The October half term can be a lovely time to travel – the summer heat gives way to gentler climes and shoulder season rates make travel all the more affordable. Whether you are seeking some active adventure to let off steam or somewhere to relax during the October half term holidays, see below for a few suggestions or call our experienced team of travel specialists on + 44 (0)1242 787800 for a tailor-made itinerary to suit your family holiday wishes.
Turkey's position in the Eastern Mediterranean ensures a long season of fine weather and sunshine long into the autumn. Istanbul is the city's cultural heart, teeming with people and vibrancy. A few days here allows time to explore the souks, Byzantine, Ottoman and Christian architecture and glittering Bosphorus. Inland, Cappadocia is worth a few days to take a hot air balloon over the 'fairy chimney' landscape; stay in a cave-monastery in a troglodyte settlement for something truly unique. If relaxation is top of your list, then head to a family friendly beach resort such as Hillside Beach Club or D-Maris Bay, or charter an authentic Turkish gulet and sail along the coast, dropping anchor at will to swim in a deserted cove or enjoy lunch on deck.
The malaria-free game reserves of South Africa provide the perfect introduction to safari-life, with activities for children including tracking, learning survival techniques and spotting the Big Five. The exclusive-use Morukuru River House is set along the Marico, allowing game viewing opportunities directly from the deck. Complement a safari with a few days on the coast – go horse riding and whale watching at Grootbos. Enjoy kayaking and water-skiing or explore the sandy beaches at Plettenberg Bay - Kurland makes a good hub for exploring the Western Cape. Take a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, feed the ostrich at Cape Point and bring the region’s turbulent history to life with a visit to Robben Island.
The Maldives is just the tonic for exhausted families seeking some October half term relaxation. Go diving, snorkelling or swim with manta rays and turtles in the crystal waters of the Indian Ocean. Learn to surf in the lagoon before heading for the challenging breaks. Many resorts have excellent children’s’ clubs which cater for youngsters and teens while jaded parents rejuvenate in the spa or challenge each other to a game of tennis. With retro-chic touches, a fabulous children's club and music on tap, fun-loving Finolhu ticks a lot of boxes for families of all ages. Alternatively, head to One&Only Reethi Rah for particularly spacious villas, myriad activities and guilt-free escapism
The weather is divine in Oman in October as the summer melts into autumn. This is a perfect time for a family-friendly beach retreat in Muscat, with trips out on the sea to sail alongside dolphins. In the Al Hajar Mountains, there are old forts and villages to explore by mountain bike, and lively souks in fascinating ancient cities, while the aptly named Empty Quarter is just the place for a desert night under twinkling stars. Punctuate your journeys with stops to enjoy refreshing dips in wadi springs.
The climate in Morocco is especially pleasant in October. Use Marrakech as your base; stay at one of the delightful riads such as Riad Farnatchi or a resort hotel like Mandarin Oriental. The Djemaa El Fnaa is the city's lively heart, where you can watch snake charmers, story tellers and water sellers before exploring the souks and brushing up on your negotiation skills. Head into the Atlas Mountains to go walking through Berber villages, quad biking or riding, or take a helicopter over the mountains to the edge of the Sahara and ride a camel to a Bedouin camp to spend the night under the stars.
Stories of pharaohs and epic monuments fascinate children from an early age. Egypt is arguably the world's largest living museum with vast temple complexes, towering pyramids and elaborate tombs of ancient kings and queens. Cairo is inevitably the launchpad to a journey of discovery through millennia; the Pyramids of Giza are a must-see, while the museums contain the stuff of legends. A voyage by river boat along the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor is the only way to explore the temples that line the waterway, with time to relax and take a dip on deck. The culmination of a river journey is awesome Luxor, with its inspiring temple complexes of Luxor and Karnak, the Colossi of Memnon, Hatshepsut's Temple and the legendary Valley of the Kings.
Kenya is the ideal first-time safari destination, and while the wildlife is the primary draw, don't miss the opportunity to experience tribal life in the Masai Mara: meet Maasai warriors and learn bush skills. Enjoy adventures such as flying in a bi-plane, swimming beneath waterfalls, fishing on Mount Kenya and riding a camel to breakfast. Game drives are some of the best in East Africa, by day or night, on foot or 4X4. Complete your safari experience with a few days relaxing on the white sandy beaches of the Kenyan coast. Kinondo Kwetu is an extremely friendly boutique beach resort on a quiet stretch of coastline, with excellent service and attention to detail by its Swedish family owners.
For expert advice on where to go during the October half term holidays, please contact the specialist team at Red Savannah on + 44 (0)1242 787800 for more ideas.