A family trip is a golden opportunity to make lifelong memories that connect generations. It can be a challenge adjusting the pace to suit both young and old, but the secret is all in how you plan it.
If you want to keep everybody happy on your next family trip, then your itinerary has to include a bit of something for all ages and interests. Our top 3 destinations for pulling off magical family vacations are Italy, Portugal and Türkiye – these countries have it all, each in their own way.
Our main points of evaluation for a family trip are 1) ease of getting around, 2) cuisine, 3) accommodation options, and 4) variety of family activities.
Below you’ll find out the main attractions of each destination, and the differences between them, so you can discuss with your loved ones and see which place they choose.
Simply click on an overview of each itinerary below, then call us so we can customize the right trip just for your crew!
A continuous feast of crowd-pleasing food and beautiful historic centers.
No doubt about it, Italy is incredible, and a perennial favorite among families of all types. From region to region, you’ll find different places to explore that keep you coming back for more.
- Italy has a well-connected train system that makes it easy to get around and economical, not to mention fun for kids.
- Think beyond basic walking tours – try a gondola ride or kayaking on the Venetian canals, a golf cart tour of Rome, a day trip by Vespa into the Tuscan hills, biking the ancient Appian Way, or cruising the Amalfi Coast in a classic Fiat 500. And if you really love cars, you must visit Italy’s ‘Motor Valley’ in Emilia Romagna (home to Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, etc).
- In the Gulf of Naples and along the Amalfi Coast, it’s easy to get around by ferry to islands like Capri and Ischia, and your family can take a boat trip that includes time for swimming and snorkeling.
- It’s not hard getting your kids to eat their dinner in Italy! What child doesn’t love a classic pizza Margherita?
- There are so many fun options for cooking classes, including making gelato, pizza, various types of pasta, and tiramisu.
- For the adults, there are endless options for wine tours, as Italy has 20 different wine regions.
- Renting a villa with your family is one of our top suggestions for Italy! Tuscany and Umbria are great regions to do this. Or, you could be in the south around the Amalfi Coast or Puglia.
- The renovated cave hotels in Matera are quite romantic, but kids can also find it fun to stay. Be aware, the authentic cave rooms may not be a great option for family members with reduced mobility, as the lighting can be dim and the floors uneven.
- As Italy is so popular, you will have some competition for the best hotels during high season, especially in the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre, so this is one destination where it’s important to reserve early.
- The impressive Roman ruins are a major attraction for visitors of all ages. Kids can have fun pretending to be a gladiator for the day in Rome.
- The great thing about experiencing art in Italy is that the cities themselves are like open-air museums. You don’t have to be stuck inside a museum to be awed by the work of masters.
- When you do want to visit a museum with your kids, the Leonardo da Vinci Interactive Museum in Florence is a top pick. There are also great children’s museums in Milan (MUBA), Verona (CMV), and Rome (Explora).
- Don’t forget to book some hands-on workshops like making mosaics, ceramics or Venetian masks, in addition to pizza and gelato.
- Get out in nature with hiking trails in the Italian Alps and the northern lakes region.
- In the south, the beaches of Puglia on the Adriatic Coast are some of the best in Italy.
Let Us Customize this Trip : Family Vacation in Italy | Venice, Florence, Amalfi Coast, Rome
An entertaining mix of European culture and laidback beach vacation.
Portugal stands out for its expansive southern coastline of sandy beaches and outdoor adventures for families. The colorful culture is a feast for all the senses, while still remaining one of the more budget-friendly destinations in Europe.
- Even though Portugal has a great high-speed train network, the rates for private transfers are typically reasonable, especially for groups, and you get your own driver-guide to take you on a sightseeing route.
- The nostalgic trams of Lisbon are iconic, and also a fun way for families to get around. Ride route 15 from the city center out to Belem, or take the number 28 for a more comprehensive ride through the city’s highlights.
- In Porto, your kids will love a ride on the Gaia Cable Car, which spirits you across the Douro River on a very quick trip to reach the Vila Nova de Gaia riverfront district, where you’ll find port wine lodges and the huge new World of
Wine (WOW) Cultural District.
