11 Dec
Cote d’Azur

Food you simply have to try on the Cote d’Azur

Whatever time of the year you visit the Cote d’Azur, you are in for a treat. Having said that with significantly less people and cooler temperatures, winter can be a great time to become acquainted with the fragrant lavender fields, stunning beaches and hilltop villages of Provence. What’s more, the incredibly exquisite food the region is synonymous with is served all year round, but in the winter months you’re more likely to get a table in a restaurant.
The Cote d’Azur boasts some very distinct dishes and delicacies that simply must be divulged by its visitors.


 

23 Aug

Exploring three of Costa Teguise’s best beaches

The Costa Teguise is one of Lanzarote’s most popular tourist destinations. But what makes this coastal town so heavily-visited and widely admired?

Situated on the eastern edge of Lanzarote, only ten minutes from the airport and in close proximity to the island’s capital, Costa Teguise is easily accessible for tourists.

Though despite its convenient accessibility, what makes the Costa Teguise particularly attractive is its beautiful golden beaches and comprehensive array of facilities and activities to help keep tourists of all ages, ethnicities and tastes entertained on a Lanzarote holiday.

Take a look at three of Costa Teguise’s best beaches.

Playa Cucharas

Playa Cucharas is Costa Teguise’s main beach. Fine, golden sand stretches across an expanse of a kilometre or more. The sand shelves gently into the sea meaning Playa Cucharas is a safe spot for children and is consequently popular amongst young families.

Facilities are plentiful on this popular beach, including sun loungers to hire and bars and restaurants just a short walk away.

Being a notoriously blowy spot, Playa Cucharas is a popular place for windsurfers to gather. In fact so seriously is windsurfing taken on the Costa Teguise that a significant portion of the beach is cornered off and dedicated solely for windsurfing.

Playa Bastian

If the windswept sands of Playa Cucharas doesn’t tickle your fancy, you may want to lay down your towel in the more sheltered confines of Playa Bastian.

Being surrounded by pretty, well-maintained gardens Playa Bastian is an idyllic beach on the Costa Teguise to lie back, relax and soak up the warm rays of sun. And with large stone zocos being sporadically positioned around the beach, providing additional protection from the wind, sunbathers are a common feature of Playa Bastian all year round.

Another family-friendly beach, Playa Bastian’s small tower never fails to keep children entertained, who have a lot of fun climbed the tower’s steps.

Playa Ancla

If you’re looking for a beach that’s off the beaten track and away from the tourist hordes, Playa Ancla is a favourite of the locals.

This stunning beach is encircled by huge stone boulders, which not only give it a secluded feel but creates the perfect climatic conditions for swimming and bathing.

Playa Ancla is a short distance from the centre of Costa Teguise and unlike Playas Bastian and Cucharas, this beach is void of facilities and convenient amenities, which, for some, adds to its charm.


 

21 Aug

Three family days out in Italy

Italy might be synonymous with high culture, ancient remnants, quality cuisine and a luscious landscape of valleys, forests and citrus groves as far as the eye can see, but there is plenty on offer for a fantastic family holiday.

From the fertile plains of Tuscany to the archaeological highlights of Lazio, Italy is brimming with sights, activities and excursions that all the family will cherish and remember.

Take a look at three family days out in Italy.

Pinocchio Park of Collodi, Northern Tuscany

It was in the village of Collodi that Pinocchio’s creator, Carlo Collodi, came up with his pen name. Collodi is the birthplace of Carlo Collodi’s mother. From Pinocchio Park the adventures of the little wooden boy whose nose grew bigger each time he told a fib comes to life.

A winding path meanders through the village of Pinocchio, stumbling across various statues of characters from the classic tale. This fun and novel park is home to a theatre for puppet shows, an amusement park for smaller children, a snack bar, museum and gift shop – a must see for Pinocchio fans, young and old.

The stunning hillside village of Collodi is located 17 kilometres to the north-east of Lucca in Tuscany.

Bomarzo Monster Park, Northern Lazio

The terrifyingly fictitious world of monsters never fail to rivet the imaginations of people of all ages. Ignite the monster appetite of your family by taking a trip to the town of Bomarzo, where you’ll find Monster Park.

This sprawling mythical park is home to a myriad of huge stone monsters, including a three-headed dog guardian of the gates of hell and a sleeping nymph guarding her dog. With a tilting house, Hannibal’s fortified elephant and a winged dragon at play, this captivating park gives insight into the dark and magical world of monsters.

The Mummies of Ferentillo

The village of Ferentillo in southern Umbria might be tiny and inconspicuous but it clings onto a dark and intriguing secret.

