Our little family’s taste for travel and adventure runs in our blood – and as a new mum over 40, I’m more relaxed on the parenting front too, so we tend to cram in as much as possible during our holidays.
With a week of sunny days, warm nights, and beach trips to look forward to on our family holiday in Corfu, it was time to get some beach reads in my suitcase.
What better book to take with me than How To Travel With Kids by Natasha Sandhir & AJ Ratani. This couple have written the book on practical solutions for travelling with kids and it’s a must-have for parents. The book is a checklist of everything you need on a family holiday, from the all-important medicine bag to advice on how to find babysitters abroad. It also covers potty training while travelling, which was a must-read section for us because we were dreading any swimming pool drama!
Now I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t automatically fallen in love with Corfu and dreamed about buying a family villa there. However, choosing the right hotel is important when you have a toddler in tow.
We had soaked up the atmosphere many a time in Greece over the years. What we had never done, though, is stay at an all-inclusive resort. That’s because I’d always assumed that you didn’t get much for your money and there wouldn’t be much going on. I was wrong!
The Aeolus Beach Hotel is an all-inclusive resort in Perama, Corfu. A hotel that has developed a reputation for its wonderful spa and terrific live family-friendly entertainment, putting on nightly shows with both energy and passion. It is also one of The Telegraph’s top 10 hotels to stay in on the island.
For our energetic little family, the Aeolus Beach resort is, quite simply, the perfect location. The hotel staff are very friendly – and it’s safe. It also offers a superb rural environment with lovely views.
With so many restaurants on site to choose from, you really can dine on something different each night! There’s pasta, pizza, a la carte, a traditional Greek menu and the family-friendly main hotel restaurant which offered a bit of everything and themed nights to suit everyone’s tastebuds. There’s also ice-cream, popcorn and candy floss any time you want it during the day which delighted little C.
The resort is quite large and set into the hillside, so there was a bit of uphill walking to be done at times. However, there is also a free door-to-door buggy service for those who can’t get around so easily on foot and that really helped when little C was tired.
There are so many things to do on the doorstep in connection with the area’s history. For example, we took a one-and-a-half mile (2.5km) trail to Achilleion Palace in Gastouri. We like walking and after two minutes we were out of the hotel and half way up a mountain.
The palace was built for the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Sisi and it has amazing panoramic views of the city to the north, and across the whole southern part of the island to the Ionian Sea.
We took plenty of bottled water and sun cream with us in our rucksack that day. It’s worth noting that the route from the hotel to the palace on foot is all up hill, so a tired toddler may need his buggy! Once you get to the top, there is a small cafe just outside the museum which serves up amazing ice-cream and has beautiful views over the countryside.
We spent a whole morning at the palace taking lots of photos before heading back to the hotel pool in the afternoon during which little C (and his daddy) had a siesta.
Corfu old town is definitely worth a visit and is only a half an hour’s bus ride away from the hotel. There’s a bus stop outside the hotel which made things really easy for us. The old town is both idyllic and picturesque with its narrow little streets that spill down to the sea. There so many unexpected alleyways, all brimming with a treasure trove of souvenir shops.
Our family vacation certainly gave us plenty of happy memories, from siting in a cafe on the island of Paxos, sipping coffee, stroking cats and watching the world go by to splashing around in the hotel pool with little C.
The boat trip to Paxos was little C’s first and he loved every minute of it. It was a long day, so only be sure to take a toddler if you know they are going to be OK. It’s also worth noting you’ll need cash to buy drinks / food on the boat.
From the family accommodation perspective, there is as much or as little as you want. There are clubs, shows and sport galore or just the opportunity to unwind, relax and watch the sun go down at the Aeolus Beach resort.
One thing is for sure, you’ll never be lonely here if you don’t want to be. And as soon as it’s the last day, you’ll start thinking about a time when you might be able to go back.