Culturists can immerse themselves in the scenery and architecture of Italy, enjoying home-cooked meals on their outdoor verandas or taking boat rides from their private docks. Adventurers can zip line across rivers and hike through waterfalls in Croatia, while beach lovers can bask in their own secluded paradise on Mexico's Isla Holbox, an unspoiled island off the Yucatan Peninsula. Find an adventure for your family with one of these kid-friendly getaways:
Italy: Where to Immerse (For the Culture-Seeking Family)
If you see summer travel as a chance to break away from the fast-paced, plugged-in atmosphere of everyday life, “detox” in Italy with Homebase Abroad (www.homebaseabroad.com), a company of villa travel specialists, led by Director Mara Solomon, that represents hand-selected luxury homes in Tuscany, Lake Como, the Amalfi Coast, Umbria, Venice, Rome and, most recently, the Dolomites.
Homebase Abroad lures kids away from their iPads with landscaped gardens, tennis courts, water sports, game rooms and even private beaches. One villa offers a golf course, and another boasts its own helipad (just in case families wish to visit St. Moritz on a whim). Every detail is overseen by an English-speaking concierge on the ground in Italy, so you can enjoy a leisurely vacation where the most pressing decision of the day is whether to bike through vineyards or lounge by your private pool.
Croatia: Where to Explore (For the Adventurous Family)
Active families will find enough thrills on the Adriatic Coast to leave the kids grinning all year-long, and bespoke tour operator Adriatic Luxury Journeys (www.adriaticluxury.com) has announced newly enhanced private guided tours designed just for families. Adriatic Luxury's expert guides will take you zip-lining across the Cetina River, sailing through Hvar, hiking through the waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park and biking in Rovinj. All tours include luxury accommodations, English-speaking local guides and friendly English-speaking chauffeurs. When the kids return to school, they'll surprise their teachers with how much they know about medieval architecture and the history of the Roman Empire.
Isla Holbox: Where to Relax (For the Beach Loving Family)
Families who love the Mayan Riviera for its relaxed, cultural atmosphere might find a new favorite getaway on Isla Holbox, an enclave off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula still largely untouched by tourism. The family-run Casa Las Tortugas (www.holboxcasalastortugas.com), a boutique hotel on the island's main beach, has mastered the art of relaxed luxury with its chic bohemian atmosphere and warm hospitality. You won't find commercial resorts lining the shores of this island or even cars on the sandy roads, but between the lively atmosphere of Mandarina (the hotel's farm-to-table restaurant), the organic Agua Spa and Yoga Center, and kid-friendly activities ranging from horseback riding to whale shark tours, you'll find an unforgettable experience for everyone in the family.