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November December 2012


In this newsletter, we share with you French vacation survey data and beach holiday destinations;
have new properties for rent (including a Parisian apartment) and sale in France as well as a price
drop and associated Aussie bike hire/tours; tell you about upcoming French events for Noel here;
and, provide French Christmas recipes plus November and December happenings around France.

Merci for your support during 2012 - our next newsletter in January will feature our France trip.

Joyeux noel et bonne annee
Sharon et David

PS: To keep up to date in between our newsletters with French activity, follow us on facebook.
Watch out in Dec for our trip posts: Paris, Lyon, Provence, Carcassonne, Lourdes & Pyrenees!


Not our norm but to French beach holidays no 1

Beach holidays were the most popular vacation type as revealed in the 2012 Expedia vacation survey and the French prefer these more than people in most other countries including Australia. This may be because France has some great beaches - while not normally on Aussies list of things to do in France, you might consider some for your next summer trip where you can choose from many destinations/beach types:

- Normandy: mixture of cliffs (some chalky) and white sandy beaches with WWII landing remnants

- Brittany: breathtaking rugged and rocky coast with sandy coves, Mont Saint Michel starts this off

- Vendee: wide long natural sandy beaches with forests alongside as well as cute coastal villages and old resort towns like La Rochelle and Ile de Re

Stay in a Vendee beachhouse or our place close by  (with its new long term rate of only $275 per week).

At the beginning of our tour to the west France as well as visiting our property we also take you on day one from Nantes, the old capital of Brittany, to the coastal resort town of Les Sables d'Olonne with its cobblestoned narrow shopping streets, old harbour and wide sandy beach with boardwalk/cafes/bars. Also the Vendee globe round the world solo yacht race, soon to pass by the Australian coast, leaves from Les Sables.
For our full 2013 tour itinerary and booking information:

- Aquitaine: south west atlantic coast from Bordeaux to Biarritz with wide long sandy beaches and forests

- Languedoc: Mediterranean coast with very long narrow stretches of white sandy beaches

- Cote d'Azur/French Riviera: rocky jagged coast with inlets/coves; some plages are crowded and pebbly e.g. Nice; beautiful scenes and cute seaside villages

Stay in a Riviera seaside village or our place close by

- Corsica: secluded sandy beaches with deep blue water and a backdrop of steep rocky mountains.

Read more about Corsica and our Corsican trip.

New places to stay plus accommodation specials

A Frenchman living in Sydney has his architect designed one bedroom Paris apartment near the Moulin Rouge available for Aussies to rent. Beautifully appointed, with views over the street from the living area and the quiet courtyard from the bedroom. Rent $225 a night (5 min):

Experience the magic of rural French life in the beautiful Languedoc in this 3 bedroom holiday gite, Castel Grand Rue, located in the market town of Olonzac, in the Minervois wine region. There is an open terrace with BBQ with roof and rue views. Rent from $550 a week.

Don't forget the early bird specials owners are offering.

Next year's 100% French Tour de France route has been released, starting at the end of June in Corsica and spending a lot of time in the south of France. If you can't be there to watch it, why not do your own cycling in the area - Aussie owners of Le Reve have started a bike hire/tour business nearby, VeloRoo - read more about it.


New properties for sale in the south of France

Four apartments are for sale in the one three level + garage maison situated on the main, plane tree lined boulevard of Ceret near the Spanish border. Mountain, rooftop and market view one bedroom apartments are already established rental properties and there is also the larger owners residence at the rear with garden view. Buy all or go in with friends and have one apartment each. Price 495,000 euro including furniture and fixtures: 

Grant master 18th century house in the heart of a village in the Quercy Blanc country of the Midi-Pyrenees. This old stone house is in good state with 5 levels including cellar and attic. It already has four bedrooms but more can be converted. Plenty of traditional materials and finishings throughout including fireplaces. Views onto street and large garden at rear. Price 600,000 euro.

Sarah also has more new Midi-Pyrenees places for sale. In addition, the price of Maison de Poitiers B&B/maison in an Aquitaine bastide village has reduced by 20k euro.


Christmas happenings in France and Australia

The Christmas markets have started in Paris on the Champs Elysees - while we will be there in just 10 days, don't despair if you aren't going too as Alliance Francaise has Xmas markets in Melbourne on 8-9 Dec.

In Melbourne today you can catch the last of the French festival with plenty of French stalls and goodies as well:

The French choir in Sydney also has a Noel concert on 8 December:

There are some French movies coming out too over the next month including Paris Manhattan a romantic comedy about a young woman whose choices in life and love are shaped by the philosophies of Woody Allen and You will Be My Son (plus also Les Miserables with Aussie stars Hugh and Russell) - follow us on facebook to see our reviews after we have seen these films.

Recipes for French Xmas/New Year specialties

For Xmas make a traditional buche de noel (yule log):
then after, a galette des rois for the fete des rois:

Facts about November/December events in France

It is certainly a busy, festive time in France at present. Already this month there has been Beaujolais Nouveau and the start of the truffle season with their first markets. Now coming up, besides Christmas happenings, are Lyon's and Epernay (Champagne)'s Festivals of Lights:

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