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3 of the world’s most magical travel experiences for children

Any parent will know that if you find a holiday that the kids will enjoy, the chances are you’re going to have a great time too.  Here we pick three very different luxury travel experiences – from three different continents – and hopefully you’ll find one to suit your family.  Which one would you choose and why? Become knights and damsels in the Loire Valley There’s a unique way for families to discover the Loire Valley, famous for its numerous castles, vineyards and the last residence of Leonardo Da Vinci: turning your children into knights and damsels for a few days. At a 16th Century château, your family will experience the age-old discipline of fencing in a safe environment with a personal training master who will reveal many of the secrets you need to excel at this sport – or should we say art? You will then be welcomed into a family-owned château. Your children will be dressed up in authentic costumes, enjoying a scavenger hunt around the eighteen fairytale gardens. They will even be introduced to the art of ancient handwriting: calligraphy. Later on, your family can discover the last truly wild river in France aboard a traditional wooden boat. Your kids will learn how to fish while you will be taught everything about local wines, with a tasting, of course. If it appeals, you can dabble in the art of chocolate making, and embark on a discovery of the gastronomic delights of the region. The day will finish up with a delicious meal of local specialities that you and the kids will be cooking up first. Family Twist can organise any or all of these activities to ensure that you and the family get the most out of your time in the “Garden of France”. Waterpark fun in the Caribbean Designed exclusively for families, Beaches Turks & Caicos caters for the young to the young at heart – which is why it’s been voted the ‘World’s Best Family Resort in the Caribbean’ by Travel+Leisure Magazine. Children will enjoy hours of fun at the 45,000 square-foot Pirates Island Waterpark, featuring 9 slides, a lazy river and awesome “surf simulator”; the 12-mile white-sand beach; the exclusive scuba programme; Sesame Street® activities with Big Bird and the gang; gaming at the Xbox 360® Play Lounge, not to mention the state-of-the-art Scratch DJ Academy and ultra-cool Liquid teen night club. Family Suites, located in the Italian Village at Beaches Turks & Caicos, sleep up to 12 people and feature kids’ rooms with bunk beds and Xbox® games consoles, meaning the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! It really is the perfect family holiday! Young Explorers in the Okavango Delta, Botswana Children never forget their first safari (who does?), and there is a dedicated programme deep in the heart of one of Africa’s best wildlife destinations to ensure it will be even more memorable! Ker & Downey’s Young Explorers operation utilises their traditional Footsteps safari camp in the Shinde Concession, one of the Okavango Delta’s most game-rich private reserves. With exclusive use of camp, activities, timings and even meals can be tailored to the tastes and needs of each family group, with children of seven and over welcomed into the fold. There will be a private guide who is skilled at interacting with children, entertaining as much as he informs, with a driver, chef and camp staff also dedicated solely to looking after your group. Shinde is an exceptional “mixed” concession, meaning activities are possible on land and water, including game drives, guided walks, boat cruises and fishing. Young Explorers is available for groups of three or more, with only three tents in camp meaning the experience will always be extremely intimate, and it combines perfectly with other Botswana child-friendly highlights in Chobe and the Kalahari.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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