- Rent a car on the Algarve Coast so you have the freedom to explore its many relaxed towns and beaches.
- Boat trips are always a hit with families, and the Algarve region offers boat tours with dolphins and sea caves.
- Portugal’s cod and seafood specialties might not be a big hit with your kids, but the pastries could win them over! Each region has its own take on ‘convent sweets’ – traditionally made by the nuns, these confections can be custardy, creamy or pillowy. There are also savory pastries, meat-stuffed and deep-fried, called salgados.
- The whole family will enjoy a visit to the beautiful Douro Valley wine region, even those who don’t drink. In addition to wine tastings, you could visit an olive oil factory and take a boat ride on the Douro.
- Across Portugal, the beautifully-renovated historic accommodations known as Pousadas allow you to stay in luxury in unique settings like former convents or royal dwellings.
- In the Algarve, you can find coastal resorts set up like little villages providing you everything you could need for a dream family vacation under the sun.
- The beaches of southern Portugal are very family-friendly – swimming, boating, kayaking, watersports, and coastal hikes, it’s all there. Also in the Algarve region, golfing is very popular.
- Any soccer fans in your group will love visiting Portugal, as ‘football’ is a huge part of the culture. Get tickets for a game or a tour at Lisbon’s Benfica Stadium.
- Awaken your imagination at the fantastic fairytale palaces, castles and amazing gardens of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Trail hikes and off-road journeys are available.
- Even in the city, you can get out on the water with a rabelo boat ride on the Douro River in Porto or a sailboat ride on the Tagus River in Lisbon.
- Don’t forget to stop in at Livraria Lello, the famous bookstore in Porto that inspired J.K. Rowling when she was writing the Harry Potter series. Tickets are required.
Let Us Customize this Trip : Family-Friendly Southern Portugal | Lisbon, Algarve Coast
An exciting chance to adventure where the winds, literally, take you.
You’ve never seen a family vacation like this. Imagine going from the wonder and chaos of Istanbul’s bazaar and bustling Bosphorus waterway to the dream of sailing the Mediterranean on board your own private gulet, with a crew and guide there to take care of you at every step.
- In Türkiye, it’s reasonable to move from city to city by plane or private transfer. Turkish Airlines is one of the best in the world, so you’ll find excellent service and facilities, particularly at the Istanbul Airport.
- Your kids will love discovering Istanbul by ferry! There are also fun tram rides in the Karaköy and Kadıköy neighborhoods and the historic center.
- There is plenty of Mediterranean coastline for you to experience day trips by boat or an extended sailing trip on a traditional gulet yacht.
- Of course, the iconic hot air balloons of Cappadocia are a major draw for many visitors.
- Both your children and you can find new favorites among the exotic flavors of Turkish cuisine. Honey-sweet baklava, playful maraş ice cream, flavorful flatbreads, and Turkish meatballs like mini bunless burgers.
- Try a bowl of dumplings, mantı, a favorite of most Turkish children (order the sauce with garlic or without).
- Visit the country’s growing number of small-scale wineries around Urla, or even with a day trip from Istanbul.
- The good thing about Istanbul’s size is that it gives more accommodation choices to meet every need.
- The Turkish coast provides the opportunity to charter your family’s own private gulet - the lodging of a lifetime!
- Cappadocia’s cave hotels will delight your sense of wonder - imagine waking to a sky filled with colorful balloons and breakfast with a view over the ‘fairy chimneys’.
- Besides balloon rides, you can enjoy Cappadocia’s spectacular scenery and get some fresh air with ATV excursions, horseback riding or hiking among the unique geological formations.
- The Mediterranean coast provides chances for stunning day hikes on the Lycian Way.
- Let your kids get hands-on with fun workshops that teach the art of mosaic tiles, ceramic painting, or ebru paper art.
- Enjoy the crystal-clear sea and fun watersports in resort destinations like Bodrum and Antalya, or charming beach towns like Alaçatı, Fethiye, Datça and Kaş.
Let Us Customize this Trip : Summer Family Vacation | Istanbul, Ephesus, Gulet Yacht Charter