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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
Posts: 1255
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: European Holiday ideas Reply with quote

Morning all.

Looking for a summer break this year that isn't going to break the bank, but really would rather not end up in one of the usual cheapy destinations, so looking for a bit of inspiration.

Myself, my wife and my almost 2 year old in July (before school hols).

Neither of us have been to Greece before, so quite fancy that. But find it hard to strip away the tacky craph0les e.g. chavos, from the nicer bits. Any thoughts or suggestions? ideally a single flight (multi transfers are just going to be a pain with a toddler) from the Exeter, Bristol or maybe Cardiff.

We don't want to be stuck in some high rise resort type of place, but we are realistic in that our funds are not limitless this year!

Cheers
GB
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
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Location: Farthingstone

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

depends what you are looking for...

some sea swimming, hill walking/running, history & culture, decent ish food, wine and sunshine then Kyrenia in northern Cyprus is reasonably cheap...
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
Posts: 831
Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Santorini in Greece is more of the luxury end than the high rise horrors you wish to avoid....With Prices to match.
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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty much that sort of thing eJC, as long as the beaches are toddler friendly i.e. not just rocky coves.

Don't really fancy Santorini regardless of the prices to be honest, not sure why - seems a bit honeymoon/weddingy.
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
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Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well most of the other Greek islands (that are serviced by the budgets) are pretty built up.

However that's only in parts, there are always secluded quiet parts of the islands where the "brits" can be avoided. we even had a really nice holiday on Mallorca would you believe! once you find the where the "brits" are residing they are pretty easy to stay away from.



I haven't been to Northern Cyprus, but I would say southern Cyprus is exactly what you don't want. My father in law lives out there. So have been a few times.

On the odd occasion he has ventured north he reckons its very nice though and nothing like the south.


Currently Croatia seems to be the "in" place. lots of island hopping seems to be the order of the day, Looks very nice but possibly a bit crowded. I can't say I've been personally though. Maybe worth a look.
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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
Posts: 1255
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah - that's the kind of info i was hoping for. For example, Mallorca is grotty in certain parts but the north (i think) is lovely. Same for Corfu, i think that has a grotty side and a nice side.

Did Croatia a few years ago, and it is truly gorgeous, loved it. As is Slovenia in case anyone else was looking for somewhere new, and lovely!

Ta!
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explorerJC




Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 14340
Location: Farthingstone

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerbongo wrote:
Pretty much that sort of thing eJC, as long as the beaches are toddler friendly i.e. not just rocky coves.

Don't really fancy Santorini regardless of the prices to be honest, not sure why - seems a bit honeymoon/weddingy.


yep, lots of sandy beaches...

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=kyrenia+beaches&espv=2&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiytqvRs43TAhWHKcAKHQ8QDcYQsAQIXQ&biw=1879&bih=891

that said, it looks more built up that when i was last there, but we rented a villa with pool so we also had some peace/privacy too...
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SGreg




Joined: 30 Jun 2010
Posts: 831
Location: High Peak

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerbongo wrote:
Mallorca is grotty in certain parts but the north (i think) is lovely.


Well the north is pretty grotty in parts too Laughing Alcudia (of Ironman Fame) Is a high rise hell hole, couldn't get out fast enough, where as port de pollença (5miles away) was quite lovely.

There are nice parts dotted all over the island and crap holes too. Its cheap though (£<600 for two in a private apartment with semi private pool) But I think you are looking for something a bit more special than Mallorca.

TBH we were having the same issue this year. Finding somewhere nice that was cheapish but not too touristy...we ended up Booking Florida so probably not much help Laughing
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hammerer




Joined: 19 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sardinia. We've done it for four years now, flights on fleasyjet to Olbia and we found a lovely apartment complex (Residence Villaggio Marineledda) with private beach. Its a 15min drive from the airport and Golfo Aranci and Porto Rotundo are really nice near there. The costa smerelda beaches are all good, restaurants are ... well its Italy!
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fat buddha




Joined: 13 Jul 2004
Posts: 2356
Location: rural Zuzzex

PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hammerer wrote:
Sardinia. We've done it for four years now, flights on fleasyjet to Olbia and we found a lovely apartment complex (Residence Villaggio Marineledda) with private beach. Its a 15min drive from the airport and Golfo Aranci and Porto Rotundo are really nice near there. The costa smerelda beaches are all good, restaurants are ... well its Italy!


I might tap your brain sometime as we are planning to take our motorhome to Sardinia this Autumn. Going from the UK to Slovenia and then through Northern Italy to one of the ports (not decided yet) and over to Sardinia for a couple of weeks and then back to Italy and up through France (or straight to France if there's a ferry running - date will decide this)

as for Greece, there are loads of quiet islands - Ithaca, Symi, Lesbos for example - where you can avoid the crowds. the only concern is, with a 2 year old it will be baking hot in July so can you and they cope with this??
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hammerer




Joined: 19 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fat buddha wrote:
hammerer wrote:
Sardinia. We've done it for four years now, flights on fleasyjet to Olbia and we found a lovely apartment complex (Residence Villaggio Marineledda) with private beach. Its a 15min drive from the airport and Golfo Aranci and Porto Rotundo are really nice near there. The costa smerelda beaches are all good, restaurants are ... well its Italy!


