What could be more awesome than a family adventure vacation? Spending time hiking, cycling, or boating through the most gorgeous destinations in the world, camping or staying at rustic inns, and enjoying all that the great outdoors has to offer!
Family wellness travel can be a GREAT bonding activity (once you get past all the “he pushed me” and “she’s staring at me” and “they’re bothering me” that kids never seem to run out of!). Europe is home to some amazing destinations for wellness travel for families, and we’ve got a few of the best listed below.
When most people think of France, their mind usually heads toward Paris, the Eiffel Tower, baguettes, cheese, and wine. All good and well!
But did you know that France is home to some amazing outdoor adventures? For example:
- Cycling through the hills of Provence. The French region of Provence is home to gorgeous hamlets and villages, rolling hills, and cute country roads. You can see some amazing sights, including Roman aqueducts dating back thousands of years.
- Skiing in Rhone-Alpes. On the border between Switzerland and France, this is one of the best skiing areas in the world. Skiiers can try the slopes of Mont Blanc or the Gorges de L’Ardeche, home to some of the largest winter Olympic events. (Hikers and rock climbers welcome!)
- Rafting and kayaking in Midi-Pyrenees. This region is not as popular as other areas in France, making it the perfect family wellness travel destination. Fewer tourists, more outdoor activities in the form of water sports. Plus, hikers LOVE the hills in the region.
Stay far away from the stuffy, crowded cities, and see all the French countryside has to offer!
Yes, there is plenty of pizza and pasta here, but that is not all Italy has to offer. It’s home to plenty of awesome adventures to consider–when not stuffing your face with delicious Italian food, of course.
- Stroll or cycle the Tuscan countryside. Tuscany is one of the most beautiful regions in Europe, with olive groves, cypress trees, and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. If you are looking for an escape from the winter chill, then Tuscany is the place for you.
- Water sports on Lake Como. Lake Como is home to some amazing water sport opportunities, such as hydroplaning, windsurfing, kite surfing, water skiing, and sailing.
- Hiking in the Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta region. This region is one of the best places to hike the Italian countryside, but skiers can find plenty of slopes as well. The Langhe and Monferrato areas are an amazing place to visit the world-renowned wineries of Italy.
United Kingdom and Ireland
Tired of visiting the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and all the other amazing British tourist spots? Why not try a bit of family wellness travel to one of these amazing destinations in the UK:
- Climbing the Scottish Highlands. Wander past castles hundreds of years old, cycle through purple heather-covered hills, and take in the natural beauty of the Scottish highlands as a family. For an outdoor vacation far away from people and noise, this is the destination of choice!
- Riding horses to The Gap of Dunloe. Killarney’s purple mountains are a fascinating destination, and you will love the horseback tour through the region. You can always walk it on foot to visit the gorgeous, crystal blue lake, which you can cross in your own rowboat.
If you want to enjoy the great outdoors without dealing with the heat of Southern Europe, you will love the UK and Ireland.
For a real family challenge, it’s time to hit the icy slopes and tundras of Scandinavia, one of the most gorgeous regions in the world! These countries (Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) may not be the most popular tourist destinations (thanks to the chill), but there are plenty of awesome things to see and do.
- Explore Iceland. It’s hard to believe that you can climb an active volcano, travel hot lava fields, take a dip in blue hot springs, and hike across a dazzling glacier all in the same place, but that’s Iceland for you!
- Snow sports in Northern Norway. Explore a region 200 miles into the Arctic Circle, as near to the North Pole as it gets! The Lygen Alps of Norway are home to epic skiing slopes, dog sledding, and trekking with (that’s right) reindeer! Best of all, you can finish off the family experience with the breathtaking Northern Lights–nature’s best light show.
Europe is home to amazing opportunities for wellness travel for families, so take advantage of these destinations on your next holiday!
Which of these activities would your family enjoy most?
Andy Peloquin is a travel writer, fitness enthusiast and martial artist. You can LIKE him on FaceBook.