It's hard to narrow down our top five or even ten favourite watersports adventures on our European Roadtrip, but an opportunity to head out kayaking always seems to send everyone in the van into a frenzy of excitement. And as we've been fortunate to experience sea kayaking in Dubrovnik, fjord kayaking in Norway or river rafting/kayaking in Croatia.... just how would the Ardéche fare against such amazing opportunities?
If you've got an adventurous family and are visiting France, then don't miss one of the South of France's most exciting treetop adventure, ropes and zipwire courses at 'Le Roc de Massereau' in the Languedoc Roussillon. The ultimate place for all ages to flex their adventurous spirit and test themselves mentally and physically with over 200 elevated platforms connecting over 50 zip wires to a huge variety of rope ladders, wobbly bridges, tunnels and cargo-nets.
Seemingly scattered among the waves by the gods themselves, the Croatian Islands surrounding Zadar were made to be seen by boat. You’ve probably seen their quaint villages and azure waters a zillion times on postcards and travel brochures, but even the greatest images are no match for the real thing. Think Kornuti Islands Archipelago or beach paradises like Dugi Otok.
So a chance to explore Zadar's islands with skipper Milan & his authentic 1932 'ZvizdaMora' boat gave us sight of a side of Croatia you’d otherwise miss. An opportunity to see where history (and myth) happened, meet the present-day inhabitants, and, of course, soak up as much sun as we could get. (just check out his Trip Advisor reviews and you'll know why we chose his boat tour! - click here).
They say you should visit Croatia in late spring or the end of summer to explore the inland National Park of Krka or the Velebit mountain range. Considered a great hiking country you'll find plenty of opportunities in Croatia on the islands such as Korčula, whilst others might prefer to sail the archipelago of the Kornati islands National Park.
But have you ever considered a Buggy Safari? No? Well, nor had we until we until we chanced upon Buggy Croatia's fantastic 'adventure tour' at Vransko Jezero, Biograd. So if you fancy a day filled with views of emerald lakes, azure blue seas, islands galore and a little adrenalin filled fun... then read on!
Apparently the new buzzword is ‘3G’, with three generations of a family holidaying together – grandparents, parents and kids. But could 'Camping Šimuni' offer enough activities to suit everyone’s holiday needs alongside a chance to relax together as a family? It certainly impressed us on our first visit in April but what would it be like with more people to please (see our first blog post on Camping Šimuni here)
For those that have never explored the amazingly varied Dalmatian Coastline in Croatia... You'll never forget that moment that you crest the hills that line the Adriatic near Rijeka... to be met with that dazzlingly alluring blue of the Adriatic Sea.... Even after seeing it numerous times during the course of our two year European Roadtrip, we're still in awe of that first glimpse of the crystal clear waters of the island of Krk! So where better to stay than at Camping Resort Krk.
It's been an eye opening view into another side of European culture for our girls. Full of new adventures with plenty of new friends met along the way. It's been full of 'wide eyed' stares at the poverty witnessed in Poland or Hungary, yet these are often the places with the warmest of local people... We've seen the impressive canals of Venice, climbed the steep cliffs of Split and been staggered by the beauty in Budapest, Vienna or Prague.
Having already visited in February (read our full article here)... we couldn't wait to return with the wider family on a '3 Generation' (3G) Holiday. As we mentioned on our last visit to the national park resort of Bluestone Wales... if you love 'Free Range Fun' then you'll find everything you need in the well designed resort set in over 500 acres of Pembrokeshire's finest countryside. But once you've exhausted the array of opportunities within the resort, don't forget that it also lies within easy reach of the amazing beaches of Barafundle Bay, Broadhaven South or Freshwater West! Before returning back to one of its 350 individual timber clad lodges that offer plenty of space to relax and enjoy family fun...
Our girls have tried indoor climbing and even motorised climbing walls... plus a fair few 'adventure climbing walls' in Exeter and Birmingham or 'real climbs' in Norway & Croatia... but today was a real challenge with no brightly coloured hand/feet holds... just solid unrelenting Pembrokeshire stone to find some purchase!!! Thankfully, we had a brilliant instructor in Henry (from Climb Pembroke) who not only helped offer a series of technical challenges but also made us feel utterly safe throughout... So if this type of adventure is something you want to read more about to find ideas for your family, then we hope you might pop along to our European Family Adventures Page or take a peek at some of our growing collection of YouTube clips from our European Roadtrip.
