There’s a hidden treasure in Europe that everyone with kids needs to know about – family friendly holiday vacation villages built to entertain families in high style. Think grand resort comes to the countryside – and the prices are outstanding!
For most of us the thought of visiting Europe with the kids in tow conjures visions of faces buried in tourist maps, schlepping between famous monuments, endless magnificent churches, countless museums and a castle or two. I suggest you throw a bit of frivolity into your family vacation to Europe with a stay at one of Europe’s family friendly vacation villages – also known as holiday villages, parcs and camps. There are hundreds of holiday villages scattered throughout Europe specifically designed for family vacation fun. Each village offers comfortable family style accommodations and is centered around an impressive water feature that provides nonstop entertainment within the park. Many have a covered ‘water world’ as well, so even on rainy days the fun doesn’t stop. There are kids clubs offering supervised activities based on age, sports facilities, golf, hiking, biking, zip lines, horseback riding, and a multitude of diversions based on area attractions. And did I mention the prices are less than you’d be paying at a city hotel? Here’s a look at three of Europe’s most popular holiday village developers.
Sunparks offer family friendly villa accommodations in holiday villages throughout the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France. Have you been hankering to visit Provence, St. Tropez and Cannes but thought it was an adults only vacation destination? You’ll be happy to know that you can rent a Sun Park villa for a week and bounce around the Riviera to your heart’s content. Be sure to check out their last minute specials, and great discounts offered to travelers age 55+ (up to 40% off)!
Center Parcs has established 17 impressive villages tucked into natural park landscapes throughout Europe. If your family loves spending time by a scenic lake surrounded by forest, these villages may be the perfect choice. Accommodations are in a bungalow or villa that feature cozy living rooms with fireplaces and floor to ceiling windows to bring the outdoors in. The villages offer a huge variety of sporting activities, ususally a “domed subtropical swimming paradise”, climbing walls and rope courses, imaginative playground structures, game rooms, golf, tennis, and a great variety of restaurants and shops. Wouldn’t your kids just love to play Robin Hood and his merry men at this Parc in Sherwood Forest? Have a look at their photo slide show – it’s amazing! Sherwood Forest Center Parc
Eurocamp is not just about camping (although you may go gaga over their 3 bedroom tents!), they also offer stays in a variety of bungalows and holiday homes. This is a large operation with 160 camp developments in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and more. Eurocamps are like huge nature resorts offering every entertainment imaginable for family fun. Their goal is to provide a setting where families can “play in safety from dawn til dusk”. Imagine spending a week at a fabulous vacation village perched at the edge of Lake Garda in the Italian lakes district – it’s very appropriately named “Eden”!
So the next time you’re planning an excursion over to Europe, investigate a stay at a ‘vacation village’. Your entire family will relax and enjoy new experiences together while meeting fellow vacationers from across Europe. Since these villages are marketed extensively in the UK, English is widely spoken. Be sure to read the descriptions of the accommodations carefully as definitions of a “bungalow” vary widely between companies and locations. We think you’ll find the pricing irresistible – many in the $500 per week range for a villa that accommodates a family of four. And remember, this is where all of Europe goes to take their summer vacation, so if you’ll be traveling in July and August, you’ll have plenty of company!