It’s January and let’s face it we are all browsing for our next holiday. Today I wanted to share with you my shortlist for an alternative family holiday. Don’t get me wrong a week in the sun at a large all inclusive hotel with mocktails on tap is appealing after our long season of illness but often thinking outside the box offers the most rewarding experiences and eye opening memories.
Luckily, if you are hankering after a unique, lovingly run family holiday this year I’ve got you covered. I’ve searched high and low for the very best and have something for the eco warrior, adventurer or yogi in all of us. So read on and get prepared to save your pennies as Im pretty sure you’re going to be running to book one of these.
As some of you may know if you watch our family YouTube channel myself and the children recently had the opportunity to attend a Pachamama yoga retreat in the Peak District. I can only describe the experience as grounding, spiritual and delicious. This year the retreat has a stunning new venue and I can guarantee you will not be disappointed in booking this relaxing retreat designed just for mums and children and celebrating our divine feminine energy.
How could a yoga retreat for mums AND children possibly be relaxing?
This was the question I asked myself before attending but what I hadn’t considered was the beautiful bubble we would be in for the week with delightful vegan meals, spiritual yoga sessions and the most supportive, incredible women I’ve met. The ladies at the retreat really made the retreat so special, everyone was from different backgrounds with different stories to tell and each retreat will have its own unique vibe.
What about the children you ask?
They were away with the fairies (almost literally) at forest school during yoga sessions, running with the trees and cared for by even more incredible women including the lady behind the whole retreat. The afternoons can be spent hiking through waterfalls and the peaks and this really is suitable for even the finest explorers with some team work. I almost forgot to mention you get a spa treatment included in the the cost of the trip with the option for more. Yes please.
This off grid holiday retreat has been on my radar for some time and how couldn’t it be?
This eco friendly village offers a range of luxurious accommodation from stone villas to the most insanely beautiful yurts to suit every budget. To top it off several of the yurts come with your very own Hybrid car to reduce your footprint further. If you are toying with the idea of glamping as a family I can think of no better place to give it a try than in a yurt with a private garden, year round sun and possibly even a cheeky hammock. If you really fancy a luxurious stay opt for the Yurt Royale with its cosy, extravagant interiors or you could even stay in a farmhouse with a private pool and bring the grandparents.
How off grid is Finca de Arrieta?
This eco village offers premium sustainable tourism at its best and is powered purely by wind and solar energy. Pretty cool, hey? Not only that but their water supply is now also totally off grid with water from their well and a clever desalination treatment run from the solar panels. What an incredible way to educate the little ones on all things green by showing them the spectacular solar panels and having a chat all about where our energy comes from.
Although the eco village is self catering it has a real communal feel to it with a hearty meal offered to eat together some evenings and other friendly, likeminded holidaymakers to chat to over a drink. The owners work with you to create the perfect and special holiday for you and your family with a personal service that just isn’t possible at larger resorts.
Are the children going to be driving you up the walls of the yurt?
Well I can’t speak for bedtime which is always interesting in our household but Finca De Arrieta has the kids in mind with a gorgeous park featuring a real wooden boat, trampoline and giant chess. There is even a donkey which the children are bound to love giving some cuddles. My kids love water and the serene pools here offer the perfect opportunity for the whole family to have a splash around. There’s even an indoor area with plenty of toys for the children and seating to relax and enjoy some peace.
Lanzarote is full of culture and the area around Finca De Arrieta is perfect for exploring in your hybrid car. The rugged, natural environment surrounding the retreat is the perfect place to let your children discover nature and their adventurous side while the beaches offer a beautiful base for sandcastles and paddling.
I can’t think of anywhere better to escape to right now.
Yes, another yoga retreat especially for mums and children. Heavenly!
Oh dear, Dad wants to come too?
No problem, this yoga retreat offers a few weeks a year when the whole family are welcome and I for one am all over this as I know Dan will be a yogi convert once he’s given it a go. Holy Mama run yoga retreats around the World with their main base just outside of Ibiza town. Other locations include Bali, Andalucia and London so you are spoilt for choice here. A range of beautiful bedrooms set in stunning villas set the scene for a relaxing, vibrant holiday with the sun beating down as you salute it from your outdoor yoga practice.
The retreats are run by the nature loving Claudia who has thoughtfully planned the retreats to cater to families with children from newborn babies upwards with a focus on them exploring the outdoors while you enjoy yoga then get to spend quality time together without everyday stresses. The Ibiza location is beautiful and although there is delicious cuisine served you can also make the most of booking a babysitter and heading into town for a local meal.
This would truly be the perfect family holiday for a yogi loving couple or any mums looking to improve their yoga practice or even just start out. A lot can be said for a week of nature, sun, spirituality and yoga. Namaste.
This Summer Adventure is a gem of a find in France. Honestly I was so excited to come across this place and felt almost as if it was calling me in. La Source eco lodge was built by Saskia who now runs a summer adventure there each year for the whole family. Whether you are new to outdoor adventures or love an activity holiday this place offers something truly magical. Saskia not only runs the retreat but teaches yoga each morning too. The food provided is lovingly cooked with organic, local produce and the whole feel of the place is welcoming you with open arms.
Sounding good so far? It gets better.
The lodge itself offers comfort, beautiful design and a communal feel that brings everyone together from day one. Some of the activities on offer include mountain hiking, high ropes, wild swimming and white water rafting to name a few. If that sounds a little strenuous don’t worry as you can tailor what you fancy to your own families needs and preferences.
The lodge is just outside a small French hamlet and offers the perfect opportunity to refresh away from the busyness of every day life and experience simpler living in the mountains. La Source also run a Winter Break that sounds just as delightful and I won’t give to much away but it includes Circus School. Check out their website for more information on these delightfully unique holidays.
If a larger scale resort that leaves you wanting for nothing is what you fancy and you would like a conscious, greener option then the Forte Village Resort is for you.
This hotel has previously won the ‘Worlds Leading Green Resort’ award and it has some impressive green credentials. The only vehicles you’ll find on site are bicycles or electric vehicles which makes for a pleasant experience as well as being green. The resort have always prided themselves on being environmentally friendly implementing many things before the World caught on and certainly before sustainable tourism had ever been mentioned. They recycle over 70% of their waste and use a rainwater collection system for water. The Resort also has a huge 15000 trees in a beautiful park.
All very well, but what makes it a fantastic family holiday?
It’s hard to know where to start here so I’ll just list a few of the things making it an ideal resort for the whole family. Incredible dining options with ingredients sourced from the resorts very own kitchen gardens, check. Child sized village ‘Wonderland’ featuring Thomas Tank, Barbie, a theatre and even a children’s restaurant all at the perfect size for the little ones, check. Accommodation from bungalows to Suites spanning over different hotels and areas, check. A full relaxing spa complete with yoga and on site nutritionists, No. Only joking, check.
This place really does have something for anybody deserving a luxurious, relaxing and extravagant holiday in a stunning and green destination. I recommend checking the website out for yourself as otherwise I could be going on for hours.
I hope this little list has inspired you to try something a little different this year whether it’s a greener break or an excuse to try out some yoga. It’s fun to try something new and each of these truly inidividual holidays offers something truly unique and special I know every family could enjoy. Where are your favourite destinations?