As much as we love cultural city breaks we also enjoy a more slower paced holiday and one that preferably involves sunshine and swimming pools so this year we are planning a trip to Spain and the South of France, with our eye on the area in and around San Sebastian and Urrugne which has a stunning coastline famed for it's world class surfing and blissful dry summer season.
The last time I was in Spain was for a week in Barcelona and wow what a colourful and creative city but this time we have decided to explore somewhere new and I must admit that even though San Sebastian is a city we do plan to stay a bit further out and enjoy relaxing as a family and taking it easy as well as hoping over the boarder and exploring the more rural villages of the South of France. One of the reasons we have picked this part of Spain and France is because we can take an overnight Ferry from either Plymouth or Portsmouth down to Bilbao which for one will be a really interesting way to travel and a new experience for the kids and also allows us to take the car which means we can explore more of the rural areas as well as giving us more choice with regards to our accommodation as we won't have to reply on public transport so we can easily stay outside of the city centre.
Some of you may know that we spent a week in the South of France last year, where we stayed in a hillside Villa in Valbonne, around 25 minutes from Cannes. We had so much fun and really enjoyed the freedom of self catering that we plan to do the same this time, although with places like that you do need a car and I actually really enjoyed driving around the French Rivera even if it was on the other side of the road.
So why choose self catering? For us when we are away for more than 3 nights we always opt for self catering, for one it's much cheaper to eat in and it also gives us flexibility with regards to what time we decided to eat and with two young children it's a far less stressful choice than carting them to a restaurant each night only to have them turn their nose up at the expensive meal you just purchased them.
We have been looking at a variety of places to stay and are really impressed with what Olivers Travels has to offer with it's world class Villas in Spain as well as the rest of Europe and whats better is they even have a whole section all about family friendly Villas and holidays. I also really like the home away from home aspect about staying in this type of accommodation and I think that provides quite a comforting feeling for young children who can be prone to experiencing moments of homesickness. You could also opt for getting back to nature but with the hoe comforts with a luxury glamping trip in France.
All we need to do now is decided when we want to go, either before or after the summer holidays to avoid the rush as well as the hight of the summer heat as we found late September the perfect time last year when we were in France as it was in the mid-twenties each day without being to overwhelming for our 4yr old. We are really excited for the kids to experience some Spanish culture well as return to France this year and are already taking steps to learn some basic phrases to help us enjoy the most this beautiful country has to offer and cannot wait to share this adventure with you. I have also put together a simple summer style mood board