Deep beneath a forest of twisting Tuscan trees, gazing over gently rolling hills and a short hop to the beach, lies a family holiday wonderland otherwise known as Park Albatros*. If you’re looking for an outdoorsy family getaway a step up from camping, with every convenience to make your life as a parent on a camping holiday infinitely easier, Park Albatros is your knight, glimmering in the Tuscan sun.
From a free-to-use air canister to blow up inflatables, to the micro-grip covered surface of the shallow toddler-friendly pools, shady park and onsite supermarket, this is rustic camping life where the kids can run feral, while the adults sip on Aperol Spritz. If you’re considering a mobile home ‘camping’ holiday, here’s why you can’t go wrong with booking a holiday to Park Albatros…
Check out the video below to see Park Albatros from above and below!
Eurocamp, Vacansoleil, Human Company, Gustocamp, Canvas Holidays and a few others offer mobile homes in various shapes and sizes, plus a few safari and standard tents. While I’ve stayed in more upmarket mobile homes, the outdoor lifestyle and sunshine mean you’ll only really use them for sleeping in anyway (although the swanky Gustocamp Lounge Deluxe and wooden Human homes definitely caught our eye!).
We had one of Eurocamp’s three bedroom mobiles for four of us, with a shower, toilet, kitchen, inside dining area and big shaded outside dining deck, a BBQ and la pièce de résistance, a toddler security gate to stop little ones from ninja-ing off. Before you go, you can choose from various ‘essentials’ packs including towels, sheets, potty, a cot – even a ‘trundle wagon’ to transport your kit and kids around in (these looked ace). If you’re driving it’s a lot easier to bring all the paraphernalia, but limited luggage allowance when you’re flying scuppers this a bit, so pre-booking these items is far easier. Like camping, close knit mobile home life is a pretty social affair, meaning other kids wander over to play with yours and morning hellos in different languages are common.
The swimming pools
Whatever the ages of your offspring, Park Albatros‘ numerous pools are geared up for all ages. Tinies will love the shallow pools, decked out with raised islands (which make perfect mini water slides), fountains, tunnels and a special grippy surface, meaning they can totter and splash safely in front of you. There’s also a free-for-all water slide and an Olympic-sized swimming pool for larking around in, or if you’re feeling energetic in the morning, lane swimming from 9-10am. Get there early to bag a pool-side lounger as even out of school holidays, these filled up quickly.
If you manage to extract your kids from the swimming complex, there’s a lovely shaded park, complete with sand pile for digging, a high ropes course for older kids, mini golf and a daily mini club where children can hang, colour and climb on the soft play, plus a whole host of planned entertainment.
Every day between the hours of 9am-1pm and 4pm-8pm a free mini train runs circuits around the campsite and each night young’uns and their parents rock out to a mini disco with Albi the dancing celebrity squirrel (or chipmunk – it’s hard to tell). Ping pong tables are dotted around the camp, bikes are available for hire with child seats and older kiddos will love the freedom of the rentable Go Karts to whizz around the campsite on too. If you can fit them in, I highly recommend packing kid’s scooters – the pathways are wide, concreted and flat and the little ones spent the entire holiday zooming around on them.
Park Albatros onsite shops
The onsite supermarket is filled with everything you could possibly need during your stay; nappies, baby food, alcohol, mosquito spray, even a ‘wine fuelling station’ where you can fill up your vessel with vino as you would a car – cheap and brilliant! Roll them out everywhere I say! As with all foreign supermarkets, there’s also a delightful dose of local produce – think Tuscan honey, multi-coloured pasta, fresh gnocchi and ravioli, rich olive oil and a bakery counter with Italian sweet treats, pizza and breads. Kids desperate for an inflatable unicorn? Made a bikini blunder? You’ll find all that and more in the ever-so-well-equipped pool-side shop. While we didn’t notice a huge difference in price, it is worth stocking up at a big supermarket and there are several COOPs and Conads located nearby.
For me, a family holiday isn’t complete without a bit of ‘me-time’, especially when it comes in the form of massage or neon nails – both available here next to the pools. You can also get a hair cut or colourful hair braids woven into your kiddos hair, much to their delight.
Park Albatros surroundings
Surrounded by the Rimigliano pine forest, Park Albatros shelters under beautiful Mediterranean pines which change colour depending on the time of day, glowing a glorious red come sundown. Hire bikes and head right out of the campsite along a wide, flat cycle path and delve into the pine trees to discover numerous beaches.
Head left and the shallow, calm, sparkling waters of Baratti Bay are also just a cycle-ride away. Above, surveying the land from its ancient perch, sits the old Etruscan city of Populonia. It’s 15th century walls hide terracotta rooftops and cobbled streets with charming shops and restaurants, beautiful cypress trees, loud cicadas and a castle with breathtaking views along the coastline all the way to Elba.
The enchanting countryside is peppered with wine and olive producers (and vibrant wildflowers in June), including the award-winning Tenuta Poggio Rosso, just down the road from Park Alabatros. Pop in for an afternoon of delicious wine tasting (kids can run free in the gorgeous grounds or hit them up with the iPad in the delicate-object-laden tasting room!).
Pisa with it’s world-famous leaning tower is just an hour away by car and other Italian cities like Rome, Lucca and Florence are also day trip-able for an injection of world-famous culture during your holiday.
If you don’t want to venture far, you’ll find a variety of restaurants within the grounds of Park Albatros – one buffet-style, one traditional Italian, a pizzeria (with takeaway), a snack bar, creperie, sweet shop and a couple of gelaterias that serve scrummy home-made gelato. There’s also a couple of bars, the best one located right next to the park – perfect for a sundowner while watching the kids play. Nearby, there’s plenty of Italian eateries to explore (although we were not impressed nearby Al Tramonto with its gritty seafood and unwelcoming service), just be warned if you cycle out at night, street lights are rare in the area!
If you like laid back, outdoorsy living, scoffing Italian food, spectacular sightseeing, child-friendly sandy beaches, being a big kid, sunshine and swimming, then the lifestyle here is infectious. It can be hard to fully relax on holiday with young kids, but the set up here couldn’t have been more perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Watching families with older kids, it looked like they were equally loving the freedom. This holiday’s going down as an all-round win. Click here to book your family-friendly, outdoorsy holiday at Park Albatros.
Click to read my blog on 11 Reasons to do Eurocamp with kids.
Have you got a favourite campsite that was perfect for your family holidays? I’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments below.
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