Family day out – Aqualand, Gran Canaria

Sometimes I think the recipe for a successful family holiday with a toddler or kids is ice cream, water, sunshine and (ideally) sand.

We had to forgo the latter at Aqualand but with a child pool and gentle slides, huge twisty scream-inducing slides for me, a wave pool, lazy river and pirate ship to explore, we really weren’t missing out.

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After a first lazy day in Gran Canaria, we decided to make our first day out almost equally lazy – a short drive from our villa to the waterpark where my vague original plan of staying for an hour or two and heading back for naptime turned into most of the day. Frankly, there might have been riots all round if I’d stuck to the timetable. Continue reading

Reviewed: Villa Amaranthus, Gran Canaria

Once upon a time, holiday accommodation was mainly somewhere to sleep between exploring – maybe chosen for its quirky history or lovely boutique touches.

Now, after 10 overseas trips with my daughter, I know we’re going to be spending a lot more time in it. So it’s got to be right. For starters, that means not having one small hotel room, and secondly, having somewhere that’s baby or child-friendly so I can relax and she can enjoy herself.

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I’ve been a fan of TotsToTravel for a while now, as they vet every single one of the villas listed, not least for safety, and guarantee an ‘essentials’ kit so you needn’t drag a huge amount of baby paraphernalia on a plane (including smaller items like sterilisers and monitors as well as toddler toilet seats, high chairs and cots).

But I hadn’t managed to actually test one out myself – until our holiday in Gran Canaria.

Continue reading

Vlogged: Highlights of Gran Canaria

I’ve already shared my photo round-up from our fantastic week in Gran Canaria, now it’s time for a bit of video.

The first vlog is live on my YouTube channel with some of our highlights from the holiday. Because there’s far more than just beach (lovely though they are), and very far from the image you might have in your mind…

Next up… the review of our villa.

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Five things to do in Bodrum with kids

I’ve been idly plotting a holiday in Turkey for a while now – there’s something about the words ‘turquoise coast’ which are irresistible. And while I love Istanbul, I haven’t ventured much further, except for a stop to visit Troy on a cruise.

The area, also known as the Lycian coast, has plenty of resorts to choose from, including Fethiye, Oludeniz, Kalkan through to Bodrum in the west. With its own airport a little way outside the town, Bodrum already has a slight headstart in terms of easy transfers with younger children.

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And with Mark Warner’s Sea Garden Resort based here, it’s even more tempting for a sunshine break with kids, especially with a sale starting on May 5. Continue reading

Gran Canaria in pictures

I have come back from Gran Canaria with about 500 photos, reams of video and a To Do list of posts (and work) as long as my arm. Possibly even my leg.

And while I promise not to share all of them with you, this should give you a flavour of our fabulous week away.

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Minnie and her sandcastle builder-in-crime

Of all the Canary Islands, I think Gran Canaria is the one which has struggled most to throw off its high-rise beach resort reputation. You’ll know from past posts how much I love Lanzarote, and after a week in Gran Canaria, there’s no question it’s got as fascinating, unusual and unspoiled a side to discover. Continue reading