It’s time to think about your summer holidays and if you’ve a family to bring along you really need to be prepared. There is still plenty of availability but it will get more expensive to travel as the summer goes on. I’ve put together some travel destinations and ideas to suit all the family.
Camping with toddlers in France
Camping is the perfect family holiday especially with active kids and toddlers and the best parks traditionally have always been in France. When my kids were young I brought them to La Reserve campsite in Landes region on France’s Atlantic Coast. It worked out so well we returned a couple of years later and the site has everything you need for a wonderful family trip from baby to teen. Siblu have a huge range of camp sites in every corner of France and the great benefit of going to France is that you can take your car easily with lots of ferry connections and you can fill it up with wine for the trip home….
Siblu have a Flash Sale on at the moment for Irish visitors with 30% off all bookings made before March 21st so don’t miss out on this terrific deal. Take your choice from some of these parks. Click the link here to bring you straight to the website https://www.siblu.ie/camping/special-offers
Getting there I recommend taking the car with Stena Line – from €299 each way this June for car and 2 adults and 2 children. Stena Line
Les Charmettes Park
Holiday parks include Les Charmettes on the west coast. Les Charmettes, on the sunny west coast in Charente Maritime, is one of the biggest holiday villages in France, with a pool complex and entertainment set up to suit. There are indoor and outdoor pools with slides and fountains, tennis courts, kids’ clubs for tots to teenagers, and nightly entertainment. The price of 7 nights’ self-catering starts from €358 in June for four sharing – La Rochelle is the nearest Airport.
Everyone is ready to enjoy the sunshine and Kusadasi in Turkey is great value as the Turkish Lira is low against the Euro about 1-16. Turkey can be summed up in one sentence – there is something for everyone! A country where every taste can be catered for. A fascinating country where East meets West. Traditions and history on your doorstep and yet boasts modern holiday resort facilities. Any written description of Turkey cannot come close to experiencing it for yourself. Turkey quite simply, fascinates. Feel the warmth of the welcome, taste the fabulous food, hear the haunting sounds of the minarets, smell the spices and see for yourself all that this fabulous country has to offer.
There are 3 waterparks in Kusadasi. Adaland has water pools, slides, activity pools, rafting, jumping towers, dolphin shows and much more. Considered as one of the ten best Aqua parks in the world and the largest in Europe, Adaland Park is a fun day out for everyone in the family.
For lovers of ancient sites
● explore the astonishing ancient ruins at Ephesus (among the most important in the entire Mediterranean) as well as the Virgin Marys house. A visit the mineral-laden pools of Pamukkale is unique. Journey 30km into the countryside to explore the beautifully preserved hill village of Sirince.
Try a Turkish bath in a traditional setting or try the Davutlar Thermal Baths. Because they contain so many natural minerals
● Turkey’s thermal baths are known to have healing properties and therapeutic effects. Walk out to the small hilltop fortress on Pigeon Island, accessible by a footbridge just across from the towns port.
The Golden Day Wings Hotel is located in Kusadasi, across from the marina, with the beach, shops and nightlife venues a 10-minute walk away, and bars and pubs around 1.5 km from the hotel. If you can’t wait for the summer then check out this incredible deal for easter from €499pp
4* Golden Day Wings Hotel B&B 16th April – 7 Nights
Includes: Flights, 30kg Checked Bag, Accommodation, Transfers,
To book your trip call Sunway or click here https://www.sunway.ie/sun-holidays/turkey-izmir/
Lanzarote was one of my favourite destinations when the kids were small. We used to take holidays with my mum and dad and with year round sunshine Lanzarote is the perfect destination for sun-lovers. From Puerto Del Carmen to Costa Teguise there’s a beach resort to suit every taste. Lanzarote is the most easterly of the Canary Islands. As with the rest of the Canary Islands it is volcanic in origin which gives it an unusual and fascinating landscape. In fact the island has a UNESCO Biosphere protected status. Local building regulations prohibit any high rise buildings so all you’ll find is low rise white-washed resorts.
The beaches in Lanzarote offer a mixture of white sand, golden sand and black sand and all usually accompanied by a pleasant sea breeze. From large sprawling beaches to small coves there is plenty to choose from. Water sports, especially wind surfing, are very popular in Lanzarote.
The Timanfaya National Park, including Fire Mountain is probably the most visited attraction on the island. A 17th century volcanic eruption destroyed the whole southern region of the island and left an eerie lunar-like landscape in its place. A must see for all Lanzarote holiday visitors! Another amazing volcanic feature is the Atlantida Tunnel, at over 7km it is the longest volcanic tunnel in the world and incorporates both the Jameos del Agua and the Cueva de Los Verdes. The famous Lanzarote born artist, Caesar Manrique, helped to turn these caves into a spectacle with swimming pools, restaurants, gardens and even an auditorium all blending into the volcanic landscape. There are many excursion opportunities on the island, from sailing trips, to full or half day trips around the island to even visiting the nearby island of Fuerteventura.
Lanzarote Princess Yaiza Hotel
5*+ Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort – BB 19th May 7 nights
€985 pp Includes: Flights, Accommodation with sunway.ie
another great deal from Sunway is this one to Malta on 10th June for 7nights
staying at the 4* Soreda Hotel – BB
€509pp This Includes: Flights, Accommodation https://www.sunway.ie/sun-holidays/malta/
Beautiful Lake Garda is a wonderful family destination and it’s close to Verona and Venice for day trips. There’s lots to do on the lake and dining is a bonus when travelling with kids because they adore pasta and pizza.
