This year we have already returned to Portofelice twice in both May and July after falling in love with the park last year, but we shall shortly be visiting somewhere new and travelling on an overnight ferry to stay at Domaine Des Ormes, located in Brittany. This will be a new adventure for all of us, having never travelled on an overnight ferry previously, so although we are a little nervous about what the cabins will be like, we are also really excited to be trying something a little out of our comfort zone in terms of transport.
One of my favourite things to do when visiting somewhere new, is to plan and research. I love finding out about the area, the must-see places to visit and finding affordable family restaurants. I like to be prepared as much as possible, so I will also try and find out the prices of any nearby activities so that we can also set a realistic budget for our holiday.
Image kindly provided by Al Fresco HolidaysGetting to Domaine Des Ormes is going to take us approximately one full day so we need to ensure that we have everything sorted for our journey. We are planning on setting off from our home at 5am to make the 4.5 hour journey to Portsmouth, planning to reach there for approximately 11am allowing for some rest breaks along the way. Our ferry crossing isn't until later that evening, so we are planning on visiting some tourist attractions throughout the day (though we are currently undecided on which ones) in order to tire us all out so that we can sleep on the boat.
Our overnight journey will then see us travel onboard an overnight ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo, arriving early at around 6am, with disembarkation commencing at 8am. It is our plan at the moment to drive straight to the site which is approximately 40 minutes away from the port, so that we can get our bearings and make use of the on-site facilities for our first day, before being able to check in to our accommodation at 4pm.
We are taking our own vehicle, so we need to ensure that we have everything that we need to comply with French regulations, this includes both documents and kit so I have began to get everything together. In terms of paperwork it is compulsory to have your driving licence, V5 document and vehicle insurance. Whilst breakdown cover isn't essential, I would never leave home without it especially when travelling abroad, so I have double checked that our existing policy covers us in France and would always recommend taking this out before starting your journey as it could save you a lot of hassle (and money) should you be unfortunate enough to break down.
There are other items of kit which are also compulsory and these include a GB sticker, warning triangle, reflective jacket (enough for all passengers in the vehicle), headlamp adjustment stickers and a breathalyser.
The site of Domaine Des Ormes looks absolutely incredible. They have recently released a new app called Les Ormes which provides so much information on all the activities available, along with a handy map, restaurant menus and entertainment times. I love handy tools like this as it really helps with the planning, especially when it comes to budgeting for activities.
Image kindly provided by Al Fresco HolidaysMy children have already had a good look through the choices available and each of them have made a small list which details which activities they would like to try. Emma is really keen to have a go at wakeboarding, as well as a try on the zipline, whilst Riley is looking forward to having a pony ride and enjoying the kids disco. Ben has said that he would like to try the Escape game and archery, in addition to having some fun on the slip and slide. It certainly seems like there is going to be plenty to keep them occupied and it is great that they have already began to get excited about trying new things.
One thing that the facebook group has been particularly useful for, is finding out more about places to visit in the area and family friendly attractions. It has been great to read about other people's experiences and learn more about the must-see sights in the area. We have been told that St Malo itself is a beautiful place, along with Mont St Michael which looks stunning in some of the photographs we have seen.
One of our favourite activities to do whilst on holiday is enjoy some swimming, so we were delighted to follow the progress of a new Dome which has been built over the existing swimming complex. We have watched this develop on the Domaine Des Ormes facebook page over the past few months and I will be honest when I say it looks absolutely incredible! As well as swimming pools, there is a wave pool, lazy river ride and water slides, so we are guaranteed to have an action-packed week of fun.
Image kindly provided by Al Fresco HolidaysIn terms of accommodation, we will be staying in one of the Al Fresco Holidays Vivaldi Lounge Mobile Homes. These are three bedroomed mobile homes, which means that there will be plenty of space for all of us. They also have a nice decking area and outdoor seating, so we will be able to make the most of the Al Fresco experience. We have always found the Al Fresco mobile homes very clean, tidy and well equipped with everything we need for our stay, which is just what you need after a long journey.
Overall we are now beginning to get really excited for our upcoming holiday and we cannot wait to share our review of our Al Fresco Holiday to Domaine Des Ormes in a few weeks. Please be sure to follow us on our social media pages, as we will be posting plenty of images during our stay (wifi permitting). Our social media can be found on the following channels:
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/itsafamilyadventure/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/itsafamilyblog
You can also learn more about Al Fresco Holidays by visiting their website or social media pages which can be found on the following channels:
Website - https://www.alfresco-holidays.com/ where you can find some superb deals on family holidays.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AlFrescoHols
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/alfrescoholidays
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/alfresco_hols/
Image kindly provided by Al Fresco Holidays*Disclaimer - We will be visiting Domaine Des Ormes on a press trip, for the purpose of writing an honest review of the park and our experience. This means that our accommodation and transport has been arranged for us, however all food, attractions and activities will be paid for by ourselves.