8 European family holiday ideas (that aren’t Spain)

20 January 20237 min read

Aerial view of Porto Giunco beach in Sardinia with turquoise bays, white sand and mountains in the distance

Please note: this article is sponsored by our partners at Eurocamp. The links on this page will take you directly to the Eurocamp website.

Spain and Portugal have long been loved as family holiday destinations but look beyond the obvious and you may be surprised. Great-value, family-friendly breaks can be found right across Europe, in destinations you may not have even considered.

Whether you’re after fun-filled holiday resorts by the coast or laidback holiday homes in the countryside, we’ve tapped our partners at Eurocamp to reveal eight new ideas for your family getaway. If you’re seeking home comforts and exciting activities – as well as outdoor adventures in a new destination – here’s where to go this summer.

1. Poreč, Croatia

Unspoilt shores and lush countryside make Poreč one of Croatia’s loveliest destinations for families. Its Adriatic coastline is punctuated with beautiful beaches, including the idyllic pebbled stretch of Zelena Laguna, and its historic old town is filled with charming cafés and restaurants.

To have the best of this Istrian beauty right on your doorstep, consider a stay at Camping Lanterna. On the shores of the Lanterna Peninsula, this holiday parc is a delightful getaway by the sea, with comfortable holiday homes, two swimming pools, tennis courts and direct access to the beach.

For an off-site adventure, hire a bike and take a cycle tour of one of Poreč’s national parks, visit the underground grotto of Baredine Cave or head to the Aquacolors Porec water park.

2. Brittany, France

Forget busy airports and airline luggage limits. France’s lovely north-western region of Brittany is just a hop across the Channel, so you can bundle the kids into the car for a close-to-home adventure.

Sail into Saint-Malo, and you’ll be just 40km from Domaine des Ormes – a wonderful base for family getaways here. Picturesque beaches, bustling port cities and quaint seaside villages are all close by and the region’s fantastic walking and cycling trails are within easy reach.

Domaine des Ormes itself is adventure central. Set within 400 acres of woodland and nestled between wildflower meadows and lakes, there’s all sorts to do. Go horse-riding, play a round of golf, tackle the treetop zip-wire or enjoy family fun in the impressive indoor pool complex. The parc has a range of holiday homes to choose from, whether you're after a classic vibe or extra space.

3. Sardinia, Italy

If staying among pine forests with sand dunes as your backdrop is your idea of holiday heaven, look no further than Sardinia. Home to white-sand beaches, hike-worthy national parks and bags of culture, this sunny Italian island is a brilliant pick for late spring and summer getaways.

Eurocamp’s Bella Sardinia, located on the west coast in Oristano, is the activity-packed pick here. Spend lazy afternoons by the pool or get the whole family involved in a summer sports tournament. Alternatively, hire bikes, play mini-golf or try archery. S'Archittu beach is only five minutes away too – its postcard-worthy arch is a great spot for swimming and snorkelling.

If you’re up for some adventure, see the mesmerising stalactite cave of Neptune’s Grotto or go exploring in Gennargentu National Park.

4. Lake Garda, Italy

Swap sea views for lakeside vistas on a holiday to one of Italy’s most famous lakes. It’s all about la dolce vita here – think espressos in cobbled old towns, an Aperol Spritz under the sun and delicious cheesy pizza by the slice.

The kids will have plenty to keep them busy, too. Outdoor activities include mountain hikes, shoreline cycles on the Garda by Bike route or watersports on the lake, such as sailing and windsurfing.

Overlooking all the action, Camping Village Weekend is a great base in the blissful province of San Felice del Benaco. Days can be spent sunbathing on the terraces, whizzing across the zip-wire or getting stuck into volleyball and table tennis matches. The kids club has all sorts of fun for younger ones such as treasure hunts and discos, while adults can enjoy parc-run activities including olive oil and wine tasting.

5. Black Forest, Germany

Seeking an action-packed theme park break? It’s unlikely Germany’s beautiful Black Forest will spring to mind – but it should. It’s close to Europa-Park, Germany’s coaster-filled answer to Disneyland. Made of two parks, Europa Park and the 2019 waterpark addition, Rulantica, it’s an easy win with the little ones.

Adults, too, will fall for this romantic region of peaceful countryside, evergreen forests and postcard-esque German villages. Campingplatz Herbolzheim, close to Europa-Park and on the edge of the Black Forest, is a top pick for a stay here. The parc is the perfect place to spend rambling days exploring outdoors and easy-going afternoons making the most of on-site activities. Speaking of, there’s badminton, volleyball and tennis, and a heated pool complex next door.

Other days out include some of the Black Forest’s top attractions such as the Triberg Waterfalls and the Wildline Suspension Bridge.

6. Dordogne, France

With rolling valleys, crumbling cliffs and dense forests, rural Dordogne certainly gives Germany’s Black Forest a run for its money. The southwest region of France has been luring families for years thanks to its pleasant weather and friendly towns.

Stay in the heart of the region at St Avit Loisirs – a premier holiday parc jam-packed with outdoor pursuits. Try quad-biking, play tennis, go horse-riding or take to the water and explore local rivers and gorges with parc-organised canoeing. Onsite you’ll also find four pool complexes, including a kids’ play pool and a lazy river.

If you’re planning to explore the region, enjoy day trips to nearby Sarlat and Bergerac, and seek out clifftop castles, traditional markets and stunning chateaux. The prehistoric cave art of the Vézère Valley is also a must-visit.

7. Interlaken, Switzerland

Switzerland’s adventure capital, Interlaken is sure to get the whole family excited. Thrill-seekers can try river rafting or bungee jumping, while the region's renowned hiking trails and train to Jungfraujoch (one of the highest peaks in Europe) is ideal for something more sedate.

Make the most of Interlaken’s incredible landscape at Eurocamp’s Manor Farm Campsite. On the spectacular shores of Lake Thun, the parc’s accommodation options include various holiday homes and is just a short bus or boat ride away from Interlaken itself.

Family holidays here are all about immersing yourself in the superb surroundings – enjoy fantastic walking and cycling trails and soak up mountain views. What’s more, the parc has direct access to a private lake beach where watersports such as canoeing and sailing are available.

8. Corsica, France

With a wonderfully warm Mediterranean climate and a coastline with more than 200 beaches, Corsica deserves a spot on any holiday wishlist. Its beautiful coastal towns such as Calvi and St Florent exude charm with their ancient buildings and cobbled streets while offshore, the island’s topaz waters are perfect for sailing, snorkelling and spotting dolphins.

See what it’s all about from your base at Sole di Sari, a peaceful holiday parc on the island’s east coast. The eco-parc instantly earns fans thanks to its lush riverside location and decked pool complex. There’s windsurfing, canoeing and scuba diving to try, and the nearest beach is less than a mile away. Onsite facilities include a terraced restaurant, bar, games room, and a family favourite – an ice-cream parlour.

Spend your family getaway kicking back on golden sands, exploring natural wonders and feasting on delicious Corsican fare. Grown-ups, don’t forget to sample some local wine too.

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