07/05/2014 08:29 BST | Updated 05/05/2017 15:03 BST

Five Family Adventure Holidays in Europe

Aleksander Rubtsov via Getty Images

If you want to take the kids to Europe this summer, but don't fancy the idea of spending all day at a crowded noisy pool, how about trying something different? These new and exciting family adventures are packed with action and at the time of publication were all available to book during the school summer holidays.

Cycling in Catalonia

Two wheels are the way to go on this family cycling holiday exploring the rural landscapes, medieval villages and secluded beaches of southeast Spain. Your luggage is transported from hotel to hotel each day as you meander at your own pace along quiet back roads, country lanes and dedicated cycle tracks. Accommodation is in two family-friendly agroturismos and one seaside hotel, each with a pool, while highlights include the Gala-Dalí castle museum, the Toy Museum at Figueres and an ostrich farm en route to Vulpellac.

How much? The six-night Bikes, Back Roads & Beaches self-guided cycling trip from Inntravel costs from £2,135 for a family of four with half board accommodation, luggage transfers, route maps and notes and bicycle hire. Deduct £65 per person for a child on a trailgator or tag-along (maximum age eight years old).


Photo: Corsican Places

Trek with a donkey in Corsica

One of the Mediterranean's most beautiful islands, Corsica has everything from pine forests and jagged mountains to ancient citadels and plummeting sea cliffs. This self-guided walking holiday - designed with younger children in mind - is the perfect way for families to discover the island's heritage, culture, local cuisine and hidden hamlets. You'll hit the trail with your very own donkey - a friendly and faithful four-legged friend who travels with you every day, carrying your bags ... and tired children if necessary.

How much? Departing every Sunday in July and August, the eight-day Donkey Trekking for Families from Corsican Places costs from £1,257 per adult and £1,207 per child, including accommodation, breakfasts, some additional meals, transfers, maps and route notes.

Sail on a gulet in Turkey

Imagine sailing along Turkey's Lycian Coast, dropping anchor off a deserted beach, paddling a kayak ashore or taking a dip with a mask and snorkel. A family cruise aboard a fully-crewed traditional sailing boat, known as a gulet, also provides opportunities for expert-guided tours of the ancient cities that line this timeless coast. You'll even be able to snorkel over sunken harbours. The gulets themselves have good-size cabins and plenty of deck space for sunbathing or stargazing.

How much? Departing 12 July, the eight-day Cruising Western Lycia holiday from Peter Sommer Travels costs £2,275 per adult and £2,150 per child (up to 12 years of age), full-board accommodation on the gulet, airport transfers and archaeological excursions.


Photo: Peter Sommer Travels

Mountain adventure in Slovenia

A small but perfectly formed patchwork of alpine peaks, pristine lakes and ancient forests, Slovenia is a great destination for a family adventure holiday in summer - particularly if you and the kids like to try out lots of activities. Staying in a friendly, family-owned hotel tucked into the beautiful Soca Valley of the Julian Alps, you'll be able to sample pulse-racing activities such as exploration trekking, high ropes, canyoning, abseiling and white water rafting - all under expert tuition.

How much? Departing July and August, the seven-night Julian Alps Activity Week from Activities Abroad costs from £1,145 per adult and £1,045 per child, including B&B accommodation, five lunches, three dinners, all activities, equipment, tuition, flights and transfers.

Summer activities in the French Alps

The snow has melted, the ski lifts are closed and the pistes are smothered in flowers. Summer is coming and it's time to head for the mountains! With spectacular scenery, clean air, comfortable temperatures and healthy outdoor activities, the Savoie Alps are a superb family summer holiday destination. Adventures can be as dramatic or gentle as you like, from white water rafting, tandem paragliding and zip-wiring to guided walks and picnics on high meadows.

How much? A week's holiday in Belle Plagne with Esprit Sun costs from £1,696 (departing 9 July) and £1,999 (departing 16 July) for a family of four with two children under 12 years old, including return flights from Gatwick, transfers, seven nights' half-board family accommodation in Chalet Hotel des Deux Domaines, free packed lunches and soft drinks.