As cycling fever grips the nation we are taking you on ‘le tour’ - Affair Travel style!
Tour de France Stage 15 – Tallard to Nîmes (Sunday 20th July)
Starting from Tallard and finishing in Nîmes, Stage 15 is one of the longest stages of Tour de France this year. Its diverse 222km route passes by the village of Reillanne, which is part of Luberon – an area famous for its magnificent landscapes with rocky hills and fields of lavender, olive trees and flowers. Newly built property Grands Chenes, a short distance from Reillanne, is set on private grounds and is ideal for a quiet, self-catered holiday.
Just over an hour away is the French town of Avignon, close to the finish line of Stage 15. The nearby villa Noves is a charming and recently built property with spacious gardens and even has its own apple orchard. Enjoy the famous annual Festival d'Avignon, which takes place during July and celebrates the best of the region’s art.
Tour de France Stage 18 – Pau to Hautacam (Thursday 24th July)
This stage is a little shorter at 145.5 km but still traverses some of the highest roads in the Pyrenees. Within easy reach of Pays Basque sits the charming house La Branaa, ideally located for exploring this delightful region. The area’s atmosphere is fabulous, with picturesque villages and gushing rivers.
Tour de France Stage 19 & 20 – Maubourguet to Bergerac to Perigueux (Friday 25 & Saturday 26 July)
Not far from the final stages of Tour de France is The Lot Valley, home to many enchanting hilltop villages and breath-taking views providing a glimpse of French provincial life.
In the spirit of the Tour, you can explore the 86km-long cycling route that runs along the River Lot and passes by orchards, fortified towns and farms. Visitors can also discover the region’s interesting limestone valleys of Theze and Lemance.
One of the region’s most unique properties is the Cauzac Windmill - a fully restored windmill located between Villeneuve and Agen, just over 100km from the finish line.
Another charming property in the Lot Valley is Vieux Tilleul also known as The Old Lime Tree. This lovingly refurbished villa provides a spacious and comfortable place to stay within a beautiful countryside setting. Visit the nearby Villefranche du Perigord, popular for hosting an autumn mushroom fair, Cazals for its antique fairs and Monpazier, a fortified town laid out by Edward I in 1284.
Affair Travel has an incredible range of unique villas to provide a fabulous experience you will never forget. Whether you stay at a French windmill, or a traditional Croatian fisherman’s cottage in a stunning bay – you’re sure to have a holiday you can tell all your friends about!
Cuazac Windmill in the Lot Valley in France is quite unique as it is a charming, fully restored, French windmill. With a rustic and traditional feel, but equipped with all the necessities for modern living, Cuazac is in open countryside on a plateau roughly equidistant from the two principal towns of the Lot and Garonne.
A great way to explore Lot Valley is by car and one of our favourite spots is the town of Tournon d’ Agenais. Perched on a craggy outcrop, this picturesque traditional French town has a colourful market where you can sample fresh local produce - the fruit is particularly delicious! You should also take a trip to Agen, which dates back to the Roman times and has some well-preserved medieval houses and interesting churches. Our favourite has to be the Romanesque church of St Caprais, a wonderful building – definitely one to add to your Lot Valley To Do list!
Another special property is Fisherman’s Cottage in Croatia. The cottage is set in a stunning bay, surrounded by private vineyards and oozing with character – a true summer escape for anyone looking to get away from the stresses of work and life. One of our favourite things to do in the Dubrovnik area is to take a trip to one of Croatia’s many stunning islands - we would recommend Mljet. Mljet is known as the greenest island in Croatia, a long island with lots of pretty villages to discover. It is famous for two beaches: Saplunara and Blace, which are located to the south-east of the island, ideal for a lazy afternoon in the sun and a dip in the crystal clear blue Adriatic. Why not take a trip to the north of the island to the National Park of Mljet, which has two saltwater lakes and the St Mary islet featuring a monastery. Wherever you choose to take your villa holiday, Affair Travel can offer a unique experience to guarantee you have an amazing time and create some lovely memories.
Going away with a group of friends can sometimes involve lots of planning and difficult decisions…but there is none of this with a villa holiday – its stress free and so much fun! Croatia and Montenegro are ideal destinations to choose for your villa holiday. There is amazing weather, great bars and restaurants and lots of culture to enjoy.
