Archive for March 2012
March 30th, 2012
Amie from Ciao Bambino
If you’re looking for a “new” region to explore in France this summer beyond the big name destinations like the Loire Valley, Provence, and the French Riviera, the Dordogne region is a blast to visit with kids of all ages.
One of the reasons I like it so much for families is that the list of things to do is so varied within a small geographic area. Cultural and historic touring can easily be combined with active days out biking, hiking, swimming, and canoeing.
All this to do and the Dordogne is not overrun with tourists. Peak holiday months like July are busy, but not in a “never again” way.
Kristi and I have both spent summer family vacations in the Dordogne. Here’s our combined list of highlights for families:
Sampling market goods
Dordogne Holiday Highlights for Families
Meandering through markets in France is one of life’s great pleasures and a perfect way to get a glimpse of local life in action. There are wonderful markets to explore in the region every day of the week, including Sundays. Here’s a link to a schedule of market days in the Dordogne.
With small kids this is a no-brainer as all the treats and trinkets can easily entertain them. Honestly, the 10-year-old boy in our group wrote in his diary that our market visit was SO boring. So be it, the next day was spent at the zip-line adventure park, Parc-en-Ciel, and any doubt in his mind that the Dordogne is fun for kids disappeared instantly.
The area around the Dordogne is full of prehistoric caves; some with paintings and others with interesting rock formations. While they are relatively close to each other and easy to find, figuring out how to purchase tickets in advance can be challenging and not all caves take reservations. There is no photography allowed in the caves. We visited three very different caves, all with paintings.
Lascaux II. Lascaux is the most famous prehistoric cave. In order to preserve it, an exact replica, Lascaux II, was built next to it. This tour is a great place to start for first-timers and kids. There are many tours in English, the tour is very educational and because it’s a replica the animal paintings, mainly horses and bulls, are very easy to see. Attempts to book via email in English and French were unsuccessful. My hotel in Paris finally secured reservations over the phone and I picked up the tickets at the tourist office.
Font-de-Gaume. This is widely considered the best cave art in the area and is the most difficult ticket to obtain since they only allow 180 visitors per day (12 people per tour) and only two tours in English. This feels like a cave; it’s cool inside with narrow areas, but it’s an intimate and personalized tour. The guides are very knowledgeable and the main paintings here are of bison. The tour is 45-50 minutes and kids need a good attention span here, as the group is small and talking is disruptive. Our local hotel purchased tickets for us but you may try firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rouffignac. After seeing the two most famous caves in the area, we went to one of the most popular ones, Rouffignac. This was our kids’ favorite because visitors ride on an electric train to view the famous mammoths. Tours are only in French and no advance reservations. We arrived right when they opened up after lunch and had a 30-minute wait.
View of Château de Beynac from Château de Castelnaud
There are more than 1,000 castles in the Dordogne. Not all are open for visitors, but there are plenty to explore. I wrote about our visit to Château de Beynac — one of my favorite castles in all of Europe.
Château de Castelnaud is also fantastic with a large collection of medieval ammunition on display. If you are traveling with boys, this is a crowd-pleaser.
You don’t need to go into each castle to appreciate them. The exterior is always a big part of the magic. A boat ride down the Dordogne is the perfect way to view them.
Canoeing is a popular summer activity for families in the Dordogne
Canoeing or Kayaking on the Dordogne River
There may not be a more magical river to canoe or kayak. Every bend reveals a castle or an astonishing medieval city built into the cliffs. There are many canoeing and kayaking companies to choose from and we went with Roquegeoffre which was recommended by our hotel Le Chevrefeuille. They were great – efficient and organized and there is an ice cream store at the end!
With a 5 and 8 year-old we chose the shorter, “highlights” course comprised of a minimum of 2.5 hours of kayaking without stops. Our total time with the kayaks was just over four hours including a stop in La Roque-Gageac for lunch.
With younger children I would recommend packing a lunch and stopping at one of the little beaches along the way instead of going to a restaurant – four hours was too long for my kids. Another option if you want to see the sights without the kayaking is a one-hour ride on a “gabarre” boat.
Boys burning off steam in Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
Les Jardins de Marqueyssac
Garden visits are fun for every age, particularly versions with mazes and trails for kids to romp around. We spent an afternoon at Les Jardins de Marqueyssac and loved it.
Garden touring is effortless and relaxing. This is a perfect destination for all ages.
When people tell me they are going to bike Italy’s rural roads with kids I always have an eyebrow up as the roads are narrow with blind corners — this combination only seems to make the Italians driver faster.
In the Dordogne, however, many of the back roads are very quiet with gentle hills and are glorious for bike riding. We had bikes delivered to our farmhouse for the week and biked around as a break from sightseeing. Hotels or villa agencies can organize this for you.
Beaumont du Perigord decked out for their summer festival
Our favorite part of the Dordogne for families is that it’s so easy to go local and not feel surrounded by tourists all the time. Kids don’t get quite as excited by quaint villages as we do, but if you loiter in a place for long enough, they settle in and discover the fun and freedom of village life in the French countryside.
Summer festivals are plentiful. We were lucky enough to catch Beaumont du Perigord decked out for their celebration. Some villages have evening cookouts of sorts where the community gets together outside for dinner. We joined one for an evening — within no time, our kids were playing tag with kids from all over the world while we sipped wine.
Le Chevrefeuille has an ideal set-up for kids
Where to Stay
We rented a VRBO-sourced farmhouse outside the idyllic village of Tremolat and loved this area as a home-base for exploring the region. It’s a bit off the central tourist corridor, but the main Dordogne attractions are still accessible from here. Villa rentals in the Dordogne are popular, although, I recommend rentals for multiple families traveling together, not independent families.
For single families, I prefer hotel stays where other kids are likely to be present. Kristi loved her stay at Le Chevrefeuille, a farmhouse-style accommodation with a perfect set-up for kids.
I also scouted Château Les Merles, a stylish boutique hotel with an apartment that works well for families. They don’t have enough room capacity to be part of our France family hotel portfolio, but this is one to check out if an upscale hotel with full services is the accommodation plan.
Regardless of where you stay, be sure and visit our friend Yannick who runs Les Truffières, a working farm with a restaurant. This is one of our most memorable meals in all of France. We returned back for five nights we loved it so much! Your kids will love the animals and garden, you will love the food, the host, and price point. +33 (0) 5 53 27 30 44
For more Photo Friday posts, head over to Delicious Baby.
Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy. Le Chevrefeuille photo courtesy of Le Chevrefeuille
Ciao Bambino review of Le Chevrefeuille
Ciao Bambino recommended family hotels in France
Articles about villa rentals on the Ciao Bambino Blog
Visit to Chateau de Beynac in the Dordogne
Farmhouse rental in the Dordogne
Farmhouse dining in the Dordogne
Zip-line adventure park (Parc-en-Ciel) in the Dordogne
March 28th, 2012
Amie from Ciao Bambino
Families are always looking for ways to engage their kids while sightseeing in Europe. Sometimes the attraction is so compelling that kids are naturally interested, while at other times they could care less and do the child’s equivalent of thinking about their “to do” list – they tune out completely.
Interestingly, sometimes the least expected things excite them. While in London last spring, my then 8-year-old Devon could have cared less about viewing the cities’ most iconic landmarks from the double-decker bus. In contrast, he absolutely adored climbing to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Off the tourist track in Venice with Context Travel
The message? The sightseeing secret with kids is interaction instead of observation.
This is precisely the reason why we highly recommended guided family walking tours for exploring European cities. Great family guides understand this secret and create an interactive experience. One of the companies who consistently does an incredible job guiding children is Context Travel.
Ciao Bambino has tried and tested a few of their experiences and they are excellent. Exceptional guides are paired with thoughtfully crafted itineraries just for families.
Our latest experience with Context was in Venice a few weeks ago when we took their Daily Life in Venice for Families Walk.
Piazza where Venetian children play
Review of Daily Life in Venice for Families Walk
The goal of this walk is to learn about the way real Venetians live today by exploring the places in Venice that tourists rarely visit. In a tourist-centric city like Venice, a glimpse of local life beyond the throngs of sightseers greatly enhances the experience.
Venice piazza stone investigation
We started our tour in a piazza where we talked about how the volcanic stones provide the foundation for much of the city. Of course, boys will be boys and Devon decided the real excitement was in lifting a loose one out of the piazza. Fortunately, it went down again without a hitch, but guess what? This act engaged him in this part of the visit.
Learning about Venetian church architecture
The beauty of a guide is their ability to share facts that you would never observe on your own. In this case, it’s the presence of maps on church exteriors instead of just religious symbolism given Venice’s commerce-focused culture; after learning this, the outside of every church was suddenly fun to explore.
Venice has many unusual elements given its unique set-up. One is that in lieu of little open space to bury the dead, people were buried under the streets. A sign of this is the words “dei morti” indicates that this is such a place. 9-year-old boy assessment of this fact? Thumbs up!
Titian’s Assumption of the Virgin
We only visited the interior of one church but it was to visit an important one, the Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, and home to Titan’s famous Assumption of the Virgin. Honestly, this would not have been on our radar had we not been off the main tourist track with a guide. It was fantastic and every one of us appreciated viewing this masterpiece with a guide.
And finally, we spent time discussing the way families live in Venice today while checking out where the children play. With more time, we’d have joined in!
Note: We didn’t follow the standard itinerary for this tour as we met our guide in a different starting point than usual. She customized the tour for us. Context guides know their stuff and don’t follow rigid scripts, but it’s always best to try and stick to the itinerary for a given tour to get the most out of it.
Length: 2.5 hours
Cost: 265€ per party
Editorial Note: Context Travel provided a complimentary guide for us to review this tour. As always, all opinions are our own. Photos courtesy of Amie O’Shaughnessy
Ciao Bambino recommended Venice/Veneto family hotels
Venice for kids highlights
Mask making class for families in Venice
Family-friendly activities in the Veneto Region
Top things to do in Florence with kids
The most popular family itinerary in Italy
72 hours in Rome with kids
March 27th, 2012
Kristi from Ciao Bambino
There are two elephants in the room right now in the cruise industry; the sinking of the Costa Concordia and the reoccurring Norwalk virus or Norovirus breakouts. As I watched the news unfold about the Costa Concordia, it occurred to me that I had never given much thought to my family’s safety or health while onboard the Disney Fantasy cruise this week.
I interviewed Rebecca Peddie, a Public Affairs Manager with Disney Cruise Line, to better understand Disney’s safety protocols and procedures for families.
Disney Cruise Safety and Health Tips for Families
What type of safety training does the Disney crew receive?
At Disney Cruise Line, nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our guests and crew members. Disney Cruise Line meets or exceeds regulatory safety requirements in all areas of our operation, and this is accomplished in large part through the rigorous training of crew members and officers with continuous practice, drills and repetition. You may even see the crew involved in on-going safety drills while the ship is in port.
Our ships have lifeboat capacity to accommodate all guests sailing, and there are specific guidelines in place to focus on the welfare of children in our care during an actual emergency.
What happens if a child becomes separated from their parent?
Onboard the ship. If parents should become separated from their child who is not in a Youth Activities program, they should contact the nearest Crew Member who have specific procedures to follow.
Onshore excursions. It is at the discretion of the parents as to whether or not they wish to leave their children in Youth Activities while they go ashore. The Wave phones supplied only work around the ship and onboard our private island, Disney’s Castaway Cay.
Children in the Kids’ Club or Youth Activities. If children are in Youth Activities without check-out privileges and there is a ship wide emergency, they would be escorted to their assigned Assembly Stations if their parents were unable to retrieve them in a timely manner.
In the case of a ship wide emergency, loud speakers will broadcast additional information to passengers.
Note about the Norovirus from Ciao Bambino.
The most common illness on cruise ships is the gastrointestinal Norwalk virus or Norovirus. It is not a “cruise ship” virus, but because the Center for Disease Control requires that cruise ships report it if more than 2% of passengers become ill, we hear about it more often. Symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. A low-grade fever and headache are also possible. It’s short lived; symptoms last 1-2 days, and speaking from experience (not while cruising), it’s much worse than a regular stomach flu.
On cruise ships, the virus spreads through physical contact or by touching surfaces that an ill person has touched. Hand washing is key to preventing the spread of the Norovirus.
What does the Disney Cruise Line do to prevent on-board illnesses?
For the health and well-being of everyone onboard our ships, we have hand washing guidelines posted in all restrooms; in addition, dining room hosts provide hand sanitizers to guests entering restaurants to assist in guest sanitation. We also have stringent cleaning practices for our ships.
