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Six destinations for a short-haul family adventure

Updated: May 14

With the summer school holidays fast approaching, we thought we would share some inspiration from our DMC partners on the latest news and trends in family travel that you may want to consider in your future portfolio.

Our company founder, Mark Wright developed scores of family adventure holidays when he was running The Adventure Company and Families Worldwide and tested itineraries out on his lucky kids! And our Client Services Director, Lucy Palmer has also travelled across five continents with her children (now aged 11 and 12), so at The Adventure Connection, we know exactly what works when you are planning a family itinerary (and more importantly, what doesn’t).

We present you our top picks for short-haul destinations offering the best opportunities for action-packed itineraries for the entire family. As with all the companies we represent, the focus is on sustainable, exciting and immersive adventures that will create memories to last a lifetime.

1. Get the best coastal and aquatic experiences in the Azores

The Azores are a fantastic destination for memorable family adventures due to its stunning natural beauty, safe outdoor activities and family-friendly attractions. Futurismo Azores Adventures are resourceful specialists in developing family-friendly sea and land-based activities throughout the islands.

You can fully trust them for the local highlight experiences, such as visiting the breathtaking twin lakes of Sete Cidades, swimming with dolphins in Ponta Delgada or embarking on a family-friendly hike to the summit of Mount Pico. They also offer off-the-beaten-track experiences, such as visiting the lesser-known islands of Flores and Corvo, which are hidden gems for families seeking more intimate settings and a truly unique and immersive adventure.

2. Discover the hidden gems of Madeira

Dramatic Madeira is another fantastic year-round destination for families due to its accessibility, diverse landscapes, mild climate and range of exciting activities. It has an unfair reputation for being an older person’s destination, but all ages will love hiking alongside jungly levadas, swimming in natural lava pools, whizzing down a mountain in a wicker toboggan and spotting whales and wild dolphins on a boat trip. Thrill seekers can also get their kicks by canyoning, mountain biking and paragliding.

DMC Madeira is one of the oldest and most well-established local tour companies on the island, offering great ideas for unique itineraries exploring both the highlights and the little-known corners of the island. Ask them about the fantastic Christmas markets in Funchal - a magical alternative to overpriced Lapland visits (and you can wear shorts in December!)

3. Go active in Greece

Besides beautiful beaches, great cuisine and fascinating history, Greece also boasts numerous lakes, rivers and mountains making it a long-standing, year-round favourite for family adventures.

Betis Travel are passionate about creating itineraries that explore Greece through the eyes of a local. Smaller kids will love to feed the goats and see how they make cheese on a rural farm, whilst teenagers might like an urban graffiti tour incorporated into a cultural Athens itinerary. More active adventures include horse riding to the beach on Evia Island, trekking in stunning Cretan mountains or swimming with marine biologists in the Aegean Sea.

4. Get the best activity mix in Croatia

Shiny Croatia offers an array of exciting activities for the whole family. It is a perfect destination for multi-activity holidays, including experiences like river rafting on the Cetina River, walking among the Plitvice Lakes and sea kayaking along the beautiful Dalmatian coastline.

Based in Dubrovnik, Outdoor Croatia are specialists in sea-kayaking, cycling, walking and multi-activity holidays across the country. They will take your clients off the beaten track and into the ‘real’ Croatia, where the possibilities for memorable family adventures are endless.

5. Discover the diversity of Morocco

Morocco is known for its warm and welcoming culture and is an exciting and exotic short-haul family destination. Kids will be thrilled to ride a camel and go sandboarding in the desert and the curious parents will marvel at the local history, architecture and cuisine.

With Amazing Morocco, clients can immerse themselves (and their little ones!) in Morocco's exotic culture and diverse landscapes. They offer a good balance of must-see highlights, culture, exclusive activities, adventurous experiences, comfort and service.

6. Immerse yourself in Jordan

Jordan will spark a sense of adventure and wanderlust in both the adults and the youngsters. From exploring the ancient city of Petra, to riding a camel in Wadi Rum and floating in the waters of the Dead Sea, the country offers unforgettable experiences for all ages.

GAT Adventures is a local DMC specialising in adventure tours with an emphasis on activities and maximum interaction with the local people. They also offer exceptional walking, cycling and canyoning itineraries, perfectly suitable for all ages.

If you're feeling inspired and spotted an experience or a DMC of interest, please get in contact for more information:

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