After the success of our first Eurocamp holiday last year to Sanguli, Salou, we were delighted to be invited back this May half term to experience another Parc of our choice. Although we were certain that Sanguli would be hard to beat, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to visit somewhere I have been desperate to explore ever since I was a little girl – Venice, Italy.
There are several Parcs in the area, all of which I agonised over repeatedly, but in the end we chose Marina Di Venezia, purely based on location, the Aqua Park and the many activities it had to offer.
We flew from Manchester to Venice in just under two hours with a one hour transfer time via minibus which we had pre-booked online. Although there are buses which run direct from the airports, we just felt with four children and all of our luggage it was far more manageable to have a minibus waiting and it took away some of the stress of trying to navigate our way to the Parc late at night.
Our home for the week was the Azure mobile home which is the newest addition to Eurocamp accommodation and has a contemporary and flexible interior as well as a large covered decked terrace. We stayed in the same accommodation last year in Spain so we knew exactly what we were getting although the lay-out was slightly different in this one.
As you enter there was a shower room to the left which was actually really spacious, as well as a large sink area with storage and a hairdryer. The large shower was a real bonus as, without a bath, the children need to shower and that usually means coming in with me or Gaz.
In having a larger shower room the main bedroom was slightly smaller than the previous we stayed in and yet it still had enough storage for us to hang up our clothes and put our empty suitcases below the bed to keep our lodge as tidy as possible.
There are then two twin bedrooms, both equally sized, with a small wardrobe and overhead storage. As you can see the beds are not made up on arrival and this is something you have to do yourself, either with linen you’ve brought from home or that you’ve hired from Eurocamp.
With being guests of Eurocamp our linen was provided and yet later in the week when we needed replacement linen, I learned that the cost was 33 euros for the double bed which, should you hire linen for every bed, would really add up. Although space is limited when flying, I would definitely recommend bringing your own linen just to save on those costs.
In the living area there is a kitchen area with oven, microwave, fridge and freezer, as well as a dining table to seat six and a small sofa. I loved that the dining table was big enough to fit all six of us, but I just wish the sofa has been that little bit bigger as it was impossible for all six of us to sit down at the same time.
The great thing about the Azure is that you get a large terrace area which is partially covered, along with a table and chairs for outdoor dining as well as a BBQ too. Last year we lived outdoors on the terrace due to the weather being so lovely where as this year, with us having three days of rain, we spent more time indoors and so it felt as though we were on top of each other that little bit more.
The Aqua Park
The Aqua Park was one of the biggest draws for us in choosing Marina Di Venezia and on our first night, after eating gelato, it was at the top of our priorities to go and check out the pools.
There are nine main pools to choose from, all located in the same area which I loved. Many of the Parcs spread their pools out throughout the site and yet for me I much preferred them to all be in one place so the children could be playing in the shallow splash pools whilst Lewis and Gaz went for a dip in the olympic sized pool.
At night all of the pools are lit up which looks really lovely and the look on the children’s faces when they saw them all was priceless. Regardless of where we go or what we do, the swimming pools will always be the children’s favourite part!
On our first day, although the weather wasn’t great, we were up and in the pool first thing. With us visiting out of peak season the pool area was very quiet which was great, and the children loved having some of the splash pools to themselves.
Harry pretty much spent the whole week wearing his snorkel although with only six of the pools being heated there were times we had to tell him to get out and into a heated one as his lips went blue! I would think that in high season even the non-heated pools will be a lovely temperature as it doesn’t take long for the sun to heat them.
The thing I loved most about the children’s pools is that they are shallow enough for the children to play in without us having to be there beside them in the water. We were able to position our sun beds by the edge of the pool and the children be visible at all times.
Marina Di Venezia actually charges for sun beds in the Aqua Park something which I can understand a need for as there is nothing worse than coming down to the pool and each one covered with a towel. That said, the sun beds are hired out at 12 euros for two beds and a parasol and you can’t hire them individually, so even on the days we had no need for a parasol, it was 12 euros minimum per day. With six people, and on the days the children were tired or feeling unwell, we were having to hire out 4 sunbeds and 2 parasols at 24 euros and during a weeks holiday this again adds on an extra expense.
For those who don’t want to pay for sun beds, there is a grassy area behind the pools where you can sit or lie on the floor although there is no visibility of the pools from behind the hedge. Obviously with having small children this wasn’t an option for us but it’s a great way to save on sun beds should you have older children who are strong enough swimmers to be able to play unsupervised.
One of the best things about the Aqua Park is the most amazing children’s fun pool with a huge play area including slides and water jets. Unfortunately this pool isn’t heated but, again, for those visiting in high season it’s perfect for entertaining the kids!
Towards the back of the Aqua Park there is a huge wave pool which comes on intermittently throughout the day. There are also a number of water slides which Eva adored, and with it being very quiet we were able to go on those over and over with barely any queueing.
The most impressive thing about the Aqua Park is the olympic sized pool which Gaz and Lewis made full use of. Unheated, I dipped my toe in and refused to get in, but they were in there doing lengths every say, even when the sun wasn’t shining!
On a couple of days when the weather was bad, the Aqua Park closed which was disappointing as although the weather wasn’t great, being used to a little rain, we were still up for a swim in the heated pools. That said, we more than made up for it during the sunnier weather!
During high season the Aqua Park actually shuts down for siesta each day, something which we hadn’t experienced in Spain, but apparently this is common in Italy and siesta is taken very seriously.
The main centre of Marina Di Venezia has everything you could possible need for your stay, and as with the Aqua Park, it’s all in one place. The Centre is reached by an underpass which has pedestrian walkway as well as being a through road for those driving.
On our first night when we walked to the centre we were so impressed by just how lovely it looked all lit up and it felt as though we were a million miles from home. At ten thirty at night we were one of just a handful of people and yet I can imagine in the Summer the atmosphere would be very different.
At the centre you can also find the stage, the information centre, the medical centre and the internet hub where you can buy wifi access. Internet access comes at an extra cost and yet we all had full signal on our phones and used our phone data where necessary.
One thing I really noticed about Marina di Venezia, and about Italy in general, is just how clean it is. The Parc was absolutely spotless and tended to beautifully, it’s a real credit to the maintenance staff and cleaners.
Play Area & Kids Club
Leo Park is the main play area for the children as well as being the location of the kids club. At Leo Park you can find the usual playground equipment such as swings, slides and zip lines, as well as a pottery workshop towards the back where children can decorate a pot of their choice to take home at an additional charge. There are also table tennis tables which again you pay extra for to play, something which Gaz and Lewis enjoyed together.
Leo Park opens from 9-11 and 4-6 so just four hours a day and was closed during the wet weather. We didn’t get to experience the kids club but I would imagine in the high season this is running during these opening times.
There are also lots of little fairground rides, trampolines, and mini go-karts for the children to enjoy but again these come at an additional charge and averaging 3 euros per ride, with three little ones, it soon adds up.
Marina Di Venezia also boasts a fantastic crazy golf course which costs 5.5 euros per person to play. I was surprised that this fee applies to adults accompanying their child to crazy golf, even if you aren’t playing yourself.
I think the children’s favourite play area was a small square at the centre with little red chairs to sit in which you could spin around in. Open twenty four hours a day, I don’t think we managed to walk past there even once without them jumping on and spinning round!
Bars and Restaurants
When it comes to food, you can’t fault Marina Di Venezia! There are several bars and restaurants at the centre, all offering traditional Italian cuisine and by the end of the week I think we had pretty much eaten our body weight in pizza!
Piazza Marina was definitely our favourite restaurant, located infront of the stage so a great spot to dine al fresco whilst watching the entertainment throughout the summer. Piazza Marina was a little more formal than some of the other restaurants and the food was utterly delicious!
The biggest surprise for me was that despite Italy being the land of pizza and pasta, they also offer a great range of gluten free alternatives. Twice during the week I ate fresh salmon and potatoes and the servings were huge!
Although each restaurant offered a children’s menu, we found it easier to order one dish from the adult menu to split between the three of them. The pizzas were huge and so reasonable in price too. We found that eating out for six people with mains and drinks came to around 60 euros tops which I didn’t think was too bad.
Gaz and Lewis were pleased to discover a sports bar which also served pizzas, pasta and burgers, and on a couple of occasions they took themselves out for a burger to watch football whilst I cooked pasta for the children at our accommodation. This is what I love about self catering accommodation, that you can dine out or eat in, and holiday on your own terms. There are also a number of take aways on the Parc which is great for those who prefer to stay in but don’t want to cook!
My absolute favourite thing about Marina Di Venezia was the Gelateries. Our favourite one was at the entrance of the centre and had the most amazing range of gelato I have ever seen. Each day we would choose a different flavour and the memory of the children’s faces, covered in chocolate gelato, enjoying every last mouthful, is one I will treasure.
My personal favourite was Cremina, I swear I have never known gelato taste so creamy in all my life and now we are back home I am having major withdrawals! Everyone said you can’t beat the food in Italy and I have to agree!
The gelateries also did gelato milkshakes which, when Megan and Harry started with tonsillitis, were a real god send. If there’s a good way to soothe a sore throat on holiday, then gelato is it!
During the high season Marina Di Venezia has evening entertainment at the stage in the centre and yet visiting during May/June I think we were just a little too early for it. Other than an evening disco for the children there was no other entertainment which was disappointing but with three small children, exhausted from swimming, we were in bed relatively early each night.
On a couple of the nights a candy floss and popcorn stand set up in the centre which the children loved and I would imagine more of these little carts would pop up in the high season.
On our last night a little market was held on the square which was lovely and a chance to see some of the home made crafts and items traditional to Italy. The children loved picking out some souvenirs to take home to remember their holiday.
Marina Di Venezia has a huge selection of shops including a supermarket, a gift shop, newsagents, clothes shop, shoe shop, a photographer, hairdresser, bazaar and chemist, just to name a few.
We found the prices in the supermarket fairly reasonable but for those wanting to shop outside of the Parc there is a large supermarket directly opposite the entrance with a huge range of food items, drinks, and gifts.
Marina Di Venezia has direct access to a beautiful white sandy beach, just a stones throw from the Aqua Park. With the Aqua Park closing for siesta each day it would be ideal to walk down to the beach to enjoy a few hours there before the pools re-open.
At the beach there are toilets and showers, a snack bar and a children’s play area. You can also play volley ball, hire sun beds, pedalos and try a number of water sports, all at an extra charge.
On our last night we walked to the beach for the sunset and it was the perfect chance to get some last photographs of our time at Marina Di Venezia to look back on in years to come
Things we loved
There are so many things we loved about Marina Di Venezia although the children unanimously stated that the Aqua Park was their absolute favourite part! For me, other than the gelato, I thought the location was pretty much perfect. For anyone wanting to visit Venice and the surrounding islands, as well as the city of Jesolo too, then Marina Di Venezia couldn’t be any better. It was just a short walk to Punta Sabionni where we could take the water taxi to Venice which meant we could explore the city whilst still staying on a resort style setting for the children.
Things we would change
For me, Eurocamp is a great way to holiday with children, especially as a large family, without breaking the bank. I have to be honest and say that it felt as though a lot of the activities at Marina Di Venezia came at an extra cost and for families who have saved up for a week away, I felt this added expenditure would really tot up.
We also had a negative experience on leaving the Parc where we were not made aware that on the day of departure you have to be off the Parc at 1pm and are unable to stay and use any of the facilities. Despite speaking with the staff at Marina Di Venezia and explaining our situation, particularly with Megan severely unwell with tonsilitis, we were told that no exceptions would be made and, with our flight being at 9pm in the evening and our pre-booked minibus unable to collect us any earlier, this meant sitting at the side of the road for 4 and a half hours in the sun with our luggage.
This was in no way the fault of Eurocamp, and we can’t fault the Eurocamp staff during our stay, but it was a sad end to our holiday and those lasting memories really do make a big impression.
Would I recommend it?
We would return to Italy in a heartbeat, and would return to Eurocamp hands down. Despite our few niggles I would still recommend Marina Di Venezia but I would just say to be aware of hidden costs during your stay. I would also recommend visiting during high season or, if going in the low season, double checking with the Parc on your dates as to whether the activities and entertainment are running during your stay.
That said, despite the rain on three of the days, we had a fantastic time and were able to explore Venice, Murano, and Burano, all of which were just as amazing as I had hoped them to be. I’ll be sharing everything we got up to in our next post.
** We were given a complimentary stay at Eurocamp, Marina Di Venezia in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own **