Odette Duerden review 26 Jul 2009
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The whole tempo of the holiday was right for our family. Highlights would be the canyoning (I didn't mind the one hour walk up the valley, in a wetsuit, in the boiling sun at all - but I think that I was the exception) and the ambiance of the hotel - Bastide d'Iris. My 8 year old daughter loved horse riding (an extra -c activity) and the pool while my 10 year old boy liked the indy park best. My 11 year old liked the climbing and caving (another extra-c activity). My wife just loved the fact that the kids enjoyed it and thought that the hotel was marvellous.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
To get the most out of it, make sure that you are physically fit. Bring gloves (for canoing, indy park). Stay at Bastide d'Iris if you are hiring a car. Visit Barjac - it's beautiful in the evening. Think about extra activities - our kids favourites weren't on the programme.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
Interesting question. It did benefit the local economy. Not sure about 'minimising impacts' - vague statement but I know what you're getting at. If we'd cycled everywhere perhaps and for some people (not us) it would be a more 'environmental' holiday that the might have otherwise taken. On balance, for us - can't say that it did minimise impact.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Very good indeed. The overall set up - location, tempo, atmosphere, instruction v freedom was perfect. For us, the activities weren't ideal - but to be frank; we wouldn't have known that in advance and were very happy with the variety and level.
No question about 'how to improve'/'what would you change' - which I believe is a mistake. For what it's worth I'd take a look at the 27k canoeing on the last day - for our group it was tough (I believe that this was because the river level was low, so the favourable current was weak) as there were 9 adults and 9 kids. I don't think many enjoyed it - the weather was a bit iffy as well (though blazing sunshine would have made it unbearable). Consider having the rest day on Wednesday. Consider cycling. Consider giving people cycling and running routes to follow if they are that way inclined (I do trail running and know that there are a lot of paths that could be used and would be interesting to follow if you knew where they went). Lastly, you're admin was very good indeed.