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Summer Hols 2019!!!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Looking for inspiration

Next year my boys will be taking A-levels and daughter GCSEs, this, all being well, will give us with an opportunity to have a summer holiday outside of school holidays and as such we have raised the possibility of doing something a little different to normal.

Normal being a trip in the caravan to France or Italy.

I'm open to suggestions but for guidance:

1. None of us are particularly keen on beach holidays
2. Pool, lake, river swimming is a must
3. Preference is for self-catering as we would rather do our own thing
4. Must be things to do for teens (who will be 18/16) - so bike hire, canoe, climbing wall, Go Ape etc
5. Not France! We love France but have said somewhere different

I've been looking at a few activity holiday companies in Slovenia and they look like they may fit the bill - but looking for ideas to consider.

As a slight tangent - it looks like we will be going to a family wedding in Malta in school holidays - at moment that may have to be a flying visit but if that could become main holiday maybe considered, or even combined with another island????
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Boris, how about Mark Warner? I think they're in Greece and maybe Sardinia. I know you aren't fond of beaches, but there's loads of stuff to do. Malta isn't renowned for its activities, and Gozo , the other island is very small.
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Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Biking crazy, gravity park/zipwires at end of valley, big pool facility, walk or bus over to Zell am see to swim etcin the big lake/practice your Ironman
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and even more sorry, I just realised they don't do a self-catering option. Somewhere I looked at when my kids were that age did, and I thought it was MW.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Hells Bells, will take a look, daughter seems keen on Greece and Mrs B and I did have a nice time there pre-kids! I think Malta will be a fly in day before, wedding, fly home really - if it even works for us - holiday allowance and price wise.

@Dave of the Marmottes, good suggestion
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We have done Neilson Beachclub holidays in Greece the last few years and really enjoyed them.

Sailing , windsurfing , tennis , mountain and road bikes . Canoes and sup boards . Waterskiing .

Equipment on the beach to borrow or tuition if you need it. No extra cost .

Exercise and fitness classess. Loads of kids / teens clubs and activities but yours are old enough to mix in with adult classes too.

Breakfast and lunch included every day and evening meals 3 nights a week.
Its buffet style with some fresh meat and fish and I am a fussy sod when it comes to food (I am normally quite sniffy about buffets) but I quite liked it.

Go into a nearby greek town for 3 nights at a local taverna. Cheap as chips. Litre of local rose for € 5 . Yes please.

Only downside is the bars on site can be expensive (so get into town and stock up on beer is my advice).

We did Sivota one year - beautiful spot but pool got very busy (we were in school hols) and wind not consistent for sailing (but tremendous spot for waterskiing or kayaking/ open water swimming).
Did Vounaki last year and going back this year. Not so many rooms and a bigger pool so felt calmer. More wind (especially after lunch) so sailing was better.
Both of these have a small town within strolling distance. Sivota a little bigger.

They do have locations now in Sardinia and Croatia but not heard the best reports on those .

Some places do have sport climbing too.
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@sheffskibod, thanks will look at that
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Have a look at the Zillertal. Plenty to do and easy to get around from village to village.
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Tour of Scotland?
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Go les duex alpes for a day or two skiing. The Glacier will be open and there is a terrain park and also (more obviously) the glacier you can ski. If I had children, I'd be like "right lets go, no arguing!"
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@Boris, I know it is technically a beach holiday, but like @sheffskibod, I can thoughly reccommend Neilson beachclub holidays. I learned to windsurf, sail and scuba dive on them. Last year we went to the one in Croatia, and though they advertised sport climbing the organisation they used was actually very poor, giving you basically one top rope session in the brilliant sport climbing canyon a short bike ride away. However the Neilson sport climbing rep loaned us his rack of climbing gear, a rope and a guide book. We had a brilliant time. During the school holidays the clubs are packed with kids but out of school holidays there are much fewer of them.

On the other hand we also spend at least 10 days a year in the Dolomites rock climbing and via ferrata, but use hotels and climbing huts rather than self catering moving from place to place.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
If you are pairing it up with Malta, may be worth nosing at their airport webpage to see where else they fly & which airlines serve them.
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@Boris, Slovenia is a good shout.

Another thought for you to consider is just how many more family holidays might there be?

When mine were at uni, I kept thinking that each year was going to be the last so we gradually made them bigger and bigger so that we'd go out on a bang.
I guess that the knock-on effect of that was that it made them still want to come! Confused
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Ray Zorro, mine are now 28 and 29, still coming with us at Christmas. At present there are no significant others to make them change their minds.
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Hells Bells, yes, it may not stop too soon. Just flagging it up as a consideration as for me, my last family holiday was when I was 15...
My 3 are now 28, 26 and 22 and we've had a summer and winter break of some kind pretty much every year. Boyfriends have now become fiancés and have been coming along too!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Ray Zorro, @Hells Bells, had crossed our minds about how much more they'll come with us,wasn't primary motive for doing something different just that we could.
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@Ray Zorro, and mine was when I was 19, but I think it was my choice to stop. Why would I want to go away with the other 3 siblings and my parents in a cramped caravan.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I went to Slovenia two years ago on an activity holiday with my then 14-year old, we both absolutely loved it. Superb scenery and wide range of activities. We stayed near the Soca river, I plan to go back to also visit Lake Bled and the Triglav park.

