Archive for the ‘Cote d’Azur / South of France’ Category
Craving some sun after the British summer wash out? Take advantage of our double holiday discount; with our post-school holiday savings and last-minute booking deals catching some late French or Spanish sun is even more affordable.
We have self-catering accommodation available in France and Spain for as little as £43 per person per week for autumn sun destinations including the south of France, the Ardèche, Atlantic Coast, Picardy, Brittany and the Costa del Sol in Spain.
And if that’s not enough, paying for your booking in Euros will also save you money with the Euro currently at 1.27 versus the pound* – one of the best rates available during the last 18 months!
All of our apartments and Holiday Villages are self-catering and are equipped with cooking hobs, a dishwasher, fridge, microwave oven, coffee machine and full sets of crockery and cutlery. Many apartments also have air conditioning, a dining area and garden furniture on the balcony or terrace. Breakfast, bakery, grocery and delicatessen delivery services are also available for those looking for a part-catered break.
Below are outlined a selection of the top savings on late sun accommodation for holidays taken between September and November:
Pierre et Vacances Holiday Village Cap Esterel, French Riviera – from £85.50 per person
A sea view studio sleeping up to four people from 15-22 September is discounted to £342 from £488.
Perched on a red rock hillside, Cap Esterel overlooks the magnificent Mediterranean Sea. Its self catering apartments are surrounded by a golf course and gardens, and just 30 minutes away from the white sandy beaches and cosmopolitan night life of Cannes. There are also three large swimming pools with wave machines, horse riding, spa treatments, tennis courts and bicycle hire to enjoy in the Holiday Village.
Fly to Nice Airport from 16 UK departure points, road transfer time approximately 45 minutes.
Pierre et Vacances Holiday Village Moliets, Atlantic Coast of France – from £55.25 per person
A studio sleeping up to four people from 15-22 September is discounted to £221 from £276.
This car-free holiday village is set within a picturesque pine forest and boasts four adult pools, bicycle hire, tennis, local sailing and surfing schools, and is within easy reach of sandy beaches, the buzzing seaside resort of Biarritz and the stunning Landes de Gascogne regional park.
Fly to Biarritz Airport from 3 UK departure points, road transfer time approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Torremolinos Stella Polaris, Costa del Sol – from £58.50 per person
A studio apartment sleeping three people from 29 September 6 October is discounted to £234 from £320.
Located in the centre of Torremolinos on Spain’s sandy Costa del Sol, apartments in this recently renovated residence have direct access to the famous Bajondillo beach. As well as two swimming pools, guests can also enjoy authentic Spanish spots and sights in Torremolinos on their doorstep, such as the ‘La Carihuela’ fisherman’s quarter.
Fly to Malaga International Airport from 20 UK departure points, road transfer time approximately 15 minutes.
Pierre & Vacances Residence Roquetas de Mar, Andalucia – from £43.84 per person
A two bedroom apartment sleeping up to six people from 6-13 October is discounted to £263 from £376.
Located on the Gulf of Almeria, apartments in this newly built residence enjoy views of the sea or the lush greenery of the Playa Serena golf course. Guests can enjoy the residence’s large outdoor pool and solarium, the sandy Cerillos beach just 450m away and the Puntas Entinas-Dabinar nature reserve just 300m away.
Fly to Almeria Airport from 5 UK departure points, road transfer time approximately 40 minutes.
Bookings can be made at www.pierreetvacances.com/gb-en / 0870 0267 144
*Exchange rate correct on 22/8/2012.
While there is lots to keep every age busy from dawn until dusk at our family friendly Holiday Villages in France, we also want families to take advantage of the real France through the beautiful and varied local areas around our self catering accommodation, which is why we’ve launched a new and exciting range of regional discovery excursions for the summer holidays.
Looking for activities to do in Provence? How about learning to make the region’s traditional lavendar soap. Or if you’re stuck for things to keep the kids busy in the Ardeche, why not try something educational and fun [and delicious!] like visiting a dairy to learn how to make goats cheese. Or if you’re after something a little different to try in the south of France, join beekeepers to make some delicious honey you can take home.
And these French discovery days are only the start of a huge revamp for our popular Holiday Villages in France and Spain – we also have refurbished apartments, more free activities for all the family and new a la carte services for this year’s summer sun.
Kids club holidays
No child is the same, so we’ve also revamped our kid’s clubs to give children of all ages the chance to fill their holidays with activities that match their own interests – whether it’s adventurous activities, scientific discovery, inspiring those with artistic flairs, something sporty, or just good fun to make new friends.
Extra à la carte services
There will be more à la carte services on offer, including a breakfast and bakery delivery service, party orders [such as fondue or BBQ] and excellent value half or full board meal cards.
