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Reasons to buy an apartment in the mountains

The reasons for buying an apartment in the mountains usually fall into two distinct categories: business and pleasure. Let’s look at the pleasure side of things first!

Your dream Alpine holiday home!

Firstly, there are the obvious bonuses associated with having a base in an area that’s world-renowned for its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. The wide open spaces of the mountains offer a great chance to genuinely unwind and recuperate from the stresses and strains of everyday life in the 21st century. In fact, there are few places where it’s possible to get away from the crowds in quite as short a space of time – whether in the summer or winter seasons – as the French Alps.

If it’s action, not solitude that you’re after, then the area’s resorts are extremely well-equipped to give you just that. As the Alps have become a year-round holiday destination, they boast entertainment facilities and events calendars that very much reflect this. You can enjoy anything from bobsleigh and toboggan rides to escape rooms, archery, ice-diving, paragliding, waterparks, mountain biking, ziplining and skiing. Increasingly, the mountains have become a hotspot for music festivals as well, attracting top talent from all over the world.

Another advantage of staying in this part of the world are the opportunities it affords to keep fit whilst having a lot of fun doing so!

A smart investment

The purchase of a holiday apartment in the mountains has the potential to be an excellent investment, for a number of reasons. Buying an apartment in the French Alps is much sought after, mainly because this is a part of the country where there is barely a low season. The winter months, traditionally hard to let to tourists, are amongst the busiest times of the year in the Alps. And in the summer, large numbers of French visitors and other nationalities come to the mountains as an alternative to a holiday by the Med.

The Alps boast excellent transport links to neighbouring countries, and are close to both Switzerland and northern Italy, meaning that there is a large pool of relatively well-off prospective tenants living only a few hours’ drive away! You can decide to rent your property on a weekly basis, but there are also opportunities for longer-term lets, for example, ski instructors or other resort personnel who will need accommodation for a period of several months during the main skiing season.

You might even consider an Alpine holiday let as a possible retirement home if you’re looking to downsize as you get older – the larger resorts have as wide a range of amenities as many mid-sized towns.

Travel: packing tips for any trip

prepare suitcase holidays shoes clothes phone

prepare suitcase holidays shoes clothes phone

Are you planning a trip soon? Whether it is a short break or dream holidays on the other side of the world you will need to pack. Packing is not the easiest when preparing a trip. We often have trouble deciding what to bring or what is best for a short or long trip. Let’s go over some packing tips that could help you for your future vacations.

Choosing outfits

One of the first things we tend to plan when preparing a trip is our clothes. Wether you are esacaping the cold by going on a island in winter or planning a city break, clothes are an important part of your suitcase content. First, not to overpack, count the days and go over the activities you plan to do during your holidays. Accordingly, choose clothes that are suitable and that you will be able to wear. For example, no need for high heels shoes if you plan to walk all day in old towns. To pack the smart way, plan your outfits. The best way to do it is to bring clothes that can all go together. Thus you avoid bringing too many tops because one goes with black pants and another with the red skirt. Plan outfits in advance and bring pieces that easily match. This way, you do not overpack and you still have multiple outfits possibilities with few pieces of clothing.

What to bring?

Once you have your clothes and shoes, decide what to pack according what you will need during your trip. For example, you are going on a short city break and you are not sure you have enough space to bring your big camera and an extra battery. Why not take pictures with your phone and only bring an iPhone memory stick to store them all? You will gain significant space. If you are travelling to a different time zone and you are afraid to sleep poorly, try to bring your sleep bracelet to monitor your needs in terms of sleep and rest. If you only bring a hand luggage, remember to check airport security rules to avoid having to abandon items you care about. This is particularly important for beauty products.

Aquatique Show: amazing shows around the world

water light show

If you are looking for an original way of traveling around the world, you can choose to follow Aquatique Show and see amazing shows in different countries and cities. This can be a fun and extraordinary trip. Attending quality shows while traveling and discovering new cultures is a great way to go around the world.

France

Aquatique Show created several musical fountain shows in France for different occasions. Some are still in place so you can still go and check out these amazing installations. In Paris, you can for example watch a show in the Grand Rex for the launch of each new Disney production. This includes the movie but also a water light show. If you travel to the West of France, to the Puy du Fou, you can see an amazing show, at night during summer, with amazing volunteers and water shows. Once in the Puy du Fou, you are not far from the Atlantic Ocean, so you can also go and enjoy a nice day at the beach.

United States

Numerous shows use Aquatique Show expertise in the united States. For example, in her show in Las Vegas, Celine Dion uses this technique for the famous song My Heart Will Go On, with an incredible water curtain. This technology is also used at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino Hotel. There, a magnificient water show and water screen are in place. As the United States is a very big country, you can make the most of a trip to Las Vegas to visit California for example.

