Inspiration


Family Adventure Holidays


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Holidays come in all shapes and sizes, and adventure means something different for everyone. For some, trying a new dish is a big deal! For others, it doesn’t count unless you’re jumping out of a plane or scaling the side of a majestic mountain. Whether it’s physical activity, embracing a new culture or exploring the natural world – there’s a world of extraordinary experiences just waiting for you and yours. So without further ado, here’s some inspiration to get you on your way to the family adventure holiday of a lifetime!

Lunar Landscapes in Lanzarote

Panoramic views of Timanfaya National Park. The landscape is covered in red and grey sands, and looks like something from another planet.

You can’t get more adventurous than the raw, volcanic terrain of Timanfaya National Park. Embellished with out of this world rock formations, lava tubes, cones, channels and lakes. Not to mention the moon-like craters and copper coloured sands that sprawl out for miles in every direction. It’s safe to say it doesn’t take much exploration to spark the imagination here, and you’ll be pinching each other to make sure you’re still on Earth! The magnificent Mountains of Fire sit in the heart of the eerie, ethereal park. Standing proud in striking shades of black, grey, maroon and red – with a hint of sulphur hanging in the air – the area is devoid of wildlife. In fact, an extra-terrestrial inhabitant wouldn’t look out of place!

Roaming the park is strictly regulated to ensure the delicate biosphere reserve is protected, but don’t worry – there’s plenty of ways to see the sights. Coach tours, ranger walks and camel rides allow travellers to explore the jaw-dropping vistas and mind-blowing badlands. Walking and hiking make for the best photo opportunities, as there’s no glass restriction and you can move at your own pace. Once you’ve exhausted your camera (and legs) to the point of no return, stop by the El Diablo Restaurant for a barbecue with a twist! Using the geothermal heat from beneath your feet, they cook up a feast for an extra special family treat.

Blast off to outer space in Florida

A family stare up in amazement at a rocket ship in a huge hanger at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Keeping to the ‘Space’ theme, what could be more adventurous than deep space explorations!? Rockets launch and inspiration begins at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex in Florida. One small step from Orlando, one giant step for your imagination! Creatively organised into mission zones, you and your family are invited to come face-to-face with space. Try your hand at astronaut training simulators and learn to pilot your very own shuttle. Or better yet, strap in for an exhilarating eight and a half minute take off and ascent into orbit – so realistic that astronauts have said it’s the closest thing to doing it for real! Once you’ve ‘arrived’ in space, get ready to experience life on board the International Space Station, including how to sleep, eat and exercise.

A bus tour will take the whole family behind the scenes to historic launch sites, where you’ll witness the size and scale of the actual Space Shuttle Atlantis! Immerse yourself in upcoming missions, as well as past and present NASA technology delightfully displayed in a mind-blowing hangar. View earth from outer space with the help of 3D films shown on huge IMAX screens, and get a taste of the out-of-this-world (literally) spectacle. Join the journey of humans and their quest to understand our universe, and who knows? Maybe your little ones will leave with a new dream job in mind…

Underwater worlds in Malta & Gozo

A deep sea diver in Malta floats above a shipwreck. Hundreds of fish swim around the diver.

From the deepness of space to the depths of the big blue, Earth’s underwater landscapes can be just as big of a mystery! Hailed as the mecca of the Mediterranean, Malta & Gozo both offer up enchanting aquatic adventures that cannot be missed. Watch in awe as rainbows of fish glide past in schools, and outlines of rugged wrecks are illuminated by sunlight. Crystal clear waters with visibility of up to 30 metres showcase the magnificent crevices and rock formations of this underwater paradise.

One of the most highly recommend adventures for first time divers is the Madonna and Arch. Relatively close to the surface in comparison to some of the other dives Gozo offers, this escapade will lead you to an eerie statue of the Madonna, surrounded by rugged rocks and beautiful reefs. Coral gardens create an underwater rainbow and you can expect to see a fantastical flurry of fish of all shapes and sizes. Barracudas are common in the area, as well as eels, octopus, stringray and bream.

If that seems out of your depth, you can still experience the world under the waves with the help of a snorkel, mask and flippers. Or how about an underwater safari? You won’t end up in deep water with this trip! A handy glass viewing keel does all the hard work, so you can sit back and relax as you watch from the comfort of the boat.

