Thermal waters and late-night pizzas in Lake Garda

We swam in all places in Lake Garda, easing into its fabulously heat waters on sun-baked seashores to the west, or charging off piers in impossibly picturesque cities to the east, with bellies stuffed with huge ice-creams.

Mae had simply hit her teenagers and liked the novelty of late-night eating in still-warm streets, each night bringing a brand new fashion or flavour of pizza because the solar set over the rugged mountains ringing the lake.

We have been staying in a cellular dwelling at an unlimited vacation camp to the south that had three enormous swimming pools of its personal and prolonged waterslides, providing a high-energy begin to the day, in addition to a number of children of all nationalities.

The spotlight was the journey to close by Sirmione, constructed on a peninsula with a medieval fortress at its centre, a seashore on its tip and bougainvillea in all places. The ice-creams have been huge – a vital solution to quiet down after spending too lengthy within the thermal currents streaming into the lake, one other thrilling novelty.

We’ve had nice holidays since, however Lake Garda simply labored, from morning until lights out.

This summer time Mae’s talked us into going to Greece so she will drift round a stunning island within the solar, plunging into turquoise seas, mendacity about on white-sand seashores and ingesting mocktails in sun shades. Extra Mamma Mia! than Love Island, we hope.
Andrew Gilchrist

Pool volleyball and ice-cream in Mallorca

Valldemossa harbour.
Valldemossa harbour. {Photograph}: Japhotos/Alamy

Ten days in Mallorca is my tried-and-tested system for a vacation with youngsters. It has the picturesque mellow attraction that fortysomethings like me crave, however sufficient Instagrammable pool inflatables and buzzy eating places to maintain teenagers from becoming bored. Tick “wifi” and “pool” as must-haves on Airbnb and discover someplace inside strolling distance of a city or village: teen independence will assist with household concord.

In 2019, when my children have been 16 and 13, we rented a home with buddies a few miles’ hike alongside an outdated donkey observe from the village of Valldemossa. The warmth of the day was too scorching for something however studying within the shade (me) and pool volleyball (not me), however within the mornings and evenings that dusty donkey observe gave the kids entry to the city sq. with its ice-cream parlour and stalls promoting friendship bracelets.

On the opposite facet of the island, the cities of Pollensa and seaside Puerto Pollensa have given us pretty holidays in earlier years. Wherever you stay, ebook a late lunch at Ca’s Patró March close to Deià, and take swimsuits: after paella, you’ll be able to sip hierbas (aniseed-flavoured liqueur) on ice whereas watching your teenagers take turns leaping off rocks into the crystal-clear sea. Perfection.

This summer time For a post-pandemic change, we’re going to discover the Peloponnese and the Greek island of Hydra. It has no roads and no vehicles – apparently, you’ll be able to rent a donkey to hold your baggage from the port to your lodging – which I determine should make it explorable with out a automotive, proper?
Jess Cartner-Morley

Browsing and tenting in Biarritz, France

Nancy and Lola in campsite in Bidart Tracey Davies and teenager children on holiday in Biarittz for Travel
Tracey Davies’s twin daughters – each eager bodyboarders – in Biarritz. {Photograph}: Tracey Davies

Since my youngsters have been nippers, my go-to “simple” household vacation has been tenting in France. When Angus was 18 and his twin sisters, Nancy and Lola, have been 14, we piled into my Bongo camper and snaked down France’s Atlantic coast to Biarritz. The gorgeous belle époque resort is the surf capital of Europe and you may’t transfer for surf faculties and salt-flecked seashore bums in Fats Willy’s T-shirts. The kids have been of their ingredient. We stayed at Le Ruisseau des Pyrenees (pitch from €24), a big, trendy campsite surrounded by woodland however solely 10 minutes’ drive from Biarritz and the surf seashores.

Over the week we sampled all of them. Plage de Bidart was deemed one of the best for enthusiastic bodyboarders like me and the ladies, whereas Angus, a correct surfer, nailed the waves off Grande Plage and Plage de la Côte des Basques. Once we weren’t browsing, we nipped throughout the Spanish border to San Sebastián and hopped out and in of pintxos bars. It was most likely our most profitable vacation so far.

