If you’re the planner-in-chief for an active family like I am, you know it’s a ton of work. A ton of work for which you won’t get much sympathy from anyone.
What you need is a shortcut, like the newly published Smart Parents’ Guide to Family Adventure Vacations, a great source of been-there-done-that ideas of where to travel this year with your kids. We’ve asked all our sponsors to tell us about their best and most popular family trips, starting with the company that pretty much invented active travel: Backroads.
Whether you’re booking, plotting, or just daydreaming (and doesn’t it always start that way?), you’ll find plenty on this list to pin, forward, or bookmark.
1. Brittany & Normandy Biking: From D-Day Landmarks to the Emerald Coast
Families will visit colorful villages, bike to legendary beaches and explore the magical island monastery of Mont-St-Michel. Along the way, kids can go horseback riding, get a hands-on lesson in the art of glass blowing and chat with a local historian
2. Czech Republic & Austria Biking: Bohemian Knights & Danube Castles
Fairy-tale castles on the horizon. Ancient cobblestones beneath frolicking feet. The Danube River, a fascinating falconry show and a theatrical sword-fighting demo performed exclusively for Backroads guests. And a trove of lifetime family memories!
3. Iceland Multisport: Nature, Culture & Adventure at the Edge of the Arctic Circle
Glaciers, volcanoes, fjords, geysers, waterfalls… Families experience Earth’s most stunning natural wonders in incredible Iceland! Traveling by bike, foot, Zodiac, plane, horse and “super jeep,” everyone enjoys letting off steam in the Land of Fire and Ice.
4. Ireland Bike Tour: A Pot O’Gold for Families in Counties Cork & Kerry
The whole gang will adore what’s in store while pedaling through Ireland’s west Cork and Kerry: peaceful routes past green hills, quaint cottages and woolly sheep, a rich look at regional history and village culture, and a stay at the venerable Park Hotel Kenmare.
5. Loire Valley Biking: Fun in France’s Regal Touraine
Easygoing routes for younger riders and lots of options for the older crowd. Treats at patisseries, gourmet cuisine and exquisite wines. A visit to Leonardo da Vinci’s house and a fencing lesson just for kids. History come to life. This is truly a family vacation nonpareil.
6. Pyrenees to Costa Brava Biking: Catalonia’s Peaks to Mediterranean Beaches
Kids will be thrilled with the bike rides, rock climbing, pottery making and beach time. Grownups will love pedaling scenic routes in the Pyrénées foothills, seeing landscapes that inspired Salvador Dalí, and savoring sun-kissed Catalan wines.
7. Tuscany Biking: Pedaling & Pizza North of Siena
Sublime scenery takes center stage on family-friendly biking routes amid ancient hill towns, sprawling vineyards and cypress-lined lanes. There’s wine tasting for the adults. Hands-on pizza making for the kids. The perfect family adventure in Tuscany.