10 Exotic Adventure Holidays For The Whole Family

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Who said exotic adventure holidays have to stop as soon as you have kids? 

Always looking for the next big family adventure, we called in Nadine Mellor, collective editor of i-escape Kids Collection, to share her must visit destinations, for a holiday the family are guaranteed to remember.

i-escape’s Kids Collection has an great range of stylish family hideaways which work brilliantly for everybody in the family, from boutique hotels to villas with pools, to kid-friendly apartments and superb resorts. Yet their Family Adventure Collection showcases those more exotic and daring destinations which you normally wouldn't think you could bring children to. Exciting shared adventures are a perfect way to create those unforgettable family memories. 

WHITE-WATER RAFTING IN ARGENTINA

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What: take the kids white-water rafting on the Juramento River in the Argentinian Andean foothills

While you’re here: go horse riding with gauchos

Stay: beautifully designed guesthouse Finca Valentina has large gardens and a swimming pool and is just 25 minutes from regional capital, Salta. This region was formerly part of the Inca empire and has a strong cultural identity, Salta is a fascinating city with a colonial-era centre

GLACIAL ADVENTURES IN ICELAND

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What: the whole family can descend 40 metres into the heart of a glacier in the west of Iceland

While you’re here: visit one of the largest lava caves in the world 

Stay: bright and modern Hotel Husafell has huge picture windows to best view the Northern Lights and midnight sun, and fabulous geothermal pools complete with a water slide (flotation devices supplied) in its grounds

TIGER SAFARI, INDIA

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What: go on a tiger safari in Rajasthan’s wonderful Ranthambhore National Park

While you’re here: as tiger sightings cannot be guaranteed, there are 350 bird species to look for plus other wildlife such as deer, crocodiles and monkeys, and camel rides for kids are easily arranged

Stay: luxurious camp Sher Bagh comes with tents filled with bygone character, a communal fire-pit, and a swimming pool plus the food is excellent

VOLCANO HIKING, COSTA RICA

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What: climb the base of an active volcano in the Arenal region of Costa Rica, if you do so at sunset you’ll see red lava spurt as darkness falls 

While you’re here: go hiking in primary rainforest 

Stay: with an infinity pool and superb views of Arenal Volcano, working farm Leaves and Lizards is fantastic for families, they also have their own horses to ride to a nearby waterfall

BUSH EXPLORATION, SOUTH AFRICA

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What: children become bush detectives by tracking animals from the Big 5 to bugs by examining dung, making plaster casts of tracks and detective work in the malaria-free Madikwe game reserve in the NE of South Africa 

While you’re here: learn the art of bush orientation including how to make fire and find water

Stay: magnificent Madikwe Safari Lodge and has a tremendous family lodge, and a swimming pool overlooking a water hole. There’s also an Eco House which has an assortment of live creatures including tarantulas and scorpions to meet plus animal skeletons from the reserve. Rates include two daily game drives and airport transfers 

MOUTAIN THRILLS, CYPRUS 

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What: take your teens to walk (or abseil or rock climb or mountain bike) the elevated slopes of Mount Olympos in the Troodos Mountain range in Cyprus (its summit is 600m higher than Ben Nevis!) and seek the shy sheep (or mouflon) unique to the country

While you’re here: learn the art of bee keeping or fish for your supper

Stay: boutique hotel Casale Panayiotis is found across several townhouses within a mountain village with mineral springs and an iconic monastery (itself a place of Orthodox pilgrimage for many centuries); it also has a terrific spa.

YOGA IN BALI

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What: learn kids yoga on an eco-retreat in Bali

While you’re here: have a holistic spa treatment, learn to meditate or take an art class, or go surfing on nearby beaches 

Stay: beguiling Desa Seni is comprised of 10 gorgeous antique wooden houses set in peaceful organic gardens and comes with a saltwater pool and farm/sea-to-table cuisine

IGLOO LIVING, SWITZERLAND

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What: families can either go sledging with dogs (in winter) or dog karting (in summer) in the Swiss Alps

While you’re here: skiing, snow-shoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing, mountain biking or hiking depending on the season

Stay: unique Whitepod is a collection of back-to-nature eco-domes perched on the side of a hill with long views. Each igloo-shaped pod has a wood burner and mezzanine spaces for kids to sleep on. There’s a restaurant on site too serving delicious traditional Swiss fare including fondue plus a la carte options

DESERT CAMPING, MOROCCO 

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What: for unforgettable family adventure, camp out in the Sahara Desert in the far south of Morocco, and enjoy sunset camel rides followed by Berber drumming while gazing at incredible night skies

While you’re here: try your hand at sand boarding down the dunes

Stay: welcoming Berber-style tented eco-camp Camp Adounia delivers comfortable glamping and extreme peace 

 RIDING WITH GAUCHOS, ARGENTINA

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What: hike the incomparable Torres del Paine National Park in the Chilean Patagonia

While you’re here: seek the magnificent Andean condor, go riding with gauchos and take a boat trip past icebergs to sight a glacier

Stay: architect-designed Scandi-styled Tierra Patagonia has spectacular views of the legendary Paine Massif, a heated indoor pool for kids to play in after outdoor excitements, and a spa, and offers superb guided family excursions into the national park.