Posts Tagged 'france vacation rentals'

La Stub – A Place in Alsace

Ok, I’ll admit it, La Stub isn’t a very romantic name, in English anyway. But what could be more romantic than staying in  17th century wine grower’s house in a small wine village in Alsace?

La Stub - Alsace Wine Route Vacation Rental

La Stub - Alsace Wine Route Vacation Rental

Lots of people drive through the Alsace Route du Vin, wishing they could quit their awful jobs carrying the large sacks of French Fries into McDonalds or replenishing the boxes of soy milk at Starbucks. But alas, they will merely pass through and return to their dismal lives.

But you, smart traveler, will have rented La Stub for a week or more, and will take your little walk in the morning to gauge the growth on the vines on the hill just out of town, then return for your real coffee at the neighborhood cafe, chirping a happy “bon jour!” to whoever’s behind the bar.

Of course, if you wish you could go zooming off in your Citroen for wine towns you can only hope to pronounce correctly:  Riquewihr, Hunawihr, Eguisheim.  But happy hosts will fill your glass with more wine, good wine, and the letters in those names will roll off your silver tongue like Scrabble tiles in a hurricane.

“Stub”, of course, refers to “win stub” where visitors can enjoy Alsatian dishes accompanied with Alsatian wines. Language is funny sometimes.

How to Have an Inexpensive Vacation in France

When folks plan a vacation in troubled economic times, they often calculate up all the costs associated with it–like lodging, transportation, and such–and then try to trim those costs to the bone because they think of those things as peripheral to their vacation. Why not look at things the other way around? Why not make the lodging and transportation the point of your vacation?

france vacation rentalTake transportation. I’ve recently had a ball walking the great, scenic vineyards of the Hermitage, located in the Drome département of the Rhône-Alpes region of France. You can get to Tain-Hermitage by train, and walk to your heart’s content. So why not take up a residence near a chateau, perhaps one with a garden to enjoy in the evenings where you can sit and have a drink of the wine that came from the vineyards you just visited? The place over there to the left is called Mas des Adhemar and it’s in a larger town of Montélimar. It’s located right below the Château des Adhémar.

There’s no law that you have to see the great art in the Louvre when you visit France. You can please yourself freely. Walking vineyards is free, the the steep slopes of the Rhone valley are so scenic they’ll raise your spirits–and you’ll be shedding calories instead of Euros when you walk them. All the better, because the food in this region is darn tasty.

French castle vacation rentalOr you can stay in a castle. Yes, apartments are sometimes carved out of real castles so you and your family can pretend you’re privileged and everyone outside is a peasant who wants what you’ve got. The castle rental over there on the right is near Viens, east of Avignon. Four can sleep in an apartment inside, and the weekly rent is darn cheap for four people. Click the picture to find out more.

Trails in France are well-marked and maintained. There are thousands of miles of them; you can walk from just about any town to any other along a marked and maintained path.

So think about renting a spectacularly evocative place, and then do like the medieval people did: get out and walk. If you go in the shoulder season–looking for wildflowers in May or vineyards changing color in October–you can save a bundle on airfares.

Think cheap. Have an inexpensive vacation in France without sacrificing anything. Well, maybe the soles of your shoes…

Burgundy or Champagne: Why Choose?

Burgundy is my favorite wine. I’ll even take Pinot Noir from California as a substitute.

The Burgundy area in France is one of my favorite regions to visit. The towns are small and evocative. There is wealth but it’s not ostentatiously displayed. The landscapes are beautiful; walking the vineyards is one of life’s small pleasures that you’ll remember for a long time.

And Champagne is Champagne. It’s the lubricant for many celebrations. The Champagne region can be disappointing though. It’s not all covered with vineyards and wineries; there are corn fields and some light industry. But the cellars give off a wonderful fragrance–and who doesn’t like Champagne?

Champagne vacation rentalSo here’s a hint for you. Get 7 friends together and head out to the intersection of the two regions. Stay in a place that’ll make you look rich in the photos, like La Fermette, shown on the left.

Then hit the wineries. Get two cars (or drivers), one for those who like reds, and one for those who prefer whites that bubble.

At night, open up your loot and pour, then head for the table tennis or snooker tables. Yes, La Fermette has both. Try to follow the little balls for as long as you can.

If that’s not a vacation, then I don’t know what is.


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