8 amazing family holiday ideas for the October half-term

By Emily Waddell

The October half-term is a great opportunity to spend time with the children away from work, school and every-day stresses

However, finding a holiday that pleases everyone can be tricky. Some people want sun and sea, others could be looking for adventure, whether that be traversing wild mountains away from city life or expanding their cultural kudos with museums, galleries and spectacular city views.

Never fear! We’ve found eight amazing holiday ideas that include all of the above (or most of it) that should keep even the grumpiest teenager or terrible toddler from kicking up too much of a fuss.

‘Avin a lovely time in the Algarve

Portugal, Algarve
Discover the Algarve this October © tagstiles.com – S.Gruene/shutterstock.com

Miles of golden beaches and family friendly activities await you in the Algarve, and with an average temperature of 19°C, it’s no wonder it’s become a popular autumn getaway. The beaches are outstanding, so take a load off and plop down at the blue-flag Praia do Anção which has sand dunes popular with little uns. If you’ve got more adventurous sprogs who need more excitement than seaside relaxation then the rock pools housing sea urchins and other creepy crawlies at Praia do Amoreira will entertain for hours – you know, while you get some rest.

KAYAK Tip: The Algarve isn’t a huge, so make the most of the entire area by renting a car and exploring. You can find a hire a car for as little as £4 a day, so live a little and adventure!

Feelin’ fine in the Forest of Dean

Fantasy and mystery at Puzzlewood © GuyBerresfordPhotography/shutterstock.com

Ahhhh breathe in that fresh air, dig out the walking boots, anoraks and prepare for traditional UK countryside holiday in the Forest of Dean. Perfect for exploring and then cosying up for a warm pub dinner in the evening. There are plenty of short easy walks for families that don’t require special equipment or long attention spans, Forest of Dean Tourism has compiled 12 to pick from. If walking isn’t your thing then no worries, traverse the Clearwell Caves and discover history from over 180 million years ago! History buffs will be delighted.

KAYAK Trip: Puzzlewood looks like it’s plucked from a fantasy movie set but in actuality, it was built in the 19th century to create mysterious and unique walks with strange rock formations, secret caves and ancient trees. Truly a once in a lifetime experience it’ll enchant even the most apathetic teen.

Coastin’ on the Costa Brava

Costa Brava
Sun, sea and relaxation on the Costa Brava © Francesc/eyeem.com

With an average temperature of 17°C, it’s unlikely you’ll be catching much of a tan, but it is ideal wine-drinking on a seafront or down a quaint Spanish alleyway weather. A surprising family favourite on the Costa Brava is the Salvador Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres, children, teenagers and adults all get something enlightening out of the weird, quirky world that Dalí created. In October you may find some of the popular attractions will be closed. However, the hip in-land city of Girona with its cobbled streets and multi-coloured houses in the perfect place to discover authentic Catalan culture – must see’s are the grand Gothic Cathedral and Jewish Quarter.

KAYAK Tip: If you’ve had enough of cities then go back to basics with your family and explore the Cap de Creus Natural Park, coves, caves, coastline and cliffs await exploration. Probably best explored with older children with a sense of adventure, or who at least want good photos for their Instagram.

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Slicing down the slopes in Salzburg

Salzburg Austria
Start skiing this October © canadastock/shutterstock.com

Skiing is something you everyone should try at least once, but don’t settle for an indoor ski park down the road, Salzberg offers the perfect slice of Austria to get to know skiing properly. October isn’t really Winter in Austria so to ski, you’ll have to visit one of the many glaciers that offer 365 days a year of skiing. The Hintertux Glacier is the perfect choice for families with a Glacier kid’s park located at 3,250m making it the highest playground in Europe. As it won’t be peak season will mean cheaper prices and fewer crowds.

KAYAK Tip: Rent all your ski equipment online and receive a 10% discount, you can even pick it up at an exact time on an exact day at the base of the Hintertux Glacier – so no faffing at shops in Salzburg needed.

