The Best Destinations for Active Outdoor Family Holidays


An active outdoor family holiday involves engaging in recreational activities outdoors. Depending on the location and preferences, you and your kids can participate in various outdoor pursuits such as hiking, camping, kayaking, cycling, or skiing. These holidays prioritise physical well-being, adventures, and quality time outdoors, promoting family bonding and wellness. It offers opportunities to explore nature, disconnect from the hustle and bustle, and create lasting memories in some of the world’s most stunning natural environments.

Here are some of the best destinations for active outdoor family holidays.

  • Switzerland

Switzerland is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, so it’s no surprise that it’s considered a top destination for families seeking active holidays. Its pristine alpine scenery provides the ideal backdrop for bonding experiences and adrenaline-pumping escapades. 

Families fond of hiking can explore trails winding through picturesque valleys and ascending majestic peaks, such as the iconic Matterhorn or the Jungfrau region. Those into cycling can explore well-maintained cycling routes alongside tranquil lakes and quaint villages, perfect for discovering scenic landscapes and the local culture.

If your kids are fond of playing in the water, take them to one of Switzerland’s numerous lakes and rivers, where they can try kayaking, paddleboarding, or even scenic boat cruises. In winter, indulge in exhilarating snow sports like skiing, snowboarding, and sledging in world-renowned resorts like Zermatt and Verbier. 

Switzerland’s commitment to safety and infrastructure ensures you can enjoy outdoor adventures with peace of mind. Moreover, the country has an efficient transportation system for easy access to various outdoor hubs, making it convenient for families to explore multiple regions and engage in as many activities as possible.

  • The United Kingdom 

The United Kingdom’s diverse range of landscapes makes it an ideal destination for active outdoor family holidays. From rugged coastlines and rolling hills to ancient forests and tranquil lakes, there’s something for every family member to enjoy here. 

If you want to embark on exhilarating hikes, venture into scenic trails like the West Highland Way in Scotland or the Southwest Coast Path in England. For those seeking water-based activities, the UK’s coastline provides ample opportunities for surfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Inland, enjoy leisurely boat trips along picturesque rivers or try fishing in well-stocked lakes. Thrill-seekers can take to the skies with exhilarating activities like zip-lining or high ropes courses in various adventure parks.

The UK is perfect for those looking for glamping breaks in luxury cabins, offering a comfortable respite after all the outdoor adventures. These cosy retreats provide all the amenities of a hotel while surrounded by the stunning beauty of the natural surroundings. Whether stargazing from a hot tub or roasting marshmallows around a campfire, glamping breaks in the UK offer unforgettable experiences for families looking to reconnect with nature in style.

  • Borneo

Consider a trip to Borneo if you want to venture into some exotic destinations for your active outdoor family holiday. As the third-largest island in the world, it’s a playground for adventurous families, boasting diverse ecosystems, pristine rainforests, and stunning biodiversity. 

Embarking on unforgettable wildlife experiences is highly recommended for families. You can try orangutan trekking in places like Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah or the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre in Sarawak, allowing you to observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.

For adventurous spirits, Borneo provides thrilling opportunities for jungle trekking through dense rainforests, offering glimpses of exotic flora and fauna. Explore mesmerising cave systems, such as the Mulu Caves in Sarawak, home to one of the world’s largest cave chambers, or the Clearwater Cave System, where underground rivers and limestone formations create a surreal landscape.

Borneo is also renowned for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. Therefore, consider snorkelling or diving in the crystal-clear waters of Sipadan Island. You can also take river cruises along scenic waterways like the Kinabatangan River, which offers incredible opportunities for wildlife spotting.

You can also immerse in the local culture on your visit to Borneo. Explore indigenous tribe villages like the Iban in Sarawak or the Kadazan-Dusun in Sabah, experiencing their traditional customs and way of life. 

  • Nepal 

Nepal is renowned for being home to some of the world’s tallest mountains, making it a perfect destination for outdoor adventures. If you’re a family looking for adventurous trekking holidays, you should consider Nepal your next destination. Conquer iconic routes like the Annapurna Circuit or the Everest Base Camp trek. These trails offer spectacular views of towering peaks and lush valleys and provide opportunities to immerse in the local culture since you’ll encounter remote villages and interact with local communities during the trek.

Families seeking adrenaline-pumping experiences will find a plethora of outdoor activities in Nepal, from white-water rafting on the raging rivers of the Himalayas to paragliding over scenic valleys like Pokhara or mountain biking through rugged terrain with stunning vistas at every turn.

Nepal is also a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, where you can venture into the jungles of Chitwan or Bardia National Parks for thrilling safari experiences and encounter rare species like Bengal tigers and one-horned rhinoceroses.

  • Tanzania

Tanzania is renowned for its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife, offering an ideal playground for active outdoor family holidays. The country’s iconic natural wonders, such as Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti Plains, and the crystal-clear waters of Zanzibar’s beaches, lure adventurous families to explore and take on adventures. 

For wildlife lovers, embark on thrilling safaris in world-famous national parks like Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire, where you can witness the majestic Big Five and countless other species in their natural habitats.

Adventurous families seeking more active pursuits will find opportunities for hiking and trekking adventures in Tanzania. Families with older kids can climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. If you love to hike as a family, explore the lush rainforests of the Usambara Mountains or the Ngorongoro Highlands to discover hidden waterfalls and diverse flora and fauna.

Meanwhile, Tanzania’s coastline is brimming with water activities like snorkelling, diving, and sailing around the spice islands of Zanzibar and Mafia. Explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life or relax on pristine white-sand beaches.

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