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10 of the best family trips to take with kids aged two to seven

Wanderlust logoWanderlust 14/06/2015

Want to give your little ones their first big travel adventure? These great trips are perfect for young families.

1. Magic in Morocco

La Mamounia luxury hotel, Marrakech. © Image Broker/Rex Features La Mamounia luxury hotel, Marrakech. Family Mountains and Souks, Explore

For travellers with kids aged two and over

This eight-day small-group Family Mountains and Souks trip to Morocco divides the country into three bite-size chunks: Marrakech, the High Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira. You'll tour the capital's souks and streets in a horse-drawn carriage, getting your bearings before exploring on foot: and if you've travelled to Morocco before you'll be surprised by the doors that having kids opens – you'll get a warm, genuine welcome from shopkeepers and street vendors alike. Handy when you're haggling for a bargain...

It's a short drive into the High Atlas mountains, where you'll spend two nights in the village of Ouigane. Meet the local berber people, take gentle walks in the foothills, or just enjoy some downtime in your authentic kasbah hotel.

Down the Atlantic coast, the beach-side town of Essaouira awaits. A picturesque mix of Arab, French and Iberian heritage, this is a laid-back spot to explore for a few days. Feast on pastries in street-side cafes, get lost while shopping in the medina (a more relaxed experience than in Marrakech), or walk and play along the wide sandy beach.

2. Hilltribes and longboats of Thailand

Canoeing in Thailand (Shutterstock) © Provided by Wanderlust Canoeing in Thailand (Shutterstock) Thailand Family Adventure, Tropical Sky

For travellers with kids aged five and over

If you've always fancied adventuring somewhere exotic with your little one but don't want to go it alone, try this 12-day Thailand Family Adventure – you'll be in a group of up to 20 other people, with kids and adults alike. Forge new friendships while you immerse yourself in the country and its culture, always accompanied by an experienced guide.

You'll try cooking classes, meet a hilltribe community, dine on authentic cuisine, tour Bangkok and visit Ayutthaya – the ancient capital. This tour has a varied pace: peaceful moments include discovering idyllic waterfalls in Erawan National Park, cruising on a longboat, and relaxing on the beach at Koh Chang. On other days, frenetic markets is sure to get the whole family's adrenaline pumping.

3. Mayan marvels in Guatemala & Belize

Toucan in Belize (Shutterstock). © Provided by Wanderlust Toucan in Belize (Shutterstock). Ancient Temples and Caribbean Isles, Journey Latin America

For travellers with kids aged two and over

Introduce your kids to real-life myths and legends on this two-week independent Ancient Temples and Caribbean Isles trip – where Mayan history and culture is brought to life. If you're looking for an opportunity to bond with your little ones over shared adventures, this private trip is for you.

Nothing beats hiking though Guatemalan rainforest to find ancient Mayan temples and pyramids: your kids will be fascinated by the stories that lie within. Spot howler monkeys on nature walks, snorkel in warm Caribbean waters, discover colonial towns (where the locals will be eager to fuss over your tots), and kayak on Lake Atitlán.

Week two takes you to Belize, where you'll rest up in a remote riverside cabin camp, with only rainforest-dwelling wildlife for company. There are lots of outdoor activities to try, or you can simply chill out. The pearly white beaches of Ambergris Caye await for your final few days – the snorkelling and swimming here are fantastic, and there are a plenty of beach bars to keep the grown-ups happy too. 

4. Camel rides and pyramids in Egypt

Riding a camel in Egypt (Shutterstock). © Provided by Wanderlust Riding a camel in Egypt (Shutterstock). Explore Egypt, Oasis Overland

For travellers with kids aged five and over

Feel like intrepid explorers on this classic Explore Egypt adventure: Eight days getting to grips with the best bits along the Nile. You'll tour Cairo with an Egyptologist guide, meet the Sphinx and visit the pyramids at Giza, take a ride on a camel – and finally take the sleeper train to Aswan. And that's just day one!

In Aswan, you have the choice to stay in a hotel or fully-catered cruise boat – simply choose the option that works best for you. Visit a Nubian village, take a hot air balloon flight over the Nile, decipher the hieroglyphics in the Valley of the Kings, and wander through Luxor Temple while the sun sets on the river.

There's also the opportunity to visit a local children's home which is sponsored by Oasis – guaranteed to broaden your little one's mind and create some memories that will last a lifetime. 

5. Adventures in the Amazon, Peru

Family at Machu Picchu (Shutterstock). © Provided by Wanderlust Family at Machu Picchu (Shutterstock). Peru & Inca Family Discovery, Grand American Adventures

For travellers with kids aged five and over

Journey deep into the Amazonian Jungle, explore the enchanting city of Cusco and discover the secrets of the Sacred Valley on this 10-day Peru & Inca Family Discovery trip with Grand American Adventures.

If your kids are adventurous, they'll love the varied experiences and activities on offer: when you're not taking in dizzying mountain views or meeting weird and wonderful wildlife, you'll be searching for caymans by night, climbing up to a tree canopy tower, or cruising an oxbow lake in the Amazon.

