Top family destinations for the next school holidays

Family holiday ideas for the school holidays, with flights from Manchester Airport

Once upon a time the school holidays meant staying on UK soil, with windy beaches and sandy sandwiches, and a decent amount of drizzle. But times have changed, and taking the family abroad in the school holidays is no longer considered the life of luxury – in fact, with budget airlines and online offers, there are always deals to be done!

We’ve asked our travel experts which destinations trending right now for bargain family breaks – check out the top four family-friendly destinations for those wanting to jet off from Manchester Airport to somewhere sunny in the next school holidays.

1. Nice, France

For many years, Nice has enjoyed a reputation as a luxury destination for the rich, famous and fabulous. But today it’s thriving as a family resort, owing to its sunny Mediterranean climate, stunning beaches, and endless activities for children.

There are colourful and creative playgrounds around every corner, including the Promenade du Paillon, with a giant climbing whale, octopus swings, trampolines and a fishing treehouse. Not too far away you’ve also got the Parc des Deux Rois, with ping pong tables and shooting spouts of water for the kids to run around in. You’ve also got Parc Phoenix - a huge nature park of seven acres that houses stunning wildlife and over 2,000 animals, with everything from porcupines to Rainbow Boa snakes.

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2. Mytilene, Greece

The capital city of the Greek island of Lesbos, Mytilene, has a rich history and plenty of cultural places to visit, including the stunning Mytilene Castle, the Monastery of Saint Raphael, the archaeological museum, multiple art galleries and an ancient theatre.

Of course, an island in the Mediterranean is also rich in its abundance of watersports and boat trips, and there are countless companies offering snorkelling, kayaking, jet skiing, or sailing trips around the island. There’s the highly unusual Petrified Forest (don’t be put off by the name!). It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site that constitutes a fossilised ecosystem over 200 million years old, and can make for a fascinating day trip for curious children!

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3. Venice, Italy

Venice’s tourist reputation might be built on being the most romantic city in the world, but don’t rule it out as a family holiday destination. Vaporettos (slow-moving water buses in the Grand Canal) are great for families. Choose seats by a window or stay in the standing-only area in the open air for the best views.

You’ll find unbelievable gelato in Venice, but Gelateria Nico is a favourite with tourists and locals alike, having scooped gelato since 1935 in its stunning location on the Zattere waterfront. And while it’s true that Venice is a crazy maze of hidden alleyways, narrow streets and mini bridges, make the disorientation into an adventure with kids by letting them help with the map and lead the way to your next stop.

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4. Turkey

Turkey is a firm favourite for family holidays, thanks to its sun-drenched climate, golden beaches, excellent food, and countless affordable child-friendly package resorts and hotels. In Dalaman, kids will love exploring ancient ruins, visiting water parks, or taking a boat trip along the Dalyan River. Older children might like the adventure sports on offer, like waterskiing or paragliding, and there are endless blue-fag beaches for the little ones to splash about in.

In Izmir you can lose yourself in bustling city life, with ancient history, buzzing bazaars, beautiful beaches and plenty of shops and restaurants. It’s also home to a very unique and notable attraction, but look past the serious name - Nesin Mathematics Village. Initially set up by an academics professor as a place to share ideas, it now serves as a peaceful and escapist resort, and offers a number of creative summer workshops for kids.

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