This trip was done in May 2015, some things might have changed, but always for the better!
In the about page you can read how I got the travel bug from when I was a little girl travelling like a gypsy with my parents. This love I am constantly trying to pass on to my kids. Being that we live in Malta if you want to travel it means going overseas, the quickest and nearest place for us to visit would be Sicily. We have visited Sicily a dozen or so times and each one has a special memory. The most fun one that I remember with the kids was the time we went for a weekend with friends. Visiting Sicily, using the Catamaran, with your own car, has a lot of benefits. Apart from being reasonably priced it also saves a lot of hassles to hire a car with a baby seat and you can take up as much baby food as you need. So if you are a tourist visiting Malta, a day trip to Sicily is not a bad idea, it’s only 90min away!
May is a beautiful month to travel to Sicily, why we are going again next weekend so keep in touch! It is not too hot yet and the scenery is still relatively green. On the way we had a little mishap on the Catamaran when I left my mobile phone in the ladies toilets and when I went to back it had already disappeared.
We headed for Pozzallo, 2 min from the port, to take our breakfast croissant. The Catamaran leaves super early and my appetite wouldn’t have woken up on the Catamaran, besides it’s always a good excuse to eat a freshly made, cream filled Croissant. So after our breakfast (and a lot of support to cheer me up because of a lost mobile phone) we headed off towards Parcalario. We hadn’t travelled far when our friends in the car in front of us stopped and came running to us….the crew of the Catamaran had called him telling him that they found a mobile phone or rather someone of the passengers I think said they found it! I was thrilled! I don’t know how long the rest of the trip was, all I knew was that I was one lucky girl!
Parcalario is not easy to find and whoever has travelled in Sicily knows that the GPS is not always correct. Our friends had one type of GPS while we had another and both GPSs were giving us wrong roads to where the park should be. Finally we had to ask around and we saw a tiny little sign and followed the old fashioned way. When we got there we thought it was closed as their parking plot was empty. It was a Friday so it was a school day, in fact when we got to the park there was a large group of young children on a school outing.
Dear explorers, the place is lovely! All you see is tall trees everywhere. In an opening they have the little kiddies area where they have netted bridges and tree houses easy enough for my then 6 year old boy to climb with no harness. He still had to wear a funny hair net and a helmet but he enjoyed the track and it helped him get some courage for the more adventurous track that he wanted to do. The helpers tried hard to speak to my son in English and one particular young lad really wanted to please him and stayed with him throughout the whole time to make sure he understood what he had to do. So, if you are a beginner in tree climbing and abseiling, zip-lining etc., don’t worry, Parcalario are very helpful and have tracks for all levels of adventure.
At the time of our visit I had my just turned 2 year old and although he couldn’t do any of the activities, there was a small playground for him to be entertained and besides that running free was his big adventure anyway.
We stayed there for lunch. Don’t be fooled by the aesthetics of the “restaurant”, you might think we ate burgers and chips! No, we opted to go with what the owners recommended and ordered the platters and their speciality of the day. The platters were simply divine, you can tell you are in Italy where food is taken seriously. From fresh delicacies to different cheeses, pate’s and meat cuts, topped with freshly done breads and crackers. I was full with the first plate! Then after that we still had the meats to eat and all this was for a ridiculous price, not sure how much now but I know we were very surprised and obviously pleased. The kids had some pasta and some of our delicious bread so everyone was happy.
After lunch we also tried their massive slide, where you climb a hill and at the top you are given a massive inflated tyre. You sit in this tyre and slide down the hill, very similar to a water slide but you are safe as there is no water in sight. We took the maximum amount of tickets as the kids were up and down the hill so many times…sometimes they came down alone other times with me or my husband. We also made races between families. It was fun!
The following day we headed for Etnaland, the most famous theme park in the south of Sicily. Again we had our GPS but still found a way to get lost, this happens a lot in Sicily. When we got there we knew it was open…there were a lot of cars in the parking lot, it was Saturday. Considering though we didn’t find a lot of people in the queue for the tickets. Prices for Etnaland vary from season to season and also height of child because of the rides, go onto their website for price lists but it is a reasonable park and one of the best in Sicily. Both my kids went in for free as they were young and although my two year old was too young for many of the rides, when we got to the young kids area there wasn’t a lot of people and the attendants let us go on a few rides (it’s good to know the language but I think the ladies enjoyed seeing my little one’s eyes glow when he was on the rides.)
My 6 year old had the time of his life, he was not tall enough to go on the dangerous ones so dad felt happy too!
I still had a go on the rollercoaster and it was the first time I sat in the front seat…we could have gone on it over and over again as there was no body in the queue! Some of the rides include water and obviously my 6 year old got soaked from head to toe.
Extra clothes and a little towel is always a good idea when visiting theme parks and let your kids get on the water rides towards the end of your visit to the park. We had been to Etnaland before in summer when the water park was open but being May the fun-park was the only park open and it closed for the evening. In summer the water-park is open during the day and the fun-park is open at night so may be if you want to make use of both parks in one go you could and it is an ideal treat for teens. Obviously in summer it is much more busy.
The last day of our weekend break we spent it shopping around the big shopping malls that there are in the area and had lunch in one of the food courts for some fast food before we headed back to Pozzallo to get back on the Catamaran and to my mobile phone. A packed weekend of fun! Not my normal type of holiday but once in a while you need the thrill. The kids just had a blast and every night were knocked out so night time even for the adults was peaceful and calm. I think I need another one now that my kids are slightly older!