Our James Villa Holiday to Lanzarote- Part One

There’s a certain point at the beginning of the holiday that is guaranteed to make me excited and that is when you first step out of the plane doors into the heat of a new country. Of course, a lot of the time you end up walking down a gangway first, but sometimes you get straight off the plane and into the open air. The heat and warmth often just hits you after being cooped up on a long flight and I love that feeling- the feeling of wanting to take off your jacket and feel the sun beating down on your shoulders. There’s that relief of being at your destination after the plane journey, that excited feeling of anticipation of seeing where you are going to be staying, and that sense of relief that comes with leaving day to day stresses far behind you, even if only for a week or so.

We go away for different reasons- whether it’s a visit to see family or spend time with loved ones, a city break to visit the cultural sights, or just quite simply to get a bit of sunshine. Our recent holiday to Lanzarote was going to be about the latter- a week of sunshine, sea and relaxing with my little family. We had no plans, other than to switch off from our busy schedules and enjoy precious time together. And that’s exactly what we did.

I spent ages browsing the James Villa website, trying to decide on a destination. In the end we decided on one of the Canary Islands, being that it was sun we were after and knowing that early May would mean pretty much guaranteed sunshine. Growing up, I visited Lanzarote a fair few times and knew it was a great place for a week of easy going family fun in the sun, so we decided on there and found the perfect villa for us- Villa Ventura. Ventura was situated in the main resort of Puerto Del Carmen, but in a quieter location,just a stones throw from the beach with sea views and it’s own private pool. It also stated on the website that due to the location you didn’t need to hire a car and being that we just wanted a week in the sun without particuarly having a thirst to explore, that sold it to us and we booked it up, counting down the days until it was time for our holiday.

Although we only really wanted sunshine and a pool or the beach, I must admit to having some slight niggles about Lanzarote before we travelled. Having been there a few times in the past, I know that especially the main resort of Puerto del Carmen has a bit of a reputation for being quite ‘British’- think an ‘Al’s Cafe and ‘The Golden Lion’ pub bar kind of place and there is definitely a distinct lack of culture in that part, with quite a big cheesy nightlife vibe. However when we arrived, I couldn’t have been more happy and proved wrong. Yes, of course there is still a lot of restaurants and areas catering to tourists, but we were in a quiet part of the resort about twenty minutes from the main night life strip- we had a fantastic mix with lots of restaurants and amenities for families, but also a quiet location which was actually really pretty.  It honestly couldn’t have been better.

 Villa Ventura was in ‘Playa de los Pocillos’ – a quiet suburb of Puerto Del Carmen but still less than a mile from the action. It is one of the newest areas of the resort and is popular with families with young children, meaning that of course it was perfect for us. In recent years development funds from the European Union have been used to create a wide traffic free promenade connecting the resort centre to Matagorda in the north and Puerto del Carmen some 3km to the south, the girls loved strolling down this promendade every evening and I loved to run along it every morning. But more about that later.

As usual I took so many photos and two videos, so I will let them tell the story of our holiday as we go along…

Here’s the first part of our holiday in photos (apologies but this blog is going to be full of holiday spam for the next week or so!)


The flight time to Lanzarote is just under four hours, we flew from Stansted with Ryanair, which was actually really good on the way out there. But of course we had to find ways to entertain ourselves, including covering ourselves in stickers. Obviously.

01Ventura EXT

How gorgeous is Villa Ventura? It was such a quaint, lovely villa, but to be greeted on arrival by this private pool was definitely the most exciting of welcomes.

01Ventura GAL10

Having stayed on a fair few villa holidays before, this was the first time we had stayed in a villa with both our girls. I love both a hotel holiday and a villa holiday for different reasons, but the main reason for loving a villa stay is the fact that you have your own space. The girls could go in and out as they pleased and if they wanted a quiet ten minutes watching television, it meant that we could still sit outside and watch them from the comfort of the terrace.


On the first evening we took a short taxi ride from our villa to the ‘Old Town’, from visiting Lanzarote I knew that this area was a little quieter than the main strip but still with lots of restaurants set around a delightful harbour. I love this photo of my smiley, happy pair- both myself and Mr E commented that the whole holiday all they did was smile.