Below the Church of Santo Stefano are buried bodies which have been preserved by a rare microfungus that attacked the corpses and turned them into eternal mummies. At the bottom end of the church, which is now a mummy museum, some of the best-preserved mummies in Europe are on display.

The Church of Santo Stefano was built in the 15th century. The lower part of the church was used as a burial ground for almost four centuries from 1500. It was here the mummies were discovered. Some of the mummies have their beards, hair and even their teeth intact – a fascinating excursion for all the family to enjoy.


 

15 Aug

Family fun in Provence at Avignon’s Ban des Vendanges

If you’re spending time in Provence this summer, it’s likely that you’ll think about visiting Avignon at some point during your holiday. Encircled by an incredibly well-preserved 800-year-old stone wall, you’ll be hard pushed to find a medieval town in France as grand, romantic and magnificent as Avignon.

Roaming Avignon’s ancient cobbled streets discovering the quirky bars, boutiques and patisseries that sit under the boughs of huge gnarled trees is a delight in itself. We have to admit it’s during the height of the summer when this vibrant tourist destination comes especially alive when it opens its doors to festivals to celebrate the arts, music, culture and harvest.

Ban des Vendanges – Harvest Proclamation

One especially memorable summer event in Avignon is taking place on Saturday 30 August. The Band des Vendanges – Harvest Proclamation – is a tradition that has taken place in Avignon since the Middle Ages. The festival is in celebration of the beginning of the grape harvest.

Enthusiasts of French wine will be in for a treat at the Ban des Vendanges as the programme of events is centred on learning about wine.

This fun, carefree and traditional festival sees a huge parade making its way down Avignon’s streets, led by a colourful brass band. The parade makes its way to the cathedral, where the official proclamation of the start of the harvest is made.

There’s plenty of exciting activities for children to participate in during the festival. As for the adults, they’re happy tasting wine and delicious local delicacies, musing around market stalls selling delectable regional products and watching the festival conclude with a fantastic concert in the evening.

Yes, it’s safe to say there is fun to be had for everyone in Avignon on Saturday 30 August 2014.

For more information on this year’s Ban des Vendanges visit the official Avignon tourist board.


 

13 Aug

Natural skincare tips on a Greek holiday

So you are soon off to the sunny climes of Greece. Naturally you are thoroughly excited for spending time relaxing, having fun and discovering this beautiful diverse country and its unique culture.

The people of Greece are renowned for their beautiful olive skin, made radiant by a warm, sunny climate and a healthy diet doused in vegetables and olive oil.

With temperatures soaring into their 30s and even 40s on mainland Greece and the islands in high summer, extra attention is required to safeguard your skin and the skin of your family on a Greek holiday.

For radiant, glowing and protected holiday skin take a look at three natural products the people of Greece use on their skin.

Yoghurt

Thick, creamy Greek yoghurt is a popular delicacy in Greece and one that is used on a myriad of dishes, both sweet and savoury. Containing high levels of protein, minerals, vitamins and lactose, yoghurt is also used as a natural skin care product in Greece.

Not only does the cool qualities of yoghurt help sooth sunburnt skin but being laden with goodness, this Greek diet staple also helps rid the skin of dead cells and dryness and leave it feeling soft and looking glowing and young.

Honey

The prospect of caking your skin in honey might sound a little farfetched and off-putting but it is something the people of Greece have been doing for years. According to legend, Cleopatra herself had baths in honey and milk in order to keep her skin soft and beautiful.

Honey exfoliating masks and moisturiser remove dead skin cells that lie beneath the surface of the skin and will leave you looking glowing on your Greek holiday and when you are back home.

Ground olives

Similar to yoghurt and honey, olives are another staple of the deliciously healthy Greek diet. Instead of confining olives to dinner time, use ground olives to cleanse and exfoliate the skin and leave it glowing with a rejuvenating luminosity.


 

07 Aug

The sensational Selvantonia: A stunning villa in the heart of the Mallorcan Mountains

Cool in both meanings of the word, villa Selvantonia is the perfect holiday accommodation for those wanting to escape the tourist trail and stay in the heart of inland Mallorca’s mountain utopia.

 

With marble features, stone walls and terracotta roof tiles, Selvantonia provides a cool place to retrieve from the intense Mallorcan sun.

Despite being a new-build Selvantonia has been constructed using traditional local materials, which means the villa looks ‘at one’ with its beautiful, natural surroundings.

This stunning property can sleep up to eight guests in absolute luxury and comfort. With a sweeping marble staircase, huge oak beams, sensational views, yet with all the mod-cons we now rely on, Selvantonia is a villa designed for impressing.