Thank you Disney Cruise Line for sharing this information with us. You can find additional information on safety and health guidelines in the cruise ship industry on Cruise Line International Association.
Photos courtesy of Disney Cruise Line
10 Surprises on the Disney Dream
Disney Dream inaugural cruise ship pictures
Getting ready for the Disney Dream cruise ship
Preparing for Disney Dream Cruise
Girls Getaway on the Disney Dream
Disney Cruise Line vacation review
Tips for an optimal Disney Cruise
, North America
March 26th, 2012
Amie from Ciao Bambino
When many people hear the name Davos, the first thing they think of is the World Economic Forum, while Klosters evokes thoughts of Prince Charles and his annual ski trip. That’s all I knew before last week …
The full story is that Davos Klosters is a multi-faceted mountain resort (one of the oldest in Switzerland) in the heart of the Swiss Alps with 700+ km of hiking trails in the summer and 300+ km of ski slopes in the winter. We spent a weekend here this month got a first-hand look at all it has to offer for my Skiing in Europe with Kids’ series.
Top of the world at Parsenn
What I’ve tried hard to communicate in my series is the “why go” essence of all the top ski areas. If you’re going to fly to a new country to ski, an evaluation of the total ski experience (from the town to the slopes) is in order to ensure the time and expense required to get there is worthwhile.
Davos is the highest city in Europe. The operative word here is ‘city’ — Davos is a full-fledged city, not a quaint village hamlet. At first I was put off by this fact, but after settling into the city, I realized that the tradeoff is that an urban, sophisticated environment offers much more than just access to skiing (or hiking in summer months) than a typical ski village.
Davos features a huge array of restaurants, shops, and even a full casino for gambling. The combined region has 19,500 beds to offer guests; this means there is much more choice when it comes to finding suitable, affordable accommodations compared to other ski destinations.
Horse and buggy ride to fondue dinner in a mountain valley
Despite the urban center of Davos, vast wilderness is immediately accessible. We took a 45-minute horse and buggy ride from our hotel in Davos to a fondue dinner down a mountain valley to Restaurant Teufi. The ride in the open carriage under a starlight sky was incredible and as peaceful as if we were hours away from anything urban.
This experience was exceptional and as “Swiss feeling” as it gets — you’re not giving up rural Swiss winter experiences by staying in Davos.
Davos-Klosers is comprised of six different ski areas; each mountain has it’s own distinct personality and ski offering. It’s important to know that these mountains are not all interconnected where you can get from one to the other on skis.
The reality of the interconnected resorts for families, however, is that you really can’t take advantage of all the connected terrain anyway unless your kids are skiing with you.
If it takes two hours to “ski” to a new resort and your child is in ski school at your “home” destination, it’s a big risk to be two-hour of skiing away (may be more via car) if they needed to be picked up early for any reason. I can’t imagine many parents of young children being comfortable being that removed from their kids in a foreign country.
In Davos-Klosters, the different resorts are connected via bus. Most people just choose one mountain to ski in a day — so you can still get all the benefit of variety within a single holiday. The beauty is that, if needed, you can meet your kids within a short period of time.
Freeride loving skiers rave about Davos-Klosters. Information points are plentiful
Davos-Klosters Ski Experience
In Davos-Klosters you are skiing mountains not runs. The open-space here is mind-boggling and the region is famous for on and off-piste skiing. Freeriding is very popular here with over 50 km of terrain. Given the huge amount of freeriding available here, not surprisingly, Davos is also home to a world-class avalanche training center.
At the same time, families are an important part of the ski experience at Davos-Klosters. Kids are everywhere and they offer several dedicated kids’ play zones that are perfect for young children.
All-family ‘how to carve’ lesson
We spent the day with a teacher from the Davos ski school, Markus, who has taught in this area for 19 years. Talk about someone how knows his stuff! We had a tremendous experience skiing with him, not to mention using a guide for the first day in a vast ski resort is a great way to take the struggle out of navigating where to go.
We were able to experience two of the ski resorts in our day of skiing and I covered highlights for the rest with the tourist board.
Perfect young kids ski terrain at Bolgen (bottom of Jakobshorn)
This is the family mountain with the biggest Kids Land play area catering to young children and first-time skiers.
Parseen is the largest of the ski areas with extensive terrain for all abilities. The other resorts are better with very young kids and first-time skiers, but we saw plenty of families skiing together.
Jakobshorn is the hip place to be with an extensive snow-park and infrastructure for snowboarding. It’s popular with teens and young adults. The bottom of this resort features a perfect kids’ area called Bolgen.
It was so well-set up for children that we were able to relax with a beer at the end of the day while our 9-year-old did a few more runs on this own using their well-supervised t-bar lift.
Skiing here is as wide open as it gets and the views are unbelievable. We skied here for the morning and loved it. There’s a Kids Land play area for little kids and the slopes are mostly blue and red; it’s the perfect place to ski with school-aged kids.
Rinerhorn has skiing for all abilities, free riding, and a huge toboggan run. On Wednesday nights, you can go night-sledding as a family.
Schatzalp is branded as the first “slowed down” ski area in Europe with gentle terrain and drag-lifts.
Children’s playroom (unsupervised) at Hotel Meierhof
Family-Friendly Hotel in Davos
We didn’t get the opportunity to explore Davos, but the tourist board set us up at the Hotel Meierhof in Davos and we loved it. It had the most comfortable bed I’ve slept on in weeks and features an excellent onsite restaurant. The ski bus literally stops outside the door. They have a kids’ menu and entertainment room, as well as an indoor pool and spa area.
Hotel Meierhof is CB Approved for sure … I’m going to add this hotel to our Switzerland hotel portfolio soon. Stay tuned.
Davos-Klosters is a 2-hour train ride from Zurich. Given the excellent local transportation set-up, there’s no need to rent a car to ski here.
I never like recommending things we haven’t experience but summer would also be fabulous in this region. Davos-Klosters runs a promotion where if you stay in a hotel or apartment, all the cable cars are free. This is a huge savings!
In addition to hiking, there is summer sledding, trotti bikes, a zip-line adventure course, and a public outdoor pool. The Davos lake has a beach and is popular for swimming. Check out their summer activities page for more information.
Editorial Note: Davos-Klosters hosted Ciao Bambino for accommodations and activities. They did not ask us to express any particular point of view. As usual, all opinions are our own.