What a lovely trio to be dining with.


 I absolutely love this photo of Mads having a good old swing. There were lots of great little parks dotted around the resort, including this one at the Old Town harbour which we just had to visit after we finished dinner.


The girls loved having our own outside area to chill out- they went out early most mornings (I say early but due to them going to bed much later than normal they lay in until about 8.15am most mornings!) and ate their breakfast al fresco.


On our first full day we headed down to the beach, which was literally about a minute walk from the villa. Of course we stopped off to buy the obligatory buckets and spades first.


Testing out the water- let’s not lie it was pretty chilly.


When we went to Rhodes last Summer Mads tentatively put her feet in the sea, but wasn’t hugely confident.


This time however there was no stopping her, she absolutely loved the sea and she splashed and played in it for absolutely ages, squealing in delight and covering herself from head to toe in sand.  Both myself and Mr E said we don’t think we have ever seen her have as much fun.


Being in a villa meant that we had the luxury of both worlds, so we got into a routine of eating out one evening and then in the following evening, although I must admit we did struggle to find much to cook. I don’t know whether it was because we didn’t have a car, but the local Spar supermarket to us didn’t have any fresh meat and the fruit and veg wasn’t the most desirable. We ate a LOT of carbs during the week, but if we stayed in to eat dinner we would still go out afterwards to have ice cream or go for a walk.


Oh the light. Regular readers of this blog will know that backlit photography is my favourite type of photography and the sun was the perfect height when we went out in the evenings for me to take lots of photos of my favourite kind of light. I love this photo of Mads and Mr E.


Joined by another little beauty. (I must admit to going a bit overboard on the matching outfits on holiday- oops!)


Could someone tell my baby to stop growing please? I am relishing every single moment I can with her before September when she goes to school.


This holiday was the holiday that she started to get little ‘sun kisses’ on her nose. I used to hate my freckles growing up but I hope she realises just how beautiful they are.


My new favourite photo.


I don’t know what it was but this little person grew from a baby to a little girl over night on this holiday. She seemed to grow a foot taller and her speech has just exploded, she tries to copy everything you say and although her pronunciation isn’t the clearest, it’s getting better by the day. We are so proud of her.


Another new favourite photo of my cheeky girls- they loved strolling down the promenade every evening, there really was so much to do there for small children and they loved stopping off at the different playgrounds.


One morning we hired a quad bike from a company called Easy Bike and cycled down the promenade to get an ice cream- the girls absolutely loved down this and waved to everyone as we passed by.


Ice cream sharing. We ate rather a lot of ice creams on this holiday, I didn’t realise just quite how many until I was looking at these photos and editing the video. No wonder my jeans are tighter!


One evening we took a stroll along the beach- the beach next to our villa was called Playa de los Pocillos and it was a lovely stretch of sandy beach, which was spotlessly clean. The sand in Lanzarote is blacker, volcanic sand- according to Mads it was perfect for sandcastle building.


Nothing cuter than a little lady in a towelling playsuit. I took lots of photos of their outfits on my iPhone and I might do a post on them in the next week or so.


 I adore this photo of my big girl- four is such a delightful age. We definitely have weeks or ‘stages’ where she can be sometimes be difficult, but for the most part she really is just so lovely to be around- her enthusiasm for the world around her is infectious. And look at that smile!

Here is the first of two little videos I made of our time in Lanzarote, I think this might be my favourite video I have done so far…

Part Two of our holiday coming up soon…

NB: Thanks so much to James Villas for inviting us to stay in one of their lovely properties. All words and opinions are entirely my own.



  • Lori says:

    aww super cute videp, glad you guys had a great time and the getting some proper sun is amazing isn’t it! x

  • Aw Katie!!! You’d think I’d learn! These vids you put together are just a sweetest of family moments. So adorable to watch your time away with the kids. Keep up the good work xx

  • Mylifemylove says:

    How wonderful. The villa looks just perfect. I’m so tempted to try out James Villas. Such gorgeous family photos. I’m glad you had a lovely time. X

    • Lauren says:

      This video is so lovely- I felt emotional watching it and I dont even know you guys. I love reading your blog and seeing what wonderful things you get up too! Your girlies are so cute! x

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      You should definitely give James Villas ago- they have a huge range of properties, even as far away as Florida. And thanks we had a lovely time. x

  • Amber says:

    Oh dear god, that light! Just perfection.

