LifeinourVan | Looking back over an amazing year of family experiences across 2017... but what comes out on top?
With the clinking of glasses ringing in our ears and snow falling, we sat down as a family over the New Year to discuss the year past.... What would prove to be the biggest learning experience? Which place gave us the most fun as a family....? Which adventure did the girls love the most??
So here it is, the youngsters have wrestled control of the keyboard for today's blog, and they've decided to create a New Year special.....
York offer some great value activities for children and families, but which ones top the list? Find out here?
Having visited Yorkshire for over a month, we've gained lots of first hand experiences we thought we'd share with anyone else heading this way soon. Find all you need to know to plan a visit to York with kids in tow: the best attractions, parking advice and some tips where to find the best food. So in a city with plenty of great value activities for children and families, which ones top the list. Find out below?
With a month to the start of the Christmas holidays are you looking for things to do in Yorkshire? Perhaps a trip to York's Chocolate Story or the Jorvik Centre? Maybe grab a MTB Bike or Go Ape adventure at Dalby Forest? Or you could consider an educational yet fun visit for kids at the impressive 'The Deep' aquarium in Hull.
With two years of non-stop travelling under our belts there's been time to discuss our adventures so far.... with over 35 European Countries now visited.... we're starting to get a feel for which countries really welcome family travel and perhaps those that are seeking other audiences.... With winter fast approaching, we hope this might appeal to families considering last minutes dashes for some winter sun and family fun!
Squeezing York into one day is a hectic thought..... Its bustling historic city centre is full of attractions that will boggle your brain if you don't have a plan.... But we thought we'd share our first hand experiences to help give you the best place to start any family day out in York...... Especially as it's become one of our favourite European Cities that we've visited on our European Roadtrip... So if you're looking for the first tip from our visit, we'd suggest everyone should try wall walking when you arrive.... giving you a chance to get your bearings by strolling around some of the 3 miles of medieval city walls and gatehouses (just like Dubrovnik...)...
Family Holidays to Pembrokeshire are all about living life to the fullest and enjoying things outside… Ranging from glorious coastal paths, beaches, breathtaking scenery and some of the world's best seashore based outdoor activities. From Victorian seaside towns like Tenby to historic Pembroke, to the breathtaking Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and beyond, there is so much for families to explore in this proud and diverse region of Wales.
As we were helping to write an article for the 'Wales Online' newspaper about 'RoadSchooling our Children across Europe'....(see here) it dawned on us that Wales is famous for many things... From Male Voice Choirs to Coal/mining, Leeks, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Daffodils, Welsh Cakes, The Eisteddford, Richard Burton and Dylan Thomas.... but did you also know that the rapidly growing sport/hobby/pastime of Coasteering also originates from these Welsh shores?
Find all about our latest Roadschooling Experience as we teamed up with 'Wild About Pembrokeshire' and enjoyed a 'Sea Shore Foraging & Wild Cooking' experience that our kids absolutely loved!! Situated close to the pretty city of St Davids (the UK's smallest city with just under 2,000 residents), you can find the beautiful secluded bay of Caerbwdy (signposted to Trelerw). The perfect opportunity to grasp a family 'foraging & wild cooking' experience that echoes American writer Dale Carnegie's famous quote "Learning is an active process. We learn by doing. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind."
Just how you condense all of the amazing European sights we've seen into a simple 'Top 10 European Views'? It sounds like an impossible task...!! Especially when you consider that we've only just added the Ardéche to the list of areas visited. But as the Gorges de l'Ardèche is made up of a series of vertiginous gorges and is know locally as the "European Grand Canyon" perhaps it was always going to be worthy of consideration.... But more of that list of 'Top European Moments' later on as we thought we'd jump in the van, start the dash cam and give you a little taster of what you can find on your bike, in your van or even on a kayak!!
