, Lech, Austria
Getting out and about is a great way to bring the family together through shared experiences. The mysterious and fabled Green Ring Walk in Lech is a great outdoors family activity, but perhaps one that is best reserved for the kids who are full of beans and used to getting out in the outdoors. The walk can be broken down into 3 stages, 1 stage per day.
The walk takes you over hills and mountains, past great lakes and bubbling springs of water. Rocks as large as houses, and staggering cliffs above. Being so isolated in the wilderness, the Green Ring Walk really gets you back to the roots of nature and you’ll see plenty of Alpine wildlife and flora along the way.
The walk is also riddled with tales and folklore. Learn about the mysterious hidden treasure of Lake Zürs, and see the famous ‘Lech Wall’- a 50m long structure made up of stones that hold the names of all the inhabitants of Lech and Zürs (a sentimental ‘archive’ designed to survive the digital age).
Families will encounter along the way the ‘Mystery Green Ring’, a stretch of the walk dedicated to interactive obstacles and outdoor toys for children to enjoy. Children will be given a task book at the beginning of the walk, which holds all the objects that they need to solve the puzzles, unlock the doors, and crack the riddles to become the Riddle Master! Fun with water, physics and air, this section of the walk has been designed to engage children who might be tired of walking up and down hills all day.
Inghams are famous for their hospitality, so why not sample it for yourself and bring your family to stay with us at the wonderful Chalet Hotel Elisabeth in Lech? Sitting on the riverside and close to the heart of town, the chalet hotel has a fantastic menu for even the fussiest of eaters, complimentary afternoon tea and cake, pre-dinner complimentary wines, as well as some wonderful on-site leisure facilities.
4. Heller Botanical Gardens, Lake Garda, Italy
The Heller Botanical Gardens in Lake Garda is a fantastic opportunity to submerge yourself in nature with this artistic, interactive and playful outdoor art gallery disguised as a garden. Children will love running about the wild flowers, through the trees and past the mysterious sculptures crafted by the artist Andre Heller amongst other famous contributors.
The garden is not only as playful as it is educational. Plant species from across the world thrive in this micro-climate on the shores of Lake Garda, and the garden has been hailed an ‘Eden’. Guests can travel through a world that unites nature and art, and see the plant arrangements that mimic the Alpine setting.
The gardens are also the home to plenty of wildlife too. Ponds are brimming with Koi fish, dragonflies, and butterflies flitter here and there. Children are encouraged to be respectful to their surroundings but also interact with them: smell the flowers, identify different bird calls, play the interactive musical instruments, and walk through tunnels and archways!
Lake Garda is just brimming with some fantastic resorts for you to enjoy your stay in! From Bardolino to Torri del Benaco, we’ve thought long and hard about which resort would be best for family fun, and decided that with its variety of self-catered apartments and hotels (as well as big swimming pools!) you can’t go wrong with Peschiera. The Eden Apartments in Peschiera allow families to have a little independence away from hotels, and offer spacious quality self-catered accommodation (or bed and breakfast/ half board options) and set next to an enormous family friendly swimming pool and sunbathing terrace.