Holiday activities for all the family
Families will also be able to enjoy more free activities with sports tournaments, fitness courses from Les Mills, concerts and shows, and family games in the evenings to keep the kids busy all holiday. As well as the option to try activities such as horse riding, sailing, canoeing, circus tricks and surfing.
We have 13 Holiday Villages across France and Spain, from Normandy, Brittany, and the Atlantic Coast, to the South of France, Provence, Ardèche and the Costa del Sol. The family friendly villages are located in prime locations near beautiful sandy beaches, golf courses or nature reserves and [as well as the delicious dining facilities on site] near restaurants, shops and picturesque French towns and ports just a short distance away.
For example, our newly re-vamped Belle Dune Holiday Village in north Picardy has houses and apartments built in the authentic 20th century style of the Picardy region, all arranged around a large lake. Belle Dune has indoor and outdoor swimming pools, pedalos, sailing, a petting farm, children’s clubs and a nearby beach is accessible by foot or on a miniature train – we know which one this kids will prefer!
New for this year at Belle Dune is a VIP accommodation range, regional activities and themed kid’s clubs, with prices starting at £65 per child per week. You can search and book your family holiday to France online, or call 0870 0267 145.
With the Tour de France upon us – Saturday 2nd to Sunday 24th July – we thought we’d pay homage to the French love affair with pedal power.
Of course, you don’t need to be Lance Armstrong to enjoy France by bike… There are miles of meandering lanes, canal-side towpaths and beautiful stretches of coastal paths perfectly marked out for le vélo.
And there’s nowhere quite like France for a self-catering cycling holiday! You’ll see more of the sights, meet the locals and have the opportunity to engage with the places you pass through. Not to mention a rental apartment will give you the chance to sample local food, and the odd glass of wine…
It’s also a great way to enjoy a healthy and active holiday option – think of it as the summer equivalent to skiing!
The Voies Vertes, or Greenways, are an extensive network of dedicated cycle routes across France linking up nearly 2,600km of safe, marked paths. So whether you want to embark on a week-long tour or an afternoon in the saddle, there are plenty of routes to choose from. Here are some of our top suggestions of the best places to get peddling.
The Loire à vélo, The Loire – For châteaux fans
The Loire à vélo is an ambitious project linking two regions, six départements and six major urban areas over an 800km trail between Cuffy and Saint-Brévin on the Atlantic coast, two thirds of which run alongside the River Loire with its fabulous châteaux.
There are specific segments of the route between Muides sur Loire and Ancenis recommended for families, with a number of short distance options to choose from.
And to rest those tired legs between trips Pierre & Vacances have a range of self catering apartments in the Loire Valley.
Avenue Verte Dieppe-Forges, Normandy – For budding athletes
Destined ultimately to link London with Paris in time for the 2012 Olympics, this 45km route runs from Dieppe on the Normandy coast to the spa town of Forges-les-Eaux along the former Dieppe to Paris railway line.
For now you’ll have to make do with some picture-perfect Normandy countryside with lots of apples and cider to help you on your way. And to kick-back and enjoy the views during your stay, Pierre & Vacances have a range of family apartment rentals in Normandy.
La Baie de Somme à Vélo, Picardy – For beach fans and bird watchers
Le Baie de Somme is made up of seven trails, many kilometres of which run alongside the seashore, weaving through dunes, mudflats and reed beds full of migratory birds. The Baie de Somme railway carries cycles free of charge, so you can hop on and off and tackle as much or as little of the trails as you wish. And to enjoy hopping around Picardy, Pierre & Vacances has a range of self-catering accommodation to rest those weary wheels.
Le-tour-de-Bourgogne-a-vélo, Burgundy – For vineyard fans
The cycling tour of Burgundy, much like the Loire and Somme equivalents, is made up of five individual trails showcasing the region’s main attractions and eventually destined to cover 800km.
The route is made up of towpaths, paths through vineyards, disused railway lines and country lanes. The Santenay-Nolay track, the ‘Voie des Vignes’, is particularly recommended for easy family cycling. And to make the most of your stay Pierre & Vacances has a range of holiday accommodation in Burgundy as a great base to explore the region.
Piste du canal de L’Ourcq, Paris – For city slickers
This cycle path alongside the canal offers a flat and picturesque option, great for a day out from Paris. The route takes you from the Parc de la Villette in north-eastern Paris out into the countryside to Claye-Souilly, 27km from the city. Ultimately this route is intended to link Paris with Moscow!
For a shorter route families can choose a pit-stop at La Poudrerie Forest Park at Servan, 14km along the canal. And to make the most of your stay in the area, Pierre & Vacances has a wide range of holiday apartments to rent in Paris with both scenic and central locations.
