Sept 2013: This was our third Mark Warner holiday, chosen because it featured water-sports sailing as one of the key activities.
The welcome on arrival, friendliness and helpfulness of the staff and quality of the hotel accommodation and food was excellent.
We stayed in one of the 120 semi-detached and spaced bungalow accommodations, to the west of the site, amongst trees and lawns and well kept gardens. Our room had air-conditioning and refrigerator. We knew in advance to take our own small kettle for tea and coffee. We drank boiled tap water with no ill effect. Dining was full board at the terrace restaurant overlooking the pool. Alternate evenings were buffet and a la carte at no extra price. Individual family and also communal social tables were available. Booking of meal start times meant that there was no rush at 7:30pm. The chef was understood to be the Mark Warner chief chef and his à la carte meals were much appreciated. Children had the option of other menus. Free wine was provided.
Our first week was the last week of the school holidays and many families had teenagers. The many teenagers enjoyed their own "Indie Club" where they together participated in sports and sailing, and also had their own large communal table for lunch and evening meals. The centre had the baby and child care service and it was obvious how much this was appreciated by both the children and their mums and dads. During the second week there were more of the younger children, also more of the serious adult water sports, cycling and tennis enthusiasts.
Sports offered, in addition to sailing and windsurfing, were tennis and cycling. Cycling was popular with a good instructor with morning and afternoon sessions attracting 8 - 10 people daily. Routes varied from flat and easy to challenging mountain routes. Various fitness, aerobics, water exercises and early morning runs were organised (all optional thank goodness!). There was a small scuba/snorkelling facility. We went on one snorkelling trip but it proved disappointing and was poor value for money (25 euro each, even for children.)
This Mark Warner resort is a RYA certified training school with guests encouraged to learn to sail and go away with qualifications. There were races every afternoon with a big race on Friday. The water-sports staff were exceptional, doing all the boat rigging and movement of boats into and out of the sea. I was not aware of any damages to any of the boats during our two week stay, which says a lot for the staff skill in launching and recovering boats off the beach. Winds were light in the morning and moderate after lunch. While we were there there was a distinct slow swell all of the time which made for some surf at the beach edge, while reasonably small waves further out.
Cycling ( Mountain biking ):
A variety of easy and strenuous cycling tours were offered. We took the easiest guided tour, on the level, to Roxy beach bar, near the Torre di Bari tower, 6 km north, beyond Cardedu, where we stopped for drinks and a rest before returning. Bikes excellent mountain bike style with well pumped up tyres and gears that worked.
We adventured several miles along the beaches to the south and north. To the south, the local beach soon ended to become cliffs but following a road led to a bar overlooking the sea and a beach with some character where cormorants waited on the offshore rocks. The beach to the north was less inspiring, much of the same, leading to a stone built tower or fort, like the base of an old windmill.
We tried snorkelling in three different places, at the resort itself and two places about 4km south. We only saw one shoal of thousands of tiny fish and no more than twenty others (in total). There was negligible healthy seaweed and we were disappointed.
Page created 11 Sept 2013, amended 24 July 2018.
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