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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hassle Free Mallorca for Family Travel

Great holidays in Europe don't have to stop when you have children. Scattered around the Mediterranean are breezy alternatives to the lemming-like tourist route of dusty B&Bs, stuffy museums and stately homes. One of my all-time favourite family travel destinations is the beautiful Balearic island of Mallorca.   





The stunning Sierra Tramuntana mountain range here was recently awarded Unesco world heritage status. And it's here across the plains and pine-clad hills of Mallorca that traditional fincas are being transformed into 'agroturismos' which offer everything from five-star glamour to family-friendly apartments, all with delicious R&R as standard.

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Mallorca Farmhouses have perfected the family holiday over the years and now offer a variety of add-ons to ensure a hassle-free and fun-filled time is had by all. Each of its properties come with a private pool, maid service and starter pack, and nearly all have complimentary internet connection. Private catering, babysitting and a ‘pamper by the pool’ mobile spa treatment service can be arranged on request. For playground-weary parents in need of a much needed Easter break Mallorca Farmhouses have got some fantastic rates on rural retreats starting from just £517 ($814) per week (which equates to just £86 or $135 per person) 



These include: 


Burgues (sleeps six) is a quaint three-bedroom villa in the seaside town of Pollença offering dramatic cliffs, scenic countryside and golden beaches. A comfortable family villa with modern kitchen, garden terrace and large pool surrounded by a sweeping south facing lawn, guests will feel at home in this relaxing suntrap setting. Children will enjoy competing at outdoor table tennis and with horse riding and a water park within easy reach, there are plenty of activities to keep them entertained. With meandering paths leading into rural paradise and Puerto Pollença just a short drive away, Burgues offers families the best of both worlds. Prices in Easter 2013 start from £517 ($814) per week, which equates to £86 ($135) per person.

Cas Teuler Petit (sleeps nine) is a beautifully restored four-bedroom farmhouse nestled in the Son Van valley and just minutes from the beaches of Cala d’Or. Cas Teuler Petit is perfect for parents seeking family-fun in a relaxed environment, boasting plentiful outdoor space with floodlit gardens, a shaded area for children to play in and an inviting pool with Roman steps, ideal for little ones attempting their first paddles. The outdoor dining and barbeque area is great for family meals while the spacious living room and modern kitchen provide a comfortable haven from the sun’s warm rays. Prices in Easter 2013 start from £694 ($1093) per week, which equates to £78 ($123) per person.

Hortets de s’Horta (sleeps six) is a three-bedroom stone-clad cottage set within easy reach of the sandy coves in Cala d’Or and against a backdrop of distant mountains. With a private pool beckoning to be splashed in, a brick-built barbecue for lunch alfresco and table tennis, the whole family will enjoy hours of outdoor fun. Featuring exposed beams, a fully-fitted kitchen with large dining table and pristine bedrooms, Hortets de s’Horta is an ideal choice for parents in need of a little luxury. Prices in Easter 2013 start from £779 ($1227) per week, which equates to £130 ($205) per person.


 For further information and bookings, contact Mallorca Farmhouses

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Doing Good & Having Fun: Holidaying in Tanzania

travel with children tanzania orphanage
You know that when it comes to travel with children I'm huge on encouraging families to 'travel with a purpose' and to help put the money you spend back into the pockets of those who need it most
travel with children kids tanzania safari eco sustainable
Now my friends at bespoke agency Shadows of Africa - who arrange sustainable safaris and tours throughout Africa - have launched their own dedicated 'Traveling with Purpose' package, combining four of its most popular itineraries with time spent at a local orphanage.

With a unique focus on making a positive contribution to the destinations visited and lasting impact on local people en-route, the new Traveling with Purpose packages are designed to sate a thirst for adventure with the chance to spend time giving back. Combining an exploration of majestic Tanzania with the opportunity to meet new people, become immersed in a vibrant new culture and help those who need it most, Shadows of Africa's 2013 Traveling with Purpose itineraries will benefit the Kibowa Orphanage in Arusha, Tanzania.

Natasa Fras, CEO told me, "Our new Traveling with Purpose itineraries are a unique chance to see Tanzania through the eyes of an explorer, an adventurer and an individual whose little act of kindness means the world to the people encountered. Anyone can book a place on a Traveling with Purpose package and help by spending time with the children, sharing their skills or simply engaging in a daily activity. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to volunteer without the luxury of taking six months off work and to see Africa up close and personal, delving beneath the façade to discover what really makes the iconic landscape, cultures and people tick."

In addition to volunteering at the orphanage, a proportion of the cost of the trip is devoted to the centre, helping to cover the daily cost of food for Kibowa's 44 children as well as schooling, shoes, housing and supplies. Shadows of Africa has already placed each of the 44 children in a private school, which provides classes in English, and purchased books, clothes and daily meals.
Holidaymakers can choose from eight, 13 and 18 day tours. Option one couples two days at the orphans centre with an awe-inspiring Kilimanjaro climb, safari and several days relaxation on Zanzibar's spice island. Set over 18 days, this itinerary can also be enjoyed over an eight day stay.

Ms Fras added, "All of those who have enjoyed a Travel with Purpose itinerary so far are still connected with us, helping to raise funds and promote the orphanage. Travel to Tanzania could be life changing. Whether you are planning the trip of a lifetime, a gap year abroad or simply need a holiday, you can make a difference when you travel, not only for yourself but for the people and places you visit."