Anyone that read my blog in June Family Holiday Dilemma would understand choosing and booking a last minute family holiday didn’t go smoothly. However, we finally booked a family holiday with Mark Warner to a quiet region of Sardinia. The night before flying I got myself in to a panic after reading some negative trip advisor reviews. However, I am glad to say the holiday was amazing and exactly what we needed.
We stayed in Perdepera Resort in Ogliastra, a remote region of the island. The resort was beautifully clean, the staff where the friendliest bunch you could meet, the food was good, the beach was gorgeous and the other families we met were super. A perfect combination. This was our first time to travel with Mark Warner. Many families seem to travel with Mark Warner because it includes a chartered flight, childcare provision and water sports.
We travelled before the school summer holidays and the plane was only a third full. The planes capacity level did remind me of the poor trip advisor reviews. However, this was soon forgotten when the only thing I could hear was my son screaming in excitement while running up the plane aisle. It was a great relief when we heard two screaming voices realising it wasn’t just our son. This was the start of a beautiful friendship that continued all holiday.
When we arrived, I just wanted to have a good look round. The hotel had three pools, a family one with an adjacent children’s pool and a separate adult pool. The beach was a stone throw away and it was beautiful. Being near the sea just naturally has a calming effect. Everything was in close proximity so we made full use of all areas most days. We literally rolled out of bed to breakfast then rolled onto the sun loungers. Yeah you guessed it…we didn’t lay for long with an excited 2-year-old. We didn’t book the holiday for childcare provision and to be honest our son refused to go. Needless to say it was a service we didn’t use. Therefore, we alternated some ‘me time’ and had lots of time together. Families that did use the childcare package spoke highly about the staff. Parent’s had an option of a morning or afternoon slot that allowed them to participate in watersports or just relax by the pool. The childcare was included in the holiday price for 2 years and up and there was modest charge for under 2s due to the higher staff to child ratio. Everyday at 5.30pm they have an afternoon tea that was available for all the children. Children could attend the cinema club opposite the restaurant at 7pm allowing the parents to have a quiet meal together. Our son actually ate at 5.30pm and again with us at 7.30pm. The extra meal was soon burnt off at the children’s Italian disco that was held every night.
This holiday was full of firsts for us all. I love the sea but always feared swimming in the deep water. This fear has lost me some amazing opportunities. Five years ago I didn’t even snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef when I stayed on a boat for a few days……yes I know completely ridiculous. Anyway, I have been doing lots of personal development and I thought enough is enough. We went kayaking as a family, my husband at the back, our son in the middle and myself at the front. He did pretty well for 2 years old and lasted 15 minutes before he wanted to go back to shore.My husband and I went paddle boarding separately. It is actually harder than I thought but I loved it. The sea was so clear that I wasn’t worried about falling into the deep water. Learning to sail was another option but it was unrealistic for us to do this time with a young child. I signed up to a 20k cycle ride to the local waterfalls that involved cycling on road and dirt tracks. Cycling on dirt tracks is an experience in itself……thankfully another holidaymaker told me how to position myself on the mountain bike. My husband took part in the social tennis matches and he entered a table tennis competition. There were other activities held by a personal trainer such as circuit training, running and stretching classes. All these experiences made us feel less guilty enjoying some inclusive wine on offer at lunch and evening meals.
The Perdepera Resort was beautiful, relaxed, friendly, personal and easy. We would definitely visit the other Mark Warner Resorts. I would recommend this holiday to families that want everything within the resort, childcare provision, quiet surroundings and water sports. The rooms are basic but we barely spent any time in there. The hotel was less than half full with guests so getting a sun lounger was never a problem. I am not sure if this would be a problem in peak season. The transfer from the airport to the hotel is two hours. We managed to time our son’s naps so he slept during the coach journey so it wasn’t a problem. The flight back to London was 2 hours and 40 minutes. We took an iPad, activity and reading books to keep him entertained.
We honestly had the best time and it was great to have limited Wi-Fi that made us live in the moment and really spend quality time together as a family (Wi-Fi was slow and only accessible by reception). Every time my son sees a picture of a sunny beach he says “I want to go on holiday now”. This speaks volumes on how much he enjoyed spending time with us, experiencing new adventures and meeting new friends. Holiday time really did recharge us and most importantly we created memories that will last a lifetime.
This is a short video capture of our time spent in Perdepera Resort Ogliastra, Sardinia
What family destination has been your favourite to date?
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