If you want to relax, sunbathe on the long sandy beach without a care in the world, while the kids are busy building castles and playing in the shallow waters, look no further. Take the kids to Grado and you don’t need to plan another thing, but of course you can. We have you covered for the car ride too – scroll down and you’ll find some great activities for the kids.
Why pick Grado?
Lovely Italian seaside town has a lot working in its favor: an intriguing location on an island along Italy’s north-east Adriatic coast, a historic center and the best sandy beaches. But honestly after four trips, we have yet to get to the town center and enjoy its many narrow streets, squares or the town’s best tourist sight – the Basilica di Sant’Eufemia.
We pick Grado for the beach and there are two of those: the main one can be found on the Adriatic side of the island and it’s wide, long and sandy. If you pay close attention there are plenty of seashells in there as well. The whole stretch of the beach is accompanied by a promenade, pine trees and hotels. A smaller beach can be found on the other side of the town center.
My one suggestion about Grado comes down to this: hit the beach – any time except in the summer.
Then it’s just too hot and bear in mind that it gets intensely crowded and there is almost no shade on the huge strip of the sandy beach. But all other seasons are just plain perfect, there’s no other way to describe it.
What to do?
There are a few playgrounds on the beach, but frankly the kids will be preoccupied with the sand, collecting sea shells and playing with water. If it gets warm enough, they’ll be tempted to take a dip as well. The water might get warm – at least in the small pools left from the tide.
While the kids play, you can read a good book, relax or take a walk. But don’t forget you brought the kids along and that all this fresh sea air will make them hungrier than usual. Start unpacking the food and drinks – don’t plan this trip without the food.
How to get there?
Grado is located in a lagoon, on the Adriatic coast. To get to it you will have to drive a long causeway, which crosses the lagoon from the mainland. The lagoon is striking and dotted with many small islands – one has church built on it. It really is very interesting and I always claim that if we had more time we’d take the boat around the lagoon, but we get to the beach and everyone is happy so why upset the equilibrium.
The beach is located to your left just before you reach the town – hence why once we stop here, the kids are busy having fun and we never get to see the rest. In the off season there is a lot of free parking right next to the beach.
Where to eat?
I’d say prepare the food at home, throw a blanket on the beach and have yourself a picnic with the greatest views. Otherwise my suggestion is drive around 25 kilometers to Gorizia – Villesse and eat at the IKEA.
Top five things you can include on your itinerary when visiting Grado:
- archaeological site of Aquileia, just 15 km away – visit the incredible Basilica and marvel at its mosaic floor.
- the town of Trieste 55 km away and it’s beautiful castle Miramare.
- Duino Castle, on the cliffs overlooking the gulf of Trieste.
- The Foce dell’Isonzo Regional Nature Reserve – where you can visit the duck museum, catch sight of the wild Camargue horses and observe the abundant wildlife in the delta of the river Isonzo or in Slovene Soca.
- Lignano – head further to Lignano where there are many more great parks for kids: water park, theme park, zoo and junior park…
More ideas on great day trips around Slovenia.
Coolkidz final say
The more you stop along the way, the less time you have to spend at the beach. So, just plan the beach.
Bring bucket and spades.
The second you get to the beach take off your shoes and socks and walk bare foot.
Make parents chase you around the beach all the way to the sea. (Oh, this beach finally taught us about the tide…)
Use these activities to pass the time in the car: download your free printables here.
More info on Grado.