Why go on a Family Holiday?
Embarking on a family adventure holiday can be the highlight of your year. And we believe cycling is the best way to do it. Think about it: cycling keeps the whole clan active and there are novel sights around every corner. Gone are the holidays where your little ones scuttle about exclaiming boredom or show only mild interest in culture. Due to pedalling about on a bike, you and the kids can feel even more immersed in a country’s landscape and lifestyle. Even better, embrace the freedom of being able to stop and explore en route, and move at your own pace.
Yet what about the routes, surely they will be too long for little legs? Quite the contrary. There are an abundance of easily accessible routes across the world that needn’t be longer than 20-30km. In fact, you’ll find that these routes are extremely quiet and flat, with ample culturally significant towns to discover. Again, the freedom of cycling means that you can choose the distances you cover so the kids don’t outdo themselves. Below we’ve listed our favourite destinations for family adventure holidays, from the Tulip fields of Holland to the temples of Thailand.
Back in the 1950’s the Dutch children rose up against the authorities after traffic fatalities and loss of playing space. It’s only right then that children everywhere experience the successful result of activism – 32,000km of traffic free cycle paths. If you’re imagining a cycle path on the roads of London, where the metre-wide space borders buses, think again. Rather in Holland, cycle paths are often well away from roads, winding into the tranquil countryside. In the cities, cycle paths are separated from roads with a grass or pavement buffer. Holland is truly owned by cyclists.
As a consequence of Holland’s vast national network of cycle paths, deciding which area suits your family can be tricky! We’ll give you a brief overview here, however if you want in depth information, check out our Holland blog post. In a nutshell, Amsterdam and the North West offer the favourites – tulips, culture and windmills. Central Holland weaves you through picturesque woodland and rivers along with windmills, which is perfect for nature lovers! Alternatively, scenes of Holland’s coast include kids jumping off sand dunes on a break from the bike. Finally, Friesland in Northern Holland provides a glimpse at the country’s hidden culture. Here you won’t find the Dutch language, but Frisian, which is more similar to English!
Whilst France may always be famous for the iconic Tour de France, there are pockets of cycling havens that don’t include hefty climbs. If you ask us, the Loire Valley and Provence are perfect for families, and even seasoned cyclists! Both destinations are actually fairly different, despite the traditional French undertone. The Loire Valley is famous for magnificent châteaus, particularly Château de Chambord. On top of that, the routes travel along the Loire River on the 800km dedicated cycle path. Picture peacefully flowing water reflecting the traditional architecture of elegant châteaus as you cycle amongst luscious woodland. Choose to move from town to town every night, and experience the culturally rich Orleans, Tours and Angers.
Likewise, you won’t be disappointed with the French architecture and traditional culture of Provence. Nestled between mountains and sea, Provence exudes charm. Quiet country lanes lead to gorgeous lavender fields that your kids will love, and hilltop towns that boast delicious cuisine and scenery. Towns in Provence paint a picture of France’s artistic history, especially Saint Remy, which inspired Vincent Van Gogh! A must do with adventurous children is Roussillon, where hiking trails wind you amongst ochre rock. The deep orange-red ochre rock is mesmerising, sculpted by wind storms and used to make non-toxic dye since prehistoric times.
So, you want to discover Italy’s culture by visiting all the interesting museums and landmarks the country has to offer. Yet standing in lines after lines of tourists with your kids doesn’t sound the most appealing. We get it. What if we told you that the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Santa Maria del Fiore aren’t the only ways to explore Italy’s culture? The areas in between, such as Certosa of Calci, and Vinci are full of culturally rich museums, as well as gorgeous quiet countryside. Best of all, you’ll find the tastiest pizza, pasta and gelato in these smaller towns and villages…
Consider cycling from Pisa to Florence, where you can experience the highlights of Italy, along with Tuscany’s hidden gems. Part of your route involves the Serchio cycle path, which is traffic free, and boasts unspoilt scenery. Lucca, a historic town near Pisa is practically an outdoor playground for kids, with plenty of beautiful gardens to explore. In particular, Villa Reale and Villa Grabau stand out as renaissance masterpieces. With regards to Tuscan accommodation, many options are set amongst vineyards and estates with swimming pools too. You’ll not want to leave!
New sights, smells, sounds and tastes for the curious mind. Welcome to Thailand. A lot of parents want their children to be exposed to a range of fascinating experiences, and we totally agree. At such a young age, children are constantly transforming sensory information into new concepts. Granted, a novel experience with a snail on your doorstep is very exciting as a kid. However, a wildly different culture brings about a wealth of new learning opportunities. During your cycling routes, you can explore temples, feed elephants and immerse your family into the Thai lifestyle.
Begin near Chiang Dao, a calm and earthy village surrounded by jungle and fruit orchards. On your first day of cycling, you can even choose to kayak down the Ping River to spot Water Buffalo! Each following day is filled to the brim with activities for the whole family to enjoy. Spot crystals in the Chiang Dao cave, take a dip in a hot spring, and learn how to plant rice. Don’t even get us started on the food. Munch on local cuisine in a floating restaurant, organic farm and even a ginger farm. For the ultimate magical family adventure holiday, Thailand sure doesn’t disappoint.
Want to embark on a family adventure holiday? Contact us, and we’ll put together the perfect cycling trip your whole family will love. Whether you’d like self-guided or guided, we’ve got your back.