If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous than a beach holiday for the kids this summer, there is a whole range of new activity trips available this year. Indeed, if you can afford it, you can spend the whole of the summer holidays moving from one activity to the next.
France: If the children are into the outdoors, Eurocamp's La Croix du Vieux Pont site near Paris has introduced "bushcraft" classes this year. Children of eight and over (or younger if supervised) can learn basic survival skills, from how to start a fire to tracking animals and foraging for food. Classes last for between 90 minutes and three hours a day and cost around $38 (Dh142) for adults and $29 (Dh106) for children. It currently has a special offer for April 18 of only $107 (Dh392) for seven nights for the whole family in a mobile home, but expect to pay nearer $1,306 (Dh4,800) in July and August. See www.eurocamp.co.uk.
For families with children aged four and over, HF Holidays is offering self-guided donkey trails in the French countryside. The idea is that the family walk together and use the donkey to carry provisions and tired children. The company arranges the overnight stays and transfer of luggage. There is an eight-day trip in the Cevennes, but new this year is a six-day trip in the Ardèche. The price is $900 (Dh3,305) for adults and $509 (Dh1,870) for children, and includes accommodation, all meals, maps with the designated routes and one donkey per family. See www.hfholidays.co.uk.
Italy: To enjoy the beauty of nature from a higher vantage point, horse riding in the Tuscan countryside is a new trip on offer from the web-based company Tourdust. Based in an old farmhouse in Montaione, near the medieval city of San Gimignano and within striking distance of Florence, the rides take you through gentle hills, vineyards and olive groves. Every day there are options of half-day rides to choose from, to such places as San Vivaldo, a Franciscan monastery which dates back to the 16th century, along trails that lead to the natural sulphur springs of Bagni di Mommialla. From $1,307 (Dh4,802) for adults and $1,150 (Dh4,230) for under-16s. See www.tourdust.com.
Turkey: To inculcate some culture and a history lesson on the Greeks and Romans, alongside the excitement of a boat trip, Peter Sommer Travels has a one-week special family tour along Turkey's south-west coast. The gulet cruise begins in Bodrum (ancient Halicarnassus) and visits major historic sites en route to Ephesus, one of the best preserved Roman cities in the Mediterranean. Children can play in the sea and explore the ancient ruins. The gulet stops in the small harbour of Myndos, where Cassius sheltered after murdering Julius Caesar, and in Lasos, a wealthy ancient port celebrated for its fish market and red marble. It also passes two temples, the shrine to Zeus at Euromus and the oracular temple at Didyma. The eight-day trip from May 29 to June 5 costs $2,658 (Dh9,763) for adults and $2,468 (Dh8,938) for children up to 12. See www.petersommer.com.