Abruzzo lies east of Rome and is known as the greenest region in Europe, with one third of the region set aside as national parks and protected nature reserves. The region stretches from the mountains of the Apennines to the Adriatic Sea and is also home to Calderone, Europe’s southernmost glacier.
Abruzzo is well known for its landscapes and natural beauty. The Adriatic coastline is characterised by long sandy beaches to the north and pebbly beaches to the south, with one of the highest densities of Blue Flag beaches. Inland, the mountains dominated the skyline, with hillsides rich in vineyards and olive groves. It’s a region full of beauty and a great place to holiday with your kids.
You could happily spend an entire holiday in Abruzzo lazing about on the beautiful beaches of the region. Well-known resort areas with glorious beaches include Alba Adriatica, with its white sands and pine forests and Vasto, with its golden bay. Tortoreto, Giulianova, Silvi Marina, Roseto degli Abruzzi and Francavilla a Mare are also worth a visit to enjoy some relaxation and water sports.
Away from the coast, the National Parks take centre stage. The Abruzzo, Molise and Lazio National Park is one of the best, with 150,000 acres of protected area. It’s home to some amazing animals, including wolves, deer, bears and golden eagles. There are fifteen visitor centres doted round the park, where you can pick up maps and information about the 150 walking routes. And you can also join in one of the many events that park authorities organise throughout the year.
Animal lovers will adore Abruzzo Zoo, located in the centre of the Brionna wetland. Half zoo, half playground, there’s plenty here to keep the kids happy all day. In the zoological garden you can see mouflons, llamas, jackals, zebras, wolves, emu, boars and many more. You can also try your hand at fishing, rent a bike or a mini-motorbike for the kids or ride a horse. The playground has basketball, football and volleyball grounds and a table tennis area. There’s also a large picnic and BBQ area. Or visit The Wolf and Wildlife Refuge just outside Popoli to learn more about these beautiful animals.
For a more active day out, take a trip to Majella Adventure Park. This treetop park has 130 games utilising cables and wooden air platforms and there are specific trails for children from 2 up. You can also try out other activities such as orienteering, Nordic walking and free climbing. Kids are also sure to enjoy Aqualand del Vasto, a huge water park with more than one kilometre of water slides, splash pads, lazy rivers and green spaces for relaxing on. There is an area dedicated to younger children too, with baby swimming pool and slides, bumper boats, water playgrounds and mini cars. There’s also a teaching farm on site with more than thirty species of animals.
The cheapest and fastest way to get to Abruzzo is to fly to Pescara. Currently Ryanair are the only airline that flies direct from the UK. Alternatively, you could fly to Rome with a host of low cost airlines, such as EasyJet and take a train into Abruzzo.
Family friendly campsites
Via del Mare, Stork
Camping Stork is a wonderfully relaxed campsite in green surroundings, with direct access to a beautiful Adriatic beach. At the heart of the site is a lovely pool complex, with a swimming pool, separate paddling pool, jacuzzi and a large sun terrace. Or head over to the beach where you can swim, relax on the sand or hire a pedalo. During high season there's an active children's club, sports tournaments and pool games for the whole family and evening entertainment including shows and theme parties.