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Posts Tagged ‘Spain destination guides’

A weekend in Le Crotoy at the Résidence de la Plage

December 13, 2011 2:00 pm
posted by Sarah

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: 

We recently took to the shores of North France for a stay at the Pierre & Vacances Premium Résidence de la Plage  in Le Crotoy, in the Bay of Somme (just an hour’s easy drive from Calais).

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.

Le Crotoy, Picardy

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.

The view from Residence de la Plage

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.

Great War cemetary in Lebucquiere

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.

 

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Simon’s Family Holiday to Manilva

June 14, 2010 9:57 am
posted by Simon

Hi, I’m the Webdesigner for this very blog! I’ve been working for P&V for some time now, and recently had the chance to take my wife and 2 year old son to the Terrazas Costa del Sol Resort.

For those of you considering the P&V resort at Manilva Costa del Sol, my first reaction would be go for it! and here’s why…

The apartment itself was very spacious, we had a 2 bed with balcony, there were 2 good sized bedrooms with huge wardrobes and dressing table, the master bedroom had an ensuite bigger than our own bathroom at home, tiled from floor to ceiling with a bath, shower toilet and beday. Needless to say, as the resort is brand new the apartment was spotless. There was a second bathroom with shower next to the bedroom. The main living room again was big with a nice kitchen area with everything we needed. Looking back at the P&V website the photographs of the apartments are exactly what we got, it really is that nice.

The courtyard right out side our door.

The view from our balcony

The views from our balcony were amazing, from the resort’s vantage point on the hill side, we could see right down the coast toward the imposing Rock of Gibraltar. The resort is on quite a large plot, divided into apartment buildings, each building is designed in a different way, so there is a really nice flow to the place, with fountains and courtyards dotted throughout. Due to it’s position on the hillside, a refreshing wind often breezes in. It was early season when we visited and the temperatures across Spain were unusually cool, however the courtyard right outside our apartment was a great sun trap, and the perfect place for Isaac, our 2 year old, to build a toy town under the shade of the palm trees.

A peaceful moment by the pool

A peaceful moment by the pool

The Rock of Gibraltar

Later in the week the weather picked up, the winds dropped and we ventured into the pool. Set in the middle of the complex with the bar and restaurant nearby, it too enjoyed the amazing views and garden surroundings.

Our view with Gibraltar in the distance

Our view with Gibraltar in the distance

The Gardens

The Gardens

Having previously been used to holidaying as a couple, my wife and I would normally shy away from ‘Child Friendly’ accommodation seeking a bit of peace and quiet. Isaac is now 2 and a half, and piece and quite is a rare commodity, but in my opinion the Terrazas Costa del Sol manages to keep things mellow for the adults, while amusing the children with free clubs, out door games and play area. Each evening the entertainment staff put on a mini disco for the kids and what ever they pay those guys, it’s not enough! They were so enthusiastic, it’s all our son talked about each day.

The kitchen has everything you need for a family!

The kitchen has everything you need for a family!

You do need a car to get out and about, as the resort is about half a mile up the hill side, but quite frankly, to get the best from the Terrazas Costa del Sol, you should treat it as a great base from which to explore. Gibraltar is a 20 minute drive and Estaponia about the same, we left this place thinking there is much more to discover, whilst I’m now keen to see what PV’s other destinations are like, I’ll always be happy to return to Manilva.

Estaponia Old Town, v.nice!

Estaponia Old Town, v.nice!

Me and two Monkeys

On top of the Rock!

On top of the Rock!

Hot deal: Prices for a one-week break in Manilva start from only €400 for a studio apartment sleeping four at Pierre & Vacances Terrazas Costa del Sol in October 2010.

