Love encouraging your kids to enjoy learning Science? Visiting Portugal soon? You might just think about visiting Lagos Science Centre..
Mention needing to 'Learn about Science' and you might ordinarily think of places like the Science Museum in London, Deutsches Museum, Munich or even the CosmoCaixa in Barcelona... but as we reckon this will be one of the most important aspect of our road schooling curriculum, we take each and every chance to grab some interactive science exploration with our girls. Such as an afternoon at Lagos's Science Centre (even sharing this with the Banks Family too)
Ever since the girls disappeared down the amazing mining expedition at the Deutsches Museum earlier this year, they've been hooked on Science... we've had great fun making video blogs about Leonardo Da Vinci's inventions, explored 'Green Energy Sources' or 'Salty Solutions'! So imagine finding a place where science is fun with hands-on learning & interactive exhibitions available for people of all ages.... across 3 levels and including a Discovery Garden.
So does the Algarve have the best beaches in Europe? Having just written an article on our 5 favourite 'hidden gems' of coastlines, they say that Portugal has the best beach in the world, that's if you believe the Huffington Post who recently wrote about it...and it's easy to see why! So whilst it's easy to see why the Ponta da Piedade has all that anyone might need, spare a thought for Praia da Luz as you won't regret an afternoon enjoying the crystal clear waters, endless golden sands or the stunning ochre red clips that overshadow this quaint Algarve seaside village.
Heading for some winter sun on Portugal's Algarve, we've left a a decidedly wet Seville after yet another wonderful visit! We headed off from our overnight stop at Puerto Gelves for Portugal and a chance to set about discovering a country we've only briefly visited before.... hoping to find other special places like Sintra, Lisbon & it's Escape Room or the Ossification Chapel at Evora !!
Having visited Seville almost a year to the day on our last family adventure, we were interested to see how we'd feel about seeing the city in the day... our previous visit had started at dusk with both girls treated to a horse drawn carriage ride across Seville before opting for an evening of tapas.. but with Southern Europe being battered by storms, would we enjoy Seville as much as we had before in the pouring rain?
Leaving any campsite after an enjoyable stay is hard, but when you've enjoyed yourself as much as we have at La Marina Resort... it's even tougher when both girls have come to feel so safe and happy here!! But sadly the nature of our journey across Europe means that we've become accustomed to these goodbyes.. but today was even more poignant and sad!! Will we ever return to La Marina's hustle and bustle and the wonderful sense of community that exists here...
What an amazing experience for any family motorhomer in Spain! Nestled in the citrus lined hills near Águilas is the charming and utterly authentic Spanish Campsite Experience... located around a stunning old Spanish 'Finca' (farmhouse) La Quinta Bella positively screams peace/quiet & community for those that winter here... but there's really something for everyone all year round!!
If you're pulling a big RV across Europe then the 200sqm plots will be a welcome sight or if you're searching for something to tickle your taste buds then the chef Mark is a true hidden gem! The local produce from the 'Garden of Spain' led to platefuls of food which were devoured in record time in the newly created 'TJ's wooden bar'... full of carvings that reminded us a little of our visit to Alhambra in Grenada. Whilst the sunny pool area sits impressively alongside the new dining area but enjoys views over seemingly miles & miles of orange groves and mountains... perfect to explore on foot or by bike
On holiday in Alicante and your children like animals? Then Rio Safari might just be the place to visit..
On holiday in Alicante and your children like animals? Then Rio Safari might just be the place to visit! Situated just outside the main holiday base of Alicante are fantastic places like La Marina, Santa Polla and Elche... all with fine beaches and some superb places to entertain your children... so we headed to see just what the Rio Safari Elche was like for young children. Having travelled across Spain for several months now we're getting quite a collection of places to see so if you fancy some travel ideas... maybe this 'Spain Travel Inspiration' page might help you and your family?
What a truly remarkable and unforgettable experience at Rio Safari in Elche where we had the amazing opportunity to enjoy 'Swimming with Sea Lions'. This opportunity exists due to the hard work of the 'Rio Safari Foundation' which helps provide animal assisted therapy to a variety of people as part of a series of therapeutic sessions each year... For those visiting the Zoo at Rio Safari there is a daily opportunity to see these special animals at first hand..... Thankfully we managed to secure a 30 mins visit and it will certainly go down as it's one of our highlights across the entire year across Europe.
So with great plans to continue down the Spanish coastline towards Andalusia... with new adventures awaiting us...we've somewhat stalled here at La Marina near Elche.. Why? Three main reasons spring to mind including the fantastic weather, on site waterparks (open in late November) & the ease of daily life here at La Marina... But perhaps it was waking up to a letter on our bed from Lottie that persuaded us to take a week out of our schedule and enjoy simple family life... Sometimes children just see it so all so clearly... great to see Lottie is achieving a real sense of perspective on this trip
Ok, it's a little 'off piste' for us... we're normally found up mountains, snorkelling or trailing around historic places... but if you've got a family and you want a genuine campsite that everyone will love... then read on!!