The highlight of this family trip is a scenic journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu, plus a guided visit to this fabled site. You'll poke around and soak up the beautiful mountain views, exploring with a group of other mixed-age travellers. 

6. Bulgaria: the wild side of Europe

Waterfall in Bulgari (Shutterstock). © Provided by Wanderlust Waterfall in Bulgari (Shutterstock). High Jinks in Bulgaria Family Adventure, KE Adventure

For travellers with kids aged six and over

Deep river gorges, dark caves, acres of woodland – Bulgaria is a real-life fairytale setting, and this eight-day High Jinks in Bulgaria Family Adventure trip showcases the best family-friendly activities you can do. You'll be based in the quaint village of Trigrad, in shared accommodation with a few other families – so the kids can make firm friends while you chill out.

And you'll certainly need some relaxation time: every day of this trip bears a new challenge or activity. Think rock climbing, horse riding, picnicking, hill walking, canyoning in 'Devil's Throat' (which has over 150 caves), and even a night of wild camping. There's also the chance to try a via ferrata – a rather scary hiking route – under close guidance from an instructor. Perfect if you want to nurture your little one's adventurous streak.

7. Iceland's glaciers and volcanoes

Young woman in Iceland (Shutterstock). © Provided by Wanderlust Young woman in Iceland (Shutterstock). Family Land of Ice and Fire, Explore

For travellers with kids aged five and over

This Family Land of Ice and Fire trip really lives up to its (rather alarming) name – over eight days you'll explore volcanoes, hot springs and glaciers – and even spot whales off the coast of Reykjavik. On the first day, plunge straight into the action in the thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, before exploring waterfalls and gorges on foot in Thorsmork Nature Reserve – it's surrounded by mountains and glaciers.

Next up, it's geysers galore: watch these incredible water spouts erupt, and spy the spectacular 50-metre waterfalls of Gullfoss. You'll have a day on the Snaefellsnes peninsula – home of untouched beaches and small fishing villages – oh, and a whopping great ice-topped volcano, too. 

This is a small-group trip, so you'll be travelling with other families – always accompanied by a guide leader. Accommodation is in small hotels and a farm lodge, usually with swimming pools and hot springs within reach (so you and the kids must be able to swim). 

8. Meet Borneo's orang-utans

Orang-utans in Borneo (Shutterstock) © Provided by Wanderlust Orang-utans in Borneo (Shutterstock) Borneo Family Adventure, Exodus

For travellers with kids aged five and over

Camping in the jungle, hanging out with orang-utans, bathing in hot springs... the list of escapades on this 12-dayBorneo Family Adventure group trip just goes on and on.

You and the kids will meet Borneo’s ’wild-men’ at Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Project and Proboscis monkeys at Labuk Bay Sanctuary, and bed down in a jungle camp in the heart of wild Borneo. You'll go on walking safaris to find crocodiles and macaques, and cruise in a longboat while looking for birds of paradise.

An idyllic island awaits, too: if you've ever dreamed of snorkelling among tropical fish and turtles with the kids, now's your chance. Still got energy for more adventures? Head to Kinabalu National Park for trekking routes galore. Finally, soothe your tired limbs in Poring Hot Springs – this is one bathtime the kids really will love.

9. Island hopping and volcano climbing in Italy

View from a cliff on the island of Capri, Italy (Shutterstock). © Provided by Wanderlust View from a cliff on the island of Capri, Italy (Shutterstock). Italy Family Holiday, The Family Adventure Company

For travellers with kids aged five and over

If your kids think that Italy is just about ice cream and pizza, their eyes will be opened by this Italy Family Holiday: For one week, you'll flit between the two great cities of Naples and Sorrento, soaking up the sights with other families for company.

This really is a holiday: you'll meander through the cities' best bits, and take in the ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii at a leisurely pace. If your kids are fascinated by volcanoes, they'll love climbing up the cone of Vesuvius. A relaxing day on Capri Island and a tour of the Blue Grotto by boat provide a spectacular breath of fresh air – and there'll be plenty of time to hang out on the beach or in your hotel pool.

And yes – if your children are hankering for pizza and ice cream, they can gorge on their favourites while you tuck into more varied fare: Just-caught seafood, heaped bowls of fresh pasta, and locally-made wine, to name but a few...

10. Whiz through the rainforest in Cuba

Cayo Santa Maria (Shutterstock) © Provided by Wanderlust Cayo Santa Maria (Shutterstock) Cuba Libre!, Families Worldwide

For travellers with kids aged 11 and under

You might be itching to visit Cuba before it loses its character, but is there enough to keep the kids entertained? You bet! Over 11 high-energy days, this Cuba Libre! group trip combines history with adventure, culture with wildlife – showcasing Cuba's best bits for all the family.

First up, Havana: pull on your dancing shoes for a spot of salsa, tour the city's historical hotspots in a 1950s American car, and bond with the other families over group meals and sightseeing. Vinales National Park is your next stop for rainforest walking routes, treetop zip wires, and bike trails that will take you deep into the wilderness.

You and the kids deserve a few days relaxing, so kick back on the powdery white beaches of Cayo Santa Maria where sand castles, swimming pools and fruity cocktails await.

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