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Pierre & Vacances: Top Ten Family Escapes for October Half Term

October 18, 2009 3:21 pm
posted by Simon

The Autumn Half -Term break is just around the corner so don’t miss your chance to book a brilliant last-minute family holiday at bargain prices.
Here’s our round-up of ten of the best holiday villages and residences in some of the most stunning resorts in France and Spain…

1. Pont Royal, Provence

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Set amongst the famous lavender fields of the Luberon, the Pierre & Vacances Holiday Village at Pont Royal is the ideal choice for families. Located 50km from Marseille, the resort features self-catering apartments, houses, villas and farmhouses nestled around a pedestrianised village.

Best for kids: The swimming pool complex has an outdoor wave pool, a ‘countryside’ pool with a large beach, plus fantastic children’s clubs- all included in the price.

Best for grown-ups: The splendid Pont Royal golf course, designed by Severiano Ballesteros, is on the doorstep. There’s also a rafting river, boating lake, aqua gym, basketball and volleyball courts.

Families with older children can have a go at archery and petanque, and there’s also a horse-riding centre and hiking and mountain bike trails on site.

Hot offer: Seven nights’ self-catering in a studio cost from 460 Euro; two-bedroom houses from just 730 Euro.

2. Belle Dune

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If you’re travelling with little ones and seek a relaxing holiday village a little closer to home, bring your brood to lovely Belle Dune.
Belle Dune is a pretty lakeside eco-village in Cote Opale in the Picardy region, nestled in a preserved natural area of sand dunes. The large lake offers plenty of opportunities for messing about on the water. Choose from a range of family holiday apartments and houses.
Best for kids: In addition to its free children’s clubs the onsite circus school where young acrobats can learn to juggle and have a go on the flying trapeze is the star draw.
Best for grown-ups: Enjoy golf games and lessons on the nearby course, tennis, and sand yachting.
Older kids and parents can go sailing, mountain biking, try their hand at archery or take tennis lessons. The nearby beach can also be accessed on foot.
Hot offer: Seven nights in a one-bedroom house costs just 448 Euro.

3. Monflanquin, Dordogne

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For breathtaking countryside and warmer climes, the Dordogne never goes out of fashion. P&V has a charming property in the picturesque 13th century town of Monflanquin. As its name suggests, Résidence Pierre & Vacances du Lac – Monflanquin is situated on the shores of a lake and surrounded by parklands. Choose from a wide range of self-catering apartments and houses all built in the style of the region.

Best for kids: There’s a play area for little ones with a swing, mobiles and a Wendy house. You can also borrow board games and pétanque balls from reception.

Best for grown-ups: Relax at the solarium equipped with deckchairs and parasols, or swim in the pool.
There’s also table tennis for older kids.
Hot offer: One-bedroom houses cost from just 340 Euro for a week.

4. Terrazas Costa del Sol Holiday Village, Manilva, Spain

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For panoramic views of Spain’s Costa del Sol and the Rock of Gibralter, check into the Pierre & Vacances Terrazas Costa del Sol Holiday Village. Located less than an hour’s drive from Malaga airport, this multi-activity resort features self-catering apartments clustered around a main square filled with patios, fountains and palm trees.
Best for kids: They’ll love the large infinity pool, kids’ playground and kids’ clubs – free for 3-18 year-olds.
Best for grown-ups: Work out in the modern fitness club, or relax at the private beach area with tapas bar.
The whole family can enjoy bike rides through the grounds.
Hot offer: One-bed self-catering apartments are available from just 482 Euro for seven nights.

5. Port Bourgenay
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For those who adore the Vendee region, The Pierre et Vacances Port Bourgenay Holiday Village is a top choice. This 90 hectare car-free village is situated near Les Sables-d’Olonne, and offers a stunning choice of activities, including an aquatic centre with three pools, sailing on the lake and a fabulous beach. Comfortable self-catering apartments and houses are spread over five areas – choose a view of the ocean, lake or golf course.

Best for kids: Highlights include complimentary kids’ clubs for all ages, a play area, and the children’s farm.
Best for grown-ups: Enjoy the two heated swimming pools, sundecks and the 18-hole championship golf course.

