5 European Summer Holidays for Active Kids

Powder Byrne Scuba Holiday


Not finalised your summer holiday plans yet? Here are 5 active summer holiday ideas for energetic kids, from surfing in Portugal to wakeboarding in Crete…

With the summer nearly upon us, perhaps you’re already tying up your holiday plans. But what if it’s crept up on you? Often, choosing a destination or hotel that caters to your needs as well as those of your lively offspring can be tricky.

Powder Byrne, specialist family tour operator renowned for their children’s programmes and sports academies, know that energetic kids need to be kept active and engaged – and their programmes are designed to wear them out.

At Scallywags (4-8 years) kids with boundless energy have action-packed, fun filled days in a safe environment. With sports, adventure games and group play, they can try out tennis, go swimming, or keep busy with outdoor sports as well as getting stuck into arts and crafts and treasure hunts to hide from the heat of the day.

In TheZone (9-12 years) older thrill seekers have their own adventure. Non-stop action means lashings of water sports, sailing, tennis, football and golf sessions. Kids will gain new skills and make friends, fully supervised by dynamic and experienced staff.

Powder Bryne Watersports Holiday

5 of the best activity holidays for families in Europe:

1. Penha Longa Resort, Sintra, Portugal

Just west of Lisbon and only 7 miles from the beautiful Estoril coast, Penha Longa Resort is a firm favourite with Powder Byrne clients. The magnificent 300 acre estate is surrounded by a wooded valley, and offers extensive facilities and lush gardens.

Kids can make full use of Penha Longa’s two championship golf courses or have a knock around on the green with newfound holiday friends. Down at the water they can take a ride on one of the pedalos or muck about with inflatables.

Scallywags venture in and around the hotel and its grounds, taking part in treasure hunts to search for hidden gems, as well as horse riding, playing volleyball and competing in games of ultimate frisbee. Older kids can head by private shuttle down to Guincho Beach, and learn to ride the waves with Powder Byrne’s qualified surf instructors.

HOW: A family of four can stay 7 nights for the price of 6 at Penha Longa Resort for £3,555 (staying in interconnecting resort view rooms on a B&B basis).

2. Hotel Hermitage, Elba, Italy

Elba in the Tuscan Archipelago is a captivating place. With all the authentic appeal of a traditional fishing island, its wide sandy beaches and private coves offer plenty of remote places to swim and play. Hotel Hermitage is an understated, family-run hotel with an abundance of facilities, known for its first-class service and exceptional cuisine.

The beachfront location means that water sports are the order of the day. Kids can take a boat trip, go snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing, SCUBA diving and kayaking. Once they have worked up an appetite, cooking sessions with local chefs mean that Scallywags can have a go at making their own pizza.

The great sports facilities include tennis and for budding pros, Powder Byrne’s own LTA coach is on hand to hone early skills and teach techniques, while always keeping fun at the top of the agenda.

Older kids will be spoilt for choice with the water-based activities, from SCUBA diving and sailing, to water skiing and kayaking at TheZone. On land, they can play golf or football, go hiking and biking and explore the dramatic coastline.

HOW: 7 nights at Hotel Hermitage costs £9,029 for a family of 4 in August (staying in interconnecting classic doubles on a half board basis).

Powder Bryne Wakeboarding Holiday

3. Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort, Crete

Porto Elounda is a family-run resort in the hills of Crete with panoramic views of the bay and mountains and crucial beach access making it a firm favourite among Powder Byrne clients.

Between kids’ space the Ark and the hotel’s two kids’ pools, there’s plenty to keep Scallywags active, but they also get to take day excursions – visits to the waterpark, or a trip on a glass-bottom boat to look for fish in the Aegean Sea.

Older kids will love racing down the resort’s water slides, competing in beach volleyball and trying to get to grips with wakeboarding. If they still have the energy TheZone takes them on an afternoon kayaking trip to the small island of Spinalonga. Strong swimmers can attempt junior diving in the PB SCUBA Academy, which offers a PADI course in the hotel’s pool (for children aged 8-9).

HOW:  7 nights at Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort costs £4,465 for a family of 4 in July (staying in interconnecting porto sea view rooms on a B&B basis with complimentary buffet dinners).

4. Valle dell’Erica, Sardinia, Italy

On the fringes of a national park surrounded by rugged, unspoilt coastline, this 5 star hotel offers delicious food, exceptional service and amazing sporting facilities in a secluded location.

There is plenty to keep Scallywags busy, between mini golf and rock-pooling, treasure hunts and nature walks. Kids in TheZone will be taken by Powder Byrne’s private shuttle to the local Porto Pollo beach for water sports from kayaking, snorkelling and sailing to boat building. After a day of swimming and snorkelling, or a boat trip, children can spend the evenings playing table tennis or competing on the Wii.

HOW: Book 7 nights at Hotel Valle dell’Erica for £5,899 for a family of 4 in July (staying in an Erica junior suite with 2 extra beds on a half board basis).

Powder Bryne Valle Dell Erica Holiday

5. Chateau des Vigiers, Dordogne, France

In beautiful, rural southwest France, this classic French chateau offers a wide range of activities and varied accommodation for families. A superb Michelin-starred restaurant, spa, pools and golf course means that this property really ticks boxes for everyone in the family.

The Scallywags programme takes full advantage of the vast estate with lots of opportunities to explore the pools and surrounding gardens, overseen by Powder Byrne staff. Active sports such as swimming and tennis wear them out, and organised games and art and crafts keep them engaged. (TheZone is not currently available).

HOW:  7 nights at the Chateau des Vigiers for a family of 4 in August is £3,945 (staying in superior rooms on B&B basis. Price based on self-drive to the hotel).

Powder Byrne Golf Holiday

NEED TO KNOW: Teams of fully qualified and experienced instructors and managers run Powder Byrne’s Scallywags and TheZone programmes. The Scallywags programme runs 6 days a week from 10am to 4.30pm, and costs £245. TheZone programme runs six days a week from 10am to 4.30pm, and costs £349. Each property features a pb crèche for younger siblings.

All prices include full Powder Byrne Service in resort and local transfers from airport where applicable. Flights can be quoted separately.

This feature was written in association with Powder Byrne, the luxury family holiday company that delivers personalised holidays like no other at a choice of resorts in quintessential summer destinations.