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Please please help decide where we should go this summer!

(9 Posts)
RichardSimmons Tue 16-May-17 00:16:30

DH and I are American expats living in the UK with our DCs ages 7, 6, and almost 4. We're looking to go somewhere in Europe for up to 8-9 days this summer. Like most young kids, our DCs don't fancy museums, historical sites, nice restaurants basically everything that would make you want to go somewhere. They are active kids and won't be happy staying home all day, even if "home" is a lovely villa with a pool. So we need convenient access to a beach, lake, or similar outdoor place, and fairly reliable weather. DH and I would like to feel like we're really "away," so we don't want to go to a big resort-type thing, but beyond that we're resigned to having a kid-friendly trip. At the same time we'd love to avoid huge crowds, if that's even possible in mid-summer. Villa, hotel , or flat is fine as long as we don't have to all sleep in the same room.

I won't say money is no object but the budget is generous. We don't get to do trips like this often and we are looking for luxury accommodations.

We've narrowed it down to Italy (probably Puglia), Croatia, or somewhere in the Alps (not much narrowing I know!), although we'd be open to other fantastic suggestions that meet our criteria. Which would be best for us? Thank you so much for any advice!

RichardSimmons Tue 16-May-17 00:17:43

P.S. If anyone was going to suggest Borge Egnazia, it is booked for our dates sad. But it looks like it would have worked well.

I'm going to sleep right now but will check responses first thin in the morning! Thanks again!!!

RichardSimmons Tue 16-May-17 07:38:33

Bump. Anyone??

LeMesmer Wed 17-May-17 22:11:09

Italy - no to Puglia - I know many people love it (for very good reasons) but if your children are not the sort to be happy with the beach all day and everyday there is often nothing to do (lived in Italy for several years). Croatia - everyone who I know who has been there says how absolutely lovely it is, how friendly everyone is, it sound wonderful but they also say not really a place for kids who want to do something other than sightseeing and a few lazy days.

The Alps - yes. France or Switzerland. France around Chamonix or central Switzerland around Lake Lucerne, or Lake Geneva. Switzerland particularly has loads of things for kids of all ages, and a good range of accommodation and prices.Lovely lakes, and I would book somewhere with an indoor pool. Weather can be a bit iffy though, we usually expect the worst and plan an indoor and outdoor holiday.

Other place I know well is the south of France, along the coast from Menton to Theole sur Mer. It is really lovely there, lots of things for the children, but very crowded in July and August. You could also consider the Italian lakes, especially Garda, beautiful with loads of things to do.

BecksHwith3 Fri 19-May-17 11:23:38

Look at website: www.lifeinourvan.com/
They have travelled all over Europe in their camper van and are an active family ... I get lots of inspiration from them and they have just done Croatia. Might give you a good idea for areas and then look on Airbnb/ holiday lettings or Owners Direct for good villas in those areas.
Good luck!

BigGrannyPants Fri 19-May-17 11:40:46

South of France is good, lots of beaches, water parks, zoos, awuariu etc I know you said no museums but there is an out door dinosaur museum where you follow a trail round a forest to find the dinosaur skeletons, kids love it and it's not your normal museum they also have space city which you can explore satellites that have been in to space, all very interactive. Lots of outdoorsy stuff to do.

BigGrannyPants Fri 19-May-17 11:41:01

That's meant to say aquariums

crocodarl Sun 21-May-17 18:11:46

Slovenia! Lake Bled. You'll love it.

ladydoer Sun 21-May-17 20:33:03

Have been to these 3 with my kids and can recommend:

* Tignes in France (close to the border with Italy) - lake, swimming pool, bike park, many sports activities for kids (you get a card for free activities included with your accommodation, check the exact activities on tignes.net). We stayed in residence apartments, pretty nice, great view, local touch

* Solden in Austria (close to border with Italy) - similar thing - free access to many sports activities with your accommodation (specific hotels/guesthouses only), including swimming pools, climbing walls, lifts - lots lots lots. Great for kids. You can choose to stay in a hotel or guesthouse, many options for every budget.
www.oetztal.com/en > see list of accommodations that offer the activity card included

* Croatia - can recommend Zadar area - amazing old city, lots to see around - Plitvice lakes, Krka park (but we had a rented car and drove around, stayed in a guesthouse in Zadar surroundings, I think we used booking.com to find it), there was a beach and mud bath close by - www.zadar.hr/the-queens-beach/
My husband likes mud baths so we visited this beach a few times.

I also like Crete but unless you go in May or end of Sept (and later) - it gets so hot! Love the beaches there though.

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