06 Oct

Generally speaking one does not usually head for the south of France to put on the gardening gloves, pick up the pruning shears and kneel down in the dirt all day for some tough manual labour. On the contrary, during this time of year these hard to imagine scenarios are a common picture, as dozens of people gather at the vineyards of the French Riviera to chip in with the wine harvest proceedings, safe in the knowledge they are contributing to producing  some of the most best wines in the world.

Grape picking on the French Riviera

The wine harvest in the south of France usually starts in mid-September and lasts until mid-October, although this year due to high amounts of rain and frost during the spring, the flowering of the vines were delayed, thus delaying the whole process. Although its good news, as because the wine harvest season here is starting slightly later this year, you are not too late if you want to join the flock of wine enthusiasts and mix backache, sweat and fatigue with camaraderie, festivities and of course some serious wine tasting.


 

02 Oct

The Parque Natural de las Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, which covers some 214,000 hectares and a staggering fifth of the Jaen province in central Andalucia, is actually more difficult to reach than perceived on the map. With the whole of the park being higher than 600 metres you are forced up bumpy, hair-pined roads lined with a monoculture of unremitting olive groves emblematic of this eastern side of Jaen, until you eventually arrive at the town of Quesada.

Sierra de Cazorla

Shortly after Quesada you enter the village of Cazorla the so-called “gateway” to the Natural Park and the terrain becomes significantly more diverse and exciting. The ambiences surrounding the towns within this park are also surprisingly different to the somewhat impoverished and scruffy towns the drive to Cazorla takes you through, which are more typical of rural Andalucia. The town of La Iruela, which despite its precarious position poised on top of a rocky pinnacle, holds an air of prosperity and wealth, which clings to the walls of the many stylish and elegant restaurants and hotels all accompanied by fancy, new sports cars you rarely see hugging the roads of Andalucia.


 

12 Sep

By discovering a spot of exceptional beauty embraced with unique and unusual wildlife which has remained unbeknown to you for almost five years, makes you realize just how immense, spectacular and extraordinary Spain’s sierras actually are.

Situated where the provinces of Almeria and Granada meet to the east of Andalucia, lies the Sierra de Baza, a truly sublime natural park brimming with the most spectacular of scenery and the most impressive of wildlife. Covering an area of 53,649 hectares, this vast stretch is sparsely populated and sparingly visited, remaining empty and undiscovered making it not only the perfect setting for an autumn’s walk but also the ideal habitat for many different species of fauna and flora.


 

02 Feb

If you’re a prolific internet user then it’s more than likely you’ve stumbled across a blog before… you can’t deny it because you’re on one now!

But with so much information about travel being published every second on the internet through blogs how do you know a good travel blog from a bad one?

Well to save you the frustration we’ve compiled our list of the top travel blogs suitable for the European traveller (in no particular order).

www.travel-rants.com

Set up in 2005 by Darren Cronian, Travel Rants is an enjoyable, light hearted read around Darren’s experiences with the travel industry. If you have a rant that you wish to share then simply email Darren from his site.

Travel Rants Blog

http://escapeblog.com

OK so I’m cheating by entering this one into the fray and it not being European, but it’s so much fun that I simply couldn’t leave it out! The site is a definitive guide to how to act in certain countries around the world. Did you know for instance that in Japan it’s not the done thing to pass food around, from one chopstick to another (now you do!).

Escape Travel Blog


 

01 Jan

At Vintage Travel, we are in a quandary, balancing client needs with ecological concerns.

Accepting that we cannot avoid transport issues, -being an overseas operator, we have to look to other areas to go green where we can.

Over the past few years, we have been encouraging owners to ‘upgrade’ their properties in line with ever more sophisticated client expectations, -and to install Air Conditioning.

Many of our houses now have this facility, however, we have now taken time out to consider its impact to date, the amount of electricity used, and whether we should continue down this route.

Just how harmful is AC to the environment?