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Visit Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Post by Sharat | April 14, 2018 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Visit Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is a village in Provence that is famous for being the source of the River Sorgue. It initially developed as a Roman settlement before turning into a traditional French village, but even before then, the area has had human inhabitants since prehistoric times. The population of the village today stands at roughly 600, however this dramatically increases during the summer. This attractive medieval village is set against a backdrop of the stunning Vaucluse cliffs which when combined with the emerald green river explains why so many tourists visit Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.

Exploring Fontaine-de-Vaucluse

Due to lack of space, you will have to park either on the South or East of the village on the main roads that lead into the centre. From there you can stroll into Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and start your tour at the main square known as the Place de la Colonne. There is a column at the centre of the square that was constructed in 1804 to celebrate the birth of the 14th century Italian poet Petrarch some 500 years earlier and who lived in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse for many years.

Head to the castle

You should cross the bridge and stop of at the village tourist office and ask for a map. From there you can follow a path that will take you to a castle built during the 13th century that overlooks the village. Even if you decide not to walk all the way to castle a short stroll along the path will lead you to some lovely gardens and a very attractive stretch of the river which is the perfect spot for a picnic.

The Source of the Sorgue river

The most obvious tourist attraction is the source of the River Sorgue. It is located just a few hundred metres away from the village and sits in a lovely setting complete with towering cliffs. The green colour of the water is remarkable and the stroll is truly beautiful and must not be missed if you do visit Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. On your way to the source you will find plenty of cafes and stalls selling everything from gifts to ice-cream. It is a bit too busy to begin with. but after a while, as you travel further along the riverside, it becomes more tranquil. The river itself originates form a pool that generates enormous amounts of water.

The paper mill

As you make your way to the source you will pass by a large water mill and make sure you also visit the paper mill which offers a demonstration of how paper was produced during the Middle Ages. Entry to the paper mill is free of cost and you will also have the opportunity to purchase sheets of handmade paper which will be great if you have upcoming nuptials and need to send out posh invites!

Fontaine-de-Vaucluse by Sergio, on Flickr

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Flamboyant Fondation Maeght

Post by Sharat | April 7, 2018 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Flamboyant FondationMaeght

For those of you who are not aware the FondationMaeght is an art gallery and exhibition area. It is situated on a hill above Saint-Paul-de-Vence and is not far from either Cannes or Nice. It was set up during the 1960’s and serves as a museum that pays homage to the modernist style. It is nestled in a lovely wooded area with some spectacular views and more than 200,000 people visit every year since it has a reputation of being one of France’s finest modern art museums.

Huge sculpture collection

The museum itself is famous for its extensive collection of sculptures from artists such as Giacometti and Miro. You will find the works of the latter displayed in the museum’s terraced gardens. There are a number of other works on display from a variety of artists including paintings, drawings and sculptures. If you do intend to visit Provence we highly recommend you stop off at the museum if you are an art person, though the entry price is quite steep so be prepared.

Nice building

The building that museum is housed in is itself both attractive and interesting. It is completely whitewashed and built in a modern style complete with quarter-circle roofs which allows diffused light to permeate the galleries. The building was designed so that it integrates with the natural environment in a harmonious manner.

You can bring a piece back with you

If you want to pick up a souvenir, the museum has a shop that sells prints and books. If you are a dedicated art lover then you can even purchase limited edition lithographs signed by the artists themselves. Prices are steep however, starting at 100 Euros and going all the way up to 8,000 Euros for a lithograph signed by Miro.

Visitor details

At the time of writing this piece, entrance to the museum costs 14 Euros for an adult. If you want the privilege of snapping photos then you will have to fork over a further 5 Euros. Students or those aged under 18 are charged 9 Euros for entry and children under ten can enter for free. The museum is open 365 days a year and doors open at 10 am and close at 6 pm, though during the summer months closing time is extended by an hour.

Fondation Maeght by Sebastian Bertrand, on Flickr

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Fantastic Flayosc

Post by Sharat | March 28, 2018 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Fantastic Flayosc

The village of Flayosc is scenically located on a small hill surrounded by olive trees, oak forests and vineyards. Flayoscis close to the Cote d’Azur which means it is in a part of Provence that is easy to get to but you don’t have to deal with the crowds that throng to the region’s more popular tourist destinations. The village has a very medieval essence to it which means it doesn’t have a very touristy vibe about it in comparison to many of the other villages in the region. It sits on a rocky hill and is centred around its church that itself is surrounded by medieval homes that served as the village defences.

Exploring Flayosc

The historic town centre is typically Provencal with narrow streets that open onto small squares. You will of course find the odd decorative fountain that is customary with village squares. There is some unusual architecture on display that is eye catching and makes a visit to Flayosc very pleasant indeed. If you are in the region, you should, if you have time, make it a point to drop by.

