Cox & Kings Reviews: Family Holiday Destinations In India
Reshma Rohra reviews five family holiday destination in India. With inputs from Sarah Merchant
Family holidays are a special time to celebrate the feeling of togetherness and security with your spouse, children, parents, siblings and relatives. Now, to spend this special time, you should be going to a special place. When travelling with children, choosing the right destination that keeps the kids entertained along with offering fun and relaxation to the adults is essential. Also, it is important that you choose the right weather to vacation at any place.
India being home to various different cultures and picturesque natural beauty, exhibits an array of travel destinations that are ideal for family vacations. To make your job easier, Cox & Reviews sorts out top 5 destinations for family holidays and offers you a detailed account on Why go, What to do, When to go and How to reach there.
CnK reviews: Family holiday in Goa
From enthusiastic youngsters to the leisure-seeking elderly, the diminutive state of Goa makes for an ideal vacation spot for anyone looking for refreshment and relaxation. Marvelous beaches, old forts, churches, Goan flea markets and much more await you here.
Things to do in Goa
Enjoy the scenic view of the palm trees, white sand & sea at the enchanting beaches of South Goa, like Colva, Agonda, Benavali, etc. The Kids will be busy making sand castles and sand fairies at the beach while you and your spouse can take a small, romantic stroll there.
Indulge in various water sports at the North Goan beaches of Baga & Sinquerim; the kids are sure to love it. You can also shop at the flea market at Anjuna and other beaches; take home some souvenirs, junk jewelry, Goan t-shirts, jumpsuits, and so on.
In the night, once the kids are asleep in the hotel room, you can head to enjoy the bustling nightlife that Goa is known for. The clubs and pubs at the beaches and outside have amazing music, exotic drinks and delectable dishes to offer.
Also, explore ancient forts like Chapora, Aguada, Cabo and Mormugao. It will be an enthralling experience for you and the kids to learn about the historic eminence of each of these forts.
Apart from North and South Goa, there is Old Goa, which is said to be the perfect place to holiday with family. Wrapped in Portuguese architecture, this place is most known for its gorgeous churches. Go unfold the hidden stories behind every church here and be mesmerized.
Best time to visit Goa
Goa is one of the major tourist attractions in India and it is crowed with travelers all round the year. December and January are the busiest months when maximum people plan a trip here. But, the best time to visit Goa is in October, just after the monsoon ends and before the crowd starts pouring in. Doing so will allow you to peacefully relish all that this place has to offer.
Getting to Goa
There are alot of travel options, you can catch a flight to Goa and land at Dabolim Airport or catch a train to Madgaon and Thivim station. There are also a lot of private and public buses which go to Goa. Bus stops can be found all over Goa or you could simply take a road trip to Goa.
CnK reviews: Family holiday in Leh
Situated in Ladakh, the incredibly splendid town of Leh is encompassed with two of the largest mountain ranges in the world and alpine desert. This ‘Little Tibet’ is a tourist hotspot of the Northern India. The lifestyle & culture here are inspired by Tibetan Buddhism, which is the major reason for Leh being so popular.
Apart from the scores of Buddhist temples, Leh Palace and other beautiful structures and sights, there is lot more you can do with your family in this town. However, it is advisable to visit Leh with kids only if they are a little older, say 8 years and above.
Things to do in Leh
Take your kids to the famous Leh Palace exhibiting Tibetan architecture, built in the 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal. This enormous building has nine storeys, go discover the tales hidden in each part of the palace.
There are various Buddhist monuments and monasteries that you can go to see with your family. One of the most renowned structures is the Shanti Stupa. It was created by the ‘Peace Sect’ of Japanese Buddhists. You will feel the tranquility take over as you breathe in the air surrounding this peace pillar.
Go camping at the serene Pangong Lake located at the Indo-Chinese border. Here you can spot a lot of yaks and wild cows. It will be an amusing experience for the kids too.
For shopping you must visit the flea market at Old Leh Road. You will get the best ever handicrafts here along with beautiful silver jewelry, lapis lazuli, artifacts, rugs and so on. Also, the best time to visit this market would be in the night after the kids are asleep. This will allow you and your partner to take a romantic walk through this vibrant market and shop peacefully.
If you are planning a trip without children, then you can go on various adventures like hiking, biking, trekking, paragliding, river rafting and so on.
Best time to visit Leh
Since Leh is located at such an altitude, it’s freezing there for a major part of the year. It is Between May to September when the weather is warm and pleasant enough to enjoy your stay here. If you are planning to holiday in some other month apart from above, then make sure it is before November. Most activities are shut due to heavy snowfall after November.
Getting to Leh
Leh is connected to Jammu, Srinagar and Delhi by air. So, you’ll have to catch a flight to these three locations and then proceed to Leh. If you opt for the railways, the nearest railway station is located at Jammu about 739 kms from Leh. From there book a taxi or motorcycle or jeep to Leh.
CnK reviews: Family holiday in Udaipur
One of the most romantic destinations in India, the wonderful city of Udaipur is known as the ‘Venice of the East’. You simply have to visit here with your partner. Beautiful lakes, ancient palaces and captivating sights here are sure to blow your mind away!
Located in Rajasthan, this city is not just a paradise for the lovers, but it also makes for a perfect family vacation spot.