The onsite water sports centre, tennis and volleyball courts offer fun for all the family – and you can also take fencing lessons or go rollerblading.
Hot offer: Book a one-bedroom house for just 440 Euro per week.

6. Cap Esterel, Cote d’Azur

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If an action-packed holiday village situated just minutes away from the beaches and bright lights of Cannes sounds more like your style, book your half-term escape to the Pierre & Vacances Cap Esterel Holiday Village.
Perched on a red rock hillside overlooking the glittering Med, this village offers a vast range of sports and activities in a relaxed setting for families. A choice of self-catering accommodation is spread over three areas with views of the lake, village or golf course.
Best for kids: They’ll love splashing in the two children’s pools with slides and wave machine – and the free kids’ clubs.
Best for grown-ups: It’s surrounded by a magnificent purpose-built golf course and gardens, close to the shops and restaurants of Cannes and St Raphael and1km from two sandy beaches.
The whole family and teens can also enjoy watersports at the lakeside leisure centre, tennis, golf, archery, and cycling.
Hot offer: Three-bedroom villas cost just 630 Euro for seven nights.

7. Cap d’Ail, French Riviera
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If the sun-drenched beaches of the French Riviera are calling to you, book your half-term break at the Résidence Pierre & Vacances Costa Plana in glorious Cap d’Ail. This traditional Riviera style residence sits on a rocky promontory and boasts great ocean views. All the bright and airy self-catering apartments have large terraces, some with views over St Jean Cap Ferrat and Beaulieu.
Best for kids: Mala beach and the sport and family-orientated Marquet beach are nearby and accessible on foot, and there’s a stunning swimming pool overlooking the sea.
Best for grown-ups: Enjoy the swimming pool, sun terrace and solarium. And for upmarket excursions, the Principality of Monaco is just 4 km away.
Older children and whole family can also do battle at table tennis or table football.
Hot offer: One-bed apartments cost from only 630 Euro per week.

8. Port du Crouesty
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When it comes to finding an active family holiday in Brittany, the Pierre & Vacances Port du Crouesty holiday village ticks all the right boxes.
Situated in Arzon, facing Belle-Ile-en-Mer, in southern Brittany, it’s a watersports paradise with a marina and just 300m from the beach. Port du Crouesty village is built in the traditional Breton style and charming self-catering accommodation is available for families of all sizes.
Best for kids: Young thrill seekers will love the watersports, beaches and the free kids’ clubs for 3-18 year-olds, and the kids’ playground.
Best for grown-ups: Enjoy the two adult pools with sun decks, direct access to the Thalassotherapy centre, and the 18-hole Rhuys-Kerver golf course.
There’s also mountain bike rental, and a concert and disco hall for evening entertainments.
Hot offer: One-bedroom apartments cost from just 400 Euro for seven nights.

9. Le Touquet
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For a chilled out resort with fine sandy beaches, look no further than the seaside town of Le Touquet in northwest France. The Pierre & Vacances – Les Jardins de la côte d’Opale is situated in pretty woodlands near the Canche Valley and two kilometers from the beaches of the Côte d’Opale. Choose from 87 modern styled self-catering apartments with balconies.
Best for kids: Highlights include great beaches, a heated swimming pool, and children’s playground.
Best for grown-ups: Unwind at the indoor pool with solarium or play a game of tennis.
There’s also bike rentals – cycling is a great way to explore the area and get to the beaches.
Hot offer: A week in a one-bed apartment costs from just 420 Euro.

