The summer vacations may feel like a world away now but come June they'll be a veritable beacon of hope amidst the (organised) chaos of early morning wake-ups, school runs and vain attempts to prevent toothpaste from finding its way onto every single item of school uniform. Frankly, it's exhausting. Which is where we come in, because when it comes to organising your summer vacation getaway you can just sit back, relax and leave the hard work to us. We've even handpicked a selection of our favourite family-friendly experiences to get you started...
LA DOLCE VITA: THE DOLOMITES & VENICE
The Dolomite mountains transform in summer from ski heaven to lush green valleys and thick forests - perfect for some family fun. Enjoy bike rides, hikes and long lunches in the mountains. All that fresh air combines perfectly with a few days in Venice where we can arrange all kinds of family-friendly tours, from historically based symbol hunts to Renaissance tours that focus on what it was like to be a child during this time.
ISLAND HOPPING: CROATIA
The best way to see Croatia's stunning Dalmatian coastline is from the sea, and one of our favourite family experiences is to kayak your way from Dubrovnik to the Elaphiti Islands over the course of a week. Fear not, this is a very gentle expedition with children as young as eight able to take part and kayaking is restricted to a couple of hours a day. The rest of the time will be spent swimming, walking, cycling and, most importantly, relaxing on the various islands you'll visit.
FRENCH FANCIES: PARIS & THE COTE D'AZUR
With a global centre for art, gastronomy and culture in Paris and the picturesque old fishing villages and beautiful coastline of the French Riviera, it's never too early to introduce the kids to our Gallic neighbours. We can organise everything from treasure hunts in Paris to perfume making in Grasse and lessons at a golf academy.
PERFECT PORTUGAL: LISBON, COMPORTA & THE AZORES
Head off the beaten track in Portugal with this perfect combination of city, beach and island living. Lisbon is one of Europe's most laidback cities while the nearby beaches of Comporta remain relatively wild and undiscovered (perfect for learning to surf) compared to their Algarvian associates. Then there's the Azores, an archipelago way out in the Atlantic Ocean, where you will find beautiful volcanic landscapes ripe for exploration, fantastic whale watching opportunities and the best diving in Europe.
CITY & BEACH: SPAIN
Seville is something of a pocket rocket in the European city rankings, making it perfect for little legs that tire easily. Introduce the kids to some cultural learning with a flamenco show, a tour of the iconic Real Alcazar and the best helado (ice cream) outside Italy. Combine with a few days of relaxation on the coast and you've got the perfect family escape.
LAND & SEA: TURKEY
Despite some recent political turbulence, Turkey remains one of our favourite family destinations and there are few more civilised modes of transport than the gulet - designed with a wide hull for maximum stability and comfort. Spending a week lazing on a spacious deck, enjoying a full range of watersports and exploring charming harbours, temples and ancient tombs to land is pretty much dictionary definition idyllic holiday territory.
A FRESH TWIST: SWEDISH LAPLAND
Mention of Swedish Lapland generally conjures images of snow-covered landscapes, husky dogs and the Northern Lights but the region is also wonderful for families during the summer months. The pristine landscape and sense of solitude makes for a seriously relaxing environment in which to walk, cycle, kayak and fish. Or to simply do nothing at all.