And for those after some serious cycling…
Here are two long-distance options for those seeking a serious cycling challenge!
Voie Verte Trans-Ardennes
This greenway is graded as an easy route, running 85 km in total between Charleville-Mezieres and Givet near the Belgian border. The train which runs through the valley is a great back up option for tired legs. And as for accommodation along the route, Pierre & Vacances has a wide range of family self-catering rentals in Ardennes.
Canal du Midi, Languedoc-Roussillion/ Midi-Pyrenees
The Canal du Midi is a UNESCO World Heritage site, bordered almost all of the way by striking plane trees. The route takes you through the heart of the beautiful South West countryside with ample opportunity to sample local wines and visit ancient towns and monuments.
The full route (240km) will take you from Toulouse along the canal to the little port of Marseillan on the Mediterranean, but can be broken down into stages for easily manageable chunks!
The other option is to head North West from Toulouse towards Bordeaux and the Atlantic Ocean along the Canal de Garonne, the full canal route originally designed to link the two coasts. For those wanting to make the most of a cycling holiday in the sublime region, Pierre & Vacances has a selection of self catering accommodation in the South of France .
Think Cannes and sleek style, glamorous yachts, amazing cocktails and plush VIP parties spring to mind.
And during May the Cannes Film Festival rolls its star-studded party train into the French Riviera, followed closely by the world’s media, fashionable followers and those wanting to dance the night away.
Experience the glamour of Cannes first hand, Pierre & Vacances have a selection of self-catering accommodation to provide a great base to explore one of the most luxurious spots in France.
So whether you want a relaxed glass of wine, or one of the best cocktails in the world: here is our guide to the bars, drinks and dance floors in the most exclusive location on the French Riviera. Just remember to bring your dancing shoes and the very best of your wardrobe: the bars and clubs in Cannes have strict dress codes anytime of year!
Cannes Film Festival Nightlife
During the Cannes Film Festival fortnight many pop-up nightclubs appear, hosting special sponsored and fashion nights, hosted celebrity parties and VIP evenings.
Le Baron and The VIP Room are too of the most famous and popular with the stars. Some celebrities also host luxurious private parties kept secret until the very last moment…
To get into the best parties you have to be on ‘The List’, but it is also possible to sneak your way in to an event, just keep your ear to the ground, your posh clothes on and network with everyone you meet. But Cannes nightlife is always buzzing, and sometimes there’s more fun to be had outside of the VIP rooms!
Just because the glamour of the Film Festival leaves town at the end of May doesn’t mean there isn’t still fun to be had, dancing to be done and decadent cocktails to be drunk. Here are the bars and clubs that are a bit more down to earth and open for business all summer:
Charly’s – Rue du Suquet
A cool, cave-like bar which is the perfect place to start and finish the night. The quirky interior attracts the cool and the hip, with cocktails to match. There’s even a waterfall down one wall and live bands to get the evening in full swing.
La Cave a Vin – 10 Rue Marceau
Perfectly located in the city centre, this relaxed and intimate bar has more than 150 types of wine from around the world and is where locals go for a relaxed glass, or two!
Le Carre Blanc – 14 Rue Macé
A stylish lounge bar with a lively but relaxed atmosphere where the DJs play until late [or early depending on how you look at it!]. Perfect for post-beach drinks, dancing or just relaxing over a bottle of wine.
Le Loft Bar
Sleek and contemporary, Le Loft bar has intimate corners, classy cocktails and a seductive atmosphere. Post-11pm the swish sofas and dark dance floor really fill up.
Caliente – 83 Bld de la Croisette
A lively bar with a sultry South American feel, complete with sea front terrace, live Latino groups playing salsa and samba, and some of the best Caiparinha’s known to Europe.
Dada Da – 15 Rue des Frères Pradignac
This trendy, hybrid club is definitely a non-conformist, bridging cabaret, theatre, disco and midnight movies into one plush package.
La Chunga – 20 Rue Latour Maubourg
A quirky 1950s style piano bar which is a famous post midnight destination, complete with cosy corners, live music and patrons dancing on the tables. It’s also a firm favourite of the festival pack.
And for something a little bit special:
These bars are frequented by the rich, famous and downright fabulous, and so have the price tags to match! So go looking your very best, prepared to queue, and be extra friendly to the door-staff!
Admiral Bar at the Martinez – 73 Boulevard de la Croisette
This luxury hotel bar serves the best cocktails in the Riviera, and that’s not just our opinion, they hold several French Championships for cocktail making and flaring! And if you’re not too distracted watching the bartenders juggling glasses, bottles and shakers, look out for the metal plates with famous names on the bar – these mark the regulars’ favourite spots….
