Family travel snap: Lonely Planet Pathfinder Gretta Schifano


For our family travel snap this month, we’re learning to cook in Spain with Lonely Planet Pathfinder Gretta Schifano.

Gretta blogs at Mums do Travel (, covering luxury family travel, travel with teens and trips where you leave the kids at home. She believes in the need for compromise to make a family trip successful and likes to share ideas so the whole family can get what they want from a trip.

What’s the story behind this photo?

My husband and kids (17 and 12 years old at the time) are learning to cook some traditional Catalan fish dishes with chef Joan Cuadrat. We’re at Espai del Peix (‘fish space’ in Catalan) in the historic port of Palamós on the Costa Brava in the north of Spain.

Our cooking lesson was part of a ‘fish tour’ and we had already followed the day’s catch from the boats to the auction and onto the fish market before meeting Joan.

Once we finished cooking we sat down to eat. We had tomato bread with anchovies, fisherman’s stew, vermicelli with fish and garlic, then fish pickle. Pudding was baked apples filled with Catalan cream. It was all as it sounds: absolutely delicious. And possibly even better than the food itself, every single one of us really enjoyed learning to cook the dishes together so it was a very happy family experience too.

Kids’ Perspective

Funnily enough they both remember the food! My daughter says ‘The food was really good, some of the best that we had on the trip’ and from my son: ‘I liked the cooking… and the food.’

Gretta’s tips for visiting the Costa Brava with kids

1) Go to the Dalí Theatre Museum in Figueres – it’s the world’s largest Dalí collection and is very child-friendly.

2) Try to time your visit to coincide with a festival of human tower displays – we saw a rehearsal on the steps of Girona cathedral while we were there and it was astonishing. The kids loved it!

3) If you like walking with your kids, there’s an easy coastal path called the Camí de Ronda which follows 43km of the Costa Brava’s beautifully rugged coastline, from Sant Feliu de Guixols to Begur.

Where’s next on your family travel bucket list?

We’re going to Portugal for our family summer holiday. None of us have been before so we’re really looking forward to exploring somewhere new.

Lastly, complete the sentence:

When we shut the front door ready to go and travel as a family, we always make sure we have…

…arranged for friends to look after our dog and cat!

Gretta co-hosts #FamilyTravelHour on Twitter every Tuesday at 8pm GMT along with LP Kids and family travel bloggers Family Adventure Project ( and Global Mouse (

Follow Gretta on Twitter for ideas for things do both with and without the children, with a focus on teens.

Follow @grettaschifano

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