Photos courtesy of Amie O’Shaughnessy with the exception of the Hotel Meierhof photo
Ciao Bambino recommended family-friendly hotels in Switzerland
Navigating skiing in Crans-Montana with kids
Navigating skiing in Verbier with kids
Navigating skiing in Zermatt with kids
Navigating skiing in Grindelwald with kids
Catered family ski chalets in Europe
, Skiing in Europe
Make a Comment
March 21st, 2012
Amie from Ciao Bambino
A week-long visit to Tuscany is a big part of the most popular family itinerary in Italy for Ciao Bambino readers and clients. This is the best opportunity for families to really dig into their experience together in Italy as settling into a single location for seven or more days engages parents and children alike in the experience.
An essential part of a successful trip to Tuscany with kids is selecting the right accommodations. The vision for many families includes a stay at a Tuscan farm, also referred to as an “agriturismo” or working agricultural estate.
I love these farm stays with kids! In fact, I recommend them over standalone villa rentals for independent families.
Al Gelso Bianco
An important note: We call Tuscan farms “resorts” on Ciao Bambino. If you want to search just for this category, go to the Advanced Search page and select resort as the accommodation category. Not every property in our resort category is an official working agricultural estate, but they all more or less offer the same thing to families at a high level.
We have just a few standalone villas on Ciao Bambino, as there are so many wonderful options, it would dilute the value of our other reviews to list them all. Instead, refer to our Villa Agency Recommendation list for ideas of a few of the top Italian villa rental agencies that can better serve this category.
Poggio Al Casone
Why we love Tuscan farm stays with kids
One myth is that a farm stay in Tuscany means animals. It can, but usually the only animals around are the domestic variety like dogs and cats. Most farms focus on wine and/or olive oil production. Translation, the setting is vineyards and olive trees.
What makes these accommodations work so well for families is their ideal set-up with self-catering, spacious guest units with room to spread out. Guests typically stay in apartments or even standalone villas in restored farmhouse or palazzo-style buildings.
One huge plus is that there is usually a property manager who will provide services and support like housekeeping, a private chef, and local guidance. Beyond that, there is a huge range of amenities that can be offered within this category from onsite dining, swimming, tennis, play areas, and even spa services.
Given the ideal set-up, there is likely to be other families present, particularly over the summer months. One of my favorite things about international kid-friendly accommodations like this is that children have the opportunity to interact with and play with kids from around the world. A priceless experience for any age …
Finally, there is huge value for the quality at agriturismos. The 4-star equivalent quality category we feature on Ciao Bambino are priced for the week and can range on average anywhere from 700€ to 2,000€ for seven nights for a family of four to six people. Compared to a hotel of the same quality level with much less space, this is a huge value.
Frankly, the number of options in this category is overhwhelming. We’ve hand-selected a list that offers something for everyone. Many of the properties we feature have been in our portfolio for years and are tried and tested over and over again with families, i.e. it’s the ultimate reliable and relevant list.
Monsignor Della Casa
Things to consider
How many onsite amenities do you need? All of the properties we feature on Ciao Bambino at least have a swimming pool. Beyond that, do you expect to be out and about every day and evening? There is no need to pay for amenities you won’t use.
A good example from our portfolio is La Poggiolaia, ideally located for easy access to Florence, San Gimignano, and Siena. There is nothing to do onsite except sleep, relax, and swim, but things to do in the immediate area are endless, and the room-only set up at La Poggiolaia works perfectly as an intimate home-base.
Do you want a true resort experience? If you want an engaging on-property experience in addition to sightseeing, more than just a swimming pool is important.
I found Monsignor Della Casa Country Resort & Spa on my first Italy scouting trip in 2004. With tennis, a playground, onsite restaurant, soccer field, gym, and spa — many families stay and play here throughout the day. A historic estate has been converted to create all the amenity options, i.e. the experience is still authentic.
Do you want significant in-village time? By nature, working farms need land so these properties are not IN villages. Nor are most of them well suited for walking to villages as Tuscan rural roads are narrow without sidewalks and Italians drive fast. Not a good combination for young children.
The key is to select a property that is within a 5 to 10 minute drive of appealing villages. Al Gelso Bianco, for example, is just 10-minutes from an array of picturesque villages where you can get a fabulous dose of local life. Despite this, Al Gelso Bianco is only a 20-minute drive to the main Florence-Siena highway making larger excursions from here a snap too.
Understand the small road premium. One of the most common mistakes people make is that they assume what looks like a short distance on the map will mean a short drive time. False!
Many rural roads in Tuscany are curvy and slow. It’s possible to have a 30 to 45 minute drive just to reach main access roads from some rural estates. This is one of the reasons we don’t recommend staying in Chianti Classico. We love this area for day trips, but with kids, I don’t want to spend another hour in the car each day, just to get to the highway and back.
Li Zuti Country Resort
Do you want more than just a single day in Florence or Siena? If you plan on being in these cities for more than just a one-day trip, it’s a good idea to stay near the one you’ll visit the most (they are one-hour from each other).
Li Zuti Country Resort is a fantastic option on the outskirts of Florence and Montestigliano works well for Siena where you get all the benefits of the rural experience with easy urban access.
Is an onsite restaurant important? As these are not standard hotels, the list narrows quickly when it comes to onsite dinner options. Some properties, like Casa Cornacchi, offer weekly or bi-weekly dinners for guests. For others, like Tenuta di Spannochia and Poggio Etrusco, food is an essential part of the offering with cooking lessons (for kids too) and incredible onsite meals.
Do you want something rustic and authentic feeling or hip and modern? La Foce and La Bandita are mere miles from one another in the Val D’Orcia, but one is one of the most historic estates in the region and the other owned by an American music executive who set out to create something fresh and modern.
Does a Tuscan spa with incredible pools and a comprehensive kids’ club sound glorious? If so, this is one occasion to give up a farm stay to access all these additional amenities. Hotel Adler-Thermae is our go-to option for this family experience.
Do you want beach time? Many of these Tuscan farms are located too far from the coast to make consequential beach time a reality. Varramista and Poggio al Casone are both exceptional estates for families and only 30 minutes from the coast. From here, families can hit the sandy beach clubs in Forte dei Marmi or venture up the coast to iconic Cinque Terre and the rest of the Italian Riviera for day trips.
Tenuta di Spannochia
JT, who manages our client requests, is begging me to add a map. We need one! In the meantime, every review has a link to a Google Map showing you where the given property is in Tuscany.
