Travel with baby

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Italian trip: our family visit of Puglia

Those who followed our adventures know it already, 10 days ago, we were in the South of Italy for a week-long trip with the children in the heel of the boot. We toured the Puglia Region, and we also made a detour to Basilicate, the neighbouring region. I was already in love with Italy, but now! This mezzogiorno region completely enchanted me! A real crush! I advise everyone to go there. For me, it’s one of the most beautiful trip one can do in South Europe with a wide variety of styles, between very old villages, trulli, baroque style, architecture that reminded me of Greece or Morocco in the coastal villages; the centenary olive trees in the background, a wonderful Adriatic Coast with turquoise shaded water and finally, a delicious cooking… A dream!

Age of Ticoeur : 3 years and a half
Age of Titpuce : 1 year

Season of the trip: mid-April to enjoy the nice spring temperatures. We had between 16 and 25 degrees with a first day that was grey, then bright sunshine. I could almost have bathed.

Duration: one week.

Transport: we had booked a flight Paris-Bari with Easyjet for about 100€ per person for a round-trip (free flight for Titpuce – you only have to pay for the airport taxes for children under 2 years old). The transport in the hold of two accessories per baby is free with Easyjet (strollers, baby bed, child car seat…): it’s very convenient! Then, on the spot, we rented a car (Fiat Punto) for 23 euros a day with Budget.

Itinerary:

  • 2 nights in Matera: wonderful old city classified in the World Heritage of Humanity. A big crush for this stop in the Basilicate region! You must see it! [2019 Edit: Some of the scenes of the next James Bond movie will be shot in Matera!]

  • 2 nights in Cisternino in a trullo, adorable little typical accommodation in Puglia. Visit of all the villages and towns around: Alberobello, Locorotondo, Marina Franca, Ostuni…

AlberobelloAlberobelloAlberobelloLocorotondo

Locorotondo

  • 1 night in Lecce, the baroque city. Then, tour of the peninsula with its very beautiful coast until Gallipoli.

Lecce

Gallipoli

Gallipoli

  • 1 night in Polignano a Mare, adorable village flanked on a cliff on the South part of Bari. The following day: visit of Trani on our way to Gargano.

Polignano a Mare

Trani

  • 2 nights in the natural region of Gargano, in Vico del Gargano: fishermen villages, very beautiful beaches, forest… a wild environment…

This itinerary, we improvised it the day before we left. Now, if I had to do it again, I would choose between three options:

1/ the same itinerary but shortened by the Gargano because this very wild beautiful area alone deserves a whole week and requires that you take mountain roads that Ticoeur and Titpuce’s stomachs didn’t tolerate. Also, with all these bends, every trip takes more time so on a week, it’s too short to really enjoy the beauty of Gargano. So, I would add 1 night in Lecce and 1 night in Polignano to my initial itinerary.

2/ stay in a trullo in Cisternino or in another village of trulli and visit the whole Puglia region from only one drop point. You can do it because the distances are not too big.

3/ Consider a 2 week stay in Puglia because there really is a lot to do!

Olive trees everywhere!

Baby equipment:

We had taken our foldable baby bed for Titpuce because we didn’t focus our researches on accommodations that were equipped for babies. For the rides, we used the Ergobaby for Titpuce and Ticoeur walked without a problem. This way, we managed not to be too heavily loaded, with only one suitcase per adult (as a cabin baggage) and Ticoeur brought his little “Woodours” bag to tidy his toys 😉

 

Good addresses:

A lot! Including:

  • the B&B “i setti coni” : we settled in a real trullo. It’s so cute! The landlady is lovely. Address found on the Airbnb.fr website.

  • la trattoria di Nonna Tetti in Lecce (Piazetta Regina Maria): an authentic and local cooking in a typical setting, with a very reasonnable price.
  • the Osteria dei Mulini in Polignano a Mare: very delicate! Don’t hesitate to taste the carpaccio of octopus.
  • il Terrazino in Matera: a restaurant that is touristic for sure, but we ate very well for a very affordable price: 4 euros for a pizza and 6 euros the delicious dish of pastas shaped like olive tree leaves! Very beautiful location in the old town.

The “baby pros”:

  • Ticoeur tested and approved all the playgrounds of Puglia 😉
  • He walked without a problem because the old villages gave him the impression of an adventure: stairs, passages, tunnels, little bridges…
  • Ticoeur loved the visit of a cave (Castellana) which I’ll tell you about again later
  • The historic city centres are only for pedestrians or with very limited traffic so it’s really appreciable for a family stroll.
  • The children liked the breaks on the beaches of the coast: play in the sand and soak the feet in the sea.
  • Ticoeur and Titpuce loved the Italian cooking!
  • We often had a baby chair in the restaurants
  • The car steps are short: between ¼ of an hour and about 2h top. We put the 2 hour trips during nap time.

The “baby cons” :

  • As I mentioned above, the only damper of our trip was the road in the Gargano area: the children were car-sick because there were only mountain roads in the wild part of Puglia…
  • I had already mentioned it: in Italy, I don’t like the offer of baby food-jar (too much meat and not enough vegetables). So, for Titpuce, we had brought a couple of baby dishes from France and we also gave her what we ate (she loves pastas!). Otherwise, concerning yoghurt, cheese, compote, baby formula, we find the same products as in France.


What about you? Are you tempted by the Puglia region with your family?