Four double bedrooms, all en-suite and with their own dressing rooms, means guests can sprawl out in spaciousness, luxury and comfort. The villa’s striking kitchen is geared towards enjoying eating, drinking and dining as it’s meant to be on holiday with a large American-style fridge and a wine cooler.

Sat on a rambling 10,000 square metre plot, Selvantonia is a delight both on the outside as well as the inside. A large private pool with a remarkable brushed steel fountain as a centrepiece overlooks divine views of the surrounding countryside that stretch beyond the picturesque town of Selva and beyond to the dramatic peaks of the Tramuntana mountain range. For gardening enthusiasts, Selvantonia’s extensive grounds even include a fruit and vegetable patch.

Located in central Mallorca, on the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains, Selva is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient village possesses all the intrigue, charm, history and appeal, every UNESCO site adheres, with the added advantage of its breath-taking hilltop situation.

Selva is an approximately 40 minute drive from Palma and the many excitingly heady tourist activities that go on in the Mallorcan capital. Situated inland surrounded by mountains, it takes around 50 minutes from Selvantoria to reach the golden beaches of Alcudia Bay.

For more information, photos and to book to stay at the stunning Selvantonia, click HERE.


 

01 Aug

Can Cirilo – A luxury villa in Mont Ras, Catalonia

Vintage Travel is delighted to have added the stunning Can Cirilo to our portfolio of Catalan properties. This five bedroom, two bathroom villa can sleep up to seven guests in spacious comfort. Situated just a stone’s throw from the sleepy village square of Mont Ras, at Can Cirilo you can enjoy the conveniences of town amenities yet with a real pastoral vibe.

Internally, Can Cirilo is smart, open-plan and well-equipped. Style, spaciousness and comfort is at the heart of this Catalan villa, in which guests can really spread out and feel at home. With an en-suite dressing room and access to a private sun terrace, guests who have the privilege of sleeping in the master bedroom will enjoy particular spaciousness, as well as breathtaking panoramic views of the rooftops of Mont-Ras and the pine-laded hills that surround the characterful Catalan town.

Like most of Spain this region of Catalonia is blessed with fine weather for much of the year without being prone to the oppressive heat the south of the country can experience. To make the most of the warm, sunny weather, Can Cirilo’s exterior is geared towards spending time outdoors.

A large private pool is the central focus of Can Cirilo’s grounds, which is big enough for all the family to simultaneously enjoy. An immaculate lawn sits adjacent to a spacious covered dining terrace, the perfect spot to enjoy wining, dining and drinking in Can Cirilio’s incredible surroundings.

Mont Ras is a beautiful and tranquil village located on the aesthetically stunning Costa Brava between the larger towns of Palamos and Palafrugell. This historic village sits just inside the beautiful Gaverres Natural Park. The Gavarres mountain range is a protected area of unparalleled natural beauty, blessed with imposing forests of cork oak, quaint stone chapels and ancient dolmens.

Whilst many of Mont-Ras’ remnants date back to Roman times, the first mention of this village was made in the tenth century in reference to a watchtower which once stood where the current church of Saint Esteve stands. This ancient village has all the amenities required to make your stay at Can Cirilo convenient, including a bakery, several bars and restaurants, a fishmongers and a quality supermarket.

This sunny stretch of Catalan coastline is brimming with quality sandy beaches, interspersed with quirky coves and intimate rocky inlets. Just 5.5 kilometres from the villa lies the towns of Llanfranc and Callela de Palafrugell, both of which radiate upmarket fishing village charm and sport fantastic family beaches.

For more information, photographs and to book to stay at Can Cirilo click HERE.


 

26 Jul

Three delicious Le Marche local dishes

Unlike the more popular neighbouring regions of Umbria and Tuscany, Le Marche remains much less well-known and tourist free. Comprising of both mountains and the sea, Le Marche is home to a varied cuisine that is as distinct as it is delicious.

Take a look at three delicious Le Marche local dishes.

Crema Fritta

On the outside crema fritta – fried cream – doesn’t sound too appealing. However, crema fritta is the vital ingredient into what makes many a legendary Italian dish so distinct tasting and delicious.

You can even eat crema fritta on its own. The cream is cooked and is stored in the fridge overnight. It is then coated in egg and breadcrumbs and is deep-fried on skewers.

Crema fritta is best eaten alongside a glass of crisp sparkling red wine known as Vernaccia.

Ciauscolo

Ciauscolo is a smoky pork sausage that is given a rich and deep flavour with garlic, fennel and vino cotto. Vino cotto is a non-alcoholic ‘cooked wine’ that possesses a unique flavour that is both sweet and sour.