Palm Beach Casino – Place Franklin Roosevelt
Possibly the best destination to dance the night away, the casino turned nightclub boasts some of the most A-List of music stars, from P-Diddy to Eve.
Le Baoli – 1 Boulevard de la Croisette
Frequented by models, actors, millionaires and sports stars this restaurant/club is ultra-swish [and exorbitantly priced] but definitely worth experiencing if just for one drink…
It may be the Six Nations Championship, but right now, only two countries seem to matter in Rubgy Union [sorry Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy]. On Saturday 30 men will meet spine-shaking tackle to spine-shaking tackle, with their nation’s expectations heavy on their shoulders…
The Six Nations showdown
In the blue corner we have the French, who have dominated the Six Nations for the past ten years with five wins, three of which have been Grand Slams [when one team beats all five other sides]. In the white corner are the English, with the most titles in the history of the tournament and winners of the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
Both teams have won their first two matches, England with a close but comfortable performance defeating Wales 26-19, and a thorough thumping of Italy 59-13. And France with a confident win against Scotland 34-21 and a wobbly defeat of Ireland 25-22.
Despite their strong starts, England and France are both coming into the tournament after set backs: England with a very disappointing 2010 full of defeats, and France after their November pasting by Australia when they were booed off the Paris pitch by their own fans.
The bookmakers favour England who currently sit at the top of the tournament table on scored points difference, but France have the upper hand if you consider their consistent form in the Six Nations over the past decade.
But this Saturday isn’t just about one game. Whoever wins Le Crunch is then the favourite to win the entire Championship. Not to mention the winning momentum this could create going through to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year.
Who’s playing in Le Crunch?
Our brief guide to the key personalities on either side of the pitch:
Coach: Martin Johnson CBE
Regarded as one of the greatest ever locks to have played, Johnson captained England to victory in the 2003 World Cup and began coaching England in 2008.
Captain: Mike Tindall
Tindall was part of the winning England squad at the 2003 World Cup and is not afraid of tough tackles – he once suffered a punctured lung and tear to his liver while playing against Wales. Perhaps more daunting than Saturday’s game for Tindall is that he is to become part of the Royal Family when he marries Zara Phillips, granddaughter of HM Queen Elizabeth II, in July.
Fly-half: Jonny Wilkinson
Famous for his lucky left foot, Jonny Wilkinson’s conversion kicks were instrumental in England’s World Cup win in 2003. He holds the highest tally of international points and the Rugby World Cup points record of 249. A succession of injuries have disrupted his recent career but if his performances as a substitute against Wales and Italy are anything to go by, he’s on his way back to form.
Fly-half: Toby Flood
According to the English press, Flood is the French team’s primary concern for the upcoming head-to-head. And as England’s play-maker-in-chief and goal kicker who hasn’t missed yet, it’s not hard to see why.
Wing: Chris Ashton
Ashton has hogged the English headlines with six of the 10 tries scored in England’s first two games. He needs just one more to break the individual record for tries scored in a single Six Nations campaign. But he’s faced criticism for his swallow dives when scoring, which run the risk of counting the try null and void if he drops the ball.
Coach: Marc Lièvremont
Lièvremont retired from playing professional rugby union in 2002 and after coaching French club Dax took over the national team in 2007.
Captain: Thierry Dusautoir
As well as having a degree in chemical engineering, Dusautoir captained France to a famous victory over New Zealand in 2009. He took over the full-time captaincy of France in November 2009 and is famous for his hard and fast tackles.
Full back: Maxime Médard
Despite not playing for the French team in their grand slam Six Nations win in 2010, Medard has scored two tries in two games for the 2011 tournament, and with sideburns as distinctive as his play, he’s one to watch.
Lock: Sébastien Chabal
One of the most popular French sporting personalities, Chabal’s nickname is ‘the horse’ because of the similarity of his name to the French word ‘cheval’, and also his distinctive ponytail, full beard and ferocious tackling.
A guide to Rugby Union in France
Rugby was introduced into France by the British in the 1870s and in 1892 the first ever French championship took place between two of the first established clubs: Racing Club de France and Stade Francais.
The elite French clubs compete in the professional domestic club league known as the Top 14. Rugby Union is traditionally more popular in the south, with 12 of the Top 14 clubs based in the southern half of France.
Here are some clubs to keep an eye out for:
ASM Clermont Auvergne
The current Top 14 Champions. Founded in 1911 they are also known by their former name of Montferrand. Located in Clermont-Ferrand, until last year the club had reached the French Championship final 11 times but had never won.