Posts Tagged ‘places to stay in Pont Royal’
This week, the winner of our London Calling competition, Stefanie Broeker shares her travel diary with us following on from her trip to Pont Royal, Provence with her best friends.
“As a group of 3 girl friends on the verge of their thirties we were looking for a weekend to get away from buzzing Paris and chose the always sunny south of France!
Destination Pont Royal: in the heart of the Provence with the smell of lavender and pines everywhere!
The Resort is ideally located: surrounded by beautiful countryside, a 30 minutes’ drive from the historical town of the Pope Avignon and the charming city of Aix-en-Provence and a 1 hours’ drive from Marseille and the Calanques.
Arriving by plane or train is easy but to get to the resort and discover the area, you are better off with your own transport.
There is no way you can get bored in the Resort! We loved to relax around the pool with the sound of the cicada in the pine trees, refresh in the outdoor wave pool, go for a run on the water slide where not only kids are having fun. The morning workout Aquamouv’ with Jean-Luc was an entertaining way to start the day.
If you are into horse-riding, make sure to give them a ring before, as the team is not always on site.
What we didn’t try: the kid’s animation, the golf course, tennis, hiking/biking the mountain trails (bikes for rent)
The Resort is built up like a typical provence village perched on a hill. You have a stunning view on the surrounding lake and hills, cypress and pine forests. Like in many old towns the market place with the church, cafés and restaurants is the heart of the town. It felt so real, not at all as in a designed resort.
We were upgraded into a 2 bedroom apartment sleeping 7 (1 double bedroom, one smaller room with bunk bed). The apartment is spacious, renovated and with all modern cons (2 bath rooms, dish washer – what a relief, better than at home!, coffee machine, cloth line, oven, cleaning set, sheets and towels)
We loved our own shady terrace and private garden where we had breakfast or the typical French apéro in the evening. We prepared our own meals and didn’t try the restaurant in the resort. For breakfast you can get fresh baguette and hot chocolate croissants in the convenience store, yummy. The convenience store has all the essentials, and prices are not exaggerated. If you stay longer, might be worth shopping at the intermarché supermarket in Mallemort (5 km)
Being 3 in the apartment it was very comfortable and everything is equipped for 7. To be completely at ease we wouldn’t recommend though being more than 5.
Try the café at the ruins in Vernègues (7km): delicious milk shakes (5€), ice cream (6€) or the “Remedy of my grand-mother” tea with lavender, rosemary and liquorice (3€). All that in a beautiful provence-style garden. Try to pick some fruits from the fig trees down the road to the parking.
L’auberge du vieux village in Mallemort (5km)
(25 Grand Rue, 13370 Mallemort)
Very authentic cosy restaurant with traditional Provencal cuisine. Perfect for a dinner on the terrace on a warm summer evening. We recommend the meat dishes!
Le 8 et demi, Cassis ( 1,5h drive)
(8 quai des beaux, 13260 Cassis)
Located on the quays of Cassis, you can enjoy the sunset over the hills. Great choice of sweet and savoury crepes (8€). We also tried their specialty “moule frites” (mussels with chips, 13€). Overall very fair prices, great location, quick service.
What to do outside the Resort
Calanques de Cassis
They are worth a daytrip! We rented a kayak in Port Miou located on the peninsula of Cassis and explored the turquoise bays on our own.
Calanques d’En-Veau is a great spot and only 40 minutes of paddling away.
We went for a swim and chilled on the beach and the rocks. A shame we didn’t bring anything for a picnic. They provide you with a waterproof box for your belongings.
If you want to go hiking, call ahead at the tourist information in Cassis or check their website. There are fire restrictions in summer and access might be forbidden, especially in the afternoon.
CALANKAYAK à Port-Miou
Steven – 06 16 90 25 71
(40€ for a half day 5h for a kayak for 3 people)
Avignon is classified as a Unesco world heritage site with its Palais des Papes dating back to the 14th century and the famous bridge Saint Benezet. Only half of the bridge is still intact.
You can stroll through the lively city center, shop for some local souvenirs (tapenade!) or enjoy life in one of the many outdoor restaurants and café.
Overall review of Pont Royal
We found Pont Royal the perfect choice for our trip: many activities in the Resort and at the same time a tranquil peace of haven to get away from it all. Laid-back atmosphere and the charm of south of France convinced us. Loads to discover in the surroundings if you have a car!
September is the perfect season to enjoy the warm weather and tourist crowds are gone.