A Holiday4 Review

Neilson Sports & Active Holidays Review

A Holiday4 review. Neilson Active Holidays is a UK-based sports tour operator providing quality all inclusive active package holidays to both beach and mountain resort locations. We check on destinations, value, the booking process and website ease of use - our review includes searches on active beach and winter sport holiday deals.

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1. Who are Neilson Active Holidays?

Neilson Holidays is a UK, Brighton-based package holiday company formed in 1978. The company specialises in providing fully inclusive sport and activity breaks across three main categories - beach, ski and sailing holidays.
For skiing, try Neilson's Mountain Collection, with properties in the chic alpine resorts of France and Italy, plus Andora in the snowy eastern Pyrenees.

Neilson offers a diverse package holiday experience and sends tens of thousands of holidaymakers away each year. You can 'choose' to be energised through sport or be 'recharged' on some of Europe's most sunny and laid-back beaches.

Our research found eight popular Beachclub and Sailing locations for sun-seekers, plus well-equipped mountain resorts for winter sports enthusiasts. Our review finds Neilson offers a wide range of activities, and is well-equipped to provide active and enjoyable experiences for most traveller types, including families, couples and solo travellers. To find out how Neilson compares to other adventure companies, go to our Top 4 Adventure Holiday Websites review.

Holiday4's preferred Neilson resort locations include the picturesque shores of Greece, the captivating coastline of Croatia, plus the laid-back charms of sunny Fuerteventura. Meanwhile - the chic alpine ski resorts of Val d'Isère in France and Sauze d'Oulx in Italy offer fun and challenging experiences for those looking to hit the slopes.

Neilson Active Breaks

2. Why Choose Neilson

First - Neilson Beach Clubs offer a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. You can sail, windsurf, paddleboard & kayak.

  • Designed for families and individuals
  • A welcoming and inclusive environment
  • Neilson are members of ABTOT and ATOL
  • Expert instructors across all sports
  • Water sports suitable for all skill levels
  • Up to 60 hours of free childcare a week

The accommodations are carefully selected to complement the destination, whether it's a chic beachfront hotel or a cosy alpine chalet.

3. How Does neilson.co.uk work?

Holiday4 found the Neilson website modern, well designed and informative, with an easy-to-use and productive holiday search system. Remember, most sports activities are inclusive, as are the well-located hotels and delicious locally-sourced food (see neilsons.co.uk for exact details).
First, research the types of activities on offer (main categories include: active beach, ski and sailing holidays), then let neilson.co.uk find the perfect activity to fit your interests - lastly, choose a destination to suit your taste & style.

Start Searching: Start by selecting a holiday type (Beachclub, Ski & Board, or Sailing) from the dropdown search menu or from links located at the top of the page. Select a destination (or select "Anywhere" for a list of all available destinations), and lastly, select a departure date, duration and departure airport.

Your search will return a list of available accommodations - including full property and resort descriptions, flight and luggage selection, plus an advisory on the number of activities available and the hours of sports tuition included per week.

Also included in your search is a complete rundown of resort facilities, plus a full list of all sporting and non-sporting activities, including video descriptions and information on how to complete your booking (including low booking deposits and flexible payment plans if available).

Neilson Holidays Booking Tips / Activities & Packages / Staff Services:
  • RESERVATIONS: Customers can browse the informative Neilson website or contact a travel agent to explore further options and destinations, including beach clubs and mountain resorts. After selecting a preferred destination, travellers can book online, by phone or via a travel agent.
  • ACCOMMODATION: Neilson offers a range of accommodations, ranging from beachfront hotels to alpine chalets. Accommodations are often selected to complement the natural surroundings and provide a comfortable and immersive experience. Additionally, all Beach Clubs, Mountain Collection hotels and catered chalets are run by Neilson.
  • ACTIVITIES & PACKAGES: Neilson is known for its emphasis on active lifestyles. Travellers can choose activities tailored to a particular destination, such as water sports, tennis, cycling, snowboarding and skiing. Packages may include specific activities, lessons and equipment rentals, ensuring a well-rounded, inclusive and enjoyable holiday experience. (Please note! Extra charges may apply to some equipment rental and lessons.)
  • STAFF SERVICES: Our research shows Neilson has knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff at both Beach Clubs and ski resorts, with staff often going beyond traditional service roles. Our research shows that staff often act as hosts, instructors and guides, enhancing the overall guest experience.
  • SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES: Our research finds Neilson promotes responsible tourism and sustainability. The company implements various initiatives to minimize its environmental impact, reduce single-use plastics and support local conservation projects.
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE: Review and feedback reports indicate that customer service is a priority for Neilson Holidays. Local staff members are reported to be passionate about the destinations they operate in and are ready to assist guests, whether it's providing tuition, skiing tips or organizing beachside activities.
  • CUSTOMISATION: Depending on the type of holiday and destination, travellers can often customize their experience by selecting specific activities, upgrading accommodations, or adding extras to tailor holidays to their liking.
  • ACTIVITIES & NEW SPORTS: There’s a huge range of activities on offer – from tennis and cycling through to sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, aqua aerobics, climbing, yoga and more. Discover a new sport to fall in love with - with the help of expert coaching (should you want it).

