Put a smile on dad’s face on June 19 with a Father’s Day treat to remember, such as a trip to his favourite sporting occasion or an activity-packed holiday abroad.
European F1 Grand Prix
– Flanked with beautiful beaches, the European F1 Grand Prix in Valencia is a great treat for fathers with a passion for fast cars. Built harbour-side to rival Monaco but with a fiesta atmosphere, cars rarely leave the waterfront and even cross over the canal on a swing bridge before passing through the historic fish market. Just a short flight from the UK, Valencia is one of Spain’s most vibrant cities with a great mix of culture and entertainment. It is even home to Spain’s most famous dish – paella. The event is a great excuse for fathers to soak up the sun whilst watching the excitement of Formula One.
– On Saturday 25th June 2011, watch the qualifying rounds at Circuit de Valencia to find out the final positions before watching the big race on Sunday 26th June. Prices start from GBP350pp including 3 nights B&B accommodation at the 3* Expo Hotel, Valencia (24th – 27th June 2011). Weekend Grand Prix tickets are available from GBP205pp. Flights are available on request. Sport Abroad (08456 803086 / http://www.sportabroad.co.uk).
– Treat fathers to a VIP day out at the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Enjoy the ‘magic’ of The Championships with all the traditions – strawberries and cream, crisp white clothing, lush green courts and world-class tennis. Sportsworld’s No.1 Court Experience includes excellent seats on No. 1 Court and relaxed, informal dining in Sportsworld’s Champions Lounge.
– Prices start from GBP395pp (plus VAT) including morning coffee, three-course buffet lunch, complimentary bar (beer, wines, Pimms and soft drinks), traditional afternoon tea and a car park pass (one per four guests). This package is available for private tables of two or more. Sportsworld (01235 555844 / http://www.sportsworld.co.uk).
– For horse racing fanatics, or those that just enjoy the occasional flutter, a luxury day at Royal Ascot (14th – 18th June 2011) is something fathers are sure to appreciate. Few sporting venues have the heritage and history of Ascot, which has been firmly in the British social calendar for almost 250 years. Champagne flows, the sun shines gloriously, bets are placed and emotions run high giving dads a day out full of atmosphere.
– Events International’s Platinum Package costs from GBP299pp and provides access to the Platinum Suite hospitality marquee located on the inside of the course, opposite the main grandstand, with a viewing gallery overlooking the winning post. The package also includes general admission tickets, morning coffee and biscuits, a Pimms reception, a complimentary bar, four course lunch with wine, afternoon tea, Tote betting facilities and car park passes (1 per 4 guests). Events International (01432 263263 / http://www.eventsinternational.co.uk).
Henley Royal Regatta
– For fathers with an interest in rowing, Sportsworld offers hospitality packages to Henley Royal Regatta, a typically English event on a beautiful stretch of the River Thames. In the picturesque surroundings of the Oxfordshire countryside, the Regatta (29th June – 3rd July 2011) is one of the highlights of British summer.
– The Sportsworld packages costs from GBP190pp (plus VAT) and includes access to The Riverside Enclosure which is based at the start of the course with great views of the action. Also included is access to a private garden area, morning coffee and patisserie, a champagne & Pimms reception, four course lunch with wine, a complimentary bar, traditional afternoon tea, entertainment from a jazz band and magician and car parking (1 per 2 guests). Sportsworld (01235 555844 / http://www.sportsworld.co.uk).
Bridge family gaps on the River Kwai
– Fathers can try their hand at bamboo rafting, elephant riding and spend a night in a hill tribe village hut on this 10-day adventure in Thailand. If he’s a fan of the film, he will appreciate the visit to the Bridge on the River Kwai which is accompanied by a wander through the World War II cemetery and museum in Kanchanaburi. The tour finishes in Bangkok where he will get the chance to explore all the delights this city has to offer, including the Grand Palace, Wat Pho or the Emerald Buddha.
– The Siam Encounter, departing on 18th June, costs GBP445pp land only including transport (elephant, bus, boat, overnight train, taxi & tuk-tuk), accommodation (2 nights train, 1 night village hut, 4 nights guesthouse & 2 nights hotel), some meals (3 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 1 dinner) and an experienced local group leader. Imaginative Traveller (0845 077 8803 / http://www.imaginative-traveller.co.uk).