Amusement parks

Finally, whenever you go to Disney Land Paris, you can see the amazing show arounf the Sleeping Beauty Castle and the water works are made by Aquatique Show.  In Port aventura, in Spain, you can also attend to a great show using lights and water.

How to beat jet lag and spend great holidays

flights airport

flights airport

What we commonly call being jet lagged is when our body tries to adjust to a new time zone when we are traveling. This can sometimes make holidays difficult at the beginning because most of the time jet lag consists in being very tired, having difficulty to eat or event concentrate. Here are a few tips to beat jet lag and spend the great holidays you have been waiting for.

Before and during the flight

The first tip is about choosing your flight. If possible, making a stopover and splitting the trip can be a really good idea. It allows you to adjust step by step and rest better. If it is not possible, try to choose a night flight so you can sleep on the plane without breaking your schedule too much. Another great tip regarding the flight is to try to arrive at your destination during the day and not by night. For example, if you have a flight from Atlanta to Paris, try arriving in Paris in the morning so you can start the day normally and try to set your body to the Parisian time. By the way, set your watch to the time of your destination as soon as you land to be prepared mentally.

bed sleep tired

After you land

After a flight from San Francisco to Paris

for example, it is normal to be tired. So you should get sleep if you need it and rest. But you also should catch the rythm to set your body to the new time zone. The most important thing is to eat 3 times a day like you would normally. Try to eat the right meal at the right moment of the day. It can be difficult at the beginning because you will not always be hungry when it is time to eat but you will adapt. Do not forget to drink a lot as well and stay hydrated. Finally, enjoy your holiday, rest when you need it and have fun!

Everything you need to know about Avoriaz, the green ski resort

Avoriaz is a ski resort located in the exact center of one of the biggest skiing area of the world: Les Portes du Soleil. Ecologist before it was even trending, Avoriaz was built to be fully car-free. That means every street is actually a piste, and you evolve in a green, fresh and pure aerea. Want to visit this place? Here’s everything you need to know about Avoriaz, the multiple award winning ski resort.

Skiing and Snowboarding in Avoriaz

As it is car-free, apartments in Avoriaz but also restaurants and all the shops are only reachable by pedestrians, skiers and snowboarders. To move from one place to another, you can also enjoy horse-drawn sleighs and snow caps. This is part of the reasons why the ski resort won the ECO Award during the ceremony of the Worlds Snow Awards in 2013 rewarding the “most innovating ski resort of the world”.

Some other reasons lie in the numerous awards and labels that the ski resort has registered. Avoriaz is actually certify “new ride resort”, “ski resort club”, “club”, “great area resort”, “gentle mountain” and “alti-forme” since 2016, won the price “Best family resort” during the 2012’ Worlds Snow Awards and one of its piste layout -called “The Stash”- was elected “best spot of the world” by the CNN in 2014.

Known and famous for its abundant pistes layouts designed for kids, teenagers and adults – 51 in total for 75.5 km of pistes – Avoriaz is a real paradise for skiers and snowboarders. As it goes from France to Switzerland (always with 100% natural, safe and playful routes), it is easy to ski a whole week without using the same path twice, whatever your level is. The ski resort is 190 ha vast where you can find:

  • 5 snowparks
  • 12% of green skiing pistes
  • 49% of blue skiing pistes
  • 27% of red skiing pistes
  • 12% of black skiing pistes

To enjoy all the treasures Avoriaz has to offer for more than 60 years, it will cost you from 33€ (single day for a 5-15 years old kids) to 260€ (package 6 days for an adult). There are also discounts and promotional offers, such as a weekend package, a teenager package, a whole season package, etc. One thing is sure: you will find a package that suit perfectly for you.

Activities besides skiing in Avoriaz

First things first: if you want to go to Avoriaz you have to book a room in a hotel or a rented flat. And that will be easy since the French association Savoie Mont Blanc has estimated the capacity of the ski resort at 17 446 touristic beds in 1 916 institutions in 2015. Among 365 furnished flats, 17 tourism apartment blocks (including a 4 stars and a 5 stars apartments blocks district) and numerous hotels, finding an accommodation in Avoriaz is stress-free.

Besides skiing and snowboarding, Avoriaz offer a vast panel of fun activities: bowling, going to the cinema, ballooning, scuba diving under the ice, ice or snow biking, ice skating, doing some archery, squashing, hiking (in snowshoes), tasting new plates at restaurants, but also de-stressing at Aquariaz, the ski resort’ spa center featuring Jacuzzis, Turkish baths, pools, balneotherapy, fitness clubs and playing areas for children.

For that matter, notice that a “Village des Enfants d’Annie Famose” (Annie Famose kids’ Village) welcome children and teenagers form 3 years old to 16 years old. There, they will learn and practice skiing, snowboarding, freeriding and has the possibility to do sessions in the backcountry to discover the whole area of the Portes du Soleil.

