Woman and young child splashing in the sea


Active Holidays for Families


Drives to the beach and pool days are a must, but how about going on an adventure? Keeping all ages excited for a family day out can be a challenge, so inject some extra fun with the best holiday activities across our destinations. From instructor-led fun for all, to slower activities for the more cautious, we have some unique experiences to bring everyone together.

Algarve catch of the day

Boat at Ponta de Piedade near Lagos - the Algarve

Hit the open ocean for a family fishing trip in the Algarve. Get up close and personal with Portugal’s many species of fish and if you’re lucky you might spot a dolphin or two! Dangle your bait along the seabed and see if you can catch shrimp, crabs or mullet. Aiming for something bigger? Then keep an eye out for swordfish and even octopi. If that’s not enough excitement already, you’ll also get to explore secret caves and coves along the coastline. Armed with a snorkel you’ll discover what lies within – you might even come across some underwater buried treasure! So get your sea legs on and set sail for your very own nautical adventure.

Paddle board in Mallorca

Couple with two young children paddle boarding on the sea

Walk on water and explore Mallorca’s coastline on the increasingly-popular paddle board. Picture yourself standing up on the board, paddling your way across the waves – taking in the views has never been so good. Let your little ones practice their paddling in the shallows, that way they’ll be able to push off the seabed. It’s not as easy as it first looks though! So a warning to all the competitive dads out there – it’s very possible the kids might get the hang of it quicker than you do…Lessons are a must if you’re new to this sport, but those feeling confident can venture along the coast to hidden grottos and Mallorca’s secret beaches.

Lanzarote’s hidden lava tunnels

Cueva de los Verdes in Lanzarote

From black sandy beaches to moon-like rocks, Lanzarote’s volcanic past is everywhere. Head down into the lava tunnels that lie beneath the surface for a real step back in time. These tube-like formations were created as flowing lava started to cool on the surface but the hot lava below carried on burrowing through. When it eventually cooled, snake like passageways and small caves formed in the rock. Across the island there are many entrances into this network of tunnels, so you can either explore the caves closer to the surface or if you’re feeling brave take a longer tour venturing down further – 60m to be exact! A safe-haven from pirates in the past, it’s now your turn to explore Lanzarote’s hidden underground network.

Take the reins in Cyprus

Group on horseback riding down a path to the beach

Saddle up and explore the forests, hills and coastline of Cyprus on horseback. A huge favourite with youngsters, take your pick from rides to suit beginners and those more comfortable taking the reins. Children as young as five can join a trek at most horse riding centres, and having their own pony for the day is a real treat. Trot through banana plantations, orchards and olive groves, or you can trek down to sea caves and explore local beauty spots.

Costa del Sol’s inflatable playground

Costa WaterPark inflatable course in the sea on the Costa del Sol

© Costa WaterPark

Jump, climb, slide and swing on the Costa del Sol’s inflatable waterpark! As much fun for grownups as it is for kids, this floating obstacle course sits 70m out at sea, boasting slides, trampolines and swings. Splash around as a family or sit on the beach and watch as the kids race each other. Be prepared to see your family’s competitive side! One hour passes are on offer, or you can make a day of it slipping and sliding until your hearts content. Strong swimmers will love this, but younger children might want to stick to the easier courses near the shore.

Kayaking in Dubrovnik

Father and son kayaking in the sea

Famed for its city walls and Baroque buildings, the city of Dubrovnik is a true wonder. Walking along the marble streets you’ll find history and art around every corner. But it’s not just inside the walls where you can get a great view of the treasures. Book a sea kayaking tour and you’ll see the city from a unique vantage point.

Paddle under the walls, visit nearby islands and hit the shore to have a picnic on hidden beaches. The kids can join in and sit in the front as a trusty lookout, while the older children steer their own.

After active days packed with activities, there’s nowhere better for unwinding than your villa! Enjoy the privacy, kick back and relax or take a dip in your very own pool.

Bethan Evans

Bethan Evans is a Brand Executive at James Villa Holidays.

I’ve always loved to travel and have been very lucky to visit over 20 countries so far....

See all articles by Bethan Evans

See all articles by Bethan Evans

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