This is our entry for the James Villa Holidays #SummerLove travel and photography competition. One lucky blogger will win a weeks stay in a villa for publishing an article featuring their favourite summer holiday…
I cannot believe it is February already and we have not booked our main summer holiday for this year… The term ‘itchy feet’ does not sufficiently express how much I need to get our family holiday booked! My husband and I are passionate about travelling, we have both travelled extensively from working onboard cruise ships and living abroad. With a growing list of ‘must visit’ destinations and so little annual leave we simply cannot decide where to go.
Whenever we book a family holiday we always consider what we have particularly enjoyed from past holidays. We had a memorable holiday in Europe a couple of years ago and many times since we have described it as our favourite summer holiday. Our son, Charlie, was just two years old and although we liked the idea of two weeks relaxing on a beach we knew the reality would be far from relaxing as he was an energetic toddler! To cater for his needs and ours, we booked a week in the Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera, followed by a week in the Venetian Riviera, near Venice. We purposefully booked these destinations as they offered stunning blue flag beaches, cultural sights and interesting towns/cities to explore. (For when we were tired of building sand castles and trying to prevent Charlie from eating sand!)
Image – One of the MANY trips taken to collect sea water in Charlie’s bucket!
We spent the first week at a five-star family-friendly campsite called Esterel in Agay. We had fun on the beach and around the campsite pool during the mornings and explored the scenic French Riviera coastline in our hire car most afternoons. We admired the many yachts in glitzy St Tropez, people watched in Cannes and browsed the local markets in Nice.
Images – Road trip along the stunning Côte d’Azur coastline and beach fun
For our second week we spent a week at Marina di Venezia a lively four-star campsite beach resort located just across the water from Venice. After a couple of days making the most of the extensive campsite facilities and stunning beach we were ready for more sightseeing and culture. We took a short ferry ride to Venice and visited St Marks Square, before exploring the many water canals (paying particular attention to Charlie who seemed determined to go for a swim!)
In both France and Italy we stayed in luxury mobile homes with Al Fresco Holidays. When selecting our accommodation it was important to us that Charlie had his own bedroom. We also wanted some outdoor space to enjoy BBQ’s and outside dining in the evenings whilst he was asleep. We find that hotels are great for the occasional overnight stay but for longer holidays we prefer to have more space. (Spending our evenings laying in bed, in a dark hotel room and unable to make a noise afraid to wake up our sons is not our idea of a fun holiday!) We have found from past experience mobile homes (or villas) work for us perfectly as a family.
Images – Exploring Venice and following son’s lead to the campsite beach!
Whenever we discuss where to go this year we always end up talking about our holiday in France and Italy. Our little family has grown and we now have two fun-loving, energetic boys to entertain:) It is even more important that our holiday involves some beach time, sightseeing, a little culture and most importantly, adequate space to spread out as a family and enjoy our child-free evenings.
For this years holiday we are considering the Algarve or Costa Brava which are both destinations (similar to the South of France and Italy) which offer fabulous beaches, reliably good weather and local towns/cities to explore.
Thank you for reading our entry into the #SummerLove James Villa Holidays competition featuring our favourite summer holiday. All images are copyright Travel Loving Family.