It’s that time of year again, everyone is desperately trying to plan their family holidays abroadfor the summer and with the kids having a generous 6 weeks off, planning how to keep them happy is a challenge in itself. Trying to find time to look through holiday websites, brochures and reviews on top of having to find the most affordable holiday which fits into your annual leave can leave you mentally exhausted. Our summer holiday last year was complete bliss from departing the UK to arriving in Italy. We had the usual commotion at the airport but with the flight being under 2 hours and a 45 minute transfer from Verona to Sirmione we were sipping Lattes and eating gelato in no time at all.
We stayed at the Catullo hotel based on a recommendation from a close family friend, and it was perfect for myself, partner and two children – aged 3 and 6 years old. The hotel itself is family owned and run by them too, so they are more than accommodating to those travelling with children. The hotel is located on the lake front and the town is a short walk away which is perfectly accessible to anyone needing to use push chairs.
Whilst staying in Sirmione, we tried to get the children involved in activities as well as some excursions which we would enjoy as well. Here are a couple of things we go up to which may help you plan your holiday with ease…
Claudio Lana Professional Surf Centre
This is mainly for the adults, or those over 16, and it’s a great afternoon of fun. Mainly for the other half as it was him who wanted to give this a whirl. It was quite affordable and gave for a great day out and some fantastic photos and quality time for me with the kids.
This castle was a long shot, and it paid off. We thought the kids may not enjoy it, but to our amazement they were instantly excited when they saw the castle – and it is pretty impressive. For the adults, you can take in the history and scenery and for the kids – if you’re up for playing a few games of daddy and his knights having to save mummy, then you will have a great family day out here.
There were a couple of days where the children were really tired and so we simply spoke to our hotel and hired some bikes, with my partner and I taking one child each. It was quite a peaceful day of cycling around the lake at a relaxed pace with stops throughout the journey to take photos, get food and drink and to let the children, well… be children.
After planning days out with your family, there will be days where you’re all tired and just want some good food, good company and an early night. Here are a couple of our favourites who made our family feel welcome.
This restaurant was recommended to us by a couple of locals after our day at the Rocca Scaligera castle. It is extremely child friendly and has a romantic touch to make the adults feel relaxed and able to enjoy their food. It is owned and run by husband and wife duo, Silva and Matteo who have worked very hard to deliver wholesome and affordable food at an exceptional quality.
This is a delicious treat for all – but mainly the adults. Here you will find quite possibly the most mouth watering ice cream you have ever tasted. Of course it has your usual gelato you’d expect to find in Italy – but it offers so much more. The banana ice cream is made in the shape of a banana and decorated according to resemble the fruit as much as possible. This goes for all options here, time and effort has gone into making this a pleasurable experience for all – an exciting array of colours for the children and amazing flavours for the adults to enjoy.
When you are out and about on your family holiday abroad, then stop and ask locals for their suggestions, remember it is their country so they will have the key to unlock hidden gems there. Use review websites where possible, but also look country specific forums. So get a cup of tea, log online and get planning your stress free and enjoyable family holiday