Family Holidays in Puglia
At Bookings For You, we strongly believe that the key to a successful family holiday is to keep the children entertained and happy at all times! After all, if the kids are happy then it usually naturally follows that the parents are too! Hopefully our guide to holidays with children in tow in Puglia will help ensure that this is the case!
Dependent on your choice of Puglia holiday rental, you may well have the convenience of a play area on site to keep the youngest of children entertained. You may also have the luxury of either a private or communal swimming pool on hand. Many a happy hour can be spent on holiday with the parents enjoying the luxury of reading a book whilst the children play in the pool.
However, whilst many children will be happy to spend hours by the swimming pool at your choice of holiday property, it's important for parents to have other activities up their sleeves to keep them entertained.
Despite initial appearances, there should be more than enough in Puglia to keep your youngsters amused.
For those who have water babies, then Puglia boasts the most amazing coastline and some absolutely fantastic white sandy beaches that all children will enjoy. However, if you want to break this up with some time in the water elsewhere, then there are a number of waterparks to choose from. The furthest North of these is the Acquapark Ippocampo, whilst further South there is the Acqua In waterpark in Carovigno and Carrisiland in Cellino San Marco. The latter also offers other attractions to keep the children amused including the opportunity for the children to learn about the life of native Americans in the Kocis Indian village as well as to meet some of their favourite animals in the mini zoo. Finally, to the other side of the region is Splash which has plenty of waterslides to enjoy as well as trampolines, a miniature train, water bumper cars and more.
For those looking for a day out of the water, there are just as many entertainment parks on dry land too! Worth a visit is the Zoosafari Fasanolandia, where you can enjoy a number of adrenalin filled rides including the Rapid River and the Sputnik, a high speed experience involving a 30 metre tall tower! This is much more than just a park full of amusements rides though. Fasano Zoosafari is actually more like 3 parks in one. For here you can also enjoy a fully operational zoo and safari park, full of animals from tigers to lions, from giraffes to gorillas and from zebras to panthers. A jeep ride will give you the chance to observe the wildest of animals in safety whilst a little train will take you around waterfalls and pools where you will be able to spot hippos, seals and bears. There is plenty to see on foot too. The safari park covers an area of 140 hectares in total and is home to around 1000 species making it one of the biggest safari parks in Europe. And don't miss visiting their Oceanic Zone too to get a chance to be close to the dolphins. For those whose children love animals, consider treating them to the chance to be a ranger for the day. You will need to book ahead and will need to arrive early but your children will enjoy the opportunity of helping staff with various daily activities.
Also worth a trip is the Dinosaur Park, where children will enjoy the chance to witness full sized replicas of these amazing creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago. Entry is just a few euros and it's open every day between mid March and mid September each year. At other times of year, they have more restricted entry times so please do check on their website for more details if travelling off season. And finally don't miss Miragica, another amusement park.
For the more active, there are some great adventure parks to try out. These include the Ciuchino Birichino Adventure Park in Ostuni, the Indiana Park in Castellana Grotte and the Adrenaline Zone in Bari, which describes itself as an urban acrobatic park. All involve walks and courses that run through the trees, with different paths suitable for different aged adults and children. The Adrenaline Park is probably the most challenging of the three but even here, there are 6 different experiences to suit different ages, abilities and confidence levels ranging from their 'Baby' course for those aged 3 up, to their most difficult 'Delirium' course. It's great fun for all the family.
In the height of the Summer months, if you're looking for something a little more sedate (and the chance to cool off from the Summer sun) then head to the Grotta Zinzulusa. Guided tours take 45 minutes and will offer you and your children the opportunity to see a stunning cave formed through erosion by the sea and full of a myriad of stalagtites. The Grotte di Castellana are another set of caves. Here there are two paths to choose from, a shorter fifty minute path ideal for younger explorers and a longer, two hour path for those who would like to spend longer exploring this amazing network of underground caves and tunnels. The bright white cave awaits those who pick the longer of the two pathways!
Above ground, this a region of incredible beauty and it's worth making the most of the nature reserves on offer. Furthest North you have the Parco Nazionale del Gargano, where the white cliffs meet the crystal clear waters and forests, rich in nature including birds, reptiles and deer. It's possible to hire bikes and cycle around some of the park. Further South there are three parks, the Riserva Naturale di Torre Guaceto, the Riserva Naturale Bosco delle Pianelle and the Riserva Naturale le Cesine, all teaming with wildlife for chidren to spot. See if they can spot the loggerhead sea turtles at Torre Guaceto! Also in the South in the coast off Puglia, vistors can take the opportunity to go dolphin watching. The team at Jonian Dolphin Conservation run regular dolphin watching excursions and here you can also learn about the great work they do. The best months to see them are between June and October.
Children will also enjoy exploring many of the wonderful towns and villages that Puglia has to offer too. But if you choose to take them to just one of these, pick Alberobello. Aborobello is the image often used in marketing for the region but make sure you see it for yourself. The white trulli are in such abundance that it really is an incredible sight. The biggest of all, the Trullo Sovrano, is home to an interesting museum which turns into a theatre in the Summer months. Visually, the town is certainly the stuff of fairytales...
And finally, one more spot worth visiting is the salt basins of Margherita di Savoia. Definitely visit in August if you can when the salt basins are full. However, it's a beautiful spot all year round and children will be able to spot numerous types of birdlife including the beautiful pink flamingo.