If you've stayed at this large resort-style campsite near Tarragona, you'll know it's set in a spectacular sub-tropical setting with direct access to its own sandy beach. ... So imagine holidays spent jumping into the sub-tropical pool for yet another splash around with the kids or evenings enjoying the numerous activities/shows on offer for all ages. All this in an idyllic setting amongst palm trees and flowers..... the perfect recipe for some rest and relaxation!!
Imagine an attraction dedicated solely to the giants of years past in Teruel? Dinopolis is sited in a place that has seen thousands of dinosaurs found within the very earth beneath you. It's the perfect playground for children with an imagination as they visit 3D/4D theatres, dig for fossils, take rides though history, play in the playgrounds, see dinosaur skeletons in the indoor museum… and so much more! With several acres of Dinopolis to explore, your family might also find yourselves wandering amongst some of the most feared predators ever to walk the planet!
Whether you're island hopping along the Croatian Coastline, punting down the canals of Venice, speeding down the Lillehammer Bobsleigh or sipping a coffee in a Viennese cafe. Europe offers plenty of iconic experiences to enjoy. So how does the North of Spain compare?
With 2018 summer planning about to start, you might just want to bookmark this little gem in the south west tip of France at Camping Sylvamar. Situated in the unspoilt region of Landes, it's one of the best we've seen in the south of France and a great option for all the family. So here's why we reckon it'll make it's way straight into our 'Top 50 Places to Stay in Europe' for 2018.
From the vast open expanses of Mid Wales, to the peaks of the North Yorks Moors, it's amazing what you can find behind the wheel of any European Roadtrip. Whether you love the chocolate box beauty of French Villages or the undulating alpine passes of the Austrian Tyrol, you'll not find many better places than the amazing route alongside Northumberland's coastline to Alnwick! But could Alnwick Castle offer the perfect day out with your kids too?
Each time we return to the North Yorks Moors, it immediately reminds us of its endlessly diverse beauty that always seems to leave us more enchanted than the last time. Yet it also has a very gentle side. Safe, quiet areas where you can picnic with the family, easy to follow trails for strolling, walking and cycling. Allowing children to explore to their heart's content and a huge number of child friendly and dog friendly places to stay, to eat and attractions to visit. So just how much family fun could we find over a weekend on theNorth Yorks Moors!
They say travelling with extended families can be the stuff of dreams — or a living nightmare. For us, we've loved every minute of our shared roadtrip just like last year's 'A Taste of France' joint roadtrip together. So knowing the girl's grandparents loved their visits to Alsace, we've returned to it's capital Strasbourg to share one of our families favourites cities (find our tips for over 50 other European Cities here)
So with Austria treating us to an Alpine Pass on the Gerlos Alpine Road (see full blog here) and a chance to hike up the Stubai Glacier (see full blog here), we've moved across to the Tiroler region of Austria.... and a chance to stay at a campsite with its own cable car at Tiroler Zugspitze! So not the normal facilities you might find at a campsite, but then again nor was the Volcano at Camping Solfatara in Naples, Italy (see full blog here). But read on to find out just why this campsite is rightfully the best campsite in Austria
It seems almost impossible to take a road trip without stumbling upon yet another wonderfully scenic journey in Austria.... a country we've enjoyed visiting, especially our time in Vienna. However 'stumbling' might not quite describe it accurately... as the wonderful Gerlos Alpine Road website conjured up some exciting images that meant we simply couldn't miss a scenic drive through the raw, rugged natural beauty of the Austrian Alps.
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)
It wouldn't be the first time we'd visited Vrbnik with friends or family, having seen this charming hillside town with AussiesonTour (Jess/Dillon). But it's that spectacular that our re-visit to the island of Krk with the girl's grandparents had to include a trip to Vrbnik. Well, who couldn't resist a chance to see themselves inside the 'narrowest street in the world'?
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.
Leaving our base at Camping Lanterna, we spent the day driving around the Istrian interior which proved to be yet another amazing experience in the mild early May weather (mid 20°C) With plenty more sudden stops like this one at Baredine Caves , this corner of Croatia has something new up it's sleeve at every turn...
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