    The family are pretty cute too, of course. 😉 Okay, VERY cute. Love the ‘sun kisses’. Love how you’ve dressed the tinies, as always! You’re making me broody for a girl – again…

  • Emma says:

    Oooh, Katie it looks wonderful. I do love the idea of having a private pool. I’d love to do a villa holiday with friends one day/ xx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      I think it would be really fun to do a villa holiday with friends one day too, although with my little ones as small as they are, and with friends who have children a similar age, I can imagine it would be very loud and hectic too! x

  • Kate✚ says:

    Such lovely photos. Looks like you all had a great time. You’ve made me reeeeally want to book a holiday!x

  • Such gorgeous photos Katie the pool looks like a nice extra too – private! WOO how swish.

    Love the photos and the video is amazingly cute. xx

  • Mummy Fever says:

    Great photos – the sticker faces are my favourite !

  • Stunning, just stunning! Im a sucker for that gorgeous low sunny lighting too. And I also didnt like my freckles when growing up and wondered where I got them from as no one else had them. now I have grown to love them! 🙂 x

  • Lovely photos as always, Katie, and looked like such a fab, relaxing break! I’ve never ‘done’ the Canaries yet and they’re on my list of places to go with Adam and the children! x

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      You should definitely try the Canaries out Becky, we were so pleasantly surprised on how fantastic they were for families. x

  • Lovely video as always! My favourite is the bike ride past! And you can never have too many ice creams on holiday! He he. Don’t you think having a private pool may have helped Mads with her swimming? I so believe that when you hire a villa you use a pool probably more than if you are in a hotel, because it’s right there. Looking forward to part 2 xxxx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      I definitely think having our own pool and being out there every day had something to do with it.

  • Kelly-Marie says:

    I am so jelz what a great time you guys had. We have new house and car on the list for this year so no holidays 🙁
    But we may be doing Disney next year ! Yay

  • I feel like I’m always saying this Katie but you have such a beautiful family, you must burst with pride writing these posts and looking at all the photographs. It really does look beautiful and all that sunshine! I think when we are ready to get away with the boys we will choose a villa , would just appreciate the flexibility I think. Love the video as always and I have my twins sat on my knee watching…twice 🙂 xx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Thanks for such a lovely comment Hayley, I really do burst with pride. Of course they have their moments though. 😉 It was an amazing holiday and we could’t have asked for nicer weather.x

  • Such wonderful photography! Your girls are gorgeous, and you can just tell how close they are and how much they love each other in all of the photos! It looks like you all had a lovely time! xx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      It was a really lovely time and thank you- these are some of my favourite photos I have taken recently. x

  • What gorgeous photos and such a beautiful video. It’s wonderful that you have these lovely videos to look back on in years to come. Looks like a lovely place to visit- the bike ride looked so much fun and the girls looked like they enjoyed being in each other’s company so much. What a lovely bond they share 🙂 xx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Thanks lovely, we did have a really great time. The girls had a great time being together lots too. x

  • SOB! We went to Lanzerote last Easter and one of the best holidays ever. We are hoping to go back in the summer! Can’t wait! Looks amazing x

  • these pictures are just gorgeous Katie. They both seem to have grown up so much! The villa looks lovely. I’ve had similar thoughts/reservations about the Canaries but the location sounds great xxx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Thanks lovely- it honestly proved all my little niggles wrong, the place was absolutely lovely. x

  • LauraCYMFT says:

    Gosh this looks like such an amazing holiday! Lots of lovely smiles and fun being had! x

  • Carie says:

    Oh what a wonderful trip! That pool is incredible and Mads’ smile is fantastic- if it got any wider she’d pop!!