In Le Marche, ciauscolo is typically served on toast or with a hunk of rustic bread.

Brodetto all’Anconetana

This mouth-watering fish soup is traditionally made with 13 different types of shellfish and fish, each of which supposedly represents each person at the Last Supper. Brodetto all’Anconetana is a tomato-based soup, which is rich with fresh flavours of the sea.

In the autumn the annual Brodetto and Fish Soup Festival takes place in the beach resort of Pesaro.

The perfect accompaniment to Brodetto all’Anconetana is a crisp and tangy glass of Verdicchio, one of the region’s most famous wines.

 


 

16 Jul

Three of the quirkiest art galleries in Ibiza

Ibiza might be globally-renowned for being an island of 24 hour parties, hangovers and sun-drenched beaches. There is however a much more artistic side to Ibiza.

If your forthcoming trip to the popular Spanish island comes with aspirations to be artistically-inspired, you’re heading to the right destination.

The island is simply awash with galleries and you never have to travel too far before you stumble upon an intriguingly unique art gallery. Take a look at three of the most inspiring art galleries in Ibiza.

P l Art Ibiza

Inspired by the fact there is so much more to Ibiza than clubbing and tequila, P l Art Ibiza as an incredibly chic art gallery which was founded by Italian photographer Patriza.

This super cool gallery features an eclectic range of artwork of various genres created by artists from all over the world. From photography, fashion, crafts, painting and sculptures, you’ll find a vibrant array of global artwork on display ay P l Art Ibiza.

This fresh and vibrant art gallery is located in Santa Eularia, Ibiza. For more information on forthcoming events and exhibitions visit the official P l Art Ibiza website.

La Galerie Elefante

When you spot bright pink elephants tantalisingly perched outside a quintessential white-washed Spanish cortijo you can’t help but feel something creatively compelled lives here.

Your intuition would certainly be correct as this is the location of La Galerie Elefante.

This deliciously quirky yet utterly chic gallery features much more than just artwork. Asides the bright and playful displays of art La Galerie Elefante sells antiques, homeware, furniture and fashion.

This inspiring and quirky art gallery is located on the PM-804 not far from Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera.

B12 The Gallery

Being a lively, popular and ultra-trendy place to host exhibitions, workshops, fashion shows, art events, there’s always something going on at B12 The Gallery.

If you fancy some fashion, art or cultural inspiration during your visit to Ibiza then the creative hub of B12 The Gallery is certainly the place to head to.

Likewise if you are planning a creative event on Ibiza and need a venue to host it, get in touch with B12 The Gallery.

This stylish creative venue is located on Calle Antonio Planells Ferrer.

 


 

12 Jul

Ca Na Tonina: A pretty villa in Mallorca close to Pollenca

Ca Na Tonina is a beautiful refurbished villa in Mallorca close to Pollenca. With the Tramuntana Mountains beyond endless trees and fields, nature surrounds this cosy Mallorcan property and the views, as you can imagine, are simply stunning.

While nature at its most inspiring might be on Ca Na Tonina’s doorstep, amenities are close at hand with the charismatic town of Pollenca just four kilometres away and the Port of Pollenca and its fabulous restaurants six kilometres from the house.

The finca can sleep up to four guests in two characterfully-beamed and unmistakably Spanish bedrooms. With black iron and real wood dominating the house’s interior, Ca Na Tonina can only be described as an authentic and rustic Spanish property. Despite its cosy ambience, guests can really spread out in Ca Na Tonina.  The house’s two plush bathrooms are more than adequate for four people.

The open plan kitchen, dining room and lounge make the most of the space. Genuine Spanish tiles bedeck the floor, creating a cooling interior that is particularly welcoming during the summer months. The villa has plenty of mod-cons to help keep guests entertained, including satellite TV with a DVD player. Free Wi-Fi is also available to guests.

The entertainment awaiting outside is equally as plentiful. A stunning sapphire pool next to a well-maintained lawn entice guests to take a plunge and then dry off under the sun. The barbecue area is more like a second kitchen than a simple charcoal grill. This comprehensive covered outside dining terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of chilled rose and soak up the incredible views.

As content you might be to spend a leisurely day at Ca Na Tonina, there is plenty to do in this beautiful corner of Mallorca. Exploring the nearby coastal town of Pollenca would be a good place to start. Going for an evening stroll along the promenade at the Port of Pollenca which is slightly further afield is one of those simple yet memorable holiday pleasures.

For more information and to book to stay at this delightful Mallorcan villa click HERE.