When I think about the location of accommodations in Tuscany, I divide the region in two using Siena as the dividing line. Anything north of Siena is Northern Tuscany and anything south of Siena is Southern Tuscany.
See my things to do with kids in Tuscany article for a list of top activities with kids, but in general, Northern Tuscany is busier with the “big” attractions. Southern Tuscany is absolutely idyllic but quieter. You can still get to Siena for a day trip from here, but Florence is too far.
Make requests through Ciao Bambino
Many people ask me how we make money on Ciao Bambino. It’s through our hotel recommendations. If you found our reviews helpful, please make your requests through us! They go directly to the hotel via email for the best pricing and personalized quote — our process costs you the same amount as if you found a property without our guidance.
If you don’t feel like using our form, feel free to email JT (at) Ciao Bambino.com for assistance and she will happily reach out to our properties on your behalf.
Buon Viaggo and thank you for using Ciao Bambino!
March 19th, 2012
It’s relatively easy to fill your days on a family trip to San Francisco. Most don’t even need a guide book to put together the basic must see, must do list. But after you’ve walked on the Golden Gate Bridge, escaped from Alcatraz and jumped on a Cable Car, take the kids to Golden Gate Park.
Small playground fun in Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park sees 13 million visitors each year. It’s the third most visited park in the United States, outdone only by New York’s Central Park and Lincoln Park in Chicago.
Great for Kids
I spent countless hours playing in Golden Gate Park with my girls when they were little. Now a tween and teen, they’re not so little anymore, but a recent weekend trip proved the park’s appeal is strong as ever. Maybe even stronger.
Some of the favorites like the California Academy of Sciences, and the many playgrounds scattered throughout the park are still favorites. But having older kids allowed us to make new additions to the list.
Family on a roll through Golden Gate Park
Roll Through the Park
At 1,017 acres Golden Gate Park is about 175 acres larger than Central Park. We covered more of it than ever before rolling on Segways. Electric Tour Company Segway Tours begin at the Music Concourse, in between the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum. Part roads, part trails – our guide Cody took us through sections of the park we’d never discovered on our own.
Learning on the Go
At the start of the tour, after everyone passes their Segway safety lesson, riders are given an earpiece to wear during tour. The wonderful result, we could actually hear everything our guide Cody had to say, which was quite a bit. But it wasn’t a script either. Learning we were locals so to speak, he did a great job highlighting the things he thought we were less likely to know, and made sure the kids were having as much as we were.
Take in the Views
It was our Segway guide who recommended we check out the Hamon Education Tower Observation Deck at the de Young Museum. This is something you can certainly do with younger kids, but older kids will like it for different reasons. On a clear day the view has San Francisco WOW factor.
Identifying those landmarks, like the Golden Gate Bridge and with my girls, where they wanted to go for dinner, was just plain fun. There is also a great, wall sized map of San Francisco worthy of checking out. And did I mention visiting the Observation Deck is free? Just be ready for security to take a look in any bags or backpacks you’ve got with you.
Picture fun at Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden
Barbro Osher Sculpture Garden
Since you’re already there, take a few minutes to visit the sculpture garden. Though older kids don’t necessarily need run around time, things they do when statues are involved make for great embarass them when they are older pictures.
Doing and viewing art at the de Young Museum
Free Saturday Classes at the de Young
If your visit to the park falls on a Saturday it’s worth checking out the free Saturday classes. Doing and Viewing Art is open to kids 4 through 12, but offers a fun way to see an art museum with tweens and teens in the often required short period of time. Tours of permanent and current collections are followed by classes taught in the museum’s studio workshops. Classes are free with museum admission.
One Necessary Last Stop
We thought we were heading home when the kids demanded a stop at the Koret Children’s Quarter and Golden Gate Park Carrousel. Thought to be the nation’s first public playground, it’s worth a stop on every visit to Golden Gate Park whether the kids are 3, 13 or 43.
Editorial Note: Dana and her family received complimentary tours from Electric Tour Company, but as always Dana’s thoughts and opinions are her own. Photos courtesy of Dana Rebmann
Ciao Bambino recommended San Francisco family hotels
Review of CA Academy of Sciences with kids
Things to do in San Francisco with kids
Tips for checking out San Francisco’s tourist spots
Zeum San Francisco, a museum your kids will love
Things to do in the Presidio with children
Visiting Angel Island with kids
, North America
, Preferred Family
, San Francisco
, Teen Travel
, Tween Travel
March 16th, 2012
Helen from Ciao Bambino
Peru looks and feels like Indiana Jones territory. And travelling there with kids in tow is an adventure of epic proportions. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Transportation difficulties, truly outlandish food, and the country’s rugged nature can be incredibly challenging.
But boy, it’s worth it.
A couple of years back I took a trekking tour of southeastern Peru with my son George. We started our tour in the capital city, Lima. It’s a safe bet because it’s practically at sea level, meaning there are no issues with acclimatization nor altitude sickness.
George sports Taquile handicrafts
As a city Lima is surprisingly dynamic. A trip through the central district takes you past churches dating from as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, most notable of which are the Cathedral of Lima and the Monastery of San Francisco, said to be connected by eerie subterranean catacombs.
We visited Friendship Park in Santiago de Surco. Centerpiece of the park is a 29 meter high Arco Morisco (Moorish Arch), with lookout points that allow you to see out over much of Surco and the gardens below. A 1920s vintage steam train, refurbished to full working order, chugged us around the park and we rented pedal boats at the lagoon.
We spent a couple of hours at the Natural History Museum, located on Av. Arenales in the district of Jesus Maria. It’s everything kids think a museum should be, with exhibits ranging from the full skeleton of a whale to fossil dinosaurs, minerals and pre-historic mammals and what seems like the entire population of Peru’s birdlife stuffed and mounted for visitors closer inspection.
Puno flower sellers
Next stop Puno. This high altitude city (at 12,628 ft) was billed as the jumping off point for our explorations of Lake Titicaca.
It’s worth knowing that acclimatization proper starts in practical terms over 2,000 meters. Turns out we should have made a layover at an intermediate altitude, because within hours of arriving we were both feeling the effects of headache, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath. These sort of symptoms occur when the body has not had time to adjust to thin air.
We took advice at the local pharmacy where they told us to take things easy, eat only light meals, drink plenty of water and drink no booze for the first day or two. (Diamox is often prescribed but be sure to consult with your doctor before you leave as not everyone can take it, plus it isn’t without side effects that can prove as troublesome as altitude sickness). We stuck to drinking mate de coca (tea made out of coca leaves) and took a few aspirins. That seemed to do the trick.
