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Scintillating Callian

Post by Sharat | October 14, 2017 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Scintillating Callian

You can find Callian in the wooded hills of the Var department of Provence. It is a traditional small French village that lies a short drive inland from Cannes as well as the Cote d’Azur. Callian sits on the side of a hill which means it is set against an extremely picturesque back drop. Whilst it is small and slightly off the beaten track for most tourists, it is a very attractive place to visit.

A web of narrow streets

Callian is filled with dozens of narrow streets that are tangled into a web making them extremely inviting to explore. The village also has a number of lovely houses that are filled with character. Overlooking Callian is a medieval castle and just below it sits the Chapelle des Penitents which was built during the 12th century. There is no reason to go on a regimented tour of Callian whilst you are visiting, instead you should just wander around and tour the little side paths as you come across them.

The church and castle

The Church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption is the main church in the village and was constructed during the 17th century in a baroque style. Right next to the church sits an open square featuring a lovely little waterfall where you will have the opportunity to obtain some wonderful views across the countryside. If you keep walking uphill, you will eventually of course reach the castle which now serves as the town hall for the village. The castle has managed to retain much of its original design, including its round towers that were constructed between the 12th and 13th centuries.

Nearby Callian

Just below the village is a public wash house (lavoir) that has been renovated and you will find that people actually use it as intended. It’s great to see people actually use these things instead of acting as simply a tourist attraction. If you travel a few kilometres South of Callian you will have the opportunity to see the Chapelle Notre Dame des Roses and if you travel South East you can enjoy yourself at the Lake of Saint Cassien which many tourists enjoy. If you are visiting Provence, you should certainly think about making a trip to Callian, you won’t be disappointed.

Callian by Stephen Colbourne, on Flickr

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Save 10% On Return Tickets For Long Breaks To France With P&O Ferries – Offer Ends 31-10-2017

Post by Sharat | October 13, 2017 | Travel Deals | Comment
P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries is running a fantastic offer right now. If you go on a long break of five days or more, you could save 10% on the price of a return ticket to France. To take advantage of this offer, you need to be travelling with your car and you need to book a ticket on or before 31st October 2017. You can travel any time up to 13th December 2017 and all you need to do to lock in the discount is enter coupon code 10FALL17 at the checkout. So head on over to the P&O Ferries site today.

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5-Day Return Tickets To France For A Car And 9 Passengers For £74 With P&O Ferries – Offer Ends 10-12-2017

Post by Sharat | October 12, 2017 | Travel Deals | Comment
P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries has a fantastic offer for people who need a bit of a holiday. You could travel to France for a short stay of five days for just £74 for a car and up to 9 passengers.  All you need to do is book a trip by 10th December 2017 for travel between now and 13th December 2017. For a 5-day short break ticket simply enter coupon code SB5AU at check out. Head on over to the P&O Ferries website to take advantage of this deal.

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5-Day Return To France For Just £69 With DFDS Ferries – Offer Ends 10-12-2017

Post by Sharat | October 12, 2017 | Travel Deals | Comment
dfds

DFDS Ferries has a wonderful offer at the moment for travellers who wish to take a short break to France. If you are thinking about going away for five days, it will cost just £69 return with DFDS. Simply book a trip by 10th December 2017 for travel between now and 13th December 2017. if you want to spend 5 days in France, enter coupon code E120X at checkout. Head on over to the DFDS Ferries website to take advantage of this deal.

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3-Day Short Stay Return Trip From DFDS Ferries For Just £59 -Offer Ends 10-12-2017

Post by Sharat | October 12, 2017 | Travel Deals | Comment
dfds

DFDS Ferries has a fabulous offer for people who want to go on a short holiday. You could travel for a short stay of 3 days for just £59 return. All you need to do is book a trip by 10th December 2017 for travel between now and 13th December 2017. For a 3-day short break ticket simply enter coupon code E72X at check out. If you want to take advantage of this fabulous price for a 3-day short stay in France, head on over to the DFDS Ferries website to take advantage of these deals.