Positively picturesque in Paphos

Paphos, Cyprus
Paphos is the perfect family holiday © Lucky-photographer/shutterstock.com

Choosing a family holiday that ticks all the boxes can be tricky, you need sun, sea, sand, fun stuff for adults, things to entertain kids from ages 1-16 and it needs to be affordable – impossible, right? Paphos shouldn’t be dismissed as another Mediterranean beach resort, while at night you’ll find your fair share of neon-lit bars blasting karaoke, you’ll also find culture, history and food that the whole family can enjoy. Visit the Paphos Archaeological Park, at only €4.50 per person it’s a cheap day out to get to explore incredible Roman ruin and prehistoric buildings – history teachers will thank you. Aphrodite Waterpark is another Paphos favourite, and with an average temperature of 22°C in October it’s the perfect place to cool off and relax – find family packages for only €99 for two adults and three children.

KAYAK Tip: Loana Restaurant in Old Town is a great place to escape traditional tourist eateries, try some traditional Cypriot dishes outside on the cobbled streets. All menu items are kid friendly with nothing too challenging for fussy eaters and typically under €10 – bargain.

Oh wouldn’t it be Nice

Nice, France
Nice to see you, to see you Nice © Vasil Nanev/eyeem.com

Just saying the words “French Riviera,” makes us feel like we’re sitting on the beach with a glass of wine wearing a white Panama hat. Nice is a world away from busy stress-filled work tasks and school life; its classic stretches of beach surrounded by quaint French cafes and colourful bars don’t look like they even exist in the same universe as your daily grind. Nice’s climate is resting at a 17°C in October, making it the perfect weather to really discover the city walking its cobbled streets and colourful alleys. Embrace the experience and discover Old Town’s markets where all the family can get distracted by the array of flowers on show all day Mondays, enticing french food and chic bric-a-brac.

KAYAK Tip: Just a few minutes walk from the promenade you’ll find the Hotel Windsor a four-star 19th-century building with a tropical garden and outdoor swimming pool. A snatch in the off-peak season and offering childcare and babysitting services in case the adults want a night out on the town.

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Less Kos-tly than you’d think

Kos Greece
Why go, be-Kos! © George Papapostolou/shutterstock.com

With literally 100’s of Greek Islands to choose from it can be tricky figuring out where to go, Kos is actually closer to Turkey than Greece which means – a delicious combination of cultural food is on offer and families can enjoy the slightly hotter Turkish weather averaging around 19°C. Kick off your holiday by reliving ancient Greek history at The Castle of the Knights of Saint John and the Tree of Hippocrates both near Kos Harbour. The Tree of Hippocrates is rumoured to be 500 years old and is a descendent of the tree under which Hippocrates taught medicine to his students, seeds from the tree have been planted all around the world.

KAYAK Tip: Younger children might be more interested in an excursion to the trip of Nissiros where they can see a volcano! Walk around the harbour the evening before to purchase tickets from one of the boats, they’ll have prices and which islands their visiting posted for the next day.

Put it all out there at PortAventura

PortAventura is a thrill-seeking families dream © Ana del Castillo/shutterstock.com

If our previous suggestion of Orlando is out of your price range then PortAventura on the Costa Daurada in Spain is the perfect alternative. Filled with themed destination areas like Mexico and China where exotic rides, attractions and food can be enjoyed. Order your tickets online so you can skip the mammoth queues and if you really want the V.I.P experience then the Express Pass tickets will give you the ability to jump queues to get on the most popular rides. From September to November, the whole of the park will have special Halloween events and parades but nothing too spooky for the under-13 crowd.

KAYAK Tip: Measure your kids! Height cut-offs (1m to 1.40m) exist on some of the more thrill-seeking rides so make sure you don’t cue up and get disappointed. Also, no outside food or drink is allowed in the park but you can fill out water from fountains around the park.

Note: These rates are based on search queries made on KAYAK.co.uk on September 4th, 2017. The prices are quoted in GBP. Flight prices are based on results for a return economy flight search. Hotel prices are for double occupancy and include taxes and fees. Prices are subject to change, may vary, or no longer be available.