Family Destinations for the Fall School Holidays

Eight great holiday ideas for late October and early November, for families needing a quiet escape or an adventure.

These are holidays for spending quality time with your kids and making long-term memories.

The fall school holidays are an opportunity to enjoy a new experience together, as a family, in destinations that are ideal for a one-week trip.


Have children who love football? The El Clásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona is on Sunday 27th October in Madrid.

It’s the first El Clásico after the huge renovation of the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, also the first with Kylian Mbappé wearing the white of Los Blancos.

Four Seasons Madrid

We recommend you stay as central as possible. Both Four Seasons Hotel Madrid and Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid are fresh for major renovations. They’re impeccable, grand hotels, ideally situated for exploring the heart of the city.

Mandarin Oriental Ritz Madrid

Spanish culture is all about families enjoying themselves together. You’ll see children, even very young children, out on the streets past midnight, after a meal or activity with their parents.

It could be after a flamenco show, dinner on a restaurant terrace at one of the city’s elegant plazas, or late-night chocolate and churros at the legendary Chocolateria San Ginés.

Three or four nights makes a nice city break at an outstanding hotel. You can easily stay longer and take day trips to enchanting medieval towns like Avila and Segovia.


Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

A classic and popular choice for our clients every fall. Dubai is such a convenient destination with kids. Good flights, great weather and so many things to do for all ages.

Dubai is also a strong repeat destination because of the superb collection of hotels. We will advise you personally on hotel choice. For inspiration see these very best 5* hotels in Dubai, our family hotel recommendations in Dubai and recent Dubai hotel inspections.

Dubai can also be a gateway to some interesting destinations that not everybody knows about, ideal as an add-on or a full week family adventure.

Six Senses Zighy Bay

Beach Villa at Six Senses Zighy Bay

Hidden where the desert meets the sea, Six Senses Zighy Bay is only a two-hour drive from Dubai International Airport.

It offers true seclusion in the most memorable of settings, with lots of activities in nature and a great beach. Most of the villas are excellent for families and all have a private butler and pool.

Bab Al Shams

The traditional architectural style at Bab Al Shams

Also consider a couple of nights in the desert. Bab Al Shams is fresh from a recent renovation.

Enjoy a complete change of pace from the city, with two days doing family experiences out in the tranquillity of the sand dunes. It’s only 45 minutes outside the city and easy to incorporate into an itinerary.

Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

Looking out from the St Regis Saadiyat Island

If you’ve done Dubai a few times, Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi makes a nice alternative. Good beaches, outdoor activities like kayaking, plus cool day trips within a 20-minute drive.

Louvre Abu Dhabi is definitely worth an afternoon, the whole area buzzes with interesting architecture. That’s one for the parents, then there’s Ferrari World for a theme-park kids day.

Four resorts stand next to each other on the beach and we can advise you personally on the differences between the St Regis, Jumeirah and Park Hyatt properties.


The cooler October weather makes it easier to explore the cultural and historical side of Sicily with kids

Sicily is our number one choice for extending the summer feeling in Europe. By late October and the school holidays you can guess how the weather will be at home.

October in Sicily is bliss, the water still warm enough for swimming, the daily highs in the mid twenties, cool enough for discovering the island’s culture and history.

The holiday season ends on the first week in November in resort towns like Taormina. Grand Hotel Timeo and Four Seasons San Domenico Palace are good options. Villa Sant’Andrea is the beachfront property to consider.

Ragusa is a stop on the baroque trail through southeastern Sicily.

Sicily can also be an adventurous cultural expedition, especially after the peak-summer heat and crowds. We could create a family itinerary for you, exploring the island’s baroque towns.

Another really interesting option is to combine Taormina and Palermo. First the relaxed resort town, with day trips around Mount Etna. Then the bustling city, with a stay at the fabulous Rocco Forte Villa Igiea.


The new Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island

Seychelles is our choice for an exotic beach holiday during the fall school holidays. Late October is one of the best times of year to travel to these islands, as there is less rain, lighter winds and calmer seas.

This archipelago of granite islands and pristine atolls favours active families. It’s not so much of a flop-on-the-beach type of holiday, even if the beaches are fabulous.

Family villa at Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island

The new Waldorf Astoria Seychelles Platte Island can be great with children aged six to 12, with multi-bedroom pool villas and a shallow lagoon that’s great for swimming.

You don’t even need to swim to see baby reef sharks, turtles and rays – they are visible when walking or kayaking around the island.

North Island is a good choice for families seeking a very private holiday together

North Island is known as a destination for celebrities on their honeymoon. In our experience it’s also excellent for families who want to spend quality, private time together.

It’s an enormous private island, with wildlife and nature a constant inspiration. Villas are so spacious, with two bedrooms and bathrooms. And the staff create a program to you, day by day, hour by hour, from taking your children deep-sea fishing to movie nights, beach picnics to tortoise feeding.