I might tap your brain sometime as we are planning to take our motorhome to Sardinia this Autumn. Going from the UK to Slovenia and then through Northern Italy to one of the ports (not decided yet) and over to Sardinia for a couple of weeks and then back to Italy and up through France (or straight to France if there's a ferry running - date will decide this)

as for Greece, there are loads of quiet islands - Ithaca, Symi, Lesbos for example - where you can avoid the crowds. the only concern is, with a 2 year old it will be baking hot in July so can you and they cope with this??


no problem. We love it there. so much good food, cheap wine and stunning beaches.
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gingerbongo




Joined: 21 Sep 2012
Posts: 1255
Location: Devon

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point FB - hadn't really thought about the temps (haven't ever needed to!)

and cheers for the tip Hammerer. Always fancied Corsica/Sardinia/Sicily but always thought they were quite pricey. Will look up sleazyjet and see what i can find!
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SamDisht [spammer]




Joined: 06 Jul 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:44 am    Post subject: Czech Republic Reply with quote

Greece is definitely a great vacation option. Also, in future you can head off to Prague which is marvelous.
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mattsurf




Joined: 28 Sep 2016
Posts: 231
Location: salisbury

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GB, have a look at campsites on the bay of Rosas on the Costa Brava: there is a 10 mile stretch of beach that is a national park, it is not at all built up, there are only campsites along the beach.

The beach is pretty quiet and it is massive, the sea is only knee deep for 50 metres and shelves gently, it is ideal for toddlers. The beach is also sandy ideal for building sand castles

It is an ideal place for a triathlete as you can swim in the warm sea, and run / cycle as much as your partner permits

The campsites are all really family friendly, the facilities are better and cleaner than most hotels. You can hire a caravan or mobile home, we did this a couple of times when our kids were young, just fly into Barcelona North (Gerona) on Ryan Air and hire a car, it is a 40 minute drive. Alternatively drive down through France, it is about an 11 hour drive from Calais.

Here is a write up I did for UKcampsite web site:

I first visited camping Aquarius as a 6 year old in 1978, we returned 12 times, every year until 1989.

Now I have my own family with 3 children (6, 8 and 11 at the last visit). Over the past 10 years, as well as 3 trips to Aquarius, we have stayed at Las Dunas, 1 mile down the coast and Nautic Almata, 2 miles up the coast as well as a couple of sites in the south of France and 2 trips to Camping Maroadi on Lake Garda and many weekend trips to UK sites - overall we consider ourselves to pretty seasoned campers

Aquarius is situated in the middle of the bay of Rosas, on a 10 mile stretch of uncrowded, unspoiled golden sandy beach - how can this be possible on the Med? the answer is that this is a national park, no hotels anywhere near the beach, no developments, in fact the only users of the beach are campers and spanish day trippers.
Needless to say, this is a beach where the kids can have a degree of freedom in relative safety. To make matters even better, the sea just outside Aquarius is very shallow for at least 50m so younger kids can enjoy the surf even if they are not confident swimmers.

If you want to visit some of the other campsites further down the Bay of Rosas, the sea is not so attractive - the beach opposite La Giavota is an internationally renown kite surfing spot, whilst Balena Alegre 2 is a mecca for windsurfers around the world (it even hosts a world cup windsurfing event every June). This is not to say that Aquarius is not suitable for watersports - there is a windsurfing / kitesurfing and sailing launch area between Aquarius and L'amfora, however, swimmers and sailers are well segregated. Aquarius has an excellent windsurfing and sailing school and shop on site.

So more about the site itself - in terms of size and layout, not too much has changed since 1979, it is even run by the same German Family - It is not a big campsite, probably 300 pitches or so; there is a good assortment of different pitch sizes, some A pitches more than 100m sq whilst some C pitches are as small as 60m sq. Pitches have electricity and some have running water an drainage - though these tend to be booked up 18 months in advance. Most pitches have a good degree of shade from mature trees. There is easy access to the beach, with a number of beach side pitches - but really the site is so small that nowhere is too far from the beach.

The site prides itself on being family friendly - especially for families with young children. There are no loud discos and the evening entertainment, which is only 3 days a week is family focused. The older kids do tend to go next door to L'amfora for the nightly disco.

The site is really well organised, the toilets are always spotless. Bins are emptied more than once per day and the whole site has feeling of being well looked after. There is a shop, which is adequate - we tend to go to the local town (St Pere Pescadore) to by fruit and veg - this is the main economy of the region - and you will never find better Fruit and veg anywhere. In St Pere, there is a supermarket, butcher, fish monger and good range of local shops. St Pere is a 2 mile cycle ride from the campsite, along a cycle track which runs next to the road.

Most of the campers come back year after year - in fact when I returned after a 17 year absence, 4 of my childhood friends were also on the site with their families. The majority of the campers are German, however, there are lots of Dutch, Brits, French and Spanish - so it has a real international feeling - we have made plenty of German and Dutch friends, despite not speaking their language.

The only downside, depending on your point of view, is the lack of swimming pool. To be honest you won't miss it - spend the time on the beach. I cannot imagine that any of the kids at Aquarius are bored because they don't have a pool!
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