What's Left for October Half-Term?

Scorchio in summer, Morocco cools down for its autumnal peak season. Space is already limited for October half-term but specialist operator Naturally Morocco can tailor-make a three-stop itinerary beginning in the High Atlas mountains south of Marrakech. There you'll undertake a soft trek - with mules for the kids to hop astride when needed - to salt-mining villages and passes that will leave you gasping. Next comes a chance to ride camels along sand dunes around seaside Essaouira, before two days in Marrakech itself. The Djemaa-el-Fna square's snake-charmers, sword-swallowers and fire-breathers will wow any child, as will the strange-smelling souks. 


Maths and English are all well and good but can your kids milk goats? Can you, come to think of it? Learn how with lessons at Eleonas, 20 pastel-hued stone cottages amid an olive estate in southern Crete. Other possible family activities include cheese-making, animal-petting and walks to see Lake Zaros' turtles, and it's warm enough for visits to the nearby sandy beaches. Sleeping five, cottages come with kitchenettes and terraces. Cots and prams are available, and there are two soft available, and there are two soft playgrounds, a heated pool and even a small on-site taverna. Homemade jams star at breakfast.

Niyama - Maldives 

Let's be honest. You love them a lot but sometimes - only sometimes - don't you just wish the children would pipe down? Help's at hand at Niyama, a Maldivian resort whose Explorers Children's Club included meditation sessions for infants through to tweens. Alternative distractions are snorkelling safaris, treasure hunts and talent shows. you needn't worry about your troop disturbing other guests, either: Niyama's two islands are called Chill and Play, so those after quietude simply make for the former's powdery fringes. Late October sees the Maldives' rainy season end, so expect only isolated storms and 28C.

La Palma - Canary Islands 

Thermometers in the Canary Islands show a dreamy 22C in late October, including at La Palma - the least-visited of the group, despite its bright houses and dolphin-watching opportunities. Families can board EasyJet's new winter flights and head to rock pools at Charco Azul or the volcanic black-sand beaches that make for unusual sandcastles. For adults there's superior rum, cigar and silk. The four-star Teneguia Princess has a kids' club and mini-golf.


October is rainy season in Cambodia and yet it's a brilliant time to visit. How does that work? Because it only rains briefly in the morning, with the storms leaving everything beautifully lush and deliciously fresh - ideal when travelling with humidity-hating kids. Angkor's majestic temples will be much emptier, too. They star on the Family Adventure Company's aptly-named Cambodia Family Holiday, along with a cycle tour of capital Phnom Penh, dinner with a Battambang family and the acrobatics and theatrics of Phare, Cambodia's answer to the Cirque du Soleil. 

Tarn - France 

One of those classically sleepy southern France backwaters , the Tarn region averages 15C in October. Families staying at creeper-covered five-room hotel La Vigneronne can learn how to make croquants (local crunchy almond biscuits), as well as pedalling along the Tarn river  armed with pre-packing picnics. Hot-air balloons are available for charters from hilltop Cordes-sur-Ciel and tastings at Gaillac Vineyards reward beleaguered parents.