“Look kids, no fibreglass!” While Disneyland and the Harry Potter studios are all very well and good, nothing compares to these real-life attractions for getting kids wide-eyed with wonder.
“This is Part 1 of our series on amazing holiday destinations for kids. Click here for Part 2 – The Americas.”
While Disneyland and the Harry Potter studios are all very well and good, nothing compares to some of the world’s most magical real-life attractions for getting kids wide-eyed with wonder.
If you’re after a holiday they’ll really remember, here are seven destinations in Europe guaranteed to get imaginations firing on overtime.
Perched over one of the world’s prettiest gorges, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria was the model for Disney’s famous Sleeping Beauty Castle. For extra fairy-tale props, hop on one of the horse drawn carriages heading up the hill. The castle is also ideally placed as the main stop on the “Romantic Road”, a trail in Bavaria of ancient towns and castles.
Cappadocia in Turkey is famous for the “hoodoos” - natural “fairy chimneys” formed in the soft volcanic rock and hollowed out with dwellings dating back to the 4th century. Troglodyte villages and underground cities can also be seen there. Take a hot air balloon tour and consider a stay in one of the many cave hotels dotted around the region.
More info: https://www.cappadociaturkey.net/
Stromboli Island is home to one of the most active and accessible volcanoes in the world. It is therefore no surprise that this bustling island supposedly served as a model Orodruin or Mount Doom, the terrible mountain of Tolkien’s Mordor and home of the Dark Lord Sauron. The full walk to the top isn’t for the faint hearted, but there is a viewing platform at 400 meters for those who can’t brave the full trek.
How could medieval warriors run in chain mail armour? How heavy is a stone axe, really? Head to the ruins of the Dominican Black Friary, a short distance from Trim Castle in the town of Trim, Ireland. Kids can play at a camp where they can pick up heavy stone axes and run in chain mail. Older children will enjoy a tour of nearby Trim Castle, which starred in the movie "Braveheart."
Geologically speaking, Iceland is nature’s variety show. Most spectacular is the geyser Strokkur in the geyser area, which produces a high column of boiling water every 15 minutes or so. Not to mention the bubbling hot springs, glaciers, ice caves and other natural wonders found all over Iceland. There are apparently so many waterfalls around the country that not all of them even have names.
More info: https://www.visiticeland.com/DiscoverIceland
At Kakslauttenen in the Finnish Lapland you can settle down for the night in a snow igloo, a log cabin or even a glass igloo! Try your luck at a glimpse of the northern lights, and schedule some husky sledding in the morning.
More info: https://www.kakslauttanen.fi/
Loch Ness is full of surprises, not least the chance to glimpse the mysterious “Nessie”, the world famous Loch Ness Monster. On the peaceful South Loch Ness, you’ll find famous 100ft waterfalls at Foyers and opportunities for spotting red deer. Boat trips operate all year around, and every season has its special moments. A spectacular sight on frosty winter's mornings is when the mists boil off the water’s surface or when an early evening moon-rise sparkle off the water.
More info: www.visitlochness.com
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