Avoriaz is also known for its nightlife. When all the lights go out, the ski resort turns into a magical place where plenty of shows on snow and musical performances are taking place. Trendy pubs and nightclubs are finally here to welcome you.

Why go to a ski resort in summer?

mountains in summer

We often think that ski resorts are typical winter destinations. However, it is also possible to go on vacation in a ski resort in summer. You will experience a totally different getaway but have as much fun as in winter. A lot of summer activities are available for families, couples and groups. Discover what you can do in summer in the mountains.

mountains in summer

Summer activities

Practice sports

Just like in winter, you can practice sports in the mountains in summer. There are different sports available according to what you like and your level and physical condition. For example, you can ride a bike in the moutains. You can choose a more or less easy path according to what you want; if you’d rather enjoy the view or really sweat. If the weather is nice, you can also try paragliding. The view over the moutains should be really amazing.

Reconnect with nature

In summer, the nature in the moutains really changes and everything blooms. This makes the perfect scenery to go hiking. Several paths are available whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner or even if you go hiking with children. You will really be able to discover or rediscover the environment and reconnect with nature. Simply enjoy taking the time to observe the flora and fauna and the breathtaking landscapes.

moutain hike in summer

Photo by Carlo van Stek on Reshot

Discover local heritage

Summertime in the moutains is also the perfect time to go explore and visit local heritage. Discover how local foold is made or visit museums to better know the history of the region. As ski resorts are less crowded in summer, you can really take the time to enjoy every little thing.

This is even easier if you own an accommodation in a ski resort like Les Menuires for example. This makes vacation all year round possible. If you are interested in buying a place in St Martin de Belleville for example, check the properties for sale. This way you will be able to experience both winter and summer fun in a ski resort.

Discovering the world through education

When the urge to explore the world starts at a young age it is not always easy to actually visit different countries. But there are other ways  to discover new countries and cultures, for example, thanks to education. Focus on different possibilities.

Studying in an international environment

One of the many possibilities to start discovering the world is through education. Indeed, it is fundamental because it gives children the will to discover other countries very early. It can be done quite easily, for example by putting children in international environments.

It is possible, as soon as lower school, to give children a multi-cultural surrounding, for example in international schools in Paris or in any other big city. This type of school welcomes children of many nationalities, thus allowing them to learn how to live together and learn from each other’s cultures. As they make new friends from other countries, they learn and it is a big start to discover the world. They are also taught international curriculums which broadens their knowledge of what other children learn too.

Discover the world while having fun

The different course choices made can also be in favor of an international education. For example, it is possible to study to get an international baccalaureate (IB) in IB schools in France or anywhere else in the world. This allows students to have more knowledge about the world in general and it usually makes them more open minded.

Studying abroad

Another possibility to start travelling through education is actually to go study somewhere else. There are many programs now that enable students to go and discover another country and culture while studying. For example in Europe, the Erasmus program allows students to spend one or two semesters abroad which allows them to visit a country and mingle in local life while studying.

This is a very good start to discover the world and learn to appreciate travelling. It is also a good way to travel without spending too much money as these programs are often funded by states and organizations and students can benefit from scholarships.

Finally, it is important to say that travelling enables children to understand the world better and it is the best way to make them aware of all that goes on in our world.

How to get ready for your winter holidays?

Nice ski resort in the moutains

You finally planned your winter holidays in the Alps and now you have to actually prepare your trip. If you don’t know where to start, what to bring or what to do, keep on reading, we will give you some advice to properly get ready for your winter holidays.

Step by step: preparing your winter holidays

Make reservations

Now that you have planned your trip you need to make all the reservations necessary for your stay. First of all, you need to book transportation tickets if needed. You can also choose to go by car as you will probably have quite a lot of luggage (if you bring your own ski equipment for example).

Then, you have to make a decision regarding the accomodation. There are many choices in every ski resort. To spend relaxing holidays in Chamonix for example, you can choose a high-end residence such as MGM, where you can be pampered. You can also decide to rent a typical chalet or stay at a hotel. It really only depends on what you want and your budget.

Cosy chalet in a high-end residence

Once you have booked your transportation and accomodation, you may need to rent some equipment. If you want to ski but don’t have the necessary equipment, you can rent it for the lenght of your stay or just a few days. Sometimes, hotels can get you some nice deals so don’t hesitate to check that when booking a room.

Physical preparation

As you decided to ski and now that you have booked your equipment, you may want to start a bit of physical preparation. Indeed, skiing is a sport we don’t do often and which requires a quite good physical condition. You can for example start running a little or do squats a few weeks before your holidays. This will prevent you from getting sore muscles right after the first day on the slopes.

Skiing in a nice ski resort

If you already are in good physical shape you can skip this step.

Start packing

Finally, you are only a few days away from the slopes and the snow. It is now time to start packing. Regarding where you are staying, you will not pack the same things. If you rented a chalet you may need to bring some sheets and towels. You can check on your reservation if they are provided or not.

If you decided to stay in a hotel or a premium residence, then you don’t need them, just the usual things you bring when travelling, plus warm and ski clothes. But don’t forget to bring your swimsuit as many residences have steaming rooms, saunas, pools, jacuzzis… You can enjoy some relaxing après-ski time!

Spoil yourself with a wintertime spa at Les Arcs ski resort!

The winter can all too easily leave us feeling a bit under the weather, physically and emotionally. Why not combine the physical challenge of skiing with some pampering après-ski activities at the Deep Nature Spa in the Les Arcs 1950 ski resort?

There’s no better way to unwind after a day’s skiing than the Deep Nature Spa

Les Arcs 1950 is a modern ski resort with a richly-deserved reputation for excellence that’s borne out by its five star accommodation, beautiful scenery and top-notch eateries. One real bonus for residents at Les Arcs is the Deep Nature Spa, a 1000m² facility devoted to wellbeing and relaxation. Sculpted to resemble natural rock formations and caves (including the aquatic cave, the ice cave and the volcanic cave), the venue is home to a full range of spa equipment and treatments. Water jets, hammams, multi-sensory showers, an outdoor sauna and a nail bar are just some of the options you can enjoy. In terms of treatments, on the menu you have everything from Balinese massage, aromatic scrub with spices and numerous kinds of facial. One stand-out feature that will really take your breath away are the stunning views of Mont Blanc to be had from some of the treatment rooms. Deep Nature is a great place to introduce children to the world of spa treatments – it has a special range of treatments aimed specifically at kids aged from 6 to 12 and even a parent and child massage treatment to be enjoyed together. It’s also worth noting that many hotels and apartment buildings in Les Arcs 1950 have their own swimming pools and jacuzzis.

Working up an appetite: les Arcs boasts some great eateries

Les Arcs, in France, is also known for its top-class restaurants and bars – which is just as well, as you’re bound to work up something of an appetite after a day on the slopes! All tastes are catered to, with an emphasis on French cooking, especially local Savoyard cuisine. Brasseries, sophisticated restaurants, cosy cafés, wine bars, takeaways, Irish-style pubs, pizza and pasta specialists, steakhouses – they’re all here. Some of these venues double up as clubs so you can dance the night away. Others offer the warmth of an open fire, pool tables, live music and sporting events, DJs, themed evenings and other forms of entertainment.

This is why Provence is what you need!

Why do most people go on holiday? Some enjoy the adventure of seeing new places, but for most of us, it’s generally about getting away from it all. And there are few better places in the world to do that than Provence!

For peace and quiet, head to Provence

House in Provence, by Paul Cézanne

Although it may be a top tourist destination, there are plenty of peaceful corners in Provence where you can escape the tourist throngs. Generally-speaking, if you turn your back to the sea and head towards the mountains, you’ll have a better chance of finding the quiet you crave on your Provence tours. One of the most appealing such areas is the Luberon, a limestone massif north of Aix en Provence. There are no large towns anywhere in this region, much of which has protected status, being contained within a regional park. It’s also well-known for its biodiversity and is particularly rich in plant-life. The lovely village of Gordes is one of the largest settlements in the area and offers spectacular views from its hill-top location. Its castle is a popular tourist attraction and the impressive Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque is also well worth a visit. British visitors may also be interested in seeing Ménerbes, the real-life setting for the hugely popular novel ‘A year in Provence’ by Peter Mayle. Mayle no longer lives here, but the village is extremely picturesque and also boasts some interesting links with various personalities from the arts world. Pablo Picasso’s mistress Dora Maar lived here, as did painter Nicolas de Staël. 

Provence – the outdoors destination par excellence

(click on to see more details)

If, on the other hand, you want a more active holiday. Provence can cater to you too! Sandwiched between the sea and the mountains, it’s natural that there are opportunities aplenty for outdoor fun. There’s some excellent snorkelling and scuba diving on offer here, with the waters around the islands of Port Cros and Porquerolles being especially recommended. Deep-sea fishing, kayaking and yachting are all popular options as well. If you’d like to try another type of water-sport, then head north to the Gorges du Verdon. This is one of Europe’s most stunning river canyons, and an excellent location for white-water rafting and rock-climbing!

If you’re based in one of Provence’s larger towns, there’s still plenty of outdoor activities within easy reach. Day trips from Aix-en-Provence could take in options as diverse as horse-riding in the Camargue, hiking in the Alpilles regional nature park or mountain biking on Mont Ventoux!