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.


 

13 Oct
Mojacar

Mojacar and its white-washed pueblo: Andalucia’s stunning coastal secret

It is fairly safe to say, there aren’t many destinations in southern Spain that comprise of stunning stretches of sun-drenched sand, atmospheric cafes and bars, top class restaurants and a white-washed old-town clung majestically to a hillside, that aren’t teeming with tourists.

If you did make this proclamation, you’d be almost right, but not quite.

The town of Mojacar, on the Costa de Almeria in the south-eastern corner of Andalucia, would prove your assumption wrong.

When driving along Costa de Almeria, past the bustling port towns of Villaricus and Garrucha, an incredible sight soon dominates the vista – a whitewashed pueblo clung almost precariously to a hillside, looking serenely out towards the Mediterranean.

Welcome to Mojacar!

Mojacar comprises of two infinitely contrasting existences – the ‘Playa’, which consists of a string of pretty, sandy, well-facilitated beaches, and the Pueblo, an old town with cobbled twisting streets housing quirky bars, restaurants and boutiques round every corner.

One of the greatest things about Mojacar is that you get the ‘two in one’ ideal. The ‘Playa’ beckons for a memorable beach holiday, where swimming, sunbathing, banana boats and ice-cream are available and waiting.

Once you’ve had enough of the sand, sangria and squeals of delight from those riding the banana boats, the tranquil, timeless and bohemian world of Mojacar Pueblo awaits you.

Simply drive, catch the bus or walk a kilometre or so up a steep road from Mojacar Playa and you’ll find yourself in an entirely different world altogether. This fascinating, white-washed town provides a taste of timeless Spain. A network of cobbled alleyways ascend and descend around the village.

‘Alternative’ boutiques selling quirky clothes, jewellery, pottery and gifts puts shoppers in paradise. As does lovers’ of authentic Spanish cuisine, with tapas and Sangria being served in abundance in the pueblo’s characterful bars and restaurants.

What’s more, being relatively inconspicuous from the predominant tourist trail, both Mojacar Playa and the Pueblo never get bombarded with an overcrowded stream of visitors.

If you want to discover the best of both of Spain’s irrefutably different worlds, designate a day on your Andalucian holiday to visit Mojacar.


 

11 Oct
Pollenca

Ca’n Trillo: The perfect accommodation in the Pollenca vicinity of Mallorca

Traditional yet modern would be an apt overall description of Ca’n Trillo. Located not far from the traditional town of Pollenca on the eastern end of Serra de Tramuntana, this beautiful villa sleeps up to six guests in comfort and luxury.

The exterior and interior building design has been used to make houses like this one for a hundred years. The American style fridge in the kitchen is however a relatively recent addition along with all the other modern day necessities that contemporary society demands.

Wooden beamed ceilings and ceramic floor tiles with white-washed walls give a genuine Spanish feel to Ca’n Trillo. The colourful and stylish furniture, artwork and furnishings place a modern stamp on a bygone age of house design. Cool, light and roomy, houses such as Ca’n Trillo were built to a practical standard in order to deal with many hundreds of hours of sunshine beating down relentlessly onto the rooftops of the houses of Mallorca.

The house has three bedrooms plus three bathrooms. The traditional bedroom layout with iron beds and wooden cabinets contrasts with the modern requirements of satellite TV and air-conditioning. All the bedrooms are en-suite and comprise of two twins and a double. Doors lead out into the garden from the bedrooms.

The kitchen, dining room and lounge fuse together in one huge light and roomy open plan room. Cooks can enjoy getting to grips with the local cuisine in Ca’n Trillo’s well-equipped kitchen.

Ca’n Trillo’s exterior is equally as alluring. A sparkling swimming pool surrounded by a large lawn area means guests can bathe and dry off spread out under the sun. As well as the inviting pool there is a hot tub for guests to relax in. Whether it’s being immersed in the hot tub or bathing in the pool, with pretty pencil thin cypress trees planted round the perimeter you can enjoy total privacy at Ca’n Trillo. .

The built in barbecue is further enticement to lure guests at Ca’n Trillo into outdoors. It is easy to imagine a vibrant and joyful party taking place in this beautiful outside area of the house.

Less than a ten minute drive from Ca’n Trillo and all its fabulous amenities puts you at the horse shoe-shaped bay of Pollenca. This characterful town is framed by two mountains, each with their own sacred site on top. Pollenca and all its charms looks incredible against the backdrop of the Tramuntana Mountains.

With wonderful scenery, great restaurants and glorious beaches, your time spent holidaying in this refreshingly unspoilt region of Mallorca will be torn between staying at Ca’n Trillo or exploring the town of Pollenca.

For more information about Ca’n Trillo visit: https://www.vintagetravel.co.uk/villa_details.cfm?p_id=1269

 


 

16 Sep

An arduous tossup: Which beach is best on Anti-Paxos?

Anti-Paxos is a very small but beautiful island just a short boat trip away from Paxos. Barely 100 people reside permanently on this tiny island. Covered in vineyards and endowed with two gorgeous beaches, Anti-Paxos might be small but it’s a stunning place to visit.

Simply jump on board one the half hourly water taxis from Gaios Harbour and you’ll find yourself on the tranquil utopia of Anti-Paxos. Once you’ve arrived here, spending the whole day on the island is recommended before returning on the last ferry to Paxos late in the afternoon.