Croatia is an ideal holiday destination for a group of friends this summer – renowned for having a young and buzzing bar and restaurant scene, this is great for those looking for amazing weather during the day and to party the night away! Villa Dvori is perfect for your group of friends, sleeping up to 12 people with a private pool and only 200m away from the beach! What’s not to like?! From Dvori you can head to Dubrovnik a stunning city on the Dalmatian Coast. One thing we would highly recommend doing in Dubrovnik is taking a ride on the city’s cable car; once you are at the Upper Cable car station head to Restaurant Panorama which has a beautiful view of the old town.
Dubrovnik has some of Croatia’s best bars and clubs, whether you want a relaxed evening in a wine bar or an all-night party! Buza is one of our favourite hidden gems in Dubrovnik, literally ‘hanging’ outside of the city – the bar is perched on rocky cliffs with stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and Croatian islands. For those who want a late night spot then head to EastWest, an amazing beach bar that literally goes all day and all night. In the style of Saint Tropez, this is definitely the place to get dressed up and enjoy a cocktail and a boogie!
Montenegro is an up and coming glamorous and exciting destination on the Adriatic Coast, with stylish bars and clubs and great value for money! Villa Skadar in the Bar Riviera is an ideal villa for a holiday with a group of friends, sleeping up to 10 people. You can all relax by the pool during the day and then head into one of Montenegro’s atmospheric towns or cities for an evening of fun! One of our favourite clubs in Montenegro has to be Maximus in Kotor; this sophisticated spot is a favourite with both locals and tourists alike, with great music and a friendly crowd – it’s time to get your dancing shoes on! In Montenegro there are countless activities you can do if you don’t fancy relaxing by the pool all day, head to the Durmitor National Park where you can hike, canoe, and swim or zip-line to your hearts content!
All you have to do now is get your friends to agree on either Croatia or Montenegro…it’s a tough choice!
For those with families, the countdown to the half term has begun! Many families look for a last minute escape to the sun for half term and want a destination that caters to all ages and tastes. Croatia, Montenegro and Malta may not be places you have considered for a family holiday before but both countries are stunning and full of fun activities and things to do for all the family!
If you are considering getting away to the beautiful country of Croatia this half term then check out Villa Violica in Istria, one of our favourite family villas. Villa Violica is perfect for a family, with spacious enclosed gardens and a lovely pool that will keep any young ones entertained if you fancy a quiet afternoon relaxing. One of the best places to take kids in Istria is the Glavani Park, an adventure park in a stunning countryside setting. You can enjoy the exciting high wire walks or play with your kids in the many tree houses. The Glavani Park is fun for all ages and those too little (or scared of heights) can have fun visiting the farm animals. Croatia offers picturesque scenery, beautiful weather and loads for the family – a perfect half term destination!
Montenegro is the jewel in the Adriatic crown. With breath-taking coastline and lots of exciting things going on during summer it makes a great alternative for a family getaway. Villa Skadar in Dobra Voda is great for a large family or even 2 families sharing together as it sleeps up to 10! The Durmitor National Park in Montenegro is ideal to spend a full day out as a family - you can canoe, walk and swim your way through this park! One of our must visit things in the park has to be the Ice Caves where you can discover the stunning natural ice formations – don’t forget your camera!
Malta is a gorgeous island with great people, weather and food – no wonder it is such a popular destination! Villa Rosa in St Julian’s is a great choice for any family heading on a last minute half term break. St Julian’s is a bustling town, giving you lots to do right on your doorstep! One of our must visit sites in Malta has to be St Johns Co-Cathedral in the islands capital of Valetta,a stunning gem of Baroque art, the perfect cultural visit on your holiday.
With the half term fast approaching, Affair Travel has some amazing offers on villas suitable for a last minute escape with plenty to do for all them family. France and Corsica villa holidays are perfect for a half term getaway just a short distance from the UK with great weather, and activities on offer for all ages! It’s time to book your villa holiday with Affair Travel and fill your half term with happiness!
Corsica is a beautiful French island in the Mediterranean, with a gorgeous climate, stunning coastline and pretty towns to discover. It’s the perfect family destination! Villa La Colline is just a short distance from the picturesque Porto Vecchio and can accommodate up to six people, perfect for a large family.