This summer time Our subsequent journey is to Rome to have a good time the top of the twins’ GCSEs. We wish to see the Colosseum by moonlight, hang around on the Trevi fountain and eat as a lot pizza and gelato as our belts can deal with.
Tracey Davies

E-scootering and road events in Lisbon

Lisbon funicular
Lisbon proved a giant hit for Robert Penn’s daughter and her pal. {Photograph}: miniloc/Getty Photographs

Residing within the hills in rural Wales, my 17-year-old daughter hankers after the glitz and champagne of metropolitan life. Earlier this 12 months, we tried to satiate that craving with a visit to Lisbon. Our oldest son was residing in Portugal’s Metropolis of Mild, so we had inside intelligence earlier than we booked.

On arrival, my daughter and her pal went on a three-hour e-bike tour with an English-speaking information. They zipped previous the most important landmarks and, critically, climbed the seven hills of Lisbon. It was a masterstroke as a result of they received their bearings instantly: they then took the long-lasting trams, buses and their favorite e-scooters out and in of the completely different bairros or neighbourhoods for 5 days on their very own, and by no means received misplaced.

They discovered Instagrammable outlets, cafes in tiny sunlit squares for espresso and pastéis de nata, and their very own favorite spot for brunch (sitting exterior Café Janis); on Friday evening, they wandered by way of the weekly road get together within the labyrinthine district of Bairro Alto, the place revellers spill out of the warren of tiny bars to bounce on cobblestone streets. Lisbon has a youthful, accessible and gregarious atmosphere that put us dad and mom comfortable. I’d be much less snug watching my daughter and buddies swan off round, say, Barcelona, Paris or Rome. Maybe better of all, we didn’t have to pull the ladies across the National Tile Museum.

This summer time None of my three youngsters will decide to approaching vacation with us: it’s a brand new period. We’ve booked a cottage on the Ceredigion coast and we’ll see if anybody turns up.
Robert Penn

Mountain climbing the Dalesway from Ilkley to Windermere

Kevin Rushby took his teenage son Conor on a huge hike across northern England.
Kevin Rushby took his teenage son Conor on an enormous hike throughout northern England. {Photograph}: Kevin Rushby

I can not recall how we selected the Dalesway as our journey: an 80-mile footpath that winds from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, by way of the Dales and Howgill Fells to finish at Windermere within the Lakes. I believed Conor (16 on the time) would love the problem, and the pubs. I favored that he was now robust sufficient to hold his personal equipment.

I’d travelled with all my children from once they have been infants: Conor had been to Bali when he was 4 – weeks, that’s. With youngsters you take pleasure in their firm, however welcome the second they go to sleep and go away you in peace. With youngsters, that relationship involves an finish.

You will be journey companions. They will see the facet of you that was beforehand hidden within the house between bedtimes. Let’s hope they prefer it.

It was solely by probability that we selected to go within the depths of a very savage winter. The times have been quick and the puddles all the time onerous with ice, however that made it a problem. A number of the evening stopovers have been great: I bear in mind Conor having an extended dialogue about purple squirrels and otters with the then homeowners of Nethergill Farm (which continues to be offering shelter and sustenance to walkers).

Cell phones are extra ubiquitous now, which could preempt such moments – I’d be tempted to depart them behind. The pubs in Dent and Kendal met together with his approval, as did being handed a considerable packed lunch each morning. (Ranking them turned a factor – Stone Close B&B in Dent was victorious.)

Someplace within the Lune valley I received acute tendinitis in my ankle and Conor needed to carry my bag too, whereas I hobbled alongside. If we began as dad or mum and youngster, we actually completed as companions.