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The Calanques

Post by Sharat | October 7, 2017 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
The Calanques

One of the main highlights of the South coast of France is the calanques which are a series of fjords and limestone cliffs that plunge into the Med. The cliffs span about 20 kilometres of coastline between Marseille and Cassis. In some places you will see pine trees that hug the glistening rock which is incredibly dramatic scenery. It is no surprise that that the coast and countryside that lies to the East of Marseille has been designated as a national park.

Explore the Marseille Calanques

The best way for visitors to reach the calanques is through EnVau which lies to their West and is stunning because the cliffs are so high and the beach and rocks protrude from the water. In some places the cliffs measure as much as 400 metres. Aside from being a scenic attraction, there are also a number of small beaches which give visitors the opportunity to swim between the cliffs which is a fantastic experience.

Boat

One way to take in the calanques is by going on a boat trip and sailing from Cassis along the coast. The boat trip will set you back 13 Euros for a 45 minute journey, 15 Euros for a 65 minute trip and 19 Euros for a 90 minute sailing and you can buy tickets at Cassis harbour. No matter what trip you decide upon, you will be thrilled as the boat sails all around the beautiful coastline with a surprise waiting around every corner.

Hiking

Instead of sailing around the coast, you could choose to explore the region on foot by hiking along the coastline. If you are a walker, you will really enjoy this experience, Thecalanques contain plenty of designated climbing areas which you should check out. You should be aware that because there is a high risk of fire, there are a number of restrictions on which areas hikers have access to, particularly in the dry months of July and August.

Diving

Divers simply love the coastline around the Marseille calanques. You obviously won’t be able to get a sense of all the scenery if you are underwater, nevertheless you will really enjoy the experience. The Cosquer cave which is underwater contains some of the world’s oldest cave paintings. Unfortunately, the entrance is 35 metres under water and even if you are equipped to dive, the authorities have banned people from accessing it which is a real shame even though it is necessary.

Calanque d’En-Vau by Frédérique Voisin-Demery, on Flickr

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Visit Cagnes-sur-Mer

Post by Sharat | September 28, 2017 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Visit Cagnes-sur-Mer

Cagnes-sur-Mer is located smack bang in between Nice and Antibes on the coast of the French Riviera. The town consists of three separate parts, including the seaside resort, the town itself which is located behind the resort and the Haut-de-Cagnes which was the original settlement that was built on the hill. Haut-de-Cagnes was built on the site of an earlier village that was established by the Greeks and then occupied by the Romans. Unsurprisingly it is filled with old narrow lanes and stairways that are well worth exploring. When you get to the top of the hill there is a castle which is what the town is best known for.

The chateau

The village winds itself around the hill top just below the castle, the steep streets are lined with many attractive medieval and renaissance period houses. On one side, there is a wide-open area and a couple of cafes, whilst the rest is a mix of narrow streets and pastel painted houses. The town itself is quite compact, but the experience of exploring it is quite pleasant. In the very centre of the Haut-de-Cagnes is the Chateau Grimaldi which at one time was one of the region’s most important centres. The Grimaldi family were very rich and powerful and their castle dates back to between the 14th and 16th centuries.

Great views

The chateau is well worth visiting and contains some extremely interesting highlights such as a wonderful internal courtyard filled with lovely galleries and an extraordinary staircase and giant fireplace. The ceiling is painted elaborately and dates back to the early 17th century when the castle was renovated, transforming it from a fortress into a comfortable living space. The view from the castle out towards the sea is extremely impressive and it is well worth checking out.

Elsewhere in Cagnes

One major highlight of any visit to Cagnes-sur-Mer is the estate and Renoir museum which is located in in the Eastern part of town. Cagnes-sur-Mer was the last residence of the famous impressionist painter Renoir and as such it is possible to visit his estate. The estate contains 11 of his paintings as well as a collection of works by other well-known artists.