One of our guests’ favourite things to do in Corsica is horse riding, as you can take a gentle ride on one of Corsica’s many beaches and along its unspoiled coastal paths. Horse riding is a great activity for children too, offering them something exciting that will keep them entertained for hours.
Scandola is one place we recommend you must visit - you could spend a whole day at the Nature Reserve with its beautiful and dramatic scenery and coastline. A boat trip around some of Scandola’s bays and coves is something the whole family can enjoy, not only to take in the stunning surroundings but also for the chance to spot dolphins!
If you fancy a French villa holiday this half term, why not head to the Dordogne hideaway of Le Chai with its own swimming pool and accommodation for up to six people. The Dordogne region is situated in South West France, and boasts gorgeous weather and a rich history and culture - the perfect place for a half term break!
For a great family day out in the Dordogne we would suggest heading to Lac Jemaye Regional Park. There is plenty of parking available, a lovely sandy beach at the lakeside perfect for swimming, different play areas for children, and some great food available. What more could you want?!
There are lots of impressive chateaus dotted all over the Dordogne region that have such interesting architecture and history for a family to enjoy. A common favourite is Chateau des Milandes, dating back to the 15th century. Owned by American entertainer Josephine Baker, you can enjoy all of her 20th century outfits and furnishings whilst discovering the older history of the Chateau, which even has a raptor show!
There is so much to do in France and Corsica this half term! It’s down to you to decide, but whichever you choose the half term happiness is sure to come!
Europe is home to some of the culinary capitals of the world, and there is no better way to immerse yourself in the culture of an area than by cooking up the local dishes! At the heart of European cuisine is locally sourced produce and the many bustling food markets on the continent make it easy to pick up local ingredients.
A great place to start your culinary adventure is France, which many consider to be the food capital of the world. Offering a variety of local dishes, from Steak Frites to Moules Marinière, there are a range of easy meals that you can whip up yourself on a villa holiday to France.
If you’re staying in Dordogne in Southern France, you could try making a classic French onion soup with big, aromatic onions purchased from the local market at Beaumont-du-Perigold. Stay in the picturesque Maison Medici in the charming village of Bourdeilles, and in the summer months visit the Wednesday market to purchase local farm products like duck, chicken and veal, as well as locally grown vegetables. France is also famous for its vineyards and local wines; in Dordogne visit the Bergerac, Duras and Marmande vineyards, and savour a glass of the local vintage with your meal.
If you’ve chosen a Croatian villa holiday, prepare to enjoy some of their incredibly diverse cuisine, influenced by a number of different cultures and nations, from the Italians to the Ancient Greeks. Each region has its own specific taste; Croatia’s Dalmatian coast has a distinctly Mediterranean feel, whilst the Istrian coast has clearly been influenced by Italian flavours.
Visit the daily market in Split to pick up some local ingredients to try local recipes such as Jota, which is a pork, potato and bean stew. Stay in the spacious Villa Adriatic, in the old village of Brela and enjoy a delightful local meal outside overlooking the sea.
In Corsica, stay in one of our top villas, La Colline, a charming, self-catered villa near the pretty citadel town of Porto Vecchio. Corsica fuses hearty French meats and flavours with light, fresh Mediterranean aromas. Try the country’s famous cured meats on a villa holiday to Corsica, like wild boar, figatellu (liver sausage) and prisutu (smoked ham) outside on your villa’s terrace, with a glass of wine.
Castles have an undeniably attractive, yet peculiar charm that most people find hard to resist. They seem like a gateway to the long forgotten ancient times and give an opportunity to come to know their secrets. If you are interested in taking a journey back in time, you can plan a trip to south of France, as this is the place where you can see some of the finest examples of medieval architecture of this type.
One of top places to visit is Palais des Papes (Palace of the popes) in Avignon. It is a remarkable Gothic building, which will immediately grab your attention with its impressive size and imposing architecture. You can spend several hours wandering around the many premises in this huge complex and use the opportunity to learn many interesting facts about France’s history and the papacy in particular.
Chateau Tarascon is beautifully located on the banks of the River Rhone and therefore offers some delightful views over both the river and the village. Please keep in mind that there are a lot of stairs to climb in the castle, which might not be suitable for elderly people or small children. The castle’s rooms are not richly furnished, but still, the place deserves a visit due to its characteristic atmosphere and splendid views.
