Where was your first holiday memory formed? - Al Fresco Holidays

I remember vividly the first time I saw Spain.

It was July 1972.

That moment we crossed the top of the Pyrenees in our red VW Beetle from Southern France and this wide-eyed five-year-old caught sight of the lights of my first Spanish town, is as fresh in the memory today as it was exciting on the day it happened.

We’d snaked for what seemed like hours across the winding mountain roads that linked the two countries and to finally lay eyes on Espana, this mysterious land full of oranges, bulls and fiestas, was something quite spectacular for a young Manchester lad.

Small towns and villages lined the downward slope of the mountains, dotted across the ankle of the big hills like glowing golf-balls as dusk fell.

I remember my dad pronouncing each and every place-name slowly, in the interests of accuracy, as we descended the slope. One by one they ticked by – anonymous odd-sounding places; punctuations on a travel itinerary that took us into the very heart of Catalonia.

Misty-eyed memories, perhaps. But most of these beautiful Catalonian hillside towns are still as beautifully preserved today as they were back in 1972 – and they’re well worth a visit if you happen to be staying in or near Barcelona or, in fact, anywhere along the Costa Brava.

They’re easily accessible from any of the fantastic Al Fresco parcs dotted along that incredible coast too.

There are four of them on the Costa Brava to choose from – I can heartily recommend Castell Montgri on the outskirts of Estartit if you have a family to keep entertained.

And they’re all an hour, at the very most, from some of Spain’s most incredible hiddens gems.

Time to give your kids some of those incredible first holiday memories.


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