Forty. The big 4-0. I wasn’t looking forward to it. And I hadn’t been in fact since turning 30.

What’s more, the last few birthdays spent at ‘staycations’ in the UK had resulted in massive disappointment as the heavens opened each time, swamping any hope of celebration with enduring wet and miserable weather.

Frankly, they’d been a washout – and this time if there was any chance of having a decent birthday for my 40th, it was time to leave the country.

I’ve two young daughters who love big mobile home holiday parks – and over the years in the UK we’d tried many. Many, that is, with the exception of ever having good weather.

If we could have the same experience – but with glorious sunshine thrown in – we could be looking at the perfect family holiday.

And when we came across Eurocamp – and I saw it was celebrating 40 years itself, it looked like it was meant to be.

After looking through its brochure, and videos of the parcs online, we made our choice.

It had to be Viva Espana.

Getting to Spain couldn’t have been easier. We flew out of Bournemouth Airport to Girona touching down less than two hours later. A taxi was waiting to collect us for the 45-minute onward journey to El Delfin Verde, and I worked out that if I hadn’t been ridiculously over-cautious by arriving two hours before we needed to at the airport, I reckon we could’ve done home to Eurocamp in three and a half hours. Not bad at all.

It was midnight when we arrived in cover of darkness, and we were collected by a Eurocamp courier who took us on the short walk through the parc to our ‘new home from home’. Or, as it’s known in the trade, a two-bed Horizon mobile home with decking.

And, although we managed to – typically – depart England during its hottest summer for seven years, when we woke the next morning to the glorious sunshine I’d dreamt about, it somehow felt different. We knew we’d arrived in Spain.

The parc itself was described as ‘action-packed, with great facilities, open air discos and a smashing beach’. It was time to put it to the test. First-stop the swimming pool.

‘Wooooowww!’ exclaimed my two daughters as they saw what they described as ‘the biggest swimming pool in the world’. To be fair, the dolphin-shaped pool was large – and officially the largest freshwater pool – in Costa Brava anyway.

Living near the beach at home, my girls are not used to an outdoor pool so much – and while we enjoyed the parc’s beach – which was ‘smashing’ – for a day, it was really the pool where the girls wanted to be, making lots of friends with the other children from all around the world.

While the girls and I enjoyed the pool, my wife slipped off to the superb on-site supermarket (around the size of three Tesco Express stores) to buy lunch. At the bread counter, there was at least a dozen types of delicious fresh French bread to choose from (we went for super, rustic or, er, super rustic) plus fresh meat and fruit and all you’d ever need for a self-catering stay.

However, after a barbecue disaster that evening (I’m not much good without gas), we decided to live our week a little easier, and enjoy the restaurants on the parc.

Throughout the week we got through them all. The Nautilus – a fabulous Mediterranean and grill restaurant, Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese food in Asian Taste by the pool and Pizzeria Il Delfino, a pizza/Italian eaterie, were the main three. There was also a takeaway burger bar and pancake stand which we tried out too. And we were feeding our family of four at a reasonable 30 to 40 euros a night.

After dinner, it was Mini-Disco time – a fantastic hour of dancing and games for the children in the stage area in front of the restaurants, which meant you could watch them play while you continued dining.

Each night, there was different entertainment. Shows such as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, coupled with stars from The Voice, fire-eaters and Flamenco dancers – we had it all, and it was tremendous stuff that kept the kids wide-eyed and entertained.

And even though I was called up on stage by the Lion King stars to sing Happy Birthday the night before we left, the embarrassment would never stop me from going back – and we were all sad to leave the next day.

In fact, one dad we met put it like this: ‘Just to see the smiles on our children’s faces this week is worth every penny’.

And that’s what perfect family holidays are all about.


Eurocamp – the self-catering holiday specialist, is celebrating its 40th birthday in 2013 – so what better time to experience its unrivalled offering of European parcs, exclusive accommodation, fantastic locations, pool complexes and fantastic facilities?

Eurocamp offers the widest selection of outdoor family holidays on parcs throughout Europe; with a range of activities and age-specific kids’ clubs.

Plus, there’s a fantastic choice of accommodation, including stylish mobile homes, lodges, bungalows, and fully equipped ‘Classic’ and ‘Safari’ tents.

A seven night break from September 7, 2013 staying at Eurocamp’s El Delfin Verde parc in a two bedroom Horizon mobile home with decking costs from just £240 for the whole family, accommodation only and including a discount of £109.

For further information on Eurocamp, please call 0844 406 0552 or visit