Gasparina Village is surrounded by lush greenery and of course the beauty of Lake Garda itself. A large lagoon pool is the centre piece for relaxation in the sun and also the heart of the action for kids. As well as a fantastic pool and water park, the kids will love the entertainment, kids clubs, table tennis, beach volley ball and much more. On top of that, Gardaland, one of Italy’s biggest and best theme parks, is just a ten minute walk away, making it a hassle free way to spend the day, with the kids having the time of their lives. Full Day tickets are from €43 and children under one meter go free!
On site at Gasparina Village, you will find a restaurant and a pizzeria serving local and international dishes as well as a snack bar that is open all day every day. There is also a well stocked mini market available for the days when you want to take advantage of your self-catering accommodation.
Each of the self catering apartments at Gasparina Village are well equipped and they each offer garden or pool views.
The Italian experts are Topflight in Ireland and many of their summer hotspots are already booked but this property on lake garda still has availability. To Book your stay go to https://www.topflight.ie/
County Meath has an abundance of things to do for the entire family. It’s home to the Battle of the Boyne with an interpretive centre kids will love to explore – Slane Castle with new distillery and wonderful glamping and Tayto park has the largest rollercoaster in Ireland. Older kids will love Kayaking with Boyne Valley Activities on the River Boyne and discovering the history of Trim Castle. Discover Boyne Valley has listed a range of wonderful activities on its website that are well worth exploring. The Battle of the Boyne is brought to life using a laser battle site model, audio visual film, real and replica weaponry and interactive guided tours. The Visitor Centre is located in the restored 18th century Oldbridge House surrounded by Victorian Gardens and battle site walks. https://www.discoverboynevalley.ie/
Offers to stay at Rock Farm
- 3 Day Glamping Holiday Family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids)
- From €360 for 3 nights mid-week (subject to demand and availability) in June
Last year I took a 3G family holiday – or a three generation holiday with my dad and daughter which was very special as my father passed away in November and we can’t make enough time to spend with our loved ones.
We stayed on the beach and found an abundance of great activities for all ages. Being on the Sligo coast the Atlantic swell makes it a magnet for those who love water sports. I met with mike from stand up paddle-boarding and did yoga on the beach. Kilcullen Seaweed Baths are Victorian and go back over 100 years with the ancient wooden saunas for health and all the seaweed is recycled. Cost of a seaweed bath is €25 for a single person but if you want to share a two bath experience it’s €40 for two people. Just walking the beach is a wonderful way to start the day and the golf course is one of the best links in the country https://www.enniscronegolf.com/. This summer they hosted the actor Bill Murray on his search for great Irish Golf courses.
Package for a stay at Diamond Coast Hotel this summer midweek starts from €510 three nights for a family of 4. With a great kids club and wonderful restaurants this family friendly hotel has recently been awarded four stars and will guarantee a great stay on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
Tip of the week
It’s Mother’s Day next week so why not spoil her with something special like time away together – it’s difficult to choose a gift voucher is a wonderful way to gift and allow her to make her mind up later. Afternoon Tea is a great way to spoil your mum or an overnight in a lovely country house or castle see my feature in the todays Irish Daily Mail.
Hayfield Manor is offering Afternoon Tea for viewers in Cork but many Blue Book properties have offers around Mother’s Day and a Voucher with Ireland’s Blue Book is the perfect gift – with no time limit to its use. irelands-blue-book.ie
Hayfield Manor’s Afternoon Tea features the following:
Pot of tea or Freshly Brewed Coffee and selection of delicious finger sandwiches. A selection of homemade Teabreads with miniature pastries and cakes. Freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam and homemade chocolates
Traditional Afternoon Tea is priced at €42.00 per guest. https://www.hayfieldmanor.ie
Original Irish Hotels
Original Irish Hotels have lovely treats for Mother’s Day too with some Castle Stays which will make your mum feel like a Queen.
Mother’s Day Midweek Getaway
Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa is one of the exclusive Original Irish Hotels which is located just outside the beautiful village of Adare. The hotel is situated on 44 acres of organic private grounds and landscaped gardens. It is a family run hotel with fantastic facilities and is just 10 minutes from Limerick City. With a wealth of things to see and do right on its doorstep you’re guaranteed the best experience. This Mother’s Day treat your mother to the ultimate midweek spa retreat. https://www.originalirishhotels.com/
Package includes: An overnight stay in a luxurious room with full Irish Breakfast the following morning and complimentary use of the Thermal Suite in Woodland’s Revas Spa. From €255 per room
Mother’s Day 2-night escape with Afternoon Tea
The 4 star Sneem Hotel is nestled in Goldens Cove on the famous Ring of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way. This quiet and unspoilt location will take your breath away and make you feel right at home from the moment you arrive. This Mother’s Day whisk your mother away for an indulging two night stay at Sneem Hotel, one of the unique Original Irish Hotels. Dine al fresco at the fabulous Sneem restaurant that serves both local Irish and international cuisine with scenic views of the sea and mountains.
Package includes: A 2-nightstay in a luxury room with breakfast each morning and a sumptuous four course dinner on the evening of your choice. Included is Afternoon tea overlooking over the sun kissed terrace or the main foyer. https://www.originalirishhotels.com/
From €185 per person sharing