10. Branville
Dreaming of a cottage in Normandy? Then make your way to the Pierre & Vacances Branville Holiday Village. This charming 12-hectare estate features traditionally styled cottages and apartments and a vast Aquatic Park.
Best for kids: They’ll love the kids’ clubs, children’s pool, and playground. There’s also an environmental awareness project for kids in partnership with the WWF – held in children’s club once a week.
Best for grown-ups: The covered tropical Aquatic Park and its swimming pools whirlpools, jacuzzi, sauna, and hammam is the perfect haven for relaxation.
Older children can play tennis and for bored teens, there’s Le Spot – a chill out area where they can meet new friends and watch videos.
Hot offer: One-bedroom houses cost from just 510 Euro per week.

For further information and details of all Pierre & Vacances residences and latest deals, visit www.pv-holidays.com

Pierre & Vacances also have many half-term offer, with many apartments offering 20% during key UK half term dates. You can find out more by visiting the special offers section of their website.

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This month’s customer blog comes from Athena Stavrakis who recently jetted to Barcelona with her boyfriend Steve and stopped off at Port Aventura on the way…

“When the topic of going away on holiday together came up between myself and The Boyfriend, I must admit I was a little apprehensive. Sure, spending a week away together soaking up the sun sounds perfect in theory but it was going to be our first holiday together. Expectations were high and the last thing either of us wanted was to leave our sunny paradise with stormy rainclouds looming over us.

It all looked disastrous from the outset; he wanted to be close to the beach, I wanted to immerse myself in culture. On top of that, I needed to find somewhere that would have enough distractions to stop him from realising it takes me all morning to turn from beast to beauty.

After scouring the internet for last minute deals, we settled on Spain, the Costa Dorada to be precise and a week of sun, sea and sangria.

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Leaving the grey clouds of London behind us, we arrived to blues skies and the sweltering heat at sometime after 9 a.m. Having dumped our bags, we immediately changed into our swimwear and made a short walk to the beach. We headed to the beaches of Salou, which are spectacular.

With its golden sands and rocky shorelines, Salou is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. We grabbed a quick bite to eat and hired some sunloungers, which are approximately £7 euros for a whole day’s hire. Over the weekend, we ventured to Cambrils, which is the next resort along from Salou and just €1.50 on the bus.

Cambrils is a much quieter area than Salou and its sandy beaches are perfect for strolling along hand-in-hand with your paramour. They have a beautiful marina, a few shops perfect for window shopping and some excellent fish restaurants facing the marina if you’re feeling peckish.

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With the whole world trying to save some money, self catering accommodation was the only option we had for Spain so we visited the local supermarket and stocked up on supplies for the week. A top tip is to stock up on a lot of bottled water whilst you are out there.

Although tap water is safe to drink in Spain, the mineral content differs from water in the UK so can give you a dodgy tummy if you’re used to drinking tap water over here. I had lots of fun attempting to be Nigella for the week but when we went out for dinner, we discovered a multitude of restaurants and bistros in Salou along the beachfront. There are some good value-for-money tapas restaurants off the main parade that we discovered on our final day. As it is a popular resort, there’s plenty on offer so you are sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

Accommodation close to Port Aventura

One of the main attractions for choosing the Costa Dorada however, was Portaventura and we spent 2 days exploring the park. We booked our tickets before we went on holiday, getting a 4 day pass for €55 for adults, a bargain considering a day pass is approximately €44 when bought on the day. You can buy these advance tickets directly from the Port Aventura website.

Upon arriving, head to the Visitors Office, which is just beyond the queuing desks and exchange your printout for your passes. 4 days sounds like a lot but it is virtually impossible exploring the park in a day, particularly if you are planning on coming here with young children in tow. Plus with the advance ticket, you also get a reduced entry fee into the Caribe Water Park. We didn’t take advantage of this offer but with an indoor and outdoor area with lots of activities on offer, it is worth checking out whilst you are here.

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As with most theme parks, the queues are a little long but we discovered if you head to the park first thing in the morning, or at about 3 p.m, queue times are considerably shorter. We loved Furius Baco, which takes off at 135kph and this is a definite highlight if you are an adrenaline junkie. The Dragon Khan was another highlight. Although initially perturbed to go on a ride with 8 loops, upon exiting the ride, we queued up to go on it again which resulted in rather queasy stomachs and a cringe worthy photograph.

