Getting everyone together on a family holiday is a pretty special treat. But with only one holiday and several people to please, you want to make sure you pick the right place. And who better to trust and take advice from than those with direct experience, the family travellers themselves. Here are 7 family destinations recommended by families – reported by Booking.com.
#1 Pokhara, Nepal
Resting in a valley alongside Phewa Lake, Pokhara is a peaceful city surrounded on all sides by the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. There’s something otherworldly about taking a boat ride across the lake, experiencing a kind of quiet that will take your breath away. Pokhara is also a gateway to much of Nepal’s best trekking and lots of family-friendly adventure activities.
#2 Port Douglas, Australia
A family visit to Port Douglas is something very special. In addition to the heavenly 4-mile beach, you’d be a fool to miss the once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the Great Barrier Reef – particularly given the rate at which it’s disappearing. The Reef is only an hour offshore from here and its fluorescent hues, varied species and swaying movement in the tide are mesmerizing.
#3 Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
Tasmania’s rugged wilderness will enthrall children; even just gazing on the remote landscape feels like an adventure. And Cradle Mountain is one of the island’s most treasured spots. Rising above Dove Lake, the mountain is composed of dolerite columns and surrounded by ancient rainforest and heathlands containing trees such as deciduous beech and Tasmanian snow gum. The view from the top is fantastic, but be prepared for quite a hike.
#4 Byron Bay, Australia
Even if you’re not into surfing, for which Byron Bay is famous, all age groups will fall in love with this unique beach town. A manifestation of the laid-back Aussie attitude, it’s hard not to get sucked into Byron Bay’s chilled out bubble. There are all sorts of activities to get stuck into or you can simply amble along the beautiful beach, through the rainforest board walk and up to the Victorian lighthouse at the most easterly point of the Australian mainland.
#5 Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap is known as the entry point for Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. A complex of Hindu temples of extraordinary symmetry, size and scale, it features thousands of exquisite carvings and is beautifully surreal in its misty jungle setting. In case younger children aren’t too sold on the idea of a temple visit, Angkor Wat’s status as the filming location of Tomb Raider should do the trick.
#6 Luang Prabang, Laos
This sleepy town on the confluence of the Mekong and Khan Rivers is a charming and family-friendly destination. Take a tuk tuk to the nearby Kuang Si Falls for a dip in the blissful turquoise water with rays of sunlight beaming through the lush green canopy. Or potter through the colourful night markets in the city’s main streets. Other highlights include kayaking trips, elephant camps, river cruises, Buddhist temples and delightfully fragrant local food.
#7 Nelson, New Zealand
A city on the South Island, Nelson prides itself on its creative culture and the claim that it’s the sunniest place in New Zealand. It’s also a base for the Abel Tasman National Park which boasts a range of awesome scenery. So whether you’d rather laze on a golden beach, explore the mountainous terrain or enjoy a gallery, there’s a great choice of options for all the family here.