Learn French in France

Its said that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in the native culture. And where better to learn French than in La Ville-Lumiére (the City of Light)? Paris is one of the richest and most diverse capitals in the world, and there is something on offer for everyone. If you’re planning a year out learning a language, here are a few reasons why you should consider Paris.

Serious opportunities to learn the language

When learning a language, there is truly no substitute for plunging straight into regular authentic conversations with native speakers. The French are deservedly proud of their romantic language and appreciate when foreigners make the effort to try.

Your best bet is to study at a respected organization like ESL – Language Schools, which offer a broad variety of packages and courses for every type of student. Visit their website for more information.

Incredible cultural scene

As one of Europes cultural capitals, your tastes will always satisfied ─ music, theatre, opera, dance, art, film, museums, Paris has it all. The Louvre boasts one of the greatest art collections ever seen; the Pompidou Centre and the Musée dArt Moderne cover the cutting edge of contemporary art; and the city’s cabaret scene remains as robust as it did a hundred years ago.

Great out-of-town trip potential

France has more than just Paris. Many of the country’s greatest bounties are just a short car or train ride outside of the city. The grand and opulent Palace of Versailles, just outside the city borders, is a stunning artefact of Frances royal past. Further afield is wine country, the Alps and the Mediterranean coast – all within arm’s reach.

Eat like a king

The home of haute cuisine, Paris is a gastro-lovers paradise. From the side street bistros to the Michelin-starred restaurants, some of the finest food in the world can be found in the French capital in one of over 8,000 eateries. And while you’re there, take advantage of the many delis, cheese shops, boucheries and patisseries for the full eating experience.

The experience of a lifetime

The writer Ernest Hemingway, who spent many years in Paris, once wrote: “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” Thousands will attest the same. Living in Paris is an experience you’ll keep with you forever, and it may well shape the course of your life.

Five Reasons to Visit Portugal

It’s nearly December. The mornings are dark and cold when we get up to leave for work, and the nights are dark and cold when we drive home from work. Christmas is nearly here, and we are all looking for a little bit of escapism to help us cope with what can traditionally be a bit of a stressful and depressing time of year.

What better way to do this than by planning where your next summer holiday will be? I know, I know, there are a thousand and one considerations to make, with budget being a major one. But this is what makes Portugal such a great choice. Not only does Portugal continue to offer some of the best value holidays in Europe, it’s year-round fantastic weather, and ease of transport make it a great choice for anyone looking for a holiday outside of the months of May-September.

When you mention Portugal, most people automatically think of the Algarve, which is a shame as the West Coast has a multitude of sandy beaches and charming older hotels just waiting to be explored.

Here are 5 of our favorite reasons to love Portugal:

1. New Family Resort

The most talked about new family resort for 2013 is the Martinhal Beach Resort, which is situated just near Sagres. Appealing to any families who enjoy the rugged surfing resorts of North Cornwall, this pretty traditional resort features a Town Square, indoor and outdoor pools and a children’s playground.

2. Old Fashioned Hospitality

Even in the most modern Portuguese resorts, such as Lisbon or Porto, the shopkeepers, restaurateurs and café owners seem to move at a slower pace to the rest of the Europe. Staff are polite and courteous even when there’s a language barrier.

3. Better Accessibility

Easyjet have a new base in Lisbon, allowing thousands of extra tourists easier access to the City, as well as more choice and cheaper flights. In addition, if you choose to stay in the City, the new metro station will be able to whizz you to your hotel in no time at all!

4. Vicentine Coast

If you think the Algarve will be too crowded and busy, then you should head for the Vicentine Coast, which is easily reached using the motorway. This unique slice of Portugal features rivers, beaches, steep dramatic cliffs, and fields of brightly coloured flowers. It’s a natural park and is a protected area of stunning landscape, formed by the sea and mountains.