Food prices are a little steep but I’d invest in buying a ‘golden cup’ whilst you are there. For an initial payment of €12, you can take your cup to any food retailer in the park and have your glass refilled with a beverage of your choice throughout the day.

There are also many shows in Portaventura. As the park is divided into different lands, make sure you note down the times of the shows you wish to see and get to that theatre 10 minutes before the show begins.

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Barcelona
After a few days of lazing on the beach and screaming on rollercoasters, we decided to feed on the cultural feast Barcelona had to offer us. Being the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona has plenty to offer in terms of sights.

Our coach dropped us off at the old port and upon arriving, I resisted the temptation of spending all my money in the Maremagnum shopping mall and headed for The Aquarium.

The Aquarium houses 450 different species and its 80 metre long underwater tunnel means that only a thick sheet of glass separates you from the stingrays and sharks that rapidly swim around you.

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After staring at the fishes, we made our way to Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is a 1.2km street in central Barcalona littered with restaurants, clothes shops and performers. If you choose to visit this street, you will find yourself constantly captivated by magicians, mime artists and dancers so prepare to spend a lot of time here slowly ambling along the sidewalk. If you live in or have visited London, it is reminiscent of Covent Garden but on a much grander scale. As in any major city, pickpocketing is a problem here so please be aware of any valuables you have on you.

We meandered through the Gothic Quarter and after getting ourselves a little lost, we took a cab and headed to the Sagrada Familia. A lot of Barcelona’s buildings in the Gothic Quarter date back to medieval times and there are also no
table examples of Modernist architecture. One of the finest examples of the Modernist/Art Noveau movement is the Sagrada Familia, designed by Antoni Gaudi. Although not yet completed, this magnificent Roman Catholic Church is awe-inspiring and well worth visiting if you venture to Barcelona.

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The Boyfriend started digging in his heels by this point. A major football fan, he wanted to visit the Nou Camp. Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe and home to arguably one of the most successful clubs in European football, FC Barcelona. Unfortunately U2 were playing a concert on that day so we were unable to get too close to the grounds but providing there isn’t a concert taking place, for a small fee you are able to take a tour of the grounds as well as the changing rooms, which is a must have visit for any sports fan. Seeing as we couldn’t get close to the grounds, The Boyfriend dragged me into a sports bar where we were able to look lots of football memorabilia.

After a bite to eat, we soon had to get on our coach back home but not before a quick detour to see the Magic Fountain. Located on Montjuic, a hill in Barcelona, the Magic Fountain or the Font Magica to give it its Catalonian name, is a visual delight combining music, lights and water. Legend has it that if you drink the water from the fountain, you will return to Barcelona once again, having fallen in love with the city. Arms wrapped around The Boyfriend’s waist, droplets of water falling on my skin, I thought back to my adventure in Barcelona and smiled. Words and photos do not give this show justice but the sights and the sounds of the Magic Fountain was the perfect end to my day in Barcelona.

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The days flew by and The Boyfriend and I soon found ourselves back on a plane back to London. Although we had an early morning flight, we spent most of our time on the plane avidly exchanging our favourite memories of the holiday.

The Costa Dorada is a beautiful place to visit with lots on offer for both couples and families. The sun-worshipping Boyfriend was thrilled with his tan and the beautiful sandy beaches, I was excited by all the memorabilia I had picked up in Barcelona, we both laughed at the big kids in us making an appearance in Portaventura! The local people are hospitable, the food was amazing and the surroundings, heavenly. Whether you fancy a week of relaxation, an activities based week or you fancy being a culture vulture, there is something to suit all in the Coast Dorada.”

Where to stay in Costa Dorada?
P&V has a special offer for its Pierre & Vacanaces Residence Cala Cristal, Miami Platja, Costa Dorada this summer.

