Europe has long been a draw for families looking for outdoor adventures with forest trails and meandering rivers carving through resplendent mountain peaks. Central Europe, especially, enjoys an abundance of exciting landscapes. Croatia and Montenegro, are blessed with both Adriatic coastline and mountains, not to mention some very lovely lake districts. To the south, old favourites, Spain and Greece are never off the radar although locations, such as the Peloponnese and the Altiplano de Granada, offer exciting alternatives to the tried and tested Costas. Of course, family activity vacations don't stop during the winter with snow covered Finnish Lapland always initiating a very cool Christmas.


Croatia is an absolute adventure playground for active families. Sea kayaking in Novigrad Bay, tubing down the Cetina River, cycling and hiking through the forests of Plitvice Lakes National Park; choose your own adventure and dive right in. Split Riviera is a great base for beach lovers whilst the lakeside town of Skradin has a fresher feel as well as access to the waterfalls, canyons and fast flowing rivers of Krka National Park.


If you've always fancied husky sledding, cross country skiing and sledging with Santa, Finnish Lapland has got sackloads of outdoor activities to keep you warm and toasty in a snow white winter wonderland. Multi activity vacations are ideal for all the family with snowmobile safaris, reindeer drawn sleighs and even an Angry Birds adventure playground all on offer close to the ski resort of Kuusamo.


There's plenty for families to get excited about in the Peloponnese. White water rafting on the Lousios River, cycling to ancient amphitheatres and sea kayaking off the coast of Kalamata; there's much more to Greece than just island hopping. Base yourself in Tripoli to make the most of monastic mountain hiking, before transferring to Nafplio for sailing, snorkelling and windsurfing.


Mighty Montenegro makes activity loving families yell “more, more, more!” Maybe it's the lakes, rivers and forest covered mountains in Durmitor National Park, in the north. Or could it be the hills and valleys surrounding Lake Skadar, in the south. Whatever it is, if you're into wild swimming, woodland walks and white water rafting on the Tara River Canyon, Montenegro’s got your family’s name running right through it.


You don’t need to wander far from Stockholm to find family adventure in Sweden. Head to Sörmland, south-west of the capital, for your vacation. The area is known for its pretty countryside; its large lakes are bordered by leafy hiking trails, and kids will love canoeing and camping at the edge of the water. Top it off with a day or two at the seaside and Sweden may swiftly become a new family favourite.


Forget the Costas; take kids deeper into Catalonia or the foothills of the Pyrenees – great fun for hikers, bikers and kayakers. Or opt for Andalucia where griffon vultures wheel and nights shimmer with stars. Altiplano de Granada, in Andalucia, boasts activities aplenty, including: lake kayaking and wild swimming, walks along the Castril and Guazalamanco rivers, and cycling trips to the archaeological sites at Orce.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Family activity or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: Miguel Navaza] [Intro Box: Undiscovered Montenegro] [Croatia: Jorge Franganillo] [Finnish Lapland: Iain Patterson] [Greece: Santorini Sea Kayak] [Montenegro: Undiscovered Montenegro] [Sweden: Nordic Trails] [Spain: El Geco Verde]