Fly through a forest in Dominican Republic

A young child wearing a safety helmet ziplines through the rainforest canopy in Dominican Republic

Gushing rivers, high altitudes, tropical rainforests, coastal views and panoramic vistas – what could make for a more memorable day out? The dramatic Dominican Republic is brimming with beautiful landscapes just waiting to be discovered. With a beating heart full of outdoor adventure, get back to nature in the best way – fly through the forest as a family! Ziplining is a popular pastime among visitors, so you’ll find a huge host of options to get your heart pumping. At Samaná you’ll find the longest (and scariest!) run in the country. Towering over the luscious hills of El Valle you can glide through the jungle in pairs, taking in the sights and sounds of this perfect piece of paradise. Here’s your chance to perfect your Tarzan call, or perhaps you’ll be too busy screaming? Once your feet are firmly back on the ground, make the most of this beautiful area and head to the beach.

Clue’s in the name with this next course, boasting both nature friendly and sustainable activities is the brilliant Bávaro Adventure Park. On top of zooming down ziplines, there’s plenty of adrenaline pumping shenanigans for thrill-seeking families! Between climbing, paintballing and mountain biking to name a few, there’s also an on-site Jurassic Park. 20 animatronic dinosaurs are looming in the luscious vegetation ready to surprise unsuspecting children! Monkey Jungle is home to seven ziplines and two suspension bridges, so you can count 4,200 feet of fast paced family fun. Journey into the jungle afterwards and let your little monkeys meet the real thing. The playful squirrel monkeys will even eat fresh fruit straight from your hand!

Time Travel in Mainland Greece

A famous theatre in Peloponnese. Considered a masterpiece of Greek architecture. Surrounded by mountains and luscious forests.

Adventure back in time and discover a world of magnificent medieval monuments, dramatic castles and titanic temples. A number of Greece’s most important ancient sites can be found in picturesque Peloponnese and historic Halkidiki. Wander around rugged ruins and walk in the footsteps of myth and legend.

Home to a staggering amount of stand-out archaeological sites, Peloponnese is peppered with must-sees! Cornith is found on a narrow stretch of land and is considered one of the most important cities in ancient Greece. Be sure to check out the Temple of Aphrodite, the Temple of Apollo and the Roman Forum. There’s also a sacred spring with a secret passageway nearby, which leads to a small shrine. Head south to Epidaurus and another ancient city, this one was built around the Shrine of Asklepios – the Greek god of medicine. Although it was a huge city (teeming with shrines and hospitals) it’s now famous for its Theatre, which is considered to be a masterpiece of Greek architecture. Dating back as far as the 4th Century, the Theatre’s acoustics are so astounding that even a whisper on stage would be heard throughout the 14,000 audience!

Over in the north east corner sits the three-pronged peninsular of Halkidiki. Despite being fairly isolated, there’s a wealth of unique sites and historic treasures from Byzantine and Roman periods to uncover. The remarkable ruins at Olynthos are steeped in mythology, where the town was allegedly built by Olynthos’ brother to honour him (after he was killed by a lion). The site is best known for the well-preserved mosaic floors. Stagira was home to a rather famous ancient Greek philosopher – Aristotle. Walk in his footsteps and retrace the pathways that weave throughout the spectacular scenery. Sitting pretty on a mountainous peninsula, ruins are scattered across the wooded hillsides.

Go for all-round-action-adventure in Madeira

Hiking above the clouds and across mountain tops in Madeira

If you and your family are after exhilarating and exciting moments close to nature, then look no further than the majestic island of Madeira. And what better way to get up close and personal with the natural world than by tackling a mountainous watercourse? Canyoning will take you through hidden gorges and wonderful waterfalls as you overcome obstacles and reach places that remain hidden to most travellers.

Different levels are available for all abilities, so anyone is able to enjoy this adventure of a lifetime! Walk, scramble, jump, climb, abseil and swim your way to off-the-beaten-track secrets and secluded beauty spots. Work together to overcome the elements and explore lush valleys, dramatic coastlines and rugged mountain ranges. Guaranteed unforgettable family time, will mum manage to stay on her feet? Will dad start showing off? You’ll only know if you take on the challenge!

Did something make it onto the family bucket list? There’s plenty more where that came from too, with Family Activity Holidays and Holiday Highs and Lows.

Emma Mackey

Emma Mackey is a Content Executive at James Villa Holidays.

To say I have an obsession with travel would be an understatement. Adventuring with my...

See all articles by Emma Mackey

See all articles by Emma Mackey


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