The organisers were Green Holidays - very happy with them.

Been to Malta for a long weekend the following year, cool but unless you’re into diving I’d much prefer Slovenia.

For something different, what about doing the GR20 in Corsica?
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@Boris, if beach isn’t a priority you can’t beat the mountains for an action holiday! We’re now sacking off Summer holidays abroad for time in the mountains. The downhill mountain biking is a massive rush, and the Enduro trails great for an adventure. Bisse or mountain lake walks from easy to adventurous (overnight in a refuge) - with fab lunch stops on the way. 2 new Via Ferrata routes up at Mont Fort. Indoor and outdoor climbing, superb outdoor swimming pool with diving boards, 18 hole golf course for the grandparents, chilled out vibe in town. What’s not to like!
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Boris, we are off to stay with Bootsy and Cacciatore in The Salzkammergut in a couple of weeks. Ridiculously excited, will report back.
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@Boris,

Any interest in learning to sail? Flotilla holidays can be great fun with teens - sailing is pretty active, swimming off a boat is wonderful (much better than a beach), the boys will learn some skills that might open up future adventures. You get great time as a family during the day then get to socialise a bit with the rest of the flotilla in the evenings. Likely to be other teens around.

If you don't sail at the moment there are three possible routes:
1. do some RYA qualifications (weekends or week) in the UK
2. do a week shorebased in Greece of Croatia followed by a week on a flotilla
3. learn onboard with a skipper. You get taught, assessed and examined at the end of the week and then would be able to skipper a boat on a future trip
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Frosty the Snowman wrote:
@Boris, we are off to stay with Bootsy and Cacciatore in The Salzkammergut in a couple of weeks. Ridiculously excited, will report back.
SO envious!!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
lots to think about - thanks sll
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@Hurtle, me too. I did contact Bootsie last week, but think she must be up to her eyes in B&B at the moment. If we ever get our campervan we might do a tour.
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jedster wrote:
@Boris,

Any interest in learning to sail? Flotilla holidays can be great fun with teens - sailing is pretty active, swimming off a boat is wonderful (much better than a beach), the boys will learn some skills that might open up future adventures. You get great time as a family during the day then get to socialise a bit with the rest of the flotilla in the evenings. Likely to be other teens around.

If you don't sail at the moment there are three possible routes:
1. do some RYA qualifications (weekends or week) in the UK
2. do a week shorebased in Greece of Croatia followed by a week on a flotilla
3. learn onboard with a skipper. You get taught, assessed and examined at the end of the week and then would be able to skipper a boat on a future trip


We did that with our university-age boys last year. One week in a beach club with free access to a variety of sailing dinghies, stand-up paddleboards, canoes, windsurfers, etc together with instruction. One week learning to sail a yacht in a flotilla with a daytime-only skipper leading to an IYT qualification for two of us with no prior experience required. Great fun.

We used Trek Adventures in Kefalonia. I imagine the beach club would be rammed in school holidays but in term time we had a free run of the equipment. Highly recommended.
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I'd echo the commendations for the mountains. And for active beach holidays with lots of stuff to sail or paddle. Or a combined learning/flotilla holiday. And swimming off a boat is wonderful. Especially naked. All great active family holidays and all FAR better, as well as cheaper, outside school holidays. Personally I'd be too scared to make good use of mountain biking terrain - you do need to find something the whole family would enjoy, not just you and the boys. Would you be going early summer as soon as exams are finished? If so, worth remembering that the water in some parts of the Med will still be quite cool (and lakes even more so).

If none of you has ever sailed before then it would be fun learning together (except the kids will learn far quicker - frustrating!). Same goes for diving, but that's not for everybody, either.

Sailing your own boat on a flotilla ticks the "self catering" box but with access to tavernas etc too. Turkey, Greece, Croatia - all good. Though I gather Croatia can be expensive these days (it wasn't when we went, but that was yonks ago).
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Mayrhofen is great in the summer and loads to do for the kids - canyoning was amazing. Worth hitting Area 47 too https://www.area47.at/en
Zell am See worth a look too
I would recommend later in the summer though to get better weather so might not work for you. Have been a few times early summer and weather a bit indifferent
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
+1 for @Dave of the Marmottes, suggestion of Saalbach. You could even look at the centrally located very reasonable accommodation there offered by snowHead @tatmanstours.