This summer time Conor is an grownup residing in Berlin now, however we’ll be assembly for a biking journey in Scandinavia in July, then going to stick with a pal in Copenhagen.
Kevin Rushby

Bizarre wonders and steam-powered drinks in Germany

The summit and transmitters of the Brocken in eastern Germany.
Marcel Theroux’s son wished to go ‘someplace bizarre’. So Brocken within the Harz mountains fitted the invoice completely. {Photograph}: KI Pictures/Alamy

I used to be tasked with getting my son out of the home this Easter whereas my spouse was busy at work and my daughter was revising for GCSEs. He had simply turned 14. He loathes sizzling climate and once I requested him the place he’d prefer to go, he mentioned “someplace bizarre”.

I took him to the Harz mountains of Saxony-Anhalt in jap Germany. I had been earlier than and actually favored it. The panorama is nice: wooded mountains, spooky gorges, and dashing streams. A narrow-gauge steam practice chugs as much as the summit of the Brocken, the place witches are supposed to assemble on Walpurgisnacht on 30 April. We noticed no witches, however the summit was coated in snow. The area additionally has fairly, half-timbered cities, nice cake, schnitzel – who doesn’t like schnitzel? – and the eerie legacy of communism.

The DDR museum in Thale preserves a few of the flavour of that misplaced Soviet world. On our final evening, we stayed at a steam-train themed hotel in Wernigerode (doubles from €94.50), the place a tiny practice delivers the drinks within the restaurant. My son was gratifyingly amazed when it introduced his gentle drink to our desk.

It was an ideal and memorable journey – extra due to the sense of togetherness than any particular exercise. As each dad or mum of a teen is aware of, the moments of camaraderie are valuable.

This summer time After two years of disrupted journey, we’re planning to go, lastly, to the US east coast to see household. I hope my children haven’t grown out of swimming within the sea and mini golf. My daughter has made it clear that her high precedence is visiting thrift shops.
Marcel Theroux

Mountain adventures in Austria

Lermoos in the Austrian Tirol.
Lermoos within the Austrian alps proved preferrred for Harriet Inexperienced and her daughter. {Photograph}: wingmar/Getty Photographs

We purchased mountaineering boots for eight-year-old Nancy on the opening evening of the 2012 London Olympics, because the Purple Arrows have been taking pictures previous the procuring centre. The following day, we flew to Innsbruck the place she developed a love of the Austrian mountains that continued all through her teenagers.

Greatest generally known as a full of life ski resort, the city of Soelden, within the Tirolean valley of Ötztal, is reworked by summer time right into a pure paradise. On that first go to, Nancy was obsessive about the Sound of Music – and the hills actually felt alive: flowers in all places, snow nonetheless atop the peaks, cowbells, scything within the fields, schnitzel and strudel.

Within the clear air and with a waterfall, dramatic peak or hidden lake for swimming at each flip, Nancy walked cheerfully daily. We have now returned many occasions since, with the actions evolving as she’s grown older. Virtually all open air and lively, these proved the proper antidote to the screens and stress of teenage life.

On our first journey we visited the museum devoted to Ötzi (the prehistoric “iceman” discovered frozen on a mountain in 1991), a chicken of prey park, and the tucked-away Piburger lake to swim.

Later, we employed a information for harder mountaineering into larger mountains, went mountain biking and found zipwires and rafting on the adrenaline-filled journey park, Area 47. Profiting from the largely empty cable-cars and chairlifts used within the ski season, we zig-zag across the mountains to eat at Ice Q, the glamorous mountain-top restaurant seen within the James Bond movie Spectre, or at timbered inns serving hearty breakfasts and lunches – our favorite is Gampe Thaya, the place oompah bands play. We love the thermal spas of the Aqua Dome and the in depth community of saunas on the Das Central hotel.

This summer time Having completed her A-levels, Nancy is spending a lot of it travelling with buddies, however I’m decided to seize a couple of valuable days along with her earlier than college begins.Her first request – post-pandemic, post-exams – was “please take me again to Austria”.
Harriet Inexperienced

Absorbing the traditional magic in Fez medina

The Fez medina.
The Fez medina. {Photograph}: Jan Wlodarczyk/Alamy

When Tess was 5 she and I spent a month travelling round Cambodia and Vietnam, and after that she was by no means totally glad with a plain outdated bucket-and-spade vacation. In Fez, we discovered the best compromise. The long-haul expertise with out the drama, the jabs or the visas; the proper mix of the unique and the acquainted.