There were a number of basic hotels and hostels to choose from. The going rate is around £17 a night for a room with a full bed and bathroom. We found a room with 3 single beds and a bathroom for around £20 and we slept off our jet lag.
Puno is the capital of Peru’s altiplano – and this harsh highland region is probably better suited to roaming vicuñas and alpacas than to people. But it is also Peru’s folklore center with a rich array of handicrafts, costumes, holidays, legends and more than 300 ethnic dances.
In February, Puno hosts the Feast of the Virgin de la Candelaria, and the town is filled with processions, music and fireworks. Our favourite spot became the market down by the train tracks. The vibrant colours here, the sounds and smells, are uniquely South American. Local ladies wearing traditional ‘polleras’ and ‘monteras’ sell seemingly every variety of potato (potatoes originate in the Andes), fresh flowers, as well as handicrafts and beautifully crafted musical instruments.
George and friend venture out on an Uros reed boat
Of course our biggest venture was Lake Titicaca. The world’s highest navigable lake is deep-blue and sits in a cup of mountain peaks. According to legend, the first Inca, Manco Capac, emerged from Lake Titicaca and founded the Inca empire. They say that the shape of Lake Titicaca is a giant puma, opening his mouth to eat a rabbit (the rabbit being Puno Bay).
Since pre Inca days, the local Uros Indians have lived on tiny floating islands built on soft patches of totora reeds here in the middle of Lake Titicaca. It’s an extraordinary sight. The natives who live on these reed islands, actually do eat, sleep, and work on the islands. They mostly subsist off the reeds and fish, and the money they earn comes from tourists and mainlanders who buy their fish and handicrafts.
Lake Titicaca has a number of these reed islands and they all depend on each other for survival. But the Uros don’t reject modern technology: some boats have motors, some houses even have solar panels to run tv. They have a radio station, schools, a clinic and even a church.
The hardest thing to fathom was how these entirely man-made islands stand up to so much traffic. The Uros start the islands with a dense, natural growth of reeds, then pile bundled reeds on top of each other to form a circle, which they replenish repeatedly every fortnight.
We stepped tentatively onto one island, only to find it soft, springy and – thankfully – very supportive underfoot. The purpose of the island settlements was originally defensive, and if a threat arose they could be moved. I lost sight of George for a few minutes and finally spotted him high in a watchtower engulfed by a huge, yawning reed monster. Impressive workmanship.
George ping-ponged his way around the floating island chewing on iodine rich reed roots. He made fast friends with a local kid who invited him out on a boat ride. I held my breath as they floated out on crystal waters bobbing and swaying on what seemed like little more than a flimsy reed raft. Of course he lived to tell the story … again and again and again.
George proudly invested in a miniature reed boat (replica of the real thing) to prove his point as well as some pan-pipes, and an exquisite ‘charango’ guitar (I’m told) made from armadillo shells.
The 4-hour boat ride ferried us onwards to the island of Taquile. This traditional Island is a Quechua speaking community, where villagers still live off ancient agricultural terraces and the skill of Taquileños weavers who have maintained a tradition dating back centuries.
There are no cars and no bicycles on the island, transport is by foot or by beast. And while we spotted the odd sheep, cow and chicken, it turned out Taquile has the curious distinction of being dog free because the natives consider dogs (as well as cats) a delicacy.
This sense of freedom from modern paraphenalia made for glorious trekking. From the boat landing, we hiked up countless, hand-hewn stone steps to the village (be warned, it’s quite a schlepp to the main plaza).
Along the way we encountered unfazed sheep and cows on the path, vibrantly dressed men and women drop-spinning as they strolled by, and toddlers running out to greet us with herbs and flowers. We got a crash course in botany as we climbed. Unusual flowers and trees on the Island include the Kolle (used as timber for roofing and for firewood), the Cantuta flower (national flower of Peru), the Chukjo (used as detergent) and the medicinal plant Muña (for stomach disease).
It seemed as though nothing went to waste here and everything had a use. Incredible colours were everywhere. When the Spanish arrived here they forbade traditional dress, so the islanders adopted Spanish peasant clothing. Surprisingly they still proudly maintain that traditional dress today and combine it with finely tailored, distinctive Andean-style garments (bright skirts, hats, ponchos, belts, mantles, coca-leaf purses, and woollen shawls decorated with pompoms. It’s like wearing your Sunday best, 24-7.
Our journey around Lake Titicaca typified our Peruvian experience. It is a country where practices run deep – 5,000 years, to be exact. Yet it is a place continuously energised by fresh influences and welcoming to visitors.
If you come prepared for a little less, I guarantee you’ll leave Peru with a whole lot more.
Essential Family Travel Tips
For every 3,000 feet (915 meters) of elevation gained, plan on taking a rest day.
Food and drink in Peru is varied enough to appeal to most kids. Pizzas are available almost everywhere, as are fried chicken, french fries, corn-on-the-cob and fresh soups. Inka Cola is the soft drink of choice. If you eat meat this is the place to sample alpaca. It’s quite good, fairly fatty, but not at all gamey. In Puno it’s often on the menu in restaurants.
‘Cuy’ is a meat staple and prepared in a number of ways. You can order it stuffed and roasted, piquant and quartered, or flattened whole and fried. FYI, it’s guinea-pig.
Most restaurant and bar bills include a 10% gratuity. It’s customary to add an extra 10% if the service has been satisfactory. Taxis do not expect tips. Fares are negotiated prior to initiating the trip.
Sunscreen is a very important consideration, as are sun-hats. Both George and I got burned sitting out on the deck on the return boat ride from Taquile. Conversely, it can get cold at night in the Andes, so take plenty of warm clothing. Hand made alpaca hats, sweaters and gloves are a good buy.
Water quality in Lima and Peru is a huge issue. In Lima, the water is just about good enough to clean your teeth but not to drink.
Travelling around the country is perhaps the most arduous activity. Bus and train journeys are generally long (12 hours or more) Children under ten generally get half fare on local (but not inter-regional) buses, while trains and boats generally charge full fare if a seat is required. Infants who don’t need a seat often travel free on all transport except planes, when you pay around ten percent of the fare.
