School’s out: 10 half-term holiday bargains

In Travel Inspiration by KerrynLeave a Comment

Have some family fun this half-term holiday (Photo: Cia de Foto)

Have some family fun this half-term holiday (Photo: Cia de Foto)

The February half-term holiday is a great opportunity for families to escape the cold weather and jet off to sunnier climates in destinations like Lanzarote, Egypt and Majorca – or you can stay closer to home and snuggle up in Snowdonia. Here are ten of my favourite holiday spots, all great half-term bargains for the family.

1. Cycling in Tuscany

Explore places like San Gimignano on cycling holidays in Tuscany (Photo: Frank Kovalchek)

Explore places like San Gimignano on cycling holidays in Tuscany (Photo: Frank Kovalchek)

If your family enjoys the outdoors and wants to get some exercise this half-term, why not go cycling in Tuscany? I know what you’re thinking – why would you go cycling in the freezing cold? It may be cold in Tuscany in February, but the winter scenery is just as spectacular in its own way. Whether you’re based in Siena, Pisa or Florence you’ll be able to hire bicycles and cycle through unspoilt countryside, enjoying views of pretty Tuscan villages, cypress-covered hills, olive groves and vineyards thawing out under the gentle winter sun. It’s an excellent and cheap way to explore the countryside and you can save money on accommodation by choosing a self-catering holiday villa in Tuscany.

2. A beach break in Majorca

Majorca in February means quieter beaches and holiday bargains (Photo: Cristian Bortes)

Majorca in February means quieter beaches and holiday bargains (Photo: Cristian Bortes)

If you’d prefer to spend your half-term holiday in the sun, there’s always the prospect of a beach break in Majorca. It’s much cheaper than visiting the island during the high season – you should be able to pick up a great last-minute deal with low-cost airlines. Although there’s still a nip in the morning air, the day generally warms up nicely as it progresses, the almond trees blooming and the beaches peaceful and quiet. When you’re not stretching out on the sand you can explore the Serra de Tramuntana, watch the Pirate Adventure Show in Magaluf, or take a ride on the Soller Railway.

3. A city break in Rome

Have a cultural half-term holiday in Rome (Photo: Bert Kaufmann)

Have a cultural half-term holiday in Rome (Photo: Bert Kaufmann)

For those who prefer a cultural break, there’s always the Eternal City to consider. Bring ancient Roman history to life by taking your children to attractions like the Colosseum, the old Roman port of Ostia, and the Pantheon. When you’re done exploring the big three, give your kids a dose of culture and art by taking them to the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Although Rome isn’t the cheapest city, you can still save money before you get there. By staying in a self-catering holiday rental, or booking last-minute deals on airlines like Ryanair and easyJet, you bag savings where it counts.

4. Snuggling up in Snowdonia

Beautiful Snowdonia is the perfect place to snuggle up in winter (Photo: Stuart)

Beautiful Snowdonia is the perfect place to snuggle up in winter (Photo: Stuart)

This winter weather is perfect for snuggling up with a good book, and where better to do so than in a Snowdonia holiday cottage? You can’t help but unwind in such peaceful surroundings. When you’re not tucked under a blanket in your cosy confines, you can visit King Arthur’s Labyrinth in Corris, or explore castles like Caernarfon Castle, Portmeirion and Harlech Castle. The kids will love taking a ride on the Snowdon Railway, and remember – Snowdonia holiday cottages are only ever a short drive away from Anglesey and the Lleyn Peninsula beaches, both beautiful even when it’s raining.

5. Diving in Gozo

Visit Gozo's famous Azure Window during your half-term break (Photo: Berit Watkin)

Visit Gozo’s famous Azure Window during your half-term break (Photo: Berit Watkin)

With its Mediterranean mild winters, Gozo is a year-round diving destination and a great option for February half-term holidays. Its coastline comprises turquoise coves and dramatic limestone cliffs, and when you’re not diving, you can visit beautiful beaches like Ramla Bay, Hondog Bay and Dahlet Qorrot Beach. Other Gozo attractions include Xerri’s Grotto, St. George’s Basilica and The Citadel in Victoria. Best of all, you’ll get to pay out-of-season prices for everything.

6. Walk with giants in Northern Ireland

Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland (Photo: Damien du Toit)

Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland (Photo: Damien du Toit)

Northern Ireland is a great half-term holiday option for families with children who just can’t sit still. Here you can let them see the wonder that is, of course, the Giant’s Causeway, before learning all about its history at the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre. You can also go on a pony-trekking adventure, or visit the Titanic Museum in Belfast. Kids will also revel in Belfast Zoo and Ulster Museum.

7. A lazy break in Lanzarote

Explore the lunar-like landscape of Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote (Photo: blinking idiot)

Explore the lunar-like landscape of Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote (Photo: blinking idiot)

Not only are the Canary Islands within easy reach of the UK, but the winters on the islands are mild, especially around the beaches in the far south of Lanzarote. The Blue Flag sands of Playa Blanca and the sandy coves of Papagayo are pleasant even in February. It’s the perfect place to unwind during the half-term holiday. Although it’s the wet season, there is still plenty to see and do here: go-karting in San Bartolome; exploring the lunar-like landscape of Timanfaya National Park; and enjoying thrills and chills at Rancho Texas Theme Park in Puerto Del Carmen.

8. Sunshine in Egypt

Cleopatra Beach in Matruh, Egypt (Photo: Annemee Siersma)

Beautiful Cleopatra Beach in Matruh, Egypt (Photo: Annemee Siersma)

The Egyptian Mediterranean is the perfect place for a half-term holiday in the sun. It’s also excellent value for money at this time of year. When you’re not soaking up rays on the beach you can join an excursion to the Valley of the Kings, go quad-biking in the desert, or take a ride on a camel. In Alexandria you can visit the Lighthouse and the Alexandria Library, as well as the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa and Fort Qaitbey.

9. Family fun in Cumbria

There is plenty to see and do in the beautiful Cumbrian countryside (Photo: Ina Widegren)

There is plenty to see and do in the beautiful Cumbrian countryside (Photo: Ina Widegren)

If you don’t want to travel too far from home you can always opt to spend the February half-term having some family fun in Cumbria. Not only is there beautiful scenery but there is so much to keep the kids entertained, from the Lakes Aquarium to The World of Beatrix Potter. Little ones will love the children’s cooking classes at Augill Castle, or making pottery at Crafty Monkeys in Penrith. Hadrian’s Wall is also within easy reach if you’re staying in a Cumbria holiday rental.

10. A gastronomic break in Brussels

Bustling Grand Place in Brussels (Photo: Luke Ma)

Bustling Grand Place in Brussels (Photo: Luke Ma)

Although Paris is often a favourite choice for city breaks, Brussels is generally better value for money – and it’s just as easily reached thanks to the Eurostar. And let’s face it: what self-respecting kid won’t love a gastro break in a city renowned for its chocolate? Other attractions you and your kids won’t want to miss include the infamous Mannekin Pis statue, Mini-Europe, and the Museum of Natural Sciences. Is the weather at her worse? Visiting the Musée Rene Magritte is a great way to spend a rainy day.

If you’re looking for more half-term holiday inspiration visit HomeAway.co.uk.

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KerrynSchool’s out: 10 half-term holiday bargains

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