No offence intended to the Maltese, lovely welcoming people, but personally I'd go to that family wedding, then get off that overcrowded traffic-jammed arid rock like a bat out of hell. snowHead
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@pam w, I think if I swam naked off a boat I'd have the kids calling Childline

Certainly agree it has to be inclusive of Mrs B and Miss B

Very early days but if we're going to expense and trouble of getting to Malta - may as well have a week there. What's still to be determined is whether we have a 2-week 2 centre holiday, or 2*1-week trips

I'm not that keen on 1-week holidays personally as just getting relaxed when it's time to come home Laughing However 2-week break would rule out the option of being able to get a cheap break in school time.

Hey ho - lots to think about
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Italian lakes?

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2326187

Water and mountains.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@altis, tempting but we did Lake Garda last couple of years - wanted to do something we wouldn't/couldn't normally do
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Hire a big camper van and do a road trip?

Sometimes going further can cost about the same as staying in Europe - the higher flight costs can be recovered by lower hotel and food/drink costs. Our trips to these places were great and the cost of living is cheaper than Europe...
Thailand
India
Uganda

As a real alternative - Do a family volunteer project for a fortnight?
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@Ray Zorro, I am quite tempted with doing that in US/Canada
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The lakes and mountains in Bavaria are beautiful, lot's of swimming , mountain biking, canoeing, and doing the mountain coasters and luge tracks are fun. There are places in the mountains too that you can go zip lining down the side of the mountain.
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Boris wrote:
@Ray Zorro, I am quite tempted with doing that in US/Canada


A US or Canadian roadtrip would be a great "big" family holiday. Whether an RV is the best way of doing it is up for debate - rental can be quite pricey compared to a big minivan or SUV because everyone has the same "dream" and it's more difficult to park and stop off say when you're in National Parks or even grabbing a Big Gulp. I suspect costwise you don't really come out much ahead of staying in motels etc. though if you plan far enough ahead you probably can get slots in campgrounds in the parks which are the scarce resource.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Biking crazy, gravity park/zipwires at end of valley, big pool facility, walk or bus over to Zell am see to swim etcin the big lake/practice your Ironman


We’ve done this the last couple of years. We all love it. Jnr (aged 16 on our past trip) and I tend to do a lot of biking. The OH goes off walking but we meet up at various points. We had a couple of days where I went off on the bike, the OH went off walking and Jnr ligged in bed, yet we all met for lunch and did stuff together later on. There’s plenty to do in Saalbach. Although the nightlife is fairly tame if the kids like that (great for a few quiet drinks still).

We paired up last year’s trip with a week in Schladming too. We actually did more touristy things there, whereas Saalbach was more of an action week.

We always take a steady drive stopping at one or two places on the way to/from. We’ve visited Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Luxembourg, Ostend, Landgraaf (collected Jnr from training camp), Osnabruck (that was a huge diversion, but we went to watch a West Ham pre-season friendly!), Maurienne valley (to watch the TdF) and Lake Garda (well why not!).

Actually thinking about it Lake Garda might be worth a look too.
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You could go to Ötztal. There are very high mountains around (up to 3768 metres, Wildspitze) and there is the biggest outdoor and aqua park in Europe (Area 47) where you can blob, climb walls, high diving (up to 25 metres), wakeboarding, water slides...
In the mountains, there is a very good hut infrastructure so you could do a hiking trip or go mountaineering (depending on your ability you might need a guide)
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Boris wrote:
@Ray Zorro, I am quite tempted with doing that in US/Canada


A US or Canadian roadtrip would be a great "big" family holiday. Whether an RV is the best way of doing it is up for debate - rental can be quite pricey compared to a big minivan or SUV because everyone has the same "dream" and it's more difficult to park and stop off say when you're in National Parks or even grabbing a Big Gulp. I suspect costwise you don't really come out much ahead of staying in motels etc. though if you plan far enough ahead you probably can get slots in campgrounds in the parks which are the scarce resource.


Im off to Cali next month.
There is only 2 of us & I wanted to do the RV thing.
The RV rental is was about £1000 more expensive than a car.
However, what put us off was the RV campground prices.
One place wanted $99 a night! Most started around $50 with decent facilities.
So factoring the extra fuel, etc. We've booked hotels.
Also no need to pack everything up to go into town if the RV park is a few miles out

Probably fine for a family as its a lot cheaper than renting 2x rooms.
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If US is an option, check out Lake Tahoe
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I met someone in Banff, he said the thing with RV rental was that they killed you on the mileage. So he would fly to the place he wanted to be (Example Edmonton - Vancouver Island), then rent the RV just to stay around there and avoid outrageous hotel room prices (as usually they were full), and fly back.
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