Helen Truszkowski travelled part of her way across Peru with Families Worldwide. Helen is a new contributor on Ciao Bambino! British born and bred, Helen has worked as a travel writer and photographer for the past 20 years. She was previously travel editor at Executive Woman magazine and is the founding author behind award winning guidebook series, ‘Take the Kids:’ Her title Take The Kids … Paris & Disneyland Resort Paris is a bestseller. Helen divides her time between Los Angeles and London with her two sons, George, 16, and Jack, 6.
Photos courtesy of Helen Truszkowski
Tips for traveling in Morocco with kids
Tips for taking a safari in Africa with kids
Things to do in Shanghai with kids
Exploring Kyoto with kids
Roadtrip through Southern Australia with kids
, Adventure Travel
, South America
March 15th, 2012
Amie from Ciao Bambino
It’s not easy to find a truly kid-friendly boutique hotel. To find one in Cannes on the Côte d’Azur is somewhat of a miracle.
When the new Five Hotel & Spa invited me to tour their hotel while I was at International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) in December, I had my doubts that the hottest hotel in town would take kids seriously.
I’m pleased to report, I was wrong.
Executive suite with kids’ welcome treats
Kid-Friendly Five Hotel & Spa
Five Hotel is a 5-star hotel designed with parent-only pleasures in mind — exquisite guest rooms, a restaurant featuring Michelin-starred chefs, a rooftop lounge, and a Cinq Mondes spa. There’s even a 27-meter-long yacht, the Coca VI, guests can access.
And no, Five Hotel doesn’t have a kids’ club or playground. It’s definitely not a family-focused resort with a long list of kid things to see and do. It is, however, kid-friendly and a perfect option for families who want an interesting, intimate, and gorgeous place to stay. Since there is little open space for kids to roam onsite, it’s best for families who plan on being at the beach or sightseeing during the day.
What l learned on my tour is that the hotel management understands that an increasing number of a key target market — well-to-do parents aged 30-50 — are choosing to bring kids with them on all kinds of holidays, not just named family vacations.
As a consequence, the hotel has worked hard to welcome children and extend the same degree of intimacy and personalization to them as all the other categories of travelers who stay here.
The escape-themed spaces in the hotel are decadent and imaginative
70% of the Five Hotel’s 45 rooms are connecting. Kids are given age-appropriate welcome gifts at check-in. Stuffed animals for tots, beach-ready lunch coolers for school-age kids, and they’ve even thought about teens with a handbag for girls and a mobile phone holder for boys.
I gave the in-house restaurant, The Sea Sens, a test drive for lunch. Fresh local products are paired with exotic spices and creative ingredients with an Asian flair. An example: Duck Foie Gras served with cardamom roasted rice, cucumber, dates, and chicken jus spiced with green curry. Need I say more?
At first I was disappointed that they didn’t offer a kids’ menu, but approach with children in the restaurant is that the chef will make dishes for them on demand (a sure way to please).
Nonetheless, kids will be thrilled by the creations of their in-house world-class pastry chef, Jérôme de Oliveira, who keeps a steady supply of his creations including flavored marshmallows and chocolate lollipops, around the hotel.
Rooftop swimming pool
The infinity swimming pool is stunning, however, it’s too confined of a space for young children and their parents to be comfortable. Fortunately, the hotel has a partnership with, La Plage du Festival, one of the famous beach clubs with lounge chairs and a restaurant nearby.
Warning, delightful treats by Five Hotel’s famed pastry chef are in great supply
Our policy is to stay in the places with kids before adding them to our CB Approved hotel portfolio. Since I only did a walk through at Five Hotel, I’m not going to add an official review to our best France family hotel guide at this time. That said, I love the look and feel of Five Hotel. If you’re looking for a luxury, boutique stay on the French Riviera, this hotel fits the bill.
Let us know how it goes! We appreciate the reviews received from our readers (published in our Community Reviews portfolio). The link to the Community Review form is here.
Editorial Note: Five Hotel hosted me for lunch. They didn’t ask me to express a particular point of view. As always, our opinions are our own. Photos courtesy of Five Hotel, Marcel Jolibois.
Ciao Bambino recommended kid-friendly hotels in France
Things to do in the Côte d’Azur with kids
Kid-friendly holidays in Saint-Tropez
72 hours in Paris with kids
Tips for finding family-friendly boutique hotels
Tips for booking luxury family hotels
, Beach Holidays
, Boutique Hotels
, Côte d'Azur
, French Riviera
, Luxury Family Hotels
, Luxury Family Travel
Make a Comment
March 13th, 2012
Kristi from Ciao Bambino
I was a fan of the Montage long before they joined Ciao Bambino’s portfolio of family-friendly hotels. I pass the hotel every day on the way to my daughter’s school and appreciate how the hotel’s craftsman-style architecture blends in with the oceanfront location. As our editor discovered when she stayed here, they also have a spectacular kids’ club called Paintbox.
What I didn’t know is that you don’t have to be a guest to use it! If you are not a guest of the resort but are using the restaurant or spa or just shopping at the resort, your kids can participate in a Paintbox session.
Tidepool discovery at Paintbox Kids’ Club
Paintbox Kids’ Club at Montage Laguna Beach
My family experienced a small part of what makes Paintbox so special — a guided tour of the tidepools in front of the resort. We learned some tidepool safety tips first and then set out to find a variety of starfish and sea urchins and a few little fish.
The Paintbox program takes advantage of the open grassy areas of the resort and the beach below to take the kids on adventures and excursions. While looking for sea life, we also learned a bit of pirate’s lore and legend has it that there may be pirate’s booty still buried on the beach. Our Paintbox leader was so patient and knowledgeable. We learned a lot and now that the kids are expert “tidepoolers” we look forward to our next excursion.
Some kids cry when they leave Paintbox; mine just begged to go back.
View of the Montage from bluff side walking path
The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach
After our tidepool experience we headed up to The Loft for dinner. The Loft is fine dining with an ocean view. Kids and fine dining don’t always mix, but the staff is so used to seeing families that the experience is relaxing as opposed to being nerve-wracking.
The service is outstanding and you really feel pampered here. If you are cheese lovers, don’t miss the cheese gallery. With over 150 cheeses to choose from you’ll welcome help from the fromagier. He helped each of us choose a couple of cheeses based on our preferences and made the kids feel like their opinions were very important. Each cheese is paired with homemade condiments and the final product is a work of art when it arrives at the table. This was the highlight of our dinner and so much fun.