Please note. The information listed above can change, always check your holiday details direct with Neilson before confirming your reservation.

4. Neilson Active Holidays Destinations:

  • GREECE - Rhodes, Analipsi, Paleros and Vassiliki
  • CROATIA - Paklenica
  • SARDINIA - Budoni
  • ANDORRA - El Tarter
  • FRANCE - Les Menuires and Val d'Isère
  • ITALY - Sauze d'Oulx and Val di Fassa

Surfer Climbing Wall

5. Which Neilson Beach Clubs are the most popular?

Neilson Holidays offers a variety of Beachclub locations, we found the following Beachclubs particularly popular among travellers leaving positive feedback reviews.

  • GREECE: Messini Beachclub - Located on the Peloponnese Peninsula, Messini Beachclub offers a picturesque setting with sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. It's known for a wide range of water sports activities, including sailing and windsurfing, water skiing & wakeboarding, electric mountain bikes, plus yoga and fitness classes.
  • SARDINIA: Baia dei Mori Beachclub - Situated on the northeastern coast of Sardinia, this Beachclub is surrounded by stunning landscapes. Guests can enjoy activities such as mountain and road biking, paddleboarding and tennis, plus windsurfing, kite surfing (extra supplement) and fitness classes.
  • CROATIA: Alana Beachclub - Located on the Dalmatian Coast and the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea, below the towering peaks of the Paklenica National Park - Alana Beachclub is known for its beautiful beaches and historic surroundings. Explore the coastline through activities like biking, paddleboarding, wakesurfing (extra supplement), dinghy sailing & windsurfing, plus climbing wall, rock climbing and hiking (extra supplement).
  • GREECE: Buca Beach Club (Analipsi) - A small hotel with a boutique vibe and stylish restaurant - Buca shares activity areas with the popular Messini Beach Club. Sports activities include dinghy sailing & windsurfing, water skiing & wakeboarding, fitness studio & indoor cycling, tennis & pickleball, plus a climbing wall (at Messini).
  • FUERTEVENTURA: La Pared - A great winter sun location above dramatic sea cliffs on the east coast of Fuerteventura. Recommended for constant sunshine, turquoise waters, sandy beaches and reliable winds. Activities include fitness, yoga, cycling classes & gym, mountain & road biking, tennis with coaching, plus windsurfing, surfing and kitesurfing can be booked locally with specialist schools.

6. Beachclub main activities:

Beachclub main activities: We find Neilson's Beachclubs offer a diverse range of activities that are mostly tailored to their respective locations. Common activities include water sports such as sailing, windsurfing, paddleboarding and kayaking. Additionally, guests can engage in land-based activities like mountain biking, tennis, fitness classes and cultural excursions.

Featured Beachclubs main sporting activities list (quick view):

  • Alana Beachclub Croatia: (Tennis / Rock Climbing / Sailing).
  • Levante Beach Club Rhodes: (Sailing / Windsurfing / Great all-round watersports destination).
  • Buca Beach Club Greece: (Sailing / windsurfing / water skiing / wakeboarding / road cycling).
  • Vounaki Beach Club Greece: (dinghy sailing / windsurfing / water skiing / mountain biking).
  • Cosmos Beach Club Greece: (Speed and freestyle windsurfing / mountain biking & road cycling / fitness classes).
  • Alana Beach Club Croatia: (Dinghy sailing / windsurfing / climbing wall / rock climbing / tennis / mountain biking).
  • Baia dei Mori Beach Club Sardinia: (On road or off road cycling / dinghy sailing / windsurfing / paddle boarding).
  • La Pared Fuerteventura: (Surfing / windsurf / kitesurf / wingfoil / on & off road cycling).

Wellness Facilities: In addition to adventure activities, Neilson's Beach Clubs in Greece, Croatia and Sardinia offer tranquil spa and wellness facilities. Spa's provide an ideal opportunity to unwind with a relaxing massage - especially after a hard workout at the gym or a few sets on the tennis court.

7. What are Neilson's Main Ski Resorts?

Ski resort locations include the French Alps, known for well-groomed slopes and expert facilities. Additionally, resorts in the Italian Dolomites offer a unique blend of alpine beauty and exclusivity. Lastly, Andora (part of the massive 210km Grandvalira ski area) - making all three locations highly sought-after choices for winter sports enthusiasts.

