Is summer a distant memory? Here are some of the best October half-term breaks

Do your summer holidays already feel a distant memory? Now is the time to sneak in an autumnal break during half-term before the chaos of Christmas starts. To find the best family friendly breaks for October half-term, we turned to Oliver Bell, co-founder and owner of Oliver’s Travels Ltd. Oliver has over 12 years' experience and has built up a portfolio of 1,500 hand-picked properties. See his picks:

1) PUGLIA – SOUTHERN ITALY


Ah Puglia, the Italian region of the moment, but where do we begin? Travellers will be most impressed by the celebrated architecture at the heel of the boot, best summarised by the word ‘baroque’. Exhibited in Lecce and Gallipoli, the architecture best captures the essence of the region, one we’re yet to resist. And then there’s the food; earthy and modest – even the fussiest of eaters will be pleased. A real foodie favourite is burrata, a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. Yum!

Great for kids - The coastline is an endless playground for cartwheels, sand castles, snorkelling and creamy gelato. But Puglia also has a few theme parks the kids will love; roller coaster thrills and wildlife fun, perfect for a family of all ages. For more info make sure to check out the best kid activities in Puglia.

Recommended properties:
“trulli” Villas
Trulli Lagorio or Villa Trullo

2) CRETE – GREECE


A generous spirit, welcoming locals, and glittering views over the Med, Crete is a must. Foodies will be in the very heart of good food – everything is made with passion and love, right down to the olive oil. You’ll notice that many tavernas often produce their own meats and seafood, which is all part of the culture. Pair off any good meal with a shot of Raki, Crete’s national spirit.

Great for kids - The locals will take you and your clan in like their own, so saddle up to embrace the friendly Greek lifestyle. Your kids will have a playground to explore at every corner, whether that’s the gloriously warm ocean waters, building historic sand castles or thrill seeking at water parks – the list really does go on, and on. And there’s even more, check our blog to experience Crete with kids.

Recommended Villas:
Sea View Villas or Atlantica Caldera Villa IV

3) BERGERAC – DORDOGNE


With the eponymous river running through the heart of the Dordogne, travellers will adore the luscious green vistas, intricate history and tasty cuisine in spades. At any time of the year there’s a good chance you’ll stumble across a celebration, seasonal market or a humbled local ready to give you their insider knowledge*. Though this all sounds incredibly delightful, don’t expect to be alone – the sunnier days will see that attractions are busier than the usual. So if you’re not too keen on the hot weather, spring and late autumn are quieter alternatives.

Great for kids - Not sure if the kids will enjoy this villa holiday destination? Let us put you at ease. As mentioned earlier, the river is the epicentre that makes this region as special as it is, so why not take it to the next level and enjoy a spot of kayaking or canoeing. The river is pretty smooth, so kids of all ages can enjoy this beauty up close. And that’s only the beginning, if you want more family ideas, check out our post on the best kid activities in Dordogne.

The Autumn Grain Festival (10th – 25th October) is a cultural shindig with loads of music to enjoy.

Recommended Villas:
Joli Champ or Jaumarie

4) LOCH LOMOND – SCOTLAND


Why chase the sun when you have the beautiful scenery of the Scottish lochs from the comfort of your hot tub? Grab a hot chocolate and a blanket and enjoy. The kids will love getting wet and dirty with their wellies on!

Recommended Lodges:
Cameron North Lodge or Loch Lomond Manor

5) MALLORCA


This classic Mediterranean postcard is an oasis waiting to be explored. Mallorca is ideal for families, an appeal that stems from the welcoming, laid-back vibe that captures everything great about Spain and best of all there’s plenty to see, do and eat. It’s no secret Mallorca tops Europe’s summer holiday charts, but why? We put it down to variety. The stunning coast is a perfect reminder why the beaches have never lost their appeal.

About Pollensa and Puerto Pollensa… This charming town is full of authentic experiences. Be sure to check out the farmer’s market where you can purchase local produce, perfect for a poolside barbecue in your villa. The 365 Calvari steps are another must-do in Pollensa. The view from the top is sublime.

Great for kids - Thankfully, Mallorca is relatively close to home, the flight is typically 2h 30 mins so travelling with little ones shouldn’t be too draining (or so we hope) but once you’ve reached your villa, Mallorca is yours to roam free. Quench the heat with a fun-filled day at Aqualand – one of the best water parks in the Balearics, explore the area by bike or gush over the local animals.

Recommended Villas:
Chalet en la font or Villa Alqueria

October 2017