  • Stunning photographs and you all look so happy! I haven’t ventured abroad yet (been so nervous) but I want to now! Love the video too xx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Thanks lovely and you definitely should venture abroad if you can- I was so nervous about taking mine the first time we went but it’s a lot less stressful than you imagine it to be. x

  • It looks like you had an amazing time, we have friends who swear by villa holidays now that they have kids and I’m starting to be tempted by them.
    I’ve just bought my little boy the Little Bird playsuit LL is wearing, it was just so cute, I couldn’t resist! xx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      There was definitely something more relaxing about being in a villa, although I really am a massive hotel fan too. The Little Bird Playsuit is awesome isn’t it? 🙂 x

  • A fabulous video! What a lovely holiday and an amazing photo of Mad’s on the swing and that picture of your husband and Mads, is just sooo adorable! A daugther and her Daddy. Love it! Look forward to ‘Part 2!’ 🙂 x

  • Honest Mum says:

    Gorgeous pictures, and review, as always Katie and I love, love, love your video (stunningly shot and the pace of the edit is perfection)! The stickers on your face reminded me of these stick on tattoos the boys are obsessed with at the moment. I had ‘Princess’ stuck on my arm for 8 days the other week!

    I too love that feeling when the hot air hits as you embark the plane, just joyous. We loved our holiday with James Villas too, stunning properties that really put families first x

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Thanks so much Vicki for your kind words about my video, I really appreciate it. James Villas have such a great selection of properties don’t they? We were thrilled with our home for the week.x

  • Gorgeous! As always! Love the way your little ladies snuggle up together on the sofa… So cute!!

  • It looks like the perfect family holiday! Gorgeous photos and I love all the outfits the girls are wearing! xx

  • Absolutely stunning photos, looks like so much fun too. Those blue skies!

  • LittleOandme says:

    Wow what a fabulous holiday! I love the photo of Mads coming out of the sea, that just sums up a holiday for a child. I think the matchy matchy outfits are great 🙂 My son is the same age as LL and he seems to have grown over night, his speech has also improved and it amazes me we can have little conversations. Right I’m off to book a holiday 🙂

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Thanks lovely and I agree, her coming out of the sea looking so happy is one of my favourite moments of the holiday- it does definitely sum up a holiday with children. x

  • Karen says:

    Oh gosh Katie, what a gorgeous video! Your little girls look like they are the best of buddies – what a lovely, special bond they have!

  • Looks like an amazing holiday – your photos as always are stunning, and if it’s possible I think your girls just got cuter! Love the video too, such fun you had and what a beautiful moment to end on xx

  • Katie says:

    I am sick of you and your bloody holidays, i would be un-following now if you hadn’t hooked me in 😉 Looks amazing though Katie! Glad you had a top time.
    p.s please promise you are staying in the UK for a bit now?! Or smuggle me along next time at least x

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Haha sorry lovely- I know that the last couple of weeks I must have looked like a right Smug one. 😉 x

  • This looks absolutely idyllic, and I know all too well those feelings you describe as the heat hits you. I’m such a hot weather lover. Your pictures are fab and seeing the girls having such a good time must give you such happiness x

  • Mary says:

    Beautiful video! I love how the girls bond with one another just radiates from it – gorgeous family and a looks like a fab time x

  • I adore your little videos – guaranteed to put a smile on my face. Looks like a fab holiday. What a beautiful family xx

  • Amy Keeling says:

    Oops, pressed send too soon! Meant to say- looks like a great holiday! Love the video- the early evening light looked wonderful and you captured that in the video. xx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Thanks Amy, I loved the early evening light, it was gorgeous every single day. And I think the video might be one of my new favourites! Thank you. x

  • These pictures are truly fabulous honey. I am so glad you all had a wonderful time, the video is stunning xx

  • Alex Gladwin says:

    I read this post the other day, but couldn’t comment as I was on my phone. All of your holidays photos are just simply stunning! You must be so pleased with them. You have such a beautiful family Katie xxx

    • Mummy Daddy Me says:

      Thanks so much lovely, I am so pleased with these photos I think they are some of my favourites I have ever taken! We had a lovely lovely holiday. x

  • I have to say…I always get excited seeing a new travel post up from you because as always your photos are just too gorgeous for words, but I just LOVE watching your videos. You can tell they’re a real labour of love from you and I just get lost as I watch them! Always so enticing and beautiful to watch! x

  • Notmyyearoff says:

    I love the homey look of your villa, that would be ideal for a family wouldn’t it? (as long as brekkie is made for you ofcourse!). Lovely sunny pics!!

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