Neilson offers a range of ski hotels and chalet hotels that are exclusively available to their guests. These accommodations provide easy access to ski slopes and an opportunity to enjoy good-quality 'after-ski' services and facilities.

Downhill Skier

Hotel Choice: You can choose from smaller chalet hotels for a more intimate experience, complete with local wine served during evening meals. Or, opt for one of their larger hotels that offer wellness facilities.

Family Ski Holidays: In recent years, family ski holidays have become increasingly popular. Neilson offers a selection of ski hotels with kids' clubs that are run by the company (available only at selected Neilson Mountain Collection hotels in Andorra and France) - allowing you to choose a hotel that provides maximum ski time on the slopes and suits your family's needs.

Free Ski Guiding and Coaching: Our research found Neilson provides free ski guiding and coaching services. Their local guides are qualified ski and snowboard instructors who offer various guiding and coaching sessions throughout the week. This service is available exclusively to guests staying at Neilson's Mountain Collection hotels and chalet hotels.

Neilson Mountain Collection includes:

  • Free ski guiding & coaching with qualified instructors
  • Breakfast is included every day
  • Afternoon teas are included every day
  • Hearty evening meals included
  • Chalet hotels include wine with dinner
  • Childcare available at Hotel del Clos and Hotel Le Menuire & Spa

Please note. The information listed on this site can change, always check your holiday details direct with Neilson before confirming your reservation.

8. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of booking a Neilson Holiday?

Booking a Neilson holiday comes with several advantages, making it a preferred choice for many travelers. However, it's important to weigh any potential disadvantages. Also, factors such as budget, preferred destinations and activity preferences should be taken into account (the following maybe subject to booking T&C's).

Advantages & Drawbacks

Advantages of booking Neilson

1. Free Ski Guides: Free on-the-mountain ski guiding and coaching.

2. Child Care: Up to 60 hours free childcare a week at selected ski hotels.

3. Flexible Payment Plans: Pay monthly option, you can now spread the cost of your holiday over a 3-18 month period (depending on when you depart) and with no extra fees.

4. Free Tuition: Up to 55 hours of free tuition per week at Beachclubs.

5. Community: Neilson Holidays promote a sense of community, especially in Beachclubs, creating a social atmosphere where guests can interact and share experiences.

6. Neilson Holiday Hub: The Hub is where you'll find information guides for both summer and winter holidays. You'll find inspiration from easy-to-read articles - full of tips, guides and ideas.

Drawbacks and Considerations

1. Limited Locations: The range of Neilson's Beachclubs and ski resorts might be limited compared to other travel providers, potentially limiting destination choices for some travellers.

2. Weather-Dependent Activities: Activities such as water sports at Beachclubs are weather-dependent. Unfavourable weather conditions might impact the ability to fully enjoy planned outdoor activities.

3. Exclusivity: While some travellers appreciate the active and social atmosphere, those seeking a more private or exclusive experience might find Neilson's group-focused approach less suitable.

9. Does Neilson's offer sales & discounts?

Neilson Holidays offers sales, discounts and promotional deals from time to time. These promotions may be related to specific seasons, events or as part of marketing campaigns.

To stay updated on possible sales or discounts, we recommended to check Neilson Holidays' official website, subscribe to their newsletter, or follow their social media channels.

Keep an eye out for limited-time offers and special promotions that can help you save on your holiday reservation - such as group booking and group leader incentives, special child prices and lift pass deals.

10. Does Neilson provide Wellness Facilities and Fitness Classes?

Holiday4's research shows Neilson typically offers wellness facilities and fitness classes as part of their active holiday experiences, (classes may vary from location to location).

Wellness Facilities: Some beach clubs and ski resorts within the Neilson portfolio include wellness facilities such as spas or wellness centres. These facilities may offer services such as massages, saunas, beauty treatments and other relaxation treatments to help guests unwind after a busy day of activities. Please note that some treatments are charged extra depending on the treatment and the length of treatment chosen.

Fitness Classes: Neilson Holidays regularly provides a range of fitness classes suitable for various fitness levels. Classes may include yoga, pilates, aerobics or other group fitness activities. Fitness classes are typically designed to complement the active lifestyle of Neilson's sports programmes - allowing guests to maintain their fitness levels for use with planned sporting facilities - or for trying new sports activities with instruction if required. Neilson offers a variety of yoga classes at Beach Clubs in Greece, Croatia, Sardinia or Fuerteventura.

To Sum Up

We found Neilson Active Holidays provides a unique blend of adventure and relaxation. The main focus is an active lifestyle, expert sports instruction and good organisation. Our research found that guests enjoy the inclusive element, with sporting activities tailored to individual needs if required.

Remember, its not all about sport - if you want to switch off from 'time to time' that's fine - you can chill out by the pool or book a soothing spa treatment - the choice to relax and recharge or stay 'active & sporty' is yours to make.