Family Holidays - Bringing the classroom to life
This summer opt for a family holiday that will inspire your child and bring knowledge gained in the classroom to life. Travel broadens the mind and the educational benefit of foreign travel for children is immense. They learn to interact with new cultures and society, adapt to a different language, experience new climates, food and how to spend new currencies. The Tirol Tourist Board has a selection of ideas combining traditional subjects with destinations, which will open their eyes to the world around them.
LANGUAGES Where? Leutasch Valley: Mosern, Ober Weidach and Reindlau
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Where better to learn a language than by taking a holiday in the country itself? Having learnt endless vocabulary lists and acted out textbook role-plays, the kids will be able to put into practice what they have been taught and build their confidence in speaking a foreign language. The Austrian Tyrol self-guided hotel-to-hotel walking tour, offered by Inntravel, is perfect for families with walking along the Alpine valley through meadows and forests, safe in the knowledge that your luggage is transported to the next destination. Children can utilise their German skills by helping with the navigation through reading signposts, asking people for directions and most importantly ordering an Apfelstrudel and Grosses Bier (for their parents!) after a hard day in the mountains.
Inntravel (01653 617009; www.inntravel.co.uk) has 7 night’s accommodation on half board at three hotels, with prices starting from £2554 (5-12yrs) or from £2744 (13-15yrs) sharing a family room or from £2914 for a family of four in two twin rooms. Price includes luggage transfers between the hotels and walking notes. Based on departures from 18 July to 26 August 2014. Flights are not included. easyJet (www.easyJet.com) fly twice weekly to Innsbruck airport during summer from £35 one-way.
HISTORY Where? Oetztal
Since the remarkable discovery of the Ice Man, or Ӧtzi as he is affectionately known, over 20 years ago, the fascination has continued into what life was like over 5000 years ago. So what was it like in Ӧtzi’s day? He was alive during the time of the Early Bronze Age when the discovery of copper was revolutionising the simple agricultural and cattle breeding of Europe and to put it into perspective he had already been dead about 600 years before the Pyramids were built in Egypt or before Stonehenge. Constant advances in modern medicine means research continues to throw up new information about the Ice Man, from what he wore and ate to how he died. Visit Umhausen in the Ӧtztal and take the children back in time on a visit to the Ӧtzi Village, an open-air archaeological park where they can see and experience the way of life when Ӧtzi was alive. Every Wednesday there is a special Stone Age day for children aged 5-14, where children become the archaeologist in the sandpit, bake flat bread on the stone slab, learn how they used to make fires as well as an introduction to archery and tattoo painting. Family ticket costs €17, for 2 adults and 2 children over 6 yrs old. http://www.oetzi-dorf.at/en
Head to the end of the Oetztal and stay in the resort of Obergurgl with Inghams (01483 791 114; www.inghams.co.uk). Depart in July or August and stay at the 4* Hotel Edelweiss and Gurgl for 7 nights on half board with prices starting from £2229.00 for a family of four in a large family room, including flights from Gatwick and resort transfers. There is a free daily activity programme for children and adults. Flights are also available from Bristol (+£69), Birmingham (+£49), Manchester (+£49), Leeds-Bradford (+£59) & Edinburgh (+£59).
P.E. Where? Wilder Kaiser
With child obesity at a record level coupled with too much screen time, a family holiday in the mountains is just what you need to get the kids fit and healthy this summer. The Wilder Kaiser region is home to six family adventure parks, including the Hexenwasser (Witches’ Water) in Söll, where you can discover sounds through stone and water, follow the secrets of the sun, wind and weather, have a go at bread baking or for a real buzz visit the Bee Garden. Over at Ellmi's Magic World on the Hartkaiser in Ellmau embark on a mystical journey following in the footsteps of the sorcerer's apprentice Ellmi. Take the funicular railway up to 1555m and enjoy amazing views whilst the children have fun with swings, trampoline, carousel, climbing castle and much more. In Scheffau the KaiserWelt Scheffau has tree cabins, climbing walls, zip wires and swings. Families holidaying in the Wilder Kaiser region will never be short of things to do with horse riding, cycling or swimming nearby in the picturesque Hintersteinsee lake above Scheffau all on offer too.
Crystal Summer (www.crystalsummer.co.uk; 0871 231 2256) offers 7 nights half board at the 4* Hotel Alpin in Scheffau from £1922 for a family of four. Price includes packed lunch, afternoon tea and cakes, unlimited drinks, children’s ice cream buffet as well as flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck and resort transfers. Regional airports are available at a supplement from £20. Also included in the price is 'Bobo Club' for children from 3 yrs with activities, Sunday-Friday.
GEOGRAPHY Where? Galtür, Paznaun Valley
A family holiday in the Paznaun Valley can bring to life various elements of both physical and human geography. Paznaun is a V-shaped valley, surrounded by the Verwall range in the north and the Samnaun range and Silvretta in the south, with the resort of Galtür located at the end of the valley. Having suffered a devastating natural disaster, when an avalanche hit the village in February 1999, Galtür has since then developed one of the most innovative avalanche protection systems. A must is a visit to the Alpinarium museum, which not only acts as an avalanche wall surrounding the village but is a great attraction too with exhibitions and an indoor climbing wall. A high-tech treasure hunt or geo-caching is a sure way to get children excited about reading maps and using co-ordinates and the geo-caching route at the Adventure Land in Galtür combines technology and nature beautifully. During July and August the tourist board run a special activity programme for children, offering a mix of activities from horse riding to climbing or bouldering.
Zenith Holidays (www.zenithholidays.co.uk; 020 3137 7678) has 7 nights at the 4* Hotel Ballunspitze in Galtür starting from £1700 for 2 adults and 2 children, on half board (Buffet breakfast, afternoon tea and evening meal) including transfers to and from Innsbruck airport. Flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck cost from £240pp (21 June 2014). It's also possible to fly from other airports into Munich. Regional airports into Munich, include Edinburgh (from £250pp on Sunday), Manchester (from £176pp) plus there is a transfer supplement of £80pp
SCIENCE & THE ENVIRONMENT Where? Reith near Kitzbühel
Get back to nature with a family holiday in the Tirolean resort of Reith near Kitzbühel, to give children a real insight into environmental science and how to protect the environment around us. The Hotel Pointner in Reith near Kitzbühel is regarded as one of Austria's eco-tourism pioneers. The hotel relies on wind and solar energy, small hydroelectric plants and biodiesel installations. Milk, fruit and vegetables in reusable packaging, cleaning agents and toilet paper bear the Austrian environmental trade mark and great importance is placed on refuse separation, with all the rooms contain separating bins. The Kitz4Kids programme, organised by the Kitzbühel tourist board, has so much to offer children with horse riding, treasure hunts, climbing and a visit to the copper mine just a few things on the agenda.
Depart in July or August and prices at the Hotel Pointner starts from €110 (£90) per room per night on B&B (www.hotel-pointner.at). easyJet (www.easyJet.com) fly twice weekly to Innsbruck airport during summer from £35 one-way.
For further information and images contact:
Becky Horton, Horton PR
email@example.com; 020 8330 2143; 07766 738020
Patricia Meixner, Marketing UK, Tirol Tourist Board
Patricia.Meixner@tirolwerbung.at, Tel. +43 512 5320 643