One of the most spectacular and impressive places that you can visit in south of France is Chateau Peyrepertuse. Do not expect anything lavish, as the castle is basically a ruin, but this is precisely the main reason to visit it. You will need to walk a steep path from the car park beneath the site, in order to get to it (the castle is situated on the top of a limestone ridge in the French Pyrénées), but the view from high above is definitely worth the effort. The eerie, yet romantic look of the castle will easily make you feel as if you have gone several hundred years back.
If you want to visit one of the last fortified castles built before their era began to fade away, organize a trip to Chateau Bonaguil, situated near the town of Fumel. Some parts of the castle are in ruins, but it can be considered to be well preserved. It is recommended to visit it in the end of July when a spectacular fireworks show takes place.
While you are in the Dordogne area, you can also take a trip to Chateau de Castelnaud. It has been actively restored in the recent years and remains one of the well-maintained castles in France. One of its best features is the museum of medieval warfare, where you can see excellent examples of weaponry such as siege engines and trebuchets. Close to this castle is another excellently preserved one - Château de Beynac, which is impressively situated on the top of a limestone cliff. As you can easily guess, the views over the Dordogne valley and river are delightful, but it is also recommended to explore the dungeons on the lower level.
The green oasis of Istria has become a favourite holiday spot for many of Affair Travel customers. Our villas are scattered throughout different parts of the peninsular and are well positioned in close distance to important sightseeing points and places of interest.
We would like to introduce our luxury properties near the lovely town of Grožnjan. It will surprise and enchant you not only with its authentic Croatian atmosphere, but also with its exciting and rich cultural life, especially during the summer months, when the internationally famous jazz festival takes place.
If you plan to make up the most of Grožnjan’s entertaining calendar and the variety of workshops, musical and art events, it might be good to consider renting the gorgeous villa Laurus well in advance. It not only enjoys a favourable and peaceful position on a little hamlet, but is also situated just 6 kilometres away from Grožnjan. In the village you can find some excellent restaurants to try the tastyCroatian cuisine, although your culinary search can be further extended to the towns of Brtonigla, Novigrad and Motovun.
Guests will also surely be tempted to use the villa’s spacious and contemporarily equipped kitchen and enjoy the freshly cooked meals in the privacy of the front garden and its swimming pool, which offer sweeping views towards the lush vineyards and gorgeous countryside surrounding the property. Besides the kitchen, on the ground floor you will also find a living room, dining area and games room, which provides home entertainment in the form of a TV, snooker and table football. The holiday villa can accommodate up to 6 people and features 3 bedrooms (two with a double bed and one with a twin bed) with ensuite bathrooms located on the first floor.
If you are travelling with a larger party, you might prefer staying at the lovely Mirna Vista villa, which is ready to welcome up to 8 guests. It is situated within some of Istria’s most beautiful landscapes, which can be easily admired from the property due to its location on the edge of Vizinada. A five minutes’ walk will take you to the village where you can find two grocery shops for fresh supplies and 2 bars. A short car ride (15 to 20 minutes) is necessary to get you to some of Istria’s most fascinating towns and villages - Motovun, Groznjan, Porec and Umag. They offer numerous possibilities for entertainment, sightseeing, shopping and dining.
The holiday villa itself is so comfortable and well-designed that you will most likely spend a great deal of your time relaxing within its premises and staying by the spacious pool or in the garden, admiring the breath-taking views. The villa features a large living area, dining area that can seat 10 people and an open plan kitchen equipped with all necessary facilities. The ground floor also houses a twin bedroom and a shower/WC area. On the first floor there are 3 bedrooms (one with a twin bed and two with a king size bed), each of them with a private balcony and a bathroom area.
If you are planning a visit to Croatia’s fascinating Adriatic coast, one of the recommended things to do is to take a few days to explore the wonderful Split area. Without a doubt a must do activity while you are there, would be a trip around the historical core of the town of Split combined with a walk along its famous promenade. But your Split adventure should not conclude with that, as there are a great number of exhilarating things to do in the area.