Check out the church

As we said at the beginning of the guide, the town centre is dominated by the Church of Saint-Laurent and is worthy of a visit. Originally the building was constructed during the 12th Century and was built as a chapel. Not much of the original structure remains and todays building is the product of reconstruction and modifications that took place between the 16th and 18th centuries. The bell tower is of particular note and is made from very attractive wrought iron. There are some spectacular views to be had from the church of vineyards that stretch far to the South.

Authentic Provencal village

You should also seek out the fountains if you are visiting which you will probably come across naturally as you explore Flayosc. These fountains give the town its authentic Provencal feel. There used to be a castle that once stood as part of the village but it was almost completely destroyed during the revolution. All that remains are three of the original doorways through the defensive walls. The countryside surrounding the village features a number of small chapels and if you are the exploring type visit the tourist office and ask for details of suggested walks.

2017 Flayosc (8) by Alehins, on Flickr

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Fabulous Fayence

Post by Sharat | March 21, 2018 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Fabulous Fayence

Fayence is a quintessential Provencal town located in Pays de Fayence and sits to the North of Saint Raphael on the Cote d’Azur towards the West of Grasse. The town itself is a little larger than most of the villages you will find when you explore Provence and it is also an extremely attractive one. It is pleasure to visit and see what Fayence has to offer and it serves as fantastic base for exploring the rest of the region.

Exploring Fayence

Fayence has a wide range of restaurants and cafes to choose from and there are plenty of other tourist attractions that are well worth checking out. You will discover these as you wander through the streets of Fayence. For example, as you explore the town, you will come across a tradition lovoir built from stone known as Place Gabriel Peri and located at the bottom of the old town. There is also an ancient communal bread oven that can trace its origins right back to the 16th century. If you want to see it, then simply follow the signs for ‘Four du Mitan’.

Wander around

As you continue to explore you will come across many Provencal fountains and doorways featuring ornately carved stone lintels. You should also make sure to pay a visit to the Church of Saint Jean Baptiste that was built during the 18th century. Another tourist attraction of interest is the 14th century entrance through the original ramparts known as the Saracen Gate and finally be sure to check out the Chapel Notre Dame des Cypres which is the region’s oldest Christian church and sits in the heart of the original medieval village of Fayence.

Other things to do

Fayence has a hill and if you climb to the top of it you will see what remains of a castle that once stood there. There is a clocktower that is surrounded by a viewing platform from where you can observe some spectacular far-reaching views that spread out across every direction. There are several other traditional villages that are close by to Fayence. You could pay a visit to Tourrettes or Seillans. The latter holds lofty the accolade of being the most beautiful village in France.

Fayence, sous les arches de la mairie by Jean Menjoulet, on Flickr

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Save £7.50 On Ferries To France With P&O Ferries Spring Offer – Offer Ends 30-04-2018

Post by Sharat | March 20, 2018 | Travel Deals | Comment
P&O Ferries

P&O has a great offer right now if you wish to travel between Dover and Calais. You could save as much as £7.50 on a one-way ticket and if you book a return ticket, you could save £15 for a ferry crossing for your car and as many as 9 people.  All you need to do to take advantage of this deal is book your ticket on or before 30th April 2018 and enter coupon code GB18SPRING at check out for travel on selected departures from now until 12th December 2018.

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DFDS Spring Offer Save £7.50 On Ferries Between Dover & Calais – Offer Ends 30-04-2018

Post by Sharat | March 16, 2018 | Travel Deals | Comment
dfds

DFDS has a great offer right now if you wish to travel between Dover to Dunkirk and Calais. You could save as much as £7.50 on a one-way ticket and if you book a return ticket, you could save £15 for a ferry crossing for your car and as many as 9 people. Ticket prices start from as low as £27.50 each way and you also get the opportunity to enter DFDS’s competition with prizes such as a free ferry crossing experience with Premium Lounge entry, an on board meal for four and £150 to spend in DFDS on board shop. All you need to do to take advantage of this deal is book your ticket on or before 30th April 2018 for travel on selected departures from now until 12th December 2018. So what are you waiting for? head over to the DFDS site pronto!

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Excellent Eze

Post by Sharat | March 14, 2018 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Excellent Eze

Eze is a medieval French village sitting high up on a hill overlooking the French Riviera in Provence. As you would expect from such a location, there are fantastic views of the coast and across the sea. Whilst Eze is indeed extremely close to the Mediterranean and the resort of Eze-sur-Mer, because of its unique location it takes about half an hour to reach by car if you are driving from the coast. We highly recommend you pay it a visit, because Eze is one of France’s most beautiful villages which is high praise indeed. Its beauty and its location meansEze attracts lots of tourists and can become crowded but don’t let that put you off visiting because it really is worth it.

Exploring Eze

The entire village is pedestrianised which means if you drive there you will need park in the car park below the village. Right next to the car park is where you will find the village tourist office where you can obtain a tourist guide and map that will make exploring the village easy and provide you with information about attractions you should keep an eye out for. As you climb the hill on your way to the village you will spot the church and eventually reach the narrow-paved streets of the village centre that are entered through a 14th century gate.