Cycle the bridges and canals of Italy
– Best known as being the gastronomic capital of Italy, Emilia Romagna also offers fathers some of the gentlest cycling in the country. Travelling through hidden hamlets, forgotten farming villages and pretty riverbanks, this is the perfect choice for dads who are more used to four wheels than two. This new independent hotel-to-hotel cycling holiday explores the eastern part of Italy, where the gold-sand beaches of the Adriatic stand alongside undiscovered art cities like historic Ravenna and Ferrara, Italy’s ‘cycling capital’. Staying in quality family-run hotels and an agriturismo, all offering superb cuisine, another highlight is 2 nights in gorgeous Comachio, a postcard-pretty lagoon town criss-crossed by a series of canals and bridges.
– The Cycling in Emilia Romagna tour, departing 18th June, costs GBP1237pp including flights and transfers, half board accommodation, luggage transfer, bicycles, route notes, a regional information booklet and local map kit. Headwater (01606 720199 / http://www.headwater.com).
Exchange the Sunday roast for a Turkey adventure
– This activity-packed trip takes in many of Turkey’s lesser known highlights, from the famous Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, incredible Greco-Roman ruins of Ephesus and the humbling battlefields of Gallipoli to the surreal fairy chimneys of Cappadocia and the natural wonders of Pamukkale. This 10-day trip will provide dads with an intoxicating mix of sights, experiences, beauty and history.
– The Turkey Adventure tour, departing on 18th June, costs GBP475pp land only including transport (overnight train, ferry & bus), B&B accommodation (1 night train & 8 nights hotel) and an experienced local group leader. Flights start from GBP199pp. Imaginative Traveller (0845 077 8803 / http://www.imaginative-traveller.co.uk).
Pick the Picos de Europa for protected wildlife
? This 8-day trip offers active dads the chance to explore Europe’s largest national park, the Picos de Europa – an area of dramatic beauty and home to many protected species and birdlife. The area still remains one of the truly unspoilt places in Spain that few visitors have discovered and boasts a spectacular range of limestone peaks, ridges and deep valleys. The high ground is a ‘moonscape’ of dramatic rocky terrain, almost devoid of vegetation, while the lower valleys are full of beautiful wildflowers in the spring. On the free day, fathers who prefer not to relax at the family-run hotel have a range of exhilarating activities to choose from, such as caving, canyoning or canoeing.
? The Picos de Europa walking holiday, departing on 18th June, costs GBP758pp including flights, 7 nights hotel accommodation, transport (minibus, bike & horse), most meals (7 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 5 dinners) and an experienced group leader. The Adventure Company (0845 287 1198 / http://www.adventurecompany.co.uk).
Take to the trails of the Italian Dolomites
– The new 8-day scenic walking holiday explores the majestic Alta Pusteria Valley to the region’s north. For fathers who like walking, this region provides a paradise of well-marked trails (thousands of kilometres accessed by local cable cars). The superb walking on this single centre holiday is matched by deluxe rooms and wonderful local cuisine in four-star family-run hotel. The area is renowned for its 3000m jagged peaks of heavily eroded limestone which are recognised by UNESCO as one of the most unique and spectacular mountain environments in the world.
– The Walking in the Italian Dolomites trip, departing on 18th June, costs GBP964pp including flights, half board accommodation, route notes, map kit and a local representative. Headwater (01606 720199 / http://www.headwater.com).
Walk on deserted forest tracks in North Cyprus
– This 8-day trip offers fathers a great opportunity to explore possibly the Mediterranean’s best kept secret – North Cyprus. Based in the picturesque coastal town of Kyrenia, he will walk on deserted forest tracks used only by farmers and heavy with the scent of wild flowers, enjoying stunning mountain views and dramatic coastal scenery along the way. Like most of its Mediterranean neighbours, Cyprus has witnessed many invaders over the years and consequently has many castles to explore, including the dramatic ruins of St Hilarion’s Castle and the 14th Century Crusader abbey of Bellapais. Dazzling beaches all add to the unique charm of the island.
– The Kyrenia Trails trip, departing on 18th June, costs GBP729pp including flights, 7 nights hotel accommodation, some meals (7 breakfasts & 5 lunches), transport (minibus) and a local group leader. The Adventure Company (0845 287 1198 / http://www.adventurecompany.co.uk).