Beach and suntan
Abruzzo‘s beaches are pristine, Adriatic water is warm, and many of the seaside resorts are considered among the best in Italy.
There are lots of excellent beaches within easy reach from Villa Ducale, ranging from quiet coves to full-on resorts. Lido Riccio has 5 different bathhouses, whereas Lido Saraceni, on the other side of Ortona – close to the harbour – has just one. It is up to you deciding the one you would like to go, although in our opinion “The Barracuda” is the nicest one. Both destinations can be reached from as little as 14 minutes driving from Villa Ducale.
If you would like to enjoy different scenery, in our opinion you should not miss the beaches in Fossacesia and Vasto Marina, both at about 30 minutes southward driving from Villa Ducale.
All the resorts can rent umbrellas, deckchairs and sunbeds for a day or the entire week, while serving fresh drinks or snacks at the adjacent cafè; some bathhouse are also equipped with a kitchen to let you enjoy a freshly cooked meal (normally fish) or other seasonal and local products.
On this regard, the best one is the Maristella bathhouse, but if you would like to experience a slice of pizza from a master “pizzaiolo”, you cannot miss Rino and the “Miami beach” bathhouse.
Lifeguards are operative during all day in Lido Riccio, however it is best to follow posted warning signs and status flags describing the sea’s condition on the day you decide to take a swim.
Most beaches have corded off bathing areas, or other well visible sign to make you aware passing these is at your own risk as the waters deepen significantly.
Water Parks and Plunge Pool
Both water parks can be reached with a very pleasant drive along the coast as well as by motorway in about 50 minutes.
We do normally go to Aqualand once back in Italy for the summer holiday; 3,000 square meters of pools, about a mile of slides, 50,000 square meters for the green in a real natural paradise where taking a suntan as well as rest laying down on the grass or over a sun-bed.
Lots of fun for kids and toddlers too: mini swimming pools and mini water slides, bumper boats, mini cars, children’s games.
Last but not least the petting zoo which host more than thirty animal species, and daily artistic performances.
Keeping an eye out for birds can add another dimension to your holiday in Abruzzo. 33% of the region’s entire area is under environmental protection, the highest percentage of any region in Europe.
There are three National parks, (the National Park of Gran Sasso-Laga, the National Park of Abruzzo and the National Park of Majella), a regional park (Park of Sirente-Velino) and more than 30 nature reserves and oases.
Although best known for its mammals, these parks have a good selection of mountain and forest birds in an area with good tourist facilities.
The list can be extended quite a lot, but we will leave you the pleasure to discover all these birds by yourself.
As you are likely to be motionless for long periods of time whilst bird watching, you could easily become cold and hungry, hence we would recommend bringing in with you all the necessary equipment to make sure you can enjoy the most from your session.
If lying down under the umbrella and taking a suntan is not one of your favourite hobbies, but you are still looking for your relaxation time, it may be worth for you to consider a thermal bath in “Caramanico Terme”, a little village at 700 mt a.s.l.
The location is not close to Villa Ducale, and it requires about 1 hour and 10 minutes driving (via motorway) or 1 hour and 20 minutes by secondary road, but they are really worth to have a proper massage in SPA which extraordinary therapeutic virtues of sulphurous waters are known since centuries.
Abruzzo offers a great destination for climbing, both on stone and for more green-thumb people also on trees.
On the Majella slopes, at Piana delle Mele area, a unique opportunity to enjoy fantastic tree climbing in the beautiful surroundings is waiting for you. Under full instruction and supervision you will soon be working your way up through the branches and seeing the countryside from a new perspective.
Amazing, but not too far rock climbing areas are: San Vito and Fara San Martino.
However, the best experience you can get will be in the Gran Sasso areas. For this reasons you can consider Monticchio, Capestrano and Assergi.
This is a spectacular cycling country. Other than the main road, the house is surrounded by relatively quiet road. The surrounding area is a mix of hills and valley of a variegate deep, making a cycling session suitable for all.
But for the fitter among you, Abruzzo is a stone throw from the infamous “Blockhaus” leg of the Giro D’Italia, which rises from sea level in Pescara to over 2000m at the top.
So if you are planning to come in Abruzzo by car, if you have enough space bring your bike with you.
Due to the terrain conformation, Abruzzo doesn’t offer huge areas where a golf course can be built, but luckily for you a 9 and 18 holes golf course with a par 71 can be found at Miglianico Golf Club, which is just 15 minutes far away from Villa Ducale.
The golf course is designed by Ronald Kirby, an American golf course architect, and is challenging, technical and enjoyable for all golf players.
One of the greatest features of Miglianico Golf Club is that you don’t have to be a member to play; non-members and tourists are also welcome to visit the club during their holiday in Abruzzo.
If you are still learning and want to practice more, you would be able to book a training session too.
Although Golf is not part of the Italian tradition, we remember there are a lot of English people now retired in Abruzzo who still play golf, hence we recommend booking your session in advance.