Beach holidays at Constance Lemurai
Constance Lemuria

Location and vibe make Constance Lemuria Praslin Seychelles another nice option for active families. It’s good value and a perfect choice for golfing families too, home to the country’s best 18 holes. We recommend the two-bedroom pool villas for families.

It’s not a private island, which does mean you have many easy activities around Praslin island itself. From Praslin you can easily explore uninhabited islands by yacht and spend a day on La Digue island nearby.

Morocco (Marrakech + Atlas Mountains)

Main pool area at Oberoi Marrakech, a peaceful resort just outside the bustle of Marrakech.

One week in Morocco will provide countless new family experiences. This is an exotic, colourful country with a range of destinations that can suit almost any family.

Moroccans love children. Your children are a gateway to a very authentic local experience, especially in the bustling city souks and medinas.

Marrakech is a great starting point for first timers. It’s hectic, vibrant and sometimes chaotic. But very safe and a fascinating cultural experience, for any age.

At Royal Mansour Marrakech you will have an entire multi-floored riad to yourself, in the city

This red city also offers a superb collection of hotels. Having your own private riad at the king’s Royal Mansour Marrakech is the ultimate choice, with Four Seasons Marrakech another excellent centrally-located option. Or stay outside the city, for example with a pool villa at Oberoi Marrakech.

From Marrakech you can easily and quickly travel into the desert and the High Atlas Mountains, a calm counterpoint that’s also very interesting from a cultural perspective.

Kasbah Tamadot has been extensively rebuilt after earthquake damage and is a great base for two to three nights in this part of Morocco. It’s highly luxurious while preserving the authenticity of the area.


Sunrise at Pico do Arieiro

Madeira is good with older children, especially children who enjoy lots of space and freedom to run around and explore.

What it lacks in top hotels – Reid’s Palace is the best option, although not on par with other Belmond properties – it makes up for in outdoor adventures.

Reid’s Palace, A Belmond Hotel, is the best place to stay on the island

For some, luxury is standing on a peak high above the ocean, watching the sunrise with a picnic. Or simply the opportunity to go walking in the serenity of nature.

Direct flights are making this remote Portuguese island popular among Czechs. We like how we can create such different itineraries for every family.

Kenya or Tanzania

A family safari experience at Angama Mara in Kenya

Imagine taking your kids on their first safari during the fall school holidays?

Late October and early November is a very underrated time to visit Kenya and Tanzania. You won’t see the big herds of the wildebeest migration and there could be some short showers, although this is increasingly rare.

Game viewing is perfect at this time of year, especially for encountering big cats. It’s the end of the dry season, so animals have very few places to hide on the short, dry grass.

Children of all ages can stay at Angama Mara, our favourite safari property for families. It’s definitely the choice with younger kids. However, a first safari is best with children aged ten and over, as they will be able to join in other activities, like walks.

Angama Mara has many varied activities, including authentic experiences with the local Masai community.

One week is perfect for a family safari. Fly into Nairobi then combine two destinations by light aircraft in Kenya. Definitely the Masai Mara, plus either the new Angama Amboseli or a lodge in the Laikipia Plateau.

We like this combination because of the diversity of experiences, landscapes and wildlife on offer. Plus the ease of getting around with kids.

Short grass at the end of dry season makes game viewing very easy in Tanzania in late October.

Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti is a fantastic first-time safari itinerary in Tanzania for adventurous families. It’s best to fly in and out of Kilimanjaro.

October is a nice time of year as it’s far quieter than July and August, while still impressing the complete range of wildlife. This option is more adventurous than Kenya, with more driving involved, but it’s a very authentic and intimate exploration of the African savannah.

Athens Riviera

The Parthenon was closed in June due to a heat wave. It’s much cooler in October.

Quiet beaches. Vibrant neighbourhoods. Legendary sights. Going deep in the city or cruising along the coast. Plus some quiet days around the pool.

Summer is the popular time to visit Greece. October is significantly cooler, a far more comfortable temperature for a holiday that goes beyond the beach.

The Athens Riviera can be a great combination holiday, especially at the excellent new One&Only Aesthesis.

Main pool area at One&Only Aesthesis

Definitely spend one day exploring on a yacht, a morning at the Acropolis, and an afternoon and evening in an Athenian neighbourhood like Glyfada or Plaka.

In four to six days you can explore the city and take your children to some of the great wonders of western civilisation. And have your beach and private pool time.

Travel During the Fall School Holidays

Late October is usually a fantastic time to travel as a family.

It’s the cooler, end of the season time in Southern Europe, plus there’s good weather across destinations in the Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean.

You don’t have the pressures and commitments of Christmas and end of year, including the inflated prices and limited availability of hotels.

The one-week fall school holiday is an opportunity to make a small adventure with your kids, to hang out together in a new place and try new experiences.

Where will you go?

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