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Six educational family trips, from Iceland to Italy

Learning doesn’t just belong in the classroom — online or otherwise. Plan a great escape with education in mind for an unforgettable family adventure.

By Helen Warwick
Published 25 May 2021, 17:35 BST
A family exploring Rome and the Vatican.

A family exploring Rome and the Vatican. 

Photograph by Getty Images

Best for history: Italy 

Deciding where to start a grand educational tour of Italy can be a little overwhelming. Intrepid Travel will help you get your bearings — the Rome to Amalfi Coast itinerary starts off in the Eternal City, with guided tours around the Colosseum and catacombs, before heading south to Pompeii and on towards Capri. An eight-day family holiday starts at £1,630 per person. 

Best for physics: Iceland

Well away from the city lights, the thick ribbons of the Northern Lights will amaze curious-minded children. Aurora is the reaction of energetic particles from the sun colliding with the Earth’s magnetic field, and one of the most spectacular examples of physics in the natural world. And this being Iceland, you can throw in some geology, too, with a swim between two continents at Thingvellir National Park. Discover the World can tailor-make family itineraries to Iceland. 

Best for literature: Edinburgh

Kids might roll their eyes at the thought of a ‘walking tour’, but a darkly magical ramble through the city is sure to cast a spell. It was here in Edinburgh’s old town that author JK Rowling fleshed out and wrote the Harry Potter series. And during this tour, fans of the books can pay their respects at the grave of a poet whose name is believed to have inspired one of Hogwarts’ professors, and wander down the ‘real’ Diagon Alley. Tours are free

Best for geography: Chile

Want landscapes that are out of this world? Chile doesn’t disappoint. There’s the Andes, the Atacama Desert and, further south, the lush fertile valleys of the central region, and the peaks and glaciers of Torres del Paine in Patagonia. TravelArt has just launched its 12-day Heartbeat of Chile tour, from £3,503 per person.

Best for classics: Greece

From sage-scented hiking trails to historical relics, there’s plenty on the agenda for families joining Peter Sommer’s Cruising the Aegean trip. Sailing around the Dodecanese Islands in a Turkish-style gulet, the trip explores fallen columns and dark tombs, with expert guides on hand to talk you through it all. Eight days from £2,895 per person. 

Best for the arts: Cheshire

This year (fingers crossed), the UK’s festival scene is set for an almighty revival. At the Just So Festival at Cheshire’s Rode Hall, children can let their imaginations run wild with a packed programme of campfire tales, woodland cinema, workshops and more. 20-22 August.

Published in the May 2021 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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