Archive for the ‘Customer Travel Diaries’ Category
This week’s blog comes from Pierre et Vacances guest Richard, whose family recently enjoyed a week of sun at Pierre et Vacances Residence Calarossa’s self-catering apartments in north west Sardinia.
Having been to Sardinia before we knew what a beautiful country it is and how friendly the people are. However our previous trips had been without the kids so we we’re prepared for a slightly different experience this time!
The flights from Gatwick to Olbia were amazingly quick, just two hours from boarding to landing, then a one hour simple and scenic drive to the residence itself.
The residence is accessed by a 2km beach road, which isn’t as bad as it sounds as it actually had less potholes than some English roads! I quickly learned that the trick was to keep your speed up and you float over the bumps plus it really helped to send the kids to sleep too. Also, having left suburban, overcast England it was really exciting to cruise along a sunny, dusty road to our holiday apartment.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Calarossa
The self-catering apartments themselves were bright, airy and clean, with a well stocked kitchen, comfy beds and a nice terrace.
The thing we noticed about the resort is how fragrant it is, the flowerbeds are immaculately kept and smell of lavender and rosemary wafted everywhere you went. It was low-season so it was lovely and quiet, but even at high-season you can see the facilities would have no problem accommodating larger numbers without it feeling crowded.
The three pools were really clean and were both child friendly with gentle steps into them, with lots of sun loungers and shades to choose from. The kids’ pool was perfect for our five year old to jump in and out on her own, whilst our 10 month baby could safely crawl around on a rug in the shade.
To entertain the kids there are a troop of energetic teens called the Animators that every morning and afternoon performed a short choreographed dance by the pool, which our eldest little girl absolutely adored and learnt the steps to off by heart. In the evenings the same group held a kids’ disco in the bar which was as real treat for all the little ones.
We went self catering but the on-site restaurant was really flexible, so occasionally we had breakfast and supper there. When we couldn’t be bothered to leave the apartment after a hard day at the pool we simply ordered takeaway pizzas. All the food was very good but the pizzas were outstanding.
Overall though the most special thing about the resort were the staff, everyone was super friendly and went out of their way to help you. A special mention must go to Antonio the restaurant’s maitre d’ who made us feel so welcome and barman Alessandro who made a great G&T which us grown ups really enjoyed at sunset.
I couldn’t recommend Calarossa enough, if you have young kids it’s totally catered to making everything as easy and enjoyable as possible for grown ups and children alike.
Our local tips:
• Visit the harbour town of Isola Rossa for some great little shops and supermarkets.
• Marrineda beach is a short drive from the resort. It’s really easy to park with lovely warm, clear water for swimming.
• The beach cafe at Marrineda is a great spot for lunch, right on the beach with lots of shade, amazing squid and seafood.
• If the conditions are right there’s incredible surf to be had at Basedsi and Marrineda beach, you can hire boards at the beach.
Prices for Pierre & Vacances Residence Calarossa are from €570 for a week, book online or by calling 0870 0267 145.
At the heart of the French Alps, Arc 1950 is a car-free resort with a Savoyard flavour which blends itself into the shape of the surrounding mountains…
Ski-out accommodation, views of the magnificent Mont Blanc, relaxing spa, buzzing bars, cosy pubs and restaurants serving the best French cuisine for hungry skiers, and of course – fantastique snow! But don’t just take our word for it, check out what guests at Arc 1950 this season have to say – and recommend!
If this whets your appetite, check out our Pierre & Vacances Premium Residence Le Village complete with a Deep Nature Spa to get those weary post-piste limbs ready for the après-ski!
Last month Pierre & Vacances customer Andy Parker visited Picardy for a weekend get-away. Check out his review of our Premium Résidence de la Plage, and the things to do in Le Crotoy and the surrounding area:
Le Crotoy is a pretty special place. A small town on the bay of the Somme, where Jules Verne wrote the majority of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea whilst staying in the town, just a short drive from Abbeville. Being a fishing town there are several restaurants all serving fresh catches and we managed to visit the morning market to see what was available straight off the boat that morning.
