An Alpine or lakeside resort is an excellent choice for your family holiday this summer. Imagine a place where you can spend a week (or two!) and do something different every day. You will find plenty of fun days out for the whole family, including mountain walks, bike rides, and swimming in the lake. The more adventurous will want to try summer tobogganing, forest adventure trails, river rafting, horse riding and maybe even paragliding. You will find great value for money on a lakes and mountains holiday. Many destinations have Resort cards which offer free entrance to activities such as swimming pools, ice rinks, tennis courts and museums, as well as transportation on chairlifts, cable-cars, busses and tourist trams.
In need of some inspiration? Take a look at our Top family summer holiday destinations Insider’s Guide and 11 of our favourite destinations and some of our favourite things to do with the kids.
We are pleased to offer FREE holidays for children aged 2-11 on selected flights and in selected hotels across Europe. Please note, this special offer is subject to terms and conditions.
We have hand-picked the best family focused accommodation so you don’t have to. Family rooms and suites sleeping 4-6, and apartments offer great space for families making your stay that much more comfortable.
Many hotels run kids clubs, kindergartens and weekly activity programmes which are free for children staying at the hotel. Activities run throughout the day and vary from face-painting to sports days and treasure hunts.
There are also many resorts where you and your family can enjoy some exciting activities together and you will love sampling the local cuisine in the family friendly restaurants. And hotels will usually provide an early high tea for younger children.
We are always delighted to help you find the best family holidays. If you feel inspired by our suggestions search our Lakes and Mountains website for availability and book online right now.
Here are some of our recommended destinations and hotels for family holidays in Europe’s lakes and mountains.
The pretty village of Morzine has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere which is perfect for families. The local Resort card covers a wealth of activities and transport which means that keeping the family occupied during your holiday need not break the bank. Mountain lifts, free use of buses, entry to the local swimming pool and indoor ice rink are all included.
The Chamonix Valley card which all guests receive upon their arrival gives free use of the busses and train throughout the valley, letting you explore the area to your heart’s content. Chamonix is almost over-flowing with outdoor activities and things to do – mountain biking, climbing, summer tobogganing and mini-golf. Alternatively ride the railway up to the top of the Mer de Glace glacier and explore the ice cave.
Mayrhofen, in the heart of the Tyrol, seems ready-made for curious and adventurous families. Explore the valley by taking the popular, old-fashioned steam locomotive or relive the Sound of Music with a day trip to the famously beautiful city of Salzburg which is nearby. You can expect the hills to be alive in Mayrhofen with regular live music performances and traditional festivals which will fascinate and enchant in equal measure.
Switzerland is renowned for the quality of its transport network. And children between the ages of 6 and 15 years old who are travelling with their parents will benefit from FREE travel on much of Switzerland’s excellent public transport. ‘Family Cards’ are issued with your tickets and include free travel on the mainline rail network, most mountain railways, postbuses and lake ferries and steamers. All children under 6 years of age travel FREE of charge.
Make sure you let us know the age of any children travelling with you to Switzerland so we can issue you with the correct documents. If you have children in your party travelling without parents, you must let us know prior to booking and we will provide a half-price card for the children. Children travelling with a grandparent receive FREE travel with the purchase of a ‘Grandparents’ Card’, available locally (approx. Sfr30).
In the French-speaking part of Switzerland, Lake Geneva is an immense lake enjoying an unusually mild climate and is surrounded by gentle hillsides covered by vineyards and gardens. Vibrant Montreux, known as the'Swiss Riviera' has a beautiful lake promenade lined with palm trees and flowers, and is a wonderful base from which to explore this region, either by boat, train bus or on foot.
Treat your family to the unbelievable view across the Savoy meadows to the snow-capped Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest mountain. The Chalet Hotel Sapinière occupies a fantastic, quiet location from which to admire the local scenery while still being only 5 minutes walk from the bustling centre of Chamonix, known for the wealth of mountain activities on offer.
Close to the heart of the village, The Chalet Hotel Elisabeth is popular with families that wish to take advantage of the many activities available in Lech. An indoor pool will keep the kids occupied while Mum and Dad relax in the sauna or steam room. Bedrooms with a shared lobby can be paired together to ensure your family has a spacious, comfortable holiday.
The beautiful and picturesque village of Champoluc is an incredible location from which to explore the dramatic peaks of the Monte Rosa Alps. And the Chalet Hotel Breithorn is no less charming with its traditional Alpine features giving it a ‘chocolate box’ appeal perfect for children of all ages. Large suites and rooms with shared lobbies and hallways are an ideal size for families.
Popular with families, this hotel offers a whole host of exciting activities which are sure to keep your family occupied throughout your stay. With all inclusive meals and evening entertainment you might find you have no need to leave. But with a regular shuttle bus to the centre of Peschiera the Parc Hotel is an excellent base from which to explore the neighbouring towns of Lake Garda or for a visit to the local Gardaland theme park.
The Hotel Le Crêt has a welcoming and family friendly atmosphere offering a free club for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old. Take advantage of the evening entertainment programme or make use of one of the many excellent facilities. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and not one but two indoor pools.
The Club Hotel Villa Paradiso is popular with families looking to enjoy the beautiful rolling hills of the Umbrian countryside. A supervised miniclub for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old is free for guests and a junior club for 12 to 17 year olds runs from the end of May to the beginning of September.
Children are well looked after at the Garden Hotel Theresia in Hinterglemm. Clubs for children aged between 2 and 10 years old run all summer, Monday to Friday and a junior club for 10-14 year olds runs during July and August. The hotel has a children's playground and outdoor family leisure area with a heated outdoor children's pool. And if the weather turns billiards, computer games, and a children's playroom are also available.
Free and special child prices are available at this fantastic five-star, full board hotel in Switzerland. Not only is it excellent value for money the hotel occupies a convenient location beside Lake Thun and offers a programme of weekly free excursions.
The stunningly located Eurotel hotel beside Lake Geneva provides stand-up paddling from the hotel’s private jetty – excellent family entertainment. As well as free and special child prices available at this hotel, guests also receive a free half hour lake cruise during their holiday.
Air Passenger Duty
As of 1 March 2016, UK Air Passenger Duty has been abolished for children under 16 years old. Because of this, we have been able to reduce the cost of our holidays for your children, and all child holiday prices no longer include Air Passenger Duty.
We’ve pulled together 11 of our favourite destinations and some of our favourite things to do with the kids in tow, taking into consideration ages, interests and those vastly varying energy levels.Find out more