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Six magical European getaways for families

Family holidays are more than just vacations; travelling together as a family is a chance to strengthen bonds, make new discoveries and create special memories that never fade. But with different personalities and ages at play, making them work for everyone — from parent to pre-schooler, teenager to toddler — takes creativity, imagination and, perhaps most importantly, a spectacular destination. Choose the right destination and no matter what your age or interests, you’ll find something that excites and inspires. 

From castles to manors, old-world guesthouses to boutique townhouses, the Historic Hotels of Europe collection holds the magical ingredients for a truly special family getaway — each stay boasts fascinating stories to explore, fun activities to undertake and an undeniable sense of excitement. We’ve chosen six magnificent stays across Europe to inspire your next family adventure.

1. Schloss Wartegg, Switzerland

This charming castle hotel on the shores of Eastern Switzerland’s Lake Constance is a spectacular family destination. From lakeside adventures to cycling, on-site concerts to hiking routes, both the castle and its beautiful surroundings are tailormade for exploration. Parents will find time to relax in the hotel’s Turquoise Bath, a 5.5 metre bathing oval dating back to 1928, while children will flock to both the castle playroom and the outdoor playground. Schloss Wartegg’s English Park is a green oasis created in 1860; garden art, castle vegetable patches and walking trails provide hours of entertainment for all ages. Family rooms are available at Schloss Wartegg, comprising two linked bedrooms and a small kitchen unit.

2. Castle Sterkenburg, Netherlands

Enter this 13th-century castle to discover a world of adventure. The castle’s impressive round tower and original interior features bring fairytales to mind and there are so many interesting nooks and crannies to explore. Outside, a garden picnic area hosts al fresco lunches, while the spacious gardens include an orchard and terrace with barbecue facilities. Castle Sterkenburg is an ideal base for outdoor adventures with Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park only a 20 minute drive. A family canoeing adventure in nearby Krommerijn will provide plenty of laughs, while day trips to the city of Amsterdam are quick and convenient. Cots and extra beds are available at Castle Sterkenburg on request for a set fee.

3. Blue Haven, Ireland

A stay at Kinsale’s Blue Haven will unlock the wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s world-famous coastal driving route. Located in the centre of a bustling fishing port in County Cork, this boutique hotel is perfectly positioned for a range of maritime adventures. Just a 20 minute drive from beautiful Garretstown Beach, the Blue Haven is a welcoming, comfortable base for families in need of relaxation after days spent swimming in the sea, exploring the beaches and following the spectacular walking trails around this epic part of southern Ireland. Kinsale itself is known for its colourful homes, fascinating street art and cobblestone streets — you’ll see art galleries and stylish boutiques rubbing shoulders with heritage buildings and cosy pubs. Classic and Superior family rooms are available at the Blue Haven, blending elegant design with every modern comfort.

4. Hotel Alte Goste, Italy

Surrounded by the spectacular landscape of the Puster Valley, Hotel Alte Goste is a family-friendly guesthouse in Italy’s South Tyrol. With the magnificent Dolomite Mountains on its doorstep, this traditional three star guesthouse links families with an exciting world of outdoor activities and sporting adventures. Decorated in Alpine style, Alte Goste is warm and welcoming, the perfect base for hiking tours (organised by the hotel three times a week), mountain biking, fishing and skiing (in winter,  the hotel’s free ski shuttle brings guests to the Plan de Corones slopes, an eight minute drive away). Children of all ages are welcomed at Hotel Alte Goste, which rates consistently highly with families.

5. Saka Manor, Estonia

Near the scenic limestone cliffs of Kohtla in Northern Estonia is Saka Manor, a neo-Renaissance estate overlooking the Gulf of Finland. The manor itself offers luxurious, comfortable accommodation for families, while the grounds hold adventures galore: choose from a marked hiking trail, a campfire site, a swing, a summer pavilion and tennis and beach volleyball courts. Kiviõli Adventure Center, an epic activity park, is only a 15 minute drive away, while Toila Spa Mini Golf is just 23 minutes away by car. Cots and extra beds for children are available at Saka Manor for a set fee.

6. Vetrov Castle, Czech Republic

One of the oldest, historical castles in the Czech Republic, Vetrov Castle offers an adventure-filled escape for families of all kinds. Surrounded by 15 hectares of parklands — and yet just a five minute drive to the city of Aš, Vetrov Castle has been transformed from a virtually abandoned chateaux to a glorious four-star castle hotel. The property itself is well-designed and elegant with comfortable rooms, while the fish ponds that ornament the garden add a charming note. Bikes are available, making exploring the grounds of the castle and its surroundings easy, while fishing at the hotel lake is a memorable way to spend an afternoon. Four ski resorts are accessible from Vetrov Castle by car; the closest and most picturesque is Marianske Lazne Ski Resort, just 55km away.

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