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Pierre & Vacanaces Residence Cala Cristal, Miami Platja is located 130km south of Barcelona and just 25km from the Port Aventura theme park, making this residence a perfect location for a fun-filled family break.

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The property benefits from direct access to the long sandy beach of Platja Cristal, a snack bar with a terrace and a swimming pool overlooking the sea. For more information, please visit www.pv-holidays.com.

Getting there
By plane: Port Aventura is just an hour from Barcelona airport and 15 minutes from Reus airport.
By car: From Barcelona, one hour by the AP7 Freeway (La Jonquera-Valencia). Take the direct exit to the park (exit 35). Alternatively, you can take highway N-340 (Barcelona-Valencia), N-420 (Tarragona-Teruel) and N-240 (Tarragona-Lleida).
By train: Port Aventura has its own station

Beat The Euro
PV-Holidays.com are returning travellers to the dizzy days of 2008 Euro exchange rates, saving them up to 45 per cent on the cost of summer family holidays to France or Spain. The offer is available on all P&V properties on all dates –including the school summer holidays, making it great for families!

The Discount
These latest deals can also be combined with any other P&V offer currently available, including the 15 per cent early booking discount or the 20 per cent discount on stays over two weeks.

The campaign will be running for the whole of this summer, basing its prices on the Euro to Sterling exchange rate of summer 2008 (£1 to €1.28), when holidays were around 22 per cent cheaper than earlier this month (£1 to €1.05)

The Code
To claim your discount, the discount code for Beat The Euro is: 8258. Enter it on the Beat The Euro page on the website. The offer is valid on all holidays until November 7th.

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Find more information on the Beat The Euro page and as always, find a wealth of information on P&V’s website PV-Holidays.com.

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P&V: Insider guide to family holidays on the Costa Del Sol!

June 17, 2009 12:46 pm
posted by Simon

This week, our blog comes from Nick Vowles who has recently returned from the Costa Del Sol

I’m the web marketing manager for www.pv-holidays.com in the UK and Ireland. We’ve just opened some brand new P&V holiday apartment residences on the Costa Del Sol, Spain. So I thought it was time to roadtest them with the family.

New holiday accommodation on the Costa del Sol
P&V has 2 new holiday residences on the Costa del Sol; Pierre & Vacances Terrazas Costa del Sol Holiday Village in Manilva and the Pierre & Vacances Caledonia Golf Resort Estepona. As we are now a family of 4 with a 2 year old and a 6 month year old we plumped for the Holiday Village in Manilva.

Location
The Pierre & Vacances Terrazas Costa del Sol Holida Village is located on the Gibraltar side of Manilva. Its well sign-posted off the A7. If you are travelling on the motorway don’t get off at the Manilva exit like we did, but go onto the next exit and then get onto the A7 headed back to Malaga. The site itself is located on a hill with fantastic views of the sea and the Rock of Gibraltar.

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Accommodation
We booked a 2 bedroom apartment which was perfect for our needs. The apartments are nicely designed and spacious with massive terraces to enjoy the views and the weather. Most terraces are well shaded. Ours had great views of the pool, sea, and surrounding countryside. Plus it gave our toddlers lots to look at during dinner times and its easier to clean up the subsequent mess outside. Given we had one who was just starting solids and another who was potty training this was great news for Mum and Dad!

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The 2 bedroom apartment had 2 bathrooms and all the necessary cooking equipment including dishwasher, microwave and hob. It also had aircon which was great to cool down the apartments before bedtime. The two sofas were comfy and had nice big cushions – perfect for building sofa tunnels for Fred, our 2 year old. There was a TV in the apartment but only with Spanish channels – not that it bothered Fred. Mum and Dad were happy with the views, music and a chance to read a few pages of our books.