From Split you can easily get to one of the most beautiful nature parks in Croatia – the Cetina Valley and the gorgeous Cetina River. Here you can enjoy a thrilling day filled with adrenaline and fun, as well as grant yourself the possibility to test your body and mind in an unforgettable way. Canyoning is one of the most popular forms of entertainment here, as it may combine numerous activities such as swimming, walking, climbing, etc. It gives you a great chance to explore the canyon’s natural formations – cliffs, lakes, rapids, etc. It is very important to do this accompanied by an experienced guide and protected by appropriate and reliable equipment. The licensed companies offering such services should provide you with all necessities. Canyoning usually does not require initial training or great physical skills, but depending on your general health condition and desire for adventure you can choose what kind of difficulties you want to overcome. For example, the extreme level of canyoning includes abseiling down the 50-metres high Gubavica waterfall.
If you want to try rafting down the river, you have to make sure you meet the standards and requirements necessary to participate in such an adventure. A good level of physical strength is essential in order to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Your instructor cannot only guide you to what to do during the ride over the river’s roaring waters, but also consult you on what to expect if you are wondering whether you can handle the experience. By all means it requires careful consideration and preparation.
Water sports can be, of course, also practiced in the Adriatic Sea. While you are in the Split area, you can go kayaking and snorkelling in Brela or Trogir (an excellent possibility to circle around the Old Town and savour its beauty from the sea).
Hikers accommodated in the area can visit the Mosor Mountain, whose highest point is 1339 metres. One of the most popular trails is a round trip that starts at Sitno Gornje and takes you back there, meanwhile giving you the chance to relish some breath-taking panoramas. There are some great viewing points towards the town of Split and the nearby Adriatic islands. The western parts of the mountain are most recommended for a daily trip. Another great way to explore the Mosor Mountain is to go on a Jeep safari. Most tours start from Split and reach Cetina River. Along the tour you will also be able to visit picturesque villages and towns, such as Blato na Cetini, Zadvarje, Omis, etc., depending on what’s included in the tour pack
Affair Travel offers first class accommodation in 5 fantastic destinations – France, Corsica, Croatia, Montenegro and Portugal. Our customers’ satisfaction has always been our top priority, therefore you can be sure that by choosing our services you have already taken a big step towards finding your dream holiday. The properties that we offer for rent have been carefully handpicked and will provide you with excellent conditions to relax in style.
However, it is also very important to choose a holiday villa that will completely meet all of your individual necessities and requirements. Before booking any of our beauties, it is good to consider what you expect to find in a holiday villa and how you imagine spending you holiday.
All of our properties are located within scenic and peaceful locations, but some of them are yet more secluded than others. Take your time to decide whether you prefer a villa situated within or near a village or town, so that all of the important amenities will be just a short walk away. For example, you can have a look at villa Les Voiliers on the Atlantic Coast of France – 500 metres from the centre of La Flotte ; Sea Gem near Dubrovnik, Croatia - 300 metres to the centre of Mlini; Villa Bijela in Montenegro – just 100 metres to the centre of Bijela and many more. If you prefer the ultimate privacy of our rural retreats, you might check out Amarante-House in the Portugal Minho region, which is situated 4 kilometres from the town of Amarante; villa La Calade in Languedoc, France (5 kilometres from St Hyppolyte du Fort) or Les Dentelles in Provence, France (6 km from Beaumes de Venise). Each villa description, available on our website, contains a detailed description of the property’s features, location and available premises, which will further help you make your choice.
It is also necessary to consider renting a villa, whose size and accommodation possibilities (number of bedrooms and bed types, number of bathrooms) will best suit your party. If you are travelling with children, it is necessary to consider child friendly villas, which will also provide the little ones with enough facilities to play and have fun. Holiday villa Les Lavandieres in Provence, France, for example is set within various spacious grounds, perfect for various outside sports and activities and also has a charming children’s playhouse.
In case you are travelling with seniors, you may consider a property, where the most important premises, such as bedrooms and bathrooms are situated on the ground floor. Les Chenes in Corsica is a good example and is furthermore located within a walking distance to the village of Araggio (5 minutes) and 2 good restaurants.
If you find it hard to make up your mind, you can also rely on our team for guidance and advice, as well as offer suitable options. You can either call us (020 3504 0248) or fill in our online form, which will help us better understand what you are looking for.