Anti-Paxos

It has been said that Anti-Paxos’ Vriki and Voutoumi beaches are the best in the whole of Greece. Not only this, but it has also been said one needs to travel all the way to the Caribbean in order to find a better beach!

But which beach is better?

Vriki Beach

Vriki Beach is the first landing point of the water taxi from Gaios harbour. When you disembark from the boat and gather in the beautiful surroundings, you may lose the urge to travel any further from this remarkable jewel of a beach. With white sand and turquoise water this idyllic beach really does have everything. The old ‘Bounty’ TV advert wasn’t made here but it easily could have been.

Voutoumi Beach

As beautiful as Vikri Beach might be, its sister beach Voutoumi is equally as impressive, perhaps even more so as it’s considerably more secluded. With both sand and pebbles present on Voutoumi Beach, this stunning seaside paradise caters for those who prefer a beach to be sandy and those who prefer a pebble beach.

For the best view on Anti-Paxos climb the 200 steps that protrude from the beach to a  lovely tavern where you can enjoy some top-notch Greek cuisine and a refreshingly cold drink.

We have to admit Voutoumi Beach does tend to get the nod over Vriki as to which beach is best on the island. The truth is that they are both fantastic beaches and if you do have the pleasure of visiting Anti-Paxos it might be a good idea to split your time between the two.


 

12 Sep
Dordogne

Taking the children to the Dordogne? Not before reading this!

The incredibly beautiful Dordogne is internationally renowned for its unique culture, sophisticated cuisine and towns steeped in history. Unlike the likes of the Costa Brava, the Algarve and the Costa del Sol, the Dordogne is less well-known as a destination geared up for children.

That said, if you delve a little deeper there is plenty of things to do with youngsters on a Dordogne holiday. Take a look at four activities children will enjoy, remember and cherish in this stunning part of France.

Bergerac Aquapark

Bergerac Aquapark is located on the outskirts of Bergerac on the road to Bordeaux. This fun park has four swimming pools with chutes plunging into the water.

There are restaurants serving refreshing drinks and quality local cuisine, or if you would prefer to take your own food and drink, picnic tables are available to spread out on.

Prehisto Parc, Les Eyzies

Prehistoric Park can be found six kilometres to the north of Les Eyzies in the heart of the lush Vezere valley. If you have children in tow and are in this part of the Dordogne you simply must take a detour to the Prehisto Parc.

Here you will find everything ‘prehistoric’, including dinosaurs, cavemen and mammoths.

Le Village du Bounat, Le Bugue

Le Village du Bournat is one of the Dordogne’s most popular family attractions. The village has been reconstructed to represent life in 1900, with animals working on an organic farm.

Children can be involved in making crafts and join in making flour and bread on a windmill.

Garden workshops

Calling all little ones with green fingers! If your children shows enthusiasm for gardening then take them along to the garden workshop. This educational and exciting workshop takes place in the stunning surroundings of Jardin Botanique de la Bastide in Bordeaux.

Children between the ages of eight and 12 will learn about many aspects of gardening, including hands-on advice and tips. The workshop is run by experts who, judging by how beautiful, varied and stunning the Jardin Botanique de la Bastide’s gardens are, know what they are doing.


 

08 Sep
French Riveria

The best of terrace dining on the Côte d’Azur

If you are going to the Côte d’Azur sometime soon, naturally you’re in for a treat, particularly might we add, in terms of local cuisine.

France is world-renowned for serving top-notch and distinct cuisine and no more so than on the Côte d’Azur where the local gastronomy is relished by both locals and visitors.

Fortunately restaurateurs work hard to make the most of the internationally-celebrated cuisine and consequently there is an abundance of quality restaurants and bars with terrace dining.

Take a look at three of the best terrace dining options on the French Riviera where you can enjoy world-class food, tantalising wine and views that will be etched onto your memory for a lifetime.

La Reserve

Nestled on the cap of Nice, La Reserve sports panoramic views of the stunning Baie des Anges and beyond. Whether you are looking for a romantic night to remember or a rose-induced lunch, wining and dining on the outside terrace at La Reserve will be one meal you’ll never forget.

The restaurant is ran by a young chef called Sebastien Mahuet. According to the Michelin Guide when you enter La Reserve you “embark on refined gastronomic cruise, anchored for the Mediterranean.”

Chevre d’Or, Eze

It’s not just got one Michelin star, it’s got two – with reason. Chevre d’Or in Eze creates spectacularly creative and unique dishes that always use only local, seasonal ingredients. As memorable is its food is Chevre d’Or’s position – perched on the hillside leading up to the medieval village of Eze.

Eze itself has been described as being “perched like an eagle’s nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean.” Needless to say, the views diners take in on the terrace of Chevre d’Or are second to none.

La Voile, Saint Maxime

When pondering some of the best eateries on the Côte d’Azur, you are inevitably taken to the vicinity of Saint Tropez. Located on the shores of the Gulf of Saint Tropez at the feet of the stunning coastal village of Sainte Maxime, La Voile’s outside terrace really is a sight for sore eyes.

Watch the elegant masts of the boats down below bobbling gently up and down in the water whilst your taste buds discover truly delectable cuisine. The seafood is particularly recommended at Saint Maxime, especially the legendary lobster.