Alleys and streets

There are a myriad of alleys and streets to explore in the village and you will find beautiful courtyards or a picturesque house every time you turn a corner. Most of the houses now serve as shops, art galleries or restaurants. Make sure you take a stroll along Rue du Barri which will take you to the Chateau de la Chèvre d’Or hotel. From there keep climbing the hill and wander through the village alleys and staircases where you will stumble upon many places of interest.

Galleries and cafes

You should check out Place Francis Blanche and its many streets that are extremely picturesque and filled with art galleries and cafes. You will also see some small fountains and beautiful windows and doors all of which add to the charm of Eze. On the edge of the old village you will find an orange church that was constructed between during the 18th century and features a neo-classical façade. Whilst it does look plain on the outside when you enter the building you will be impressed by the décor, paintings and frescoes.

Exotic garden of Eze

If you visit Eze make sure you visit the gardens and pay the entry fee, you will not regret it.In fact, if you don’t you will be missing out. The entrance to the exotic gardens are near the top of the village and the gardens are set amidst the ruins of a medieval castle. The semi-tropical gardens are beautiful and there are splendid views across the village rooftops and coast to be had which more than makes up for the cost of entry. There is a wide range of plant life as you would expect from a garden, plus there are areas where you can rest and relax. When you reach the summit of the garden you will arrive at the belvedere which is the best vantage point of the village and the Mediterranean.

Jardin exotique d’Eze by Sylvain Leprovost, on Flickr

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3 Day Short Break Offers To France From P&O Ferries – Offer Ends 14-12-2018

Post by Sharat | March 8, 2018 | Travel Deals | Comment
P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries have a great offer on three-day short breaks between Dover and Calais for a car and 9 persons. All you need to do is make a booking on or before 14th December 2018 for travel anytime between now and December 15th 2018. Enter coupon code 3DGBQ2 at checkout and you could get a three-day return ticket for a car and up to 9 passengers for just £70 Monday to Thursday and £75 for travel from Friday to Sunday  so head on over to the P&O Ferries site and make a booking today.

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5 Day Short Break Offers To France From P&O Ferries – Offer Ends 29-06-2018

Post by Sharat | March 8, 2018 | Travel Deals | Comment
P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries have a great offer on five-day short breaks between Dover and Calais for a car and 9 persons. All you need to do is make a booking on or before 14th December 2018 for travel anytime between now and December 15th 2018. Enter coupon code 5DGBQ2 at checkout and you could get a three-day return ticket for a car and up to 9 passengers for just £80 Monday to Thursday and £85 for travel from Friday to Sunday  so head on over to the P&O Ferries site and make a booking today.

How Do I Get This Deal ?

> > Click here to see latest deals

Please Note - Any Prices Quoted Are Correct at Time of Posting


Electric Entrevaux

Post by Sharat | March 7, 2018 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
Electric Entrevaux

Entrevaux is a small medieval village in Provence. It is extremely picturesque thanks to its position that is raised above a bend in the Var river. The village is surrounded by mountain slopes and you enter it by crossing a narrow bridge and passing through a gate in the town’s fortified walls. Entrevaux has three medieval gateways in various parts of the town. If you are thinking of heading to Provence for a holiday you may want to make a stop at Entrevaux and see what it has to offer.

Exploring Entrevaux

Within the town walls there exists a warren of winding streets dotted by ancient houses just waiting to be explored. You will see some lovely squares and their prerequisite babbling fountains. If you enter the houses you will find that many have some fascinating features so make sure to take a gander along the narrow side streets to get a real sense of the town.

Check out the sun dial and communal bakery

There is an oil mill in Entrevaux that dates back to the 18th century and continues to operate to this very day which even for Provence is extremely unusual. Another attraction of interest is the sun dial on the Maison Fulconis which has been serving as time keeper for the village residents since the 16th century. Make sure you check out the communal bread oven which is nicknamed the “four banal” because it used to be the town’s only bakery and residents were forced to purchase their bread at prices set by the local aristocracy.

The church

You should also pay a visit to the small ‘Cathedral of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption’ which is located on the edge of town. Many people still call the church a cathedral but in fact this building which was built during the 17th century lost its official role in 1790. There is a carved stone entrance that you need to pass through in order to get inside the building where you will find an ornate choir and an 18th century organ.

Visit the citadel

After you have toured all the main attractions in the village wander up to the citadel that was constructed during the 11th century and sits on a high rocky outcrop overlooking the village. The citadel can be reached by climbing a steep path that will take you right up to the edge of the rock. It’s a bit of an effort and you will end up feeling hot and sweaty but the views of the village from the citadel will make all the effort to get there worthwhile. If you head back in to Entrevaux, end your tour with a visit to a most unusual museum dedicated to small motorbikes and mopeds. It’s a pretty strange concept for such a small village but there are examples dating back to the 1920’s so it worth checking out.

Entrevaux by dierk schaefer, on Flickr

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