25 brilliant summer family holidays for £500 per person A cheap-n-cheerful Greek package
Olympic Holidays is hard to beat on price if you’re planning a summer trip to Greece. In Corfu, its best bargain is the three-star Paleo Studios, hidden on a hill a stone’s throw from the resort town of Paleokastritsa. Rooms are basic but views – past squiggles of olive trees towards the sea – are the stuff of holiday photo dreams. Supermarkets and restaurants are a stroll away, while it’s 25 minutes to the sea. From £1,866, room only, including Easyjet flights from Gatwick (020 8492 6868).
The Italian Riviera
Even the middling three-stars of the Italian Riviera inflate their prices like overblown lilos in the summer holidays, when the jet set flock to Portofino. The agriturismos slightly away from the action offer better value, including Le Pale in the hills above Bogliasco, a seaside town along the coast towards Genoa. Its two rooms have an agreeable air of faded grandeur while a pool in its terraced garden with incredible views out to the Mediterranean. From £1,616, room only (00 39 010 3470388). Ryanair flies from Stansted to Turin (two hours’ drive away), from £51pp.
A strategic Swiss escape
Away from pricey Lake Geneva or Verbier but just half an hour from both, the town of Martigny has a lively market, the excellent Pierre Gianadda art museum and two particularly kid-friendly attractions: the mazes and inflatables of Labyrinthe Aventure and the ziplines and mini-golf of Western City. Accommodation here is good value, especially at four-star Hotel Vatel, part of a campus for hotel school students. Don’t let the unremarkable exterior put you off: it has swish interiors, a sunny terrace restaurant and, of course, exceptional service. From £1,616, B&B (00 41 277201313). Easyjet flies from Gatwick to Geneva, from £56pp.
A different side of the Canaries
A world away from Lanzarote’s brasher resorts, the whitewashed town of Arrieta is a serene place where cerulean shutters mirror the waves and fishing boats line the path to the beach. It’s home to Finca de Arrieta Eco Village, a collection of yurts, cottages and luxury houses that share a solar-heated pool. A stay here is a chance to immerse yourself in the local way of life: join Arrieta’s communal paella evenings on Monday nights and take surf lessons with the beachside school. Its surf shack costs from £998 (00 34 928 826720). Ryanair flies from Edinburgh to Lanzarote, from £173pp.