Things to do in Udaipur
The first thing on this list has to be a visit to the City Palace. Built by Maharana Udai Singh, it is the largest palace in the whole of Rajasthan. The kids will love to explore all the small palaces, galleries, temples, balconies and royal quarters of this enormous structure.
Take your family on a boat trip to Lake Pichola. Visit the Lake Palace and witness the mesmerizing view of the setting sun from Jag Mandir Island. Also, you can take your partner for a candle light dinner on Lake Pichola to spend some romantic moments. You should also plan a visit to Sajjan Garh, the Monsoon Palace. There are several other gorgeous palaces in the town that signify the beauty of Udaipur.
Other places to see here include Badi Mahal, Jagadish Temple, Amar Vilas, Fatehprakash Palace, Mor Chowk, Doodh Talai, Saheliyon ki Badi, Fateh Sagar Lake and much more.
As for shopping, anywhere in Udaipur you go, you will find bustling bazaars and antique & painting shops. This vibrant city has so much to offer.
With kids, you can go for activities like puppet shows, camel riding, theatre shows, jeep safaris, etc. And, if your kids are older, you can take up activities like cycling, trekking and bird watching.
Best time to visit Udaipur
The best time to visit Udaipur is between October and March as the weather is pleasant and delightful during these months. But, if you are a monsoon lover, then you can also plan a trip in July or early September.
Getting to Udaipur
Take a flight to Debock airport, Udaipur or catch a train to Udaipur. You can even go by road , but its not advisable as its a very long journey.
CnK reviews: Family holiday in Manali
One of the most admired hill stations in the country, the alluring Manali is surrounded by pinewoods and snow-capped mountains. Known to be the holy abode of many gods and goddesses, this place is blessed with aesthetic beauty.
Along with the beauty, the weather and culture of this hill station make it extremely popular amongst the tourists. Also, Manali is renowned to be a destination for family travel. Enjoy the lovely orchards, fascinating sights, skiing and a lot more here!
Things to do in Manali
Go visit the famous Hidimba Temple and Maa Sharvari Temple. These holy landmarks will help you restore the peace within and the kids will also enjoy the serene surroundings.
Manali boasts several Buddhist monasteries and gompas. Make a trip to some of them, like the Tibetan Monastery and also take home a few handicrafts and souvenirs from the markets near them. It will be a delightful experience to see the difference in culture here.
Your family will love it at Van Vihar, take them to this beautiful place and indulge in various activities. The kids can enjoy boating and the swings while you and the other adults can go for bungee jumping and river crossing. Also, enjoy the stunning view of the Beas River from here.
Rohtang Pass and Solang Valley are the two other noted places to see in Manali; your trip here will be incomplete without visiting these places.
Furthermore, couples looking for some adventure can participate in activities like paragliding, zorbing and hiking, which are very popular in this region.
Best time to visit Manali
Manali has a pleasant weather all round the year, but the best time to visit would be between September and May.
Getting to Manali
For those who prefer to travel by Air, the closest airport to Manali is located at Bhuntar, 50 kms from Manali. It is connected with Delhi and Chandigarh. However due to the weather conditions, air travel is not recommended. Once at the airport, you can book a taxi to Manali. Manali is well connected to major tourist cities like Leh, Shimla, Kullu, Dharamshala and New Delhi by private buses. If you wish to see breathtaking views you can drive to manali or hire a driver if you are not sure about driving in the mountainous regions.
CnK reviews: Family holiday in Kerala
Kerala is the known to be the 10th most popular destination for family travel in the world. This state has made India proud by taking it to the top of the global tourism scene. Kerala is defined by its scenery, jungles, wildlife, beaches, palaces and temples. These are enough reasons for you to plan a trip with your loved ones to the ‘God’s own country’.
Things to do in Kerala
The backwaters of Kerala… Who doesn’t know about it? Experience sheer pleasure cruising the backwaters on houseboats. If you are a newly married couple, then you just have to witness this romantic glide! It’s a couple’s delight!
Visit the beaches with the kids and watch them enjoy the sand and sea. The beaches here are a treat to the eyes and also, less crowded. Kovalam, Cherai, Kappad Alappuzha, Marai and Fort Kochi are some of the best beaches in the state.
Make a fun and adventurous trip to Silent Valley National Park and Kumarakom Bird Sanctury, and enjoy the wild side of Kerala with the sights of rare species of birds and animals here. The kids will jump in joy and excitement as they see these amusing and beautiful creatures.
This state is renowned for its Ayurvedic herbs, rejuvenating therapies and treatments. Visit the famous Ayurvedic Ashrams located in Kottakkal Arya Vaidya Shala in Malappuram and Kalari Kovilakam in Plakkad.
This is not it. Kerala has several enchanting hill stations and waterfalls where you can take your family and enjoy some fun-filled moments with them.
Best time to visit Kerala
Known as a round the year tourist spot, Kerala is swamped with visitors all the time. Yet, if you ask, the ideal time to visit this place is between October and March. This is the peak tourist season of the state.
Getting to Kerala
If you are opting for airways, you can catch a flight to the 3 major airports in Kerala Trivandrum International Airport, Kochi (Ernakulam) International Airport and Calicut Airport. You can even catch a train to Kerala. Kerala is well connected to major cities by national highways making road travel possible.