Family camping holidays

Try luxury camping on the lido this summer at Marina di Veneza

Last updated 14th March 2024

Five-star Marina di Venezia sits on the Venice lagoon and it’s the only way to camp according to Emma Kirkham and her family. Can she convince you to swap soggy tents for sunny Italy this summer?


Marina di Venezio, Venice

Welcome to the wonderful world of camping at Marina di Venezia, one the largest Eurocamp sites in Europe and a perfect combination of culture and luxury.  Eat your heart out soggy tents in a muddy field in the UK, this is how you should camp with your family. We just hopped on our bikes, and trikes, to cycle round the vast campsite and we had everything we could possibly ever need.

Get used to doing what you like, all day long, at Marina di Venezia

When I say everything, I mean everything, from ice cream parlours to cool beachfront restaurants – ok the playlist wasn’t always perfect – to the ‘death’ waterslide that had the teens queuing again and again, even through the blistering heat.

Although what really put a spring in our step every morning was the trip to the bakery to pick up the most delicious pastries. As well as the realisation that we could do anything we liked. All. Day. Long.

Surprisingly enough, having four kids was a bonus, as there was always someone who could be cajoled into going into the wave pool, for the 10th time.

Win a family holiday tp St. Pete / Clearwater. Take the Quiz Win a family holiday tp St. Pete / Clearwater. Take the Quiz

Family camping, Marina di Venezia

Marina di Venezia has perfected Eurocamp holidays

The five-star Marina di Venezia campsite sits on the golden sands of the Venice lagoon, surrounded by pine trees. It’s nearly an hour from Venice Marco Polo airport, but we didn’t bother with a hire car: very pricey when you need a seven-seater. Instead, we booked a taxi both ways and honestly, we didn’t miss having our own car at all.

Marina di Venezia campsite has a main avenue with a very upmarket supermarket with – get this – its own wine vending machines. Cheap as chips as well! It also had a greengrocer, cafés, gelateria, boutiques and even a German homeware store: as a huge Germanophile, I spent far too much time in there.

Discover Pensacola and find your own, personal Way to Beach


Venice from the lagoon

Venice is only a ferry-ride away so go be a considerate tourist

Of course, we didn’t come all this way not to visit the main attraction, Venice.

Marina di Venezia is the nearest campsite to the Punta Sabbioni Ferry port, and we left early to make the most of the day. All day visitors to Venice now need to pay an entrance fee to access the island: ranging from €3-€10 depending on the season.

The Venetian authorities are hoping that limiting visitor numbers to around 40,000 a day will make the experience more pleasant for tourists, and locals, as over-tourism has become a big problem. However, cruise ships are now totally banned from the historic city centre, after UNESCO warned of the damage they were doing.

Murano glass to dragon bones, we saw the lot

Naturally we got lost pretty much as soon as we got off the waterbus, but the kids, fuelled only by gelato and water, were delighted to keep going and going.

Determined to tick off all the sights, we bagged St Mark’s Square, the Rialto bridge and the Grand Canal, before arriving at the Jewish Ghetto: especially interesting to the teens studying GCSE history.

In the afternoon we hopped onto another waterbus to Murano, home to the famous Murano glass factories and streets of brightly coloured houses. After the girls picked up some keepsake jewellery, we made a quick detour to The Basilica of Santa Maria e San Donato to check out the dragon bones hanging behind the altar. Legend has it that Saint Donatus fought and slayed a dragon because it had poisoned a local well, and the bones have been hanging here ever since.


Restaurant, Marina di Venezia

Five-star luxury wins hands down with this family of seasoned campers

Next morning we were out again, this time on our e-bikes on the Via Pordelio, Europe’s longest cantilevered cycle path that crosses over the lagoon.

Most of the journey was off-road and safe for a spot of family cycling through the salt flats where – if you’re lucky – you can catch sight of flamingo and heron. Also, after the bustle of Venice, this was exactly the breath of fresh air we all needed.

The rest of the week was a blur of waterslides, talent shows, impossibly hard minigolf, and too much pizza.

We’ve been lucky enough to have family camping trips to southern Europe most summers since the children were little. And as we left in our taxi for the airport, we all agreed, Marina di Venezia gets our vote as the best one yet.

How to plan Marina di Venezia

How to get there

Direct UK flights to Venice, from 2 hours 10 minutes

Where to stay

7-nights at Marina di Venezia in a Eurocamp 3 bedroom ‘Comfort’ from £2,303 in July 2024

Find out more and book Marina di Venezia

Good to know

Leo Bike hire starts from £7 per day and electric bike hire from £18 per day

Punta Sabbioni Ferry fares from €10pp