Note to parents: The tidepools at the Montage are very accessible with kids of all ages and are located almost directly in front of the main beach stairs. The most valuable safety tip we learned is that if a wave is coming it’s better to stay put and let your shoes get wet rather than try to make a run for it and slip.
Thank you to the OCeanfront for setting up this experience. Visit their website for information on Orange County’s 42 miles of beautiful coastline.
Editorial note: The Montage hosted Kristi and her family at The Loft. She was not asked to express any particular opinion about the experience.
Photos courtesy of Kristi Marcelle and Amie O’Shaughnessy
Family-friendly review of Montage Laguna Beach
Best hotel and resort kids’ clubs
Swimming safety and hotel and resort kids’ clubs
5 kid-friendly activities in Los Angeles
Favorite springtime activities in Orange County
Kid-friendly museums in Los Angeles
, Luxury Family Hotels
, Luxury Family Travel
, North America
, Preferred Family
Make a Comment
March 12th, 2012
Amie from Ciao Bambino
My skiing in Europe with kids’ series continues this week with a review of Crans-Montana resort in the Valais region of the Swiss Alps.
Those who know about the adjacent ski resorts of Crans and Montana — known together as Crans-Montana — rave about the holiday experience. It’s not a well-recognized international Swiss ski brand like Zermatt or Verbier. Despite this fact, Crans-Montana is not a second-tier ski destination. The opposite is true as the combined resorts have 140 km of skiing available and extremely developed base facilities with luxury shopping and over 2,000 guest beds in a wide array of accommodations from hotels to chalets.
Truly breathtaking views of the Alps from every angle at Crans-Montana
Why Ski Crans-Montana?
This leads me to one of the reasons Crans-Montana is an appealing ski venue. Because it doesn’t have the same international name recognition as other large ski resorts, Crans-Montana works hard to please.
This is tremendous news for families, as the resort has taken extra steps to everyone’s needs are met. Despite the jet-set reputation, the vibe at Crans-Montana is friendly, not arrogant. The dining, hotel, retail, and ski experience here is a pleasure. I’m sorry to say that this is not always the case in Switzerland…
The best part of the Crans-Montana ski experience is the prime views. The hillside perched over a Rhone River valley faces over 40 of the highest peaks in the Alps, including Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.
Crans-Montana is south facing and gloriously sunny (although the ski conditions can erode faster in the spring months as a consequence). Finally, the location is convenient — it’s an easy 180km drive from Geneva or 300km from Zurich with no steep passes to navigate in bad weather.
Luxury good enthusiasts love the plethora of designer shops
Tips for Skiing in Crans-Montana with Kids
The terrain for families at Crans-Montana is close to perfection. They’ve identified specific areas for different age groups and abilities including a ski kindergarten for pre-school kids and a snowpark for teens.
There’s a tremendous beginner area on the golf course called Snow Island with massive room to spread out. Activities include snow tubing, button lifts, and a magic carpet. The Crans Ski School kindergarten is also located here. Snow Island is isolated from the rest of the ski runs, which makes it safe and comfortable. There’s a mini-amusement area with games and rides for little kids as well.
An unbelievable amount of terrain at Crans-Montana is school-age kid-friendly— 38% of their slopes are blue (easy) and 50% are red (intermediate). 12% of the slopes are black (expert) which means that the really hard-core skiers aren’t here en masse unless they have their kids-in-tow or are here to go off-piste.
The resort is straightforward to navigate, as the run set-up is horizontal and linear. Note, most people drive from their accommodations to the ski area if they can’t walk (although there is an area bus), so an early start is a plus. It would be a hassle to end up at the opposite end of the resort as your car at the end of the day, since it takes time to get from one side to the other. Coordinate afternoon skiing accordingly.
Snow Island is an expansive beginner skiing area. One of the best I’ve seen!
Although most ski resorts in Switzerland offer discounted tickets for children or family ski passes, very few do any consequential marketing around full packages that save money on the big family ski costs including lodging, ski rentals, and lessons.
I was so pleasantly surprised when the tourist board handed me a data sheet on their Gold Fever promotion for the year with a 33% discount on packages during non-peak periods. I love this! They are actually recognizing that skiing is expensive (with and without kids) and just because you choose to travel in Switzerland, doesn’t mean you have unlimited funds.
Make sure you understand all the resort-wide promotional options before finalizing arrangements as there is likely to be something in place for families.
The official Swiss Ski School operates lessons in both Crans and Montana. There is less choice here than the other large ski areas but the strong international clientele here means English lessons are easy to find.
We didn’t take lessons so I can’t comment on the specific experience, but the official Swiss ski program is consistently reliable for quality across the country.
After-ski boots Crans-Montana style showcased in our hotel, L’Etrier
We stayed at L’Etrier and found it perfect for families. The interior has been updated and they have several room configurations that support 4-5 people including connecting rooms and suites. Service is friendly, breakfast is good, and they offer a half-board program for dinner as well. There’s an indoor pool (outdoor pool over summer months) and a spa. Guest room pricing starts at 170 CHF per night with supplemental charges for children.
I didn’t scout other options, but the tourist board mentioned Hotel du Lac is a great budget choice where rooms can be less than 100 CHF per night.
Outstanding food and views to match at Cabane Des Violettes
We had two great meals I want to mention. Dinner at La Bergerie du Cervin offers an atmospheric Swiss mountain experience with delicious food.
Also, lunch on the mountain hut Cabane Des Violettes is a treat at 2,200m. Sit on the stunning terrace and stare at the Alps. The chef is from the famous Hostellerie du Pas-de-L’Ours. Try to go pre or post the mad lunch rush. Reservations are recommended.
Winter activities include ice-skating, snowshoeing, and sledding, although the main winter activity is definitely skiing. In the vein of eager to please, there is an impressive seasonal event calendar here, so it’s worth planning around special activities. Crans-Montana is also famous for golf over the summer months. Given the views, I know I’m heading back for all-family hiking when the snow is gone.
Stay tuned for articles covering Davos, St. Moritz, Val Thorens, and Alta Badia (Dolomites) with kids. We’ve had a busy winter!
Editorial Note: Crans-Montana tourism hosted our accommodations and skiing. We were not asked to express any particular point of view. As always, all opinions are our own.
Navigating skiing in Verbier with kids
Navigating skiing in Zermatt with kids
Navigating skiing in Grindelwald with kids
Catered family ski chalets in Europe
, Luxury Family Travel
Make a Comment