September 19, 2019
Explore the wonders of Myanmar on a fun-packed family adventure. Arriving into Mandalay, discover the shining stupa of Kuthodaw Pagoda and visit local craft workshops, fly to Bagan to cycle around the famous temple complex and on to Inle Lake for a boat trip, elephant sanctuary visit and rural cooking class. Finally, visit Yangon and learn more about daily life in Myanmar on a township tour by train. Priced from £1,160 pp (£4,639 per family for four – based on two adults & two children under 12 sharing two rooms), including internal flights, private transfers, seven nights’ B&B, two lunches & guided excursions. International flights extra. Departs 19 Oct. Call AITO* member InsideAsia Tours on 0117 244 3380 (www.insideasiatours.com).
The 13th century village and fishing port of Mevagissey in south Cornwall will host its first ever Shanty Festival this year. It begins at 7pm on Friday 18 October and runs throughout Saturday, too. With over 20 shanty and a cappella groups from all over the UK, plus a Cornish Beer festival running alongside the event, it’s the perfect half term event for parents and children. Stay at Hillside (sleeps seven) in the heart of Mevagissey; a spacious house with a wood-burner, DVD player and PlayStation 3. Arriving Friday 18 October, a seven-night stay costs £124 pp (£863 total). Call holidaycottages.co.uk on 01237 459888 (www.holidaycottages.co.uk).
Spend October half-term getting your kids muddy in the great outdoors before winter takes hold. Base yourself at Bovey Castle, a five-AA Red Star hotel which is set in 275 acres with a deer park, golf course, tennis and spa facilities. For kids, Bovey Rangers activities (age 7-14; £35 per session) include archery, survival skills and camp-fire building. Younger children (age 3-7; £15 per hour) can build bug houses and take part in craft activities. There is also a daily falconry display on the hotel’s terrace. A night’s accommodation in a Junior State Room (two adults and two children sharing) costs from £352 per room. Valid 19 Oct-3 Nov. Call Bovey Castle on 01647 445 007 (www.boveycastle.com).
Just an hour by bullet train from Tokyo, HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is a luxury eco-hotel nestled in the heavily-forested Hoshino region. Power is provided both by hydroelectricity and geothermal energy from the rivers and hot springs. Families can go ice skating, horse-riding and spot flying squirrels; there is also a dumpling workshop for children. The adult-only spa has a relaxing onsen (hot spring bath) plus meditation classes and spa treatments. Stay overnight from ¥98,000/ £740 per room total (double room/room only), including train station transfer. Flights extra. Call HOSHINOYA Karuizawa on +81-50-3786-1144 (www.hoshinoya.com/karuizawa/en/).
With accommodation arranged over three levels and an independent studio on the lower ground floor, this contemporary five-bedroom villa (sleeps ten) is perfect for an extended family group, with spacious, open plan living, dining and kitchen areas. A walk away from the Kalamar beach club, one of Kalkan’s best beach clubs, Villa Kalamar offers stunning views across the Mediterranean bay from the pool area, which also benefits from a bar and stone-built barbeque. A week’s stay from 19 October is priced from £152 pp (£1,524 total), including maid service. Flights extra. Call CV Villas on 0207 261 5408 (www.cvvillas.com).
Families staying at Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa this half term will be provided with an assortment of items to enjoy on nearby Climping Beach, including collapsible silicone buckets, spades, fishing nets and a frisby. Discover the history and beauty of Arundel Castle and explore the 30 acres of private grounds surrounding the hotel, ideal for games including croquet, quoits and tennis. The cost is from £495 per night (two adults and two children sharing), including beach equipment to take home, entry to Arundel Castle, a bottle of Sussex Sparkling Wine, a three-course dinner per adult, £25 dinner allowance per child and full English breakfast. Valid until 1 Nov. Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
Bordered by Tuscany and Umbria, yet still one of Italy’s best-kept secrets, Le Marche is a region of rolling hills, historic towns and picturesque villages. For families seeking an educational escape, there’s art and culture in abundance, whilst a stay at the elegant 18th century palace of Castello di Monterado guarantees back-to-school boast-ability for children and adults alike. A four-night stay in a deluxe apartment during October half term costs from £1,598 for a family of four, including flights (Gatwick) to Bologna, car hire, accommodation with breakfast and the services of the Kirker Concierge. Call AITO* member Kirker on 020 7593 2283 (www.kirkerholidays.com).
The extraordinary natural playground of Gozo provides the perfect setting for a week of family fun this October. Activity-packed, the itinerary features a coastline boat trip with the chance to snorkel in the island’s clear waters, a climbing and abseiling morning, sea kayaking activity, the opportunity to explore Gozitan culture on an Eco Day and an afternoon spent at beautiful Ramla Bay Beach. This seven-night trip is priced from £1,505 per adult (aged 12+) / £1,405 per child (aged 6-11), including flights (London), seven nights’ B&B, three lunches, four dinners, activities listed and expert guides. Departs 19 October. Call AITO* member Activities Abroad on 01670 789 991 (www.activitiesabroad.com).
Set quietly above Kioni’s vibrant harbour, Costa’s House offers privacy and seclusion, while only 100 cobblestone steps away from the bustling waterfront. The small port, with cafes, restaurants and a mini market, is just a short walk to four small beaches, great for families with young children to access multiple times a day. Back at the villa, families can enjoy alfresco dining on the large patio, with incredible views across the Ionian Sea, where children will love spotting the boats mooring in the harbour. A week’s stay costs from £613 pp (four sharing), including flights (Gatwick) and transfers. Departs 19 Oct only. Call AITO* member GIC The Villa Collection on 020 8232 9780 (www.gicthevillacollection.com).
October is an ideal time to visit Greece – the sea is warm from the summer season, the temperature is cooler and there’s a higher chance of enjoying a secluded beach. Base yourself at Fiscardo Panorama in North Kefalonia; set on the hillside among luscious gardens, these apartments are ideal for exploring or simply relaxing by the pool and taking in the sweeping, panoramic views. Follow one of the walking trails around the rich Mediterranean countryside to take in more of the beautiful landscape. The price is from £489 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick) with 20kg luggage pp and transfers. Departs 19 Oct only. Call AITO* member Sunvil (020 8758 4758; www.sunvil.co.uk).
From monkeys to mangroves; immerse yourself in Costa Rican life on this 10-night taster tour. Sample local gastronomy in the charming capital San José, then journey through the country’s pristine ecosystems and witness all kinds of wildlife, ranging from Capuchin to Three-toed sloths. Waterfalls, volcanic craters, and thermal pools are all waiting to be discovered at Montana de Fuego Eco Resort and Spa before heading to the Nicoya Peninsula for relaxing beach time. Introduction to Costa Rica costs from £1,779 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick), transfers, eight nights’ B&B, some meals and excursions. Valid until 30 Nov. Book before 24 Sept. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4774 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
*AITO is The Specialist Travel Association: more than 120 specialist travel companies providing an unrivalled collection of holiday ideas that cover every corner of the world. Consumers booking with AITO can be assured of high-quality holidays and excellent personal service. Visit www.aito.com for further information.
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