Having visited Pembrokeshire earlier this year, we couldn't wait to grab another midweek break at Bluestone Wales, as we've fallen in love with this picturesque area of South Wales... An area that's jam packed full of adventure opportunities alongside some off the best 'family friendly' beaches we've seen across Europe (in fact, they're that good, we might just have to re-write this article on our top picks for family friendly coasts in Europe)
As for accommodation, if you've missed our earlier article about the quality of the Bluestone lodges, the relaxed setting and the amazing array of activities they offer, then click here, but take it from us... it's the perfect place for a busy active family to explore Pembrokeshire... or even a '3G' holiday with the grandparents!!
You only have to look at the stunning photos of the above, to understand just how special the location was for our first experience of climbing in Pembrokeshire. We'd loved seeing this coastline on our first visit to Pembrokeshire and could see the potential for adventurous, family fun... so what could Climb Pembroke offer?
Firstly, let's deal with the important stuff!!! The safety precautions, attention to detail and general technical assistance was the best we've encountered across Europe. Our guide, Henry, is highly experienced as both a climber and instructor and he had both girls listening attentively to each and every word of advice within minutes!!
Pembrokeshire has been a national park since 1952 and covers an area of over 629 km2 (243 sq mi). In fact it's the only national park that has been granted this status due to it's magnificent coastline! Imagine a varied landscape of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, wooded estuaries and wild inland hills... plus plenty of places to find some great climbs! (read more here)
It's not Snowdonia, but if you love sea cliff climbs, then there's plenty to choose from... try 4,500 of the best sea cliff climbs in the UK. Most climbers will head for South Pembrokeshire, and the cliffs of Lydstep, Penally and Stackpole. But for those who venture north, there's also some fantastic climbing around St David’s and the coastline to the north east.
Part of the attraction of sea-cliff climbs is that they are difficult to access except by abseil and at some cliffs you can't even get a glimpse of the climb until you've committed to abseil down.... well that's not quite the case at Penally near Tenby... but the scramble down to the slab face takes a degree of courage before you launch yourself into the unknown below you....
But don't worry if you have a family of 'non adrenaline junkies', this place is for you too... there's easy scrambles to enjoy, plus some basic climbing and abseiling too.... just look at the above photographs as it's not too hard... although your muscles might ache a little the next morning!!!
It’s official: Britain has the best sea-cliff climbing in the world just read this article on why.... but we'd honestly not expected to have such a wide variety of techniques on offer for an afternoon climb (3-4hrs) from Climb Pembroke... It proved to be a fantastic learning curve for our budding young climbers... who loved every minute of this brilliant opportunity to test their growing skills... plus we also seized the chance to explore the sea caves that were previously hidden by the high tide too!
But in truth, we loved the climbing and the ability to abseil into another world, enjoying the sunlight dancing on the water below before getting to grips with an absorbing adventure to get yourself out... or even dangling on a top rope to try and spot the barrel jellyfish or dodge the nesting sea birds!!! Something to consider ahead of our Surfing Adventure in Pembrokeshire??
If you read this and are considering taking your kids, it's going to be a test of your courage, fear and determination... perhaps more than your physical abilities!!! But if you have an active family who love a challenge, then this type of early opportunity to develop new climbing skills might even lead to a lifetime love of this brilliant sport.... we're hooked and hope others find the same enjoyment our family has when we grab a new climbing opportunity together.
(To book a climbing session with Climb Pembroke contact Henry Castle on 07732 972 643 or via
Having experienced some fantastic sights on our European Roadtrip for over 500+ days now, we've also enjoyed celebrating festivals and special days in other countries. Loving the opportunity to see how different cultures/countries celebrate these days (i.e Hallowen in Spain or Bastille Day in France). So having seen how the Italians celebrated Easter last year in Catania, Sicily... we couldn't wait to see what Croatia would have in store for us this year....
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