Now that she’s 15, we’ve been sufficient occasions that she’s made a neighborhood pal – who teaches her to talk Darija – and she will strike off into the beautiful souk on her personal to seek out trinkets for her buddies. She is aware of that when she inevitably will get misplaced, she ought to head to the magical Café Clock, and order herself one in all their justifiably famend camel burgers whereas she waits for me.

She’s additionally an enormous fan of being scrubbed uncooked within the Riad Laaroussa hammam. Not me, I’ll be below an orange tree within the courtyard with a mint tea.

This summer time Neither of us has been to New York however this could be the 12 months. I’m dreaming of the pierced skyline, MoMA, Central Park and a Katz Reuben sandwich, however Tess desires to see “that big Christmas tree they’ve”. Essentially the most intrepid of teenagers is a giant child at coronary heart.
Sally Davies

Teaming up with different teenagers in Cornwall

Perranporth proved successful for Jane Anderson and household. {Photograph}: Jane Anderson

As mum of Scarlett, 18, and Fin, 15, I’ve discovered that one factor is assured to maintain youngsters amused on vacation, and that’s different youngsters. We’ve had many enjoyable getaways as a household of 4, from the Maldives to Turkey, but irrespective of how unique, there’s all the time this nagging feeling that they’d a lot moderately be with their buddies. The answer, in fact, is to group up with one other household with teenagers. We did simply this throughout February half-term in Cornwall, staying in Sea Spray (from £1,170 per week), a home excessive above Perranporth’s epic dunes, with loads of house for eight of us. What may have simply been a moist squib as we contended with Storms Dudley and Eunice, changed into a joyous mixture of swimming in sea swimming pools hewn out of the rock (the ocean was means too tough), the kids (who met at nursery) hanging out within the out of doors sizzling tub, dancing around the kitchen getting ready dinner, and watching movies with the woodburning fireplace roaring. Good for all ages.

This summer time Cornwall was so successful we’re all off to a villa in a village in Languedoc this summer time, with solar changing the storms. It looks like a final hurrah, as the ladies are off to school in September.
Jane Anderson

Tenting, food-tasting and wild swimming within the Sussex hills

Woodfire Camping site
Woodfire Tenting web site

It was the summer time earlier than GCSEs and our daughter pictured one thing luxe and lazy earlier than being confined to a research cell for the remainder of the 12 months. There could be a villa, a plunge pool, a constant tanning temperature, and, most significantly, a posse of buddies. What she needed to accept was a watered-down model of the teenager dream – it being between lockdowns and topic to the vagaries of the English summer time.

However in all different respects, per week’s tenting within the Sussex countryside couldn’t have labored out any higher. (I do know. We’re nonetheless questioning how we received away with it.)

It helped that the campsite was above and past – Woodfire Camping (pitches from £19.50 adults, £9 youngsters) within the hills above Petworth serves up bacon-and-egg sarnies of a morning, scrumptious meals from the firepit within the night, and so they even placed on a food-tasting occasion with exterior cooks one evening. Higher but, they rent out ready-pitched tents (£36 adults, £12 youngsters 3-18) and agreed to my daughter’s calls for that she and her 4 buddies may very well be camped on the reverse finish of the sphere to her dad and mom and their buddies.

As an alternative of a plunge pool, the ladies received to swim within the river, they took the bus to West Wittering to sunbathe on the seashore, and so they spent lazy days hiding within the lengthy grass listening to music and dozing. We barely noticed all of them week, however we may faintly hear them singing and guffawing away with one another within the night.

This summer time We’re heading to Kefalonia for the luxe-light and lazy possibility. An house on the seashore with a pool and a constant tanning temperature.
Andy Pietrasik


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