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 (http://www.inntravel.co.uk/
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.
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-
Head to the end of the Oetztal and stay in the resort of Obergurgl with Inghams (01483 791 114; www.inghams.co.uk)
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;
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;
For more information on the Tirol region www.visittirol.co.uk or keep updated at www.facebook.com/