2017 Cagnes sur Mer France (8) by Alehins, on Flickr

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Check Out Cadenet

Post by Sharat | September 21, 2017 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Check Out Cadenet

Cadenet is a small town located in the South of the Regional National Park of Luberon. It is off the beaten path for many visitors but if you do decide to make a trip, it is best to begin with a visit to the Cadenet Tourist Office which is located in the main square. Here you can ask for the map which highlights the town’s main attractions which are spread out across all directions.

The Church

If you walk up the hill from the main square, you will find the Church Saint-Etienne, its wonderful bell tower and hexagonal spire. The church was constructed during the 14th century on the site of an earlier church that was built during the 12th century. The choir section, a number of the other chapels and the bell tower were added somewhere between the 16th and 18th centuries. The most recent addition to the building is its spire which was built in 1844.

Venture inside

When you enter the church, you will see the iron fence that surrounds the choir section as well as an organ that dates back to the 19th century. The most interesting feature is the baptismal font because it is extremely old on account of it being an ancient sarcophagus that was later reused as a font. Opposite to the church you will find the Museum of Basketry which celebrates what used to be an extremely important industry for Cadenet.

The castle

Cadenet’s most important monument is the site of the castle which is situated on the hill overlooking the town. It’s quite a bit of a distance away, so if it is a hot day outside, you may want to drive rather than walk there. There has been a castle that has stood at this particular location since the 11th century. However, the castle was torn down on the orders of Louis XIV in the 17th century and following the revolution it also faced a fire which burned it down. People tend to visit the site these days to check out the many troglodyte dwellings that can be found there. There are also some fantastic views of the town’s rooftops and it makes a nice venue for a picnic. Rather unsurprisingly many events are organised here during the summer.

White spring by Salva Barbera, on Flickr

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Visit Briancon

Post by Sharat | September 14, 2017 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Visit Briancon

Briancon is a town that sits at 1,350 metres above sea level. It is located close to the French Italian border and is set against a backdrop of alpine mountains. Briancon is easily Europe’s highest city and sits at the end of a number of strategic valleys which gives it its historical importance for both trade and defence. Whilst the fortifications which currently dominate the town were built between the 17th and 18th centuries, the town’s defensive importance dates back to Roman times.

Exploring Briancon

The most interesting attraction for tourists is Briancon’s old town which is known as the Ville Haute. This part of Briancon has remained unchanged since it was reconstructed by Vauban during the 18th century after the original town was destroyed in 1692 by the duc de Savoie. There are some interesting monuments to be found and you should start your tour by entering through the Porte de Pignerol which is a large stone gateway. You should follow the town’s main street known as the Grand Rue as it runs steeply down the hillside surrounded by attractive old buildings. The Grand Rue is choc a block with bars, cafes and restaurants, so you have everything you need to enjoy your visit.

Twin towers

The Abbey Church of Notre Dame and Saint Nicholas and their twin towers continue to dominate the old town to this day. The structure was also added by Vauban and features beautiful stone bell towers with a painted sun-dial. There are a number of other smaller chapels as well as fountains that should be visited. For example, you should check out the Fountain of Sighs which was built during the 18th century and is also located on the Grand Rue. As you explore more of the old town you will come across a number of picturesque squares.

Off the beaten track

If you are seeking an escape from the masses of tourists who flock to the old town, you should take a wander down the hill along what is known as Avenue de la Republique until you reach the lower part of town. Here you will find plenty of shops cafes and other types of businesses. Alternatively, you could head in the opposite direction and travel upwards towards the fort from where you will be greeted with some wonderful views of Briancon, its fortification and the surrounding mountains.

Briancon by Raffaele Sergi, on Flickr

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Book Dover To Calais Return Day Trip And Get 6 Free Bottles Of Wine With P&O Ferries – Offer Ends 08-10-17

Post by Sharat | September 13, 2017 | Travel Deals | Comment
P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries is running a fabulous deal right now. You could travel between Dover and Calais return on a return day trip and get six bottles of wine free of charge. All you need to do is book a day trip by 8th October 2017 and enter coupon code FREEWINEDT at checkout.  Travel any time between  18th September to 19th October 2017 and this deal could be yours.

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