We have to be honest here... we've not just stumbled on the amazing 'La Marina Resort' near Elche... we found it last year on our route through Spain & Portugal and we've been desperate to return... maybe it was the fact we'd made great new friends including wonderful couples like Jeanette/Guenter or Dick/Glen who've helped our journey... or maybe it was the amazing waterpark which has entertained the girls over the last couple of days.... or perhaps it was the lure of the chance to have a family spa experience at the La Marina Senses...
If Valencia sparkled in the November sunshine, allowing us to bike the city, visit the Bioparc and enjoy paella at one of the many beach front restaurants... Alicante has offered even better weather, with the mercury in the thermometer rising to a healthy 24ºC so we've decided to try out the campsite at La Marina's . With it's star attraction for families... the Polynesian inspired WaterPark. Spread over 6,000 sqm, there are various levels / challenges and slides... but more importantly it just offers a great safe environment for kids to have fun!
Setting off early in the morning from our base at the Valencia Camper Park, we've decided to see what Valencia can offer... we've already seen the Garden of Turia by bike, been amazed by the Bioparc so what else is there to see in Valencia using the Valencia Tourist Card.
Heading for the metro stop at Turia, we've been amazed by the quality of the public transport.. it seems to be rarely late, operates across the entire day/evening and seems to be able to whisk you away to pretty much anywhere you want across both the site and the surrounding Albufera wetlands.
Valencia offers an amazing mixture of fun packed opportunities for 'family travellers'! Including chances to see the city for free (like our bike ride around the active, outdoor centre in the Garden of Turia) to the paid attractions like the Bio Parc...
All easily accessed either by bike, on foot or by using the Valencia Card (well worth the money as it covers not just public transport costs but also offer multiple discounts to museums across the city). Regular readers of our articles, will know just how much we rate these family travel cards as they take all the pressure out of the day and offer us a chance to see things we may not normally have opted for... just like our recent trip to Norway's capital Oslo in June.
Having started Leg 7 of our European Roadtrip, we left England just before Halloween some 9 days ago... its been a busy journey south!! covering over 1600 miles to date in just over 38hrs in the driving seat!! So as we reckon we're due a rest... we've downed tools and are having a 'work'n'play' day at Valencia Camper Park. Especially after our busy afternoon biking the Garden of Turia the day before....
The best part of any road trip is the ability to pick and choose your destinations.. so having thoroughly enjoyed our quick visit to Valencia last year, we're back to find out what more this wonderful city on the eastern Spanish coastline can offer...but this time by bike! Using metro/trains to allow quick and easy access into the city from our convenient overnight destination at Valencia Camper Park. Even easier if you take advantage of the Valencia Card (24hr,48hr or 72hr).. brilliant as it both covers public transport costs but also offers an amazing array of reduce cost of free attractions plus plenty more!
Nestled snugly into the mountainous backdrop of the Sierra de Albarracín Comarca.. the fortified town Albarracín sits astride massive rocky outcrops that dominate the area... much like the types of rock you see at the Gorge du Verdon in France. It's small with only 1075 inhabitants but the truly stunning vistas are obviously enjoyed by plenty of tourists each year..
We'd heard that Teruel was a hidden gem protected by the Pyrenees but one worthy of a detour... so detour we did from Zaragoza and onto perhaps the safest motorhome aire you could imagine.... situated right outside the regional police headquarters.. it boasts an hourly inspection by the police and is free too!!! (at least that'll please the bank manager again :))
Trying to locate the best route for a motorhome over the Pyrenees proved to be a harder task than we first thought... should we try to head across towards La Mongie and the scene of last October's adventures at Pic du Midi or should we try the infamous D953 and it's truly scenic, if narrow roads... or should we try a tunnel through the Pyrenees much like the one we tried last month under the Alpes and Mont Blanc.
Always on the hunt for new potential routes to make our journeys through France that little more interesting... we decided to opt for a more central route rather than following the tried and tested 'French Atlantic Route' towards Spain... Leaving last night's base in Pont de l'Ache we headed towards the D154 / N154 on the basis that this is the most obvious route South.
On our previous journeys towards the south of France, we've spent many an hour trying to find a great family friendly motorhome stop enroute /leaving Calais... the type of stop that is easy to get to within a few hours but feels like you've arrived in France.. For those reading this with a motorhome, you'll probably have your family favourite.. perhaps Gravelines (30mins up coast towards Dunkirk) or maybe somewhere a little different like a France Passion stay on the fantastic snail farm near Comines. But we've tried a different tack this time and headed for Pont de l'Arche.
So we've started again.... the next 7 weeks should be jam packed full of new family adventures and experiences in Spain and Portugal. We've decided that as we loved Spain so much during our last visit, we're keen to find a way to share more that Spain offers... not just what we wrote about Andalusia in the MMM Magazine in October, but now across the Northern Coastline. Not to mention taking a little time to really explore the Algarve and then up into the North of Portugal..
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