Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Friday 4 October 2019

Our Family Holiday to Mark Warner Paleros

Back in February when Chloe was a bump we were looking at booking a Mark Warner holiday and were then asked to act as Mark Warner Ambassadors and my family of 4 were given the opportunity to visit Paleros free of charge. My in-laws then paid to come on this holiday wth us.

This was out 4th Mark Warner holiday - we went to Levante when Sophie was 14 months, (see post on this trip here) then again the following year with my parents and sister family (another blog post!) and we’ve been on a ski holiday (and I wrote about that too...). Its a winning formula for families as everyone has a fabulous holiday.

When you book your holiday you book the time slots for your childcare, we opted for mornings; Sophie in mini club and Chloe in baby club, both 9-12.30. We weren’t sure how much wed actually use the baby club for chloe as she was the minimum age of 4 months when we arrived. However, the nannies were really lovely, the room cool from air conditioning and lots of toys to keep her happily entertained so she went to all of her mornings.
Sophie LOVED the mini club, she wasn’t sure on the first morning for the first 5 minutes, but the nannies quickly got her engaged in the activities, she made new friends and everyday was really excited to go to ‘club’. She was also given amazing opportunities to do water-sports, going windsurfing, kayaking and sailing which was also supervised but the beach team as well as the kids club nannies. We went and watched Sophie on the water and it was fantastic to see her confident in a new environment with her little pals.
Knowing the girls were happy and enjoying themselves meant that the grown ups got some time to ourselves too. My husband had ACL knee reconstruction a few weeks before we went away, so unlike out previous Mark Warner Holidays were we did loads of activities (guided cycle rides, paddle boarding, sailing, windsurfing) we opted for a more chilled out week, which was just what we needed having a young baby!
Most mornings went to breakfast then I popped the girls to their clubs, returning to have another coffee and a pastry with my husband and my in-laws before heading to the pool and reading my book (The Rosie Project - which I LOVED if your looking for an uplifting easy-read thats not trashy!). I also loved the fact that everyone around the pool had generally had kids, so I felt much more relaxed in my swimwear with my post-baby body.

As the resort is really close to the local beautiful greek town of Paleros we hired bikes (included in the holiday) and cycled the 5-10 mins along the coast one morning where we had Lattes at the beautiful Yacht Club and explored. 

Another morning we borrowed Kayaks and enjoyed being out on the water - luckily nothing was wrong with my husbands arm muscles to I took on more of a ‘steering’ role! The fact that the actives were all included meant that we could just take the equipment out for a short amount of time rather than paying for a whole day which might have put us off, especially as we weren’t sure how my husbands knee would be. The beach staff were also amazing at helping us launch and get the boats into the beach - nothing was too much trouble.

As the breakfast was so large we could have pushed through until dinner (with a daily ice cream obviously!) but Sophie needed a proper lunch so we went to the in resort taverna which was really reasonable, only a few euros for a kids meal and we tended to order only two meals for the grown-ups to share as the portions were so generous.

As we’d had some time to ourselves in the morning we were really up for playtime with the girls in the afternoon which was ALWAYS spent by the pool. Sophie had only learnt to swim at the beginning of the summer on our trip to France and it came on so much on this trip as well. Hours spent playing mermaids, swimming to the bottom of the pool to pick up sinkers and playing with baby Chloe in the water are certainly memories that I’ll treasure forever. I certainly parent better when I’ve had a bit of time to myself and found that I had much more patience with Sophie, having such happy afternoons together.

In the evenings Sophie would have kids tea at 5/6pm then we all headed back to our room for baths and PJs for the girls and we got ready for dinner too before heading to the beach bar for happy hour bubbles and helping Sophie with her sticker book. (she loves the Usborne dolly dressing up books, I took three that we did on the flights and on holiday!) Then Sophie went to the kids movie night, again, she LOVED going. In the kids club they set up little camp ads for each of the children with sleeping bags and they could either watch the film (think Moana, Rratatouille…) or go to sleep. 

We’d then go to dinner with Chloe in her pram (she could have gone to the baby sleep club but I thought shed prefer to stay with us) and collect Sophie after the film had finished and then we had an early night. There was lots of evening entertainment, but with broken nights sleep with Chloe I was always ready for bed at 9.30!

We only took our Baby Zen Yoyo with us - which was AMAZING, it reclined enough for Chloe to have her naps in it happily and we were able to take it on the plane as hand luggage as it folds up really complactly.

The holiday includes breakfast every morning and dinner five of the nights, the other two allow for you to go and explore the eateries in Paleros, which is a €5 taxi ride. We went back to the Yacht club for drinks and sampled the water front restaurants. There is also the option to stay at the hotel where there is a poolside BBQ.

At the end of the week, we’d have happily stayed for another week, I really felt the most relaxed I have in 4 years! However, Sophie was starting reception the following week so we made the return home to the start of autumn, be feeling ready to tackle it full on after a week of recharging our batteries!

Obviously this trip was free of charge as part of the ambassador programme, but I’ve raved about it so much that my sister has booked to go to Paleros (this resort) in October half term. The 25 minute transfer time is also a total win and social flight times make it perfect for families. I also loved the fact that everyone in the resort and flight (as Mark Warner charter a flight from BA) had kids, so when Chloe was crying her ears hurt on the plane we got ‘I’ve been there looks’ rather than disapproving stares, all which helped us feel more relaxed, adding to the holiday experience.

As I mentioned, we had previously visited Levate (another Mark Warner Greek resort) and whilst we were away I was asked a few time which I preferred. I still can’t decide. Paleros is smaller so we soon recognised and spoke to lots of families, the activities also seemed a bit more relaxed than Levante which, due to its size had more equipment, competitors etc. So I think if you are a serious sailor, tennis player, cyclist maybe Levente is more geared towards you, but if you’re up for trying a bit of everything and want a more chilled holiday I’d opt for Paleros.
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