Get active in the Mediterranean
Most of our vacations around the Mediterranean cater for guests at both ends of the active spectrum. Tennis fans love our villas Can Toxta, which has its own court. Some of the best facilities around can be found at our hotels in Cyprus and Sicily. The array of land and water sports will keep the most energetic adults and children busy, from golf to sailing, mountain biking to wake boarding. So whether you’re looking to learn something new or just make the most of the facilities or terrain, you won’t have to look far.
In Sicily, the Sunball Tennis Academy at Verdura Golf Resort & Spa offers tennis coaching for all ages and can be booked when you arrive. The friendly, professional and English speaking instructors teach individual and group lessons on six clay courts, set in simply stunning Sicilian countryside. Sessions can be tailor made and children especially can benefit from junior camps (four to 16 years) and carefully structured programs. Come and watch the exhibition show matches, take part in tournaments, or sign up for the “special shot of the week” (Rafael Nadal’s forehand was earlier this month!)
If your children aspire to be more Ronaldo than Rafa, then perhaps the Football Academy at Sani Resort in Greece would appeal. Two hour daily sessions by a team of professionals with English premiership team coaching experience, aimed at four to 14 year olds are a great way for them to improve their skills and have a memorable vacation. These week long courses run all summer until the beginning of September.
Between April and November, the Watersports Center at the Anassa in Cyprus operates a range of lessons for all abilities and ages – from one session to a whole course. With a small fleet of Lasers, this is a great place to get your first taste of sailing. The wind conditions in the area make it perfect for sailing, typically in the afternoons, with a prevailing west wind and there’s no better place to learn than in warm water! Or how about gaining a Royal Yachting Association boat driving licence? This can be also organized through the Center, for guests to use one of their fleet of powerboats to explore the numerous bays around this unspoiled bit of coastline. Children as young as eight, eager to discover the wonders of the underwater world, can take part in diving classes. The PADI Diving Center has all the right sized equipment and custom built dive boats to take more experienced divers out to the Akamas Marine Reserve, where some of the reefs are quite beautiful.
The Algarve is a mecca for golfers for good reason. It has enough to keep players of all standards challenged and entertained for a lifetime, let alone a week. There are a number of golf courses within a 20-30minute drive from Pine Cliffs and our villas to choose from. Our personal favorite is Palmares which runs parallel to Meia Praia beach. Its 27 holes are set in a breathtaking location, with five of the holes on the sand dunes. The two courses at Quinta do Lago (North and South), have lovely views and the latter has been used often for the Portuguese Open. They have chipping and putting greens, driving range and a golf academy. Vale do Lobo has had a strong influence in placing the Algarve as a destination in the golfing world. The holes wander through pine trees with wonderful views of the sea. Some of the holes take you along the cliff top with the blue Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop. So pack your soft spikes and your handicap certificate and let us know if you’d like us to organize a session at one of the academies or a round or two on a championship green.
Mallorca is a top destination for road cycling and many professional teams train there regularly. The island has wide roads with tarmac as smooth as glass, some epic climbs and descents and scenery to take your breath away (if the climbs don’t). For any road cyclists or tri-athletes, Pollenca is the ideal place to base yourself, as it is the perfect starting point for many of the classic routes. Mallorca Pro Cycling, the shop in Porto Pollenca which is run by Bruce, a British cycling fanatic, has a great range of high specification bikes which can be ordered online - making it entirely unnecessary to risk your own bike on the flight and ensuring there’s one ready on your arrival. They specialize in road bikes but also have some good quality mountain bikes. Bruce can provide you with a handy map of classic rides ranging from 40 to 120km, including the Cap de Formentor, the monastery at Lluc, and the epic ride to Sa Calobra (2000m of climbing and unforgettable descent) and if you are alone, you will be welcome to join his regular guided group rides.
If all the above is far too energetic, how about learning how to make some of Tuscany's classic dishes at La Canonica Cooking School at Castiglion del Bosco. Some of the world's most delicious food can be found in Tuscany and gourmets have the opportunity of creating a selection of these dishes in small, private classes. You’ll receive close personal attention and have hands-on involvement as you learn traditional Tuscan dishes or how to make fresh pasta or an authentic Italian pizza. At the end of each session, you get to taste each dish. Guests at the beautiful Villa Fontelunga can join in classes preparing food bursting with flavor using old family recipes of the owners. Courses are held regularly in the late afternoon so you can sit down and share your new gourmet talents.