For me, there’s nothing more important than family so when I go on holiday, I want to know that there’s going to be something for everyone so we can all have the best time ever. Italians adore family too, and that’s why the Italian island of Sardinia is right at the top of my list for a family holiday. Breathtaking vistas, sandy beaches and a whole lot of natural beauty, what’s not to like? Here’s my guide to what to do and where to stay so you can have a great Italian escape with your bambinos.
WHAT TO DO:
The first thing I want to know when I’m booking a holiday is ‘where’s the best beach?’. If like me, you’ve a family of beach lovers, you need to head for the stretch of coastline around the Gulf of Orosei. This part of Sardinia has some of the island’s best beaches for families. For me, nothing beats the feeling of walking along the shoreline, getting my feet wet and looking for marine life swimming underneath. If this sounds like your ideal beach holiday, check out San Teodoro beach. Its waters are very calm and shallow, making it ideal for kids wanting to splash about or for paddling in the waves.
There’s something about a boat trip and hopping from one island to another that unleashes my inner Christopher Columbus. At the Maddalena Island Archipelago, there are seven large islands that you can discover by foot and a further 55 little ones that can be admired by the water, perfect for a family full of adventurers. The chain of islands remains largely untouched so you’d be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere in the Caribbean, it’s that idyllic; just a bit more rugged looking. There’s a national park with a variety of rare animals that kids will love to discover, a beach with unique coral pink sands and a picturesque port lined with yachts and a handful of restaurants where you can try the delightful local cuisine.
An underground world
Come and marvel at the spectacular stalactites and stalagmites in Neptune’s Grotto. This is an activity to do with older kids as there are quite a lot of steps down to reach the entrance but it’ll be worth it when you’re greeted with the staggeringly beautiful views of icicle-like rocks hanging from the ceiling. With underground chambers, dark coves and the sound of trickling water running off the rocks, who wouldn’t want to play explorer in these caves for the day?!
WHERE TO STAY:
Liscia Eldi Resort, San Teodoro
Some of my best childhood holiday memories are from the times I spent at the kids’ club, so it’s important to me that the little ones in my family make the same memories. Liscia Eldi Resort has one of our Thomas Cook Kids’ Clubs and a Junior Club, so visit during July and August for fun and games with our Kids’ Club reps plus appearances from your kids’ favourite cuddly giraffe and bear, Lollo & Bernie. You’re also perfectly located for beach days, it’s only 250 metres from San Teodoro Beach. I don’t know about you, but I can already picture myself lazing away the days on the sands with a good book.
Club Hotel Baia Aranzos, Golfo Aranci
You’ve got to be ready to jump into any activity at Club Hotel Baia Aranzos. It’s got a holiday club-style atmosphere so if you like to be on-the-go, this one’s for you. Whether you just fancy a swim or want to ace your serve with a game of tennis, there are lots of sports on offer and if you’ve over-indulged on the All Inclusive buffet (we’ve all been there, right?) you can join with an aquaerobics session.
Resort & Spa Le Dune, Badesi Mare
This mega resort is five hotels in one, so you’re bound to find something to keep everyone happy. If you’re a family of water babies, there are six pools including two just for the kids. There’s also hotel-run kids’ and teens’ clubs for ages 2-17yrs that’ll entertain your littlest to your biggest. Pizza is a firm favourite in my household, so we’d love the pizza restaurant here, and if you want a break from the kids, there’s a romantic à la carte where you can gaze into each other’s eyes over candlelight. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also find family rooms and suites to fit you all in.