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Residence
The Terrazas Costa del Sol Holiday village is brand new. As a result all the staff were incredibly friendly, enthusiastic and helpful. The pool and surrounding garden are beautiful and there’s both a kiddie pool and play area in the grounds. There’s a lovely air-conditioned restaurant which does a buffet breakfast between 8 and 10 in the morning and evenings. And there is also a poolside snack bar which is open between 10 and 10. We used this quite a lot, it does a nice selection of well priced meals which can be adapted for the little ones. Fred loved the Spag Bol. At 5 Euros so did Mum and Dad, especially as Dad got to finish off the huge portion.

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Though there are supermarkets quite closeby they are opening up a mini-market on site. It should be open by July. In terms of supermarkets head either way from the residence on the A7 and you will soon come across a number of supermarkets which are well sign-posted. The closest is called Eroski. The best is the Carrefour which is the Marbella side of Estepona. Though most are closed on Sundays the reception team helpfully advised us that there is a supermarket open 24-7 at Estepona port.

Children’s activities
There are separate children’s clubs for age ranges from 3 – 18 which operate from 10 to 12 in the morning and 4 till 6 in the afternoon. Though Fred is only 2 they were happy for us to accompany him to the club, and he loved it, particularly the play house and the trampoline. The organisers are really friendly, enthusiastic and speak excellent English.

One of the big events each night is the mini-disco at 9.30pm. We would have loved to get our little ones involved but they are just a little too young – maybe next year! This year we let the kids sleep while we watched from the balcony over a bottle of Rioja!

There are also lots of activities for the adults, one of the most popular being aqua aerobics which we all joined in!

In terms of informal activities both Fred and Mum and Dad met lots of other parents and their toddlers around the kiddie pool. Because there are people from lots of different countries it has quite a cosmopolitan feel – Fred made great friends with a little French girl called Matilde!

Beach
One of the real plus points is the beach closeby. There is a regular shuttle in the morning and afternoon but we chose to take the car to give us a bit more flexibility. I cannot rave about this beach enough – it was amazing. Locally its known as ‘rock beach’ so its not a sandy beach, but because the pebbles are quite small (we come from Brighton) Fred didn’t mind it at all.

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And of course, no sand anywhere means no sand everywhere! It was really easy to keep Fred entertained on the beach. There are lots of rocks alongside the coast so lots of rock pools to explore plus little mini sea pools to play in. P&V provide free parasols and deckchairs plus a great drink and snack bar with table service.

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It can get a bit windy on the hill, so on these days we headed for the beach which wasn’t so bad.

Pierre & Vacances Caledonia Golf
While in the area we dropped by the Pierre & Vacances Caledonia Golf. It’s a great residence for those wanting to be a bit closer to Estepona and Marbella. Being an aparthotel it’s a bit more like a 4* hotel, with spa, indoor pool, gym and a huge restaurant. The rooms are really stylish and the pool area is just as good as the Costa del Sol Holiday Village. There is also a children’s club on site and Fred loved the cute little play area and pool.

Surrounding Area
There’s a huge amount to do in the area but you definitely need a car to explore. We had numerous outings to Estepona which has a lovely sandy beach and lots of restaurants plus an amazing outdoor play area for children on the front. Fred loved this and the toy bus opposite which must have been his highlight of th
e holiday. Closer by is Sabinillas, which also has a lovely sandy beach and a selection of restaurants on the front. Marbella and Porte Banus aren’t far away either.

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More information
All the information on both residences can be found on www.pv-holidays.com. We are running an amazing deal for UK and Irish residents at the moment where you can get at least 22% off all dates and residences and up to 45% off selected properties and dates.

At Pierre & Vacances Terrazes Costa del Sol prices start from 315 Euros a week for a 1 bedroom apartment and from 370 Euros a week for 2 bedroom apartments.

At Pierre & Vacances Caledonia Golf residence prices start from 372 Euros a week for a 1 bedroom apartment and 435 Euros a week for 2 bedroom apartments.

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