 

l'Ecosse avec bébé

Road trip in Scotland with a baby

If you travel with a baby Scotland is a destination I often recommend for the summer holidays because the temperatures are mild and the landscapes are gorgeous. We loved our family holidays in Scotland and we will return there for sure because we are far from having seen everything! With all its castles, lakes and mountains, Scotland has something to make young and old ones dream! For our first road trip in Scotland, we focused on the Highlands and Isle of Skye.

Age of  my son: 11 months
Period: August 2010 (temperatures were around 18 degrees and we only had one day of rain! Lucky!)
Duration: 10 days

l'Ecosse avec bébé

Itinerary for a 10 day road trip in Scotland:

  • Arrival in Glasgow –> we directly went to Edinburgh
  • 2 nights in Edinburgh
  • 3 nights in Glencoe (for hiking)
  • 1 night in Dunvegan on Isle of Skye
  • 1 night in Flodigarry on Isle of Skye
  • 1 night in Plockton
  • 1 night in Crianlarich in the Trossachs
  • 1 night in Glasgow : a stroll in West end and visit of the Burell collection in Pollok Country Park (8000 art pieces!).

Road trip in Scotland with a baby: our hints, our hikes, our best-of:

Edinburgh

We visited the old town and we had a bucolic walk in Dean Village along ther river. Then, we climbed to Arthur’s seat (1 hour) for a view over the city. If you stay longer than us in Edinburgh, I recommend you read the article about the best of Edinburgh by Globetrotting.

Glencoe

We climbed the Pap of Glencoe: it took us two hours to get to the summit carrying Ticoeur in a baby wrap. Picnic break and descent. “Papa Voyage” carried our baby on the way up and I carried him on the way down. Wonderful landscapes on the mountains, the lochs… We went back to the B&B to let our sweet baby take a nap !

Roadtrip en Ecosse

voyage Ecosse avec bébé

Ecosse avec bébé

Isle of Skye

Our favourite part in Scotland! Everything is beautiful on this island! We wanted to photograph every stone, every cliff, every sea view! Beware: the roads are sinuous! But fortunately the Scots are very polite and drive with a lot of courtesy! The most beautiful places on Isle of Skye :

  • Neist Point
  • We did a hike in Talisker near beautiful cliffs (note that you can’t visit the distillery when you’re with children.).
  • Quirraing hike: it took us 1 hour and a half. A true paradise ! We stopped at the Kilt Rock waterfall that falls into the sea.
  • Old Man of Stor: a 1 hour and a half walk.
  • Eilan Donan Castle

Ecosse en famille

Isle of Skye en famille

l'Ecosse en famille

l'Ecosse avec un bébé voyage Ecosse avec enfant

l'Ecosse en famille

roadtrip Ecosse

Isle of Skye en famille

Visiter Isle of Skye

We ended up continuing our roadtrip to Plockton, located at the exit of the Isle of Skye – less spectacular but the scenery by the sea is very relaxing, so peaceful..

Plockton Ecosse

Then we went back down through Crianlarich in the Trossachs (to walk near Lomond Lake and admire the Ben Lomond).

10 jours en Ecosse

Practical information for a trip to Scotland with a child:

We loved:

  • a pleasant climate (but with a high risk of rain ;-))
  • a very quiet environment
  • perfect for hiking with a baby
  • handy when baby is not yet walking
  • in all the restaurants: high chairs, changing tables… and we have often seen a children’s play corner in the pubs!

voyage Ecosse avec bébé

Be aware of :

  • baby must be protected against midges bites (small harmless but unpleasant mosquitoes…). Also watch out for ticks!
  • the risk of rain 🙂

Hikes: to find suitable hikes for a trip to Scotland with children (so hikes not too difficult, not too long), I used a very good site -> https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/

Baby equipment: a baby wrap, car seat and a travel cot. Baby food and diapers bought on the spot. Don’t forget sun cream as we are very exposed in the mountains. For hiking, we really found that the baby wrap was very practical and not too tiring.

***

Scotland with your family: our good addresses!

In Edinburgh:

Globetrotter Inn (youth hostel): tiny but cheap room, backpacker style, very nice building, very green setting, free shuttle to the city centre

Chez Marlayne: French restaurant with Scottish touches. Very good and inventive.

Always Sunday: for a gourmet break in the heart of the historic centre

A Glencoe :

Kate and Alan Ward – Saint Brides Old Rectory (B&B): very good reception, well located near the loch and not far from the hiking departures / North Ballachulish
01855 821 337

Lochleven Seafood Café: by far the best restaurant we’ve done in Scotland (we ate there 3 nights in a row!). Delicious seafood at an affordable price with inventive recipes.

A Plockton :

Seafood Shore Restaurant: very good seafood dishes.

A Glasgow :

The Kelvin: Very good family welcome in this small hotel located in a beautiful old house, nice area. To book: The Kelvin Hotel West End.

Kember & Jones: for a quality snack in a nice deli.

Our wish list for a future travel to Scotland with children:

  • The islands, the islands and the islands: Arran, Jura and Mull tempt us a lot for their remote style.
  • Visit more castles (especially haunted ones!): especially in the eastern part of Scotland with for instance Ballindalloch Castle, Fraser Castle…
  • Following in Harry Potter’s footsteps: after visiting the Harry Potter Studios in London, we also want to see some of the locations where the films were shot, such as the Glenfinnan viaduct and the Arkaig loch.

What about you? Do you want to discover Scotland with your family?