Only visiting for a weekend trip we decided to eat out both evenings, but had we stayed longer we would have been more than accommodated to cook my own local foods with the fish markets setting up when the trawlers come back in, an amazing butchers, grocers and patisserie all within walking distance of the apartment.
We stayed in a two bedroom apartment which could quite comfortably have slept up to six people because the sofas were also beds. The living space was ideal, the kitchen was fully kitted and exceptionally clean with the espresso machine and complimentary capsules a nice touch.
There were two bathrooms, one with a bath/shower and the downstairs a spacious shower, both were perfect after a long day walking along the coast line watching the wind and kite surfers.
The view from both the master bedroom and the living room/sun terrace were stunning, spanning all the way across the bay and up the coast line.
Being a cold November, we didn’t get an opportunity to dip into the outdoor pool but its location, facing over the waterfront, seemed ideal.
We took a trip to Abbeville which was no more than 20 minutes by car. The town has a wonderful high street with a strong mixture of high street brands and independent retailers (particularly the chocolatiers). The church in the centre of town has been restored several times throughout its history and information was available in English which helped with our lack of reading French!
There are several landmarks dotted around the town which we uncovered from exploring side streets which reflect how much devastation the town saw throughout 1914-1945.
Our final trip was to a discrete cemetery for those who served in the Great War in the village of Lebucquiere. Although we’ve never been to some of the larger memorials and cemeteries which are considerably closer to Crotoy, this one held personal interest to me.
It was a drive of several hours and we decided to utilise the toll roads. They really do put UK road services to shame! Yes you do have to pay (maximum journey was from Lebucquiere to Calais at 9 Euros) but they’re fast, direct and pretty empty at peak times.
My top tip – I had no problems with driving on the other side of the road, but remember to check your headlights before leaving to see if you should purchase headlight reverse stickers which make sure you’re not blinding on-coming traffic!
Visit Le Crotoy for yourself! Andy stayed at the self catering Pierre & Vacances Premium Résidence de la Plage in Le Crotoy, Picardy. Pierre & Vacances also has a wide range of self catering apartments around North Picardy, perfect for mountain-biking, hiking and horse-riding, as well as visiting the the Somme Bay and Compiègne forest for sports and bird watching.
The Cap Esterel self-catering resort in the South of France is perfect for families, but don’t just take our word for it – here’s a lovely letter we received from the English family who visited this summer:
Dear Pierre & Vacances,
Just a quick email to say what a fantastic time we had at Cap Esterel.
Everything was a joy and for the first time in years, we didn’t feel any need to get in the car and visit somewhere.
Overall, the biggest compliment I can pay is that everything was so easy, exactly what you want sometimes when you are on holiday, particularly with young children. Checking in was easy, navigating around the centre was easy, shopping was easy, the kids club was easy, keeping the kids entertained was easy and last but not least, eating out (every night!) was easy.
Your staff team are fabulous, most of whom either speak very good English or enough to deal with a question. The ladies on reception always had a smile, the guys in the kids club were superb and everyone else was enthusiastic and friendly.
The apartment was clean, with everything we needed, in a great location and with the most amazing view of the Mediterranean. We spent many a lunchtime watching the rich and famous no doubt, bobbing around on their gin palaces, which all added to the experience.
As a family of four with two young boys (7 and 5), we needed plenty to keep the children entertained, but this was not a problem. The swimming pools were great (the lifeguards were always attentive which is important with so much water around), the evening entertainment was fantastic and they even went to kids club 3 mornings.
Neither did we struggle to feed them in the restaurants and we felt perfectly comfortable about letting them wander round the main plaza once they’d finished, whilst my wife and I finished our meals.
Finally, how would I sum it up for other English families – a bit like multi-national Center Parcs, but outside because the weather is so much better.
I think it’s pretty certain we will be returning next year!
Tell us about your family holidays with Pierre & Vacances over on our Facebook page.
He took wife Wendy and daughter Millie on an adventure packed week in April with plenty of snow, skiing and sun!
Check out the fantastic video of their week away skiing in the Portes du Soleil: