- Actress Sarah Parish ventured to Greece for the Mail on Sunday Travel
- She said she was looking for some sunny weather after filming her latest series
- Her husband and daughter joined her at the Vounaki Beachclub in Paleros
Going on holiday as part of a large group can be a daunting prospect because there are usually so many needs to satisfy. But luckily our party of 16 were a sporty bunch – and we all got exactly what we wanted at the Vounaki Beachclub in Paleros.
I’ve been to Greece a few times and I love it because you know the weather is going to be good. It was just what I needed after finishing filming the latest series of crime drama Broadchurch.
The hotel, on the west coast of mainland Greece looking across to the island of Lefkas, was a bit like Club Med and ticked all the boxes. There were endless watersports opportunities, including windsurfing, waterskiing and wakeboarding.
Hitting the water: Sarah Parish said she water skied most days while staying at the Vounaki Beachclub in Paleros, on the west coast of mainland Greece
We even took a yacht out as there were a couple of people in our party who were keen sailors.
The kids’ club was impressive. I thought my daughter Nell would hate it, but the reps were fantastic and she loved it.
They divided the children into various age groups, gave them a jacket and a cap in a certain colour, and took them off for all manner of activities from 9.30am to 6pm.
They went sailing, dressed up as pirates, went waterskiing and enjoyed treasure hunts. All the kids had a brilliant time.
I must admit on the first day I thought: ‘Oh my God, Nell’s in the sea, she’s on a yacht. Aaargh!’
But you have to relax and realise that’s what the resort is all about. After that I didn’t worry about her once.
Crystal clear waters: Yachts seen docked near the Vounaki Beachclub
Meanwhile, the adults took advantage of the children being away and had long and boozy lunches and suppers.
The hotel serves fabulous food, beautifully presented. It was great not having to cook or wash up.
Every morning we’d do yoga and a Pilates class, or legs, bums and tums or something like that, and then a bit of waterskiing, so we felt as if we’d earned ourselves a glass or two of rosé at lunchtime.
Sometimes we’d hire bikes and cycle into Paleros village, five minutes away. There were lots of restaurants along the waterfront and you could sit at your table and have a three-hour lunch. Bliss.
During our sailing trip we headed to some other beautiful little towns, and after lunch we would jump off the boat and splash about in the warm waters.
We never stayed out that long, though, as we had to be back to pick up the children, but that wasn’t a problem; at no point did I wish we could go somewhere else. I think it was the busiest activity holiday I’ve ever done.
Normally when my husband, Jim and I go away, we travel with another couple and rent a villa, which is brilliant, but if you have young children they can get bored. They’ll play in the pool for a few hours and then want to do something else.
At Vounaki Beachclub, it was fantastic knowing they were exhausted by the time you picked them up, thoroughly happy and covered in face-paint.
It was a proper holiday for the adults as well as the children – I’d say it was the perfect break.
Neilson (neilson.co.uk/beach, 0330 057 2849) offers seven nights at the Vounaki Beachclub from £3,765 for a family of four (two adults and two children aged two to 14).
This includes return flights from Gatwick, transfers, accommodation on a club board basis (daily breakfast and lunch, plus four evening meals), watersports and shore-based activities with equipment and tuition, plus children’s clubs.
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