5. Great value for money

Whilst the euro crisis may not have been great news for Europeans (in particular the Portuguese) it has been wonderful for tourists! Portugal is relying on visitors to help swell its bank accounts, and in order to attract them they have been consistently lowering their prices. Even the most luxury of accommodation is a third of the price anywhere else in Europe.

If you have already fallen in love with this beautiful country and are considering travelling there again this year, or better still taking advantage of the low prices by investing in a holiday home there, then you should check out Portugal Real Estate online. You will be surprised at the choice of property available to suit almost every taste and budget. What are you waiting for?

Visiting the Lake District in the UK

Some Holiday Cottages are becoming a popular choice for people searching for an alternative to the typical hotels on offer. More people than ever before are choosing to stay in the UK, and the Lake District are the ideal place to explore. With rolling, picturesque landscapes and extraordinary features and landmarks, it is no surprise that millions of people visit this area every year.

There are several things, which you need to consider before booking the cottage for your holiday, including the location, size of the cottage and your overall budget. Many cottages in the Lake District are privately owned, which provides a unique, homely feel. A huge majority of the land in this area is now designated as the Lake District National Park, making it protected.

Whether you want a family holiday, romantic weekend away or an action packed break, Lake District cottages with AirBNB is ideal. You can choose from a huge number of different cottages, providing you with everything you need for your stay in the area. Many of the cottages have been modernized, ensuring that you find the accommodation comfortable and well maintained.

The cottages in the Lake District are self catering, which is excellent at providing the freedom you need to explore the beautiful lakes and mountains. There are no restrictions regarding when you eat, therefore, providing the ultimate flexibility for your holiday. With many local pubs and restaurants in the area, you will never struggle to find somewhere to enjoy a meal.

Many people consider the cottage to be somewhere to relax in at the end of a long day exploring, and you will soon discover that you spend more time in the hills than indoors. The scenery in the Lake District is breathtaking and provides many different areas to discover. Whether you want to climb Scafell Pike, or spend a day on Windermere Lake, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy.

This area of the UK is considered by many to be a dream location for outdoor enthusiasts, searching for activities to keep them entertained. There is cycling, hiking, horse riding and fishing all available, regardless of your experience. You can spend the day keeping busy, and return to your cottage to relax at the end of the day.

You will need to consider the size of cottage that you will need for your stay and if there are any other features which you would like included. Some cottages now have hot tubs included in the price, which can be an excellent addition to your accommodation. If there are only two of you using the cottage, there are plenty of quaint, picturesque cottages on offer.

For larger parties and big families, you may need to consider staying in one of the many converted barns, which provide everything you need for your holiday. Regardless of why you want to visit the Lake District, you will discover that there are plenty of options for cottages for your holiday. Once you have discovered the distinctive charm of the Lake District, you will want to return time and time again.

Golfing in Algarve

Thinking about taking a golfing break? If so, you should definitely consider heading to the Algarve in Portugal, since this region is packed with loads of great courses and the weathers great too! To give you an idea of what the best courses in the region are, Ive put together a quick list of those that are regularly ranked highly by keen players.

Vale do Lobo Ocean

Best for: amazing ocean views

The Algarve has got a gorgeous coastline, and I think one of the best things about playing here (aside from the world-class courses, that is!) is the amazing scenery you get to enjoy at the same time. Now, there are a fair few courses that offer ocean views, but the Vale do Lobo Ocean course is one of the best.

In fact, this one will take you closer to the sea than any other, so its a real must for anyone itching to make the most of the seaside setting. Plus, Vale do Lobo is the Algarves oldest golf resort, so playing here automatically means youre getting a taste of the regions golfing history.

Vale do Lobo Royal

Best for: seeing famous holes

The Royal is the second of the courses at Vale do Lobo and is actually often said to be the better of the two. So, if youre not fussed about getting particularly close to the shore, it might be worth going for this one over the Ocean course (though you could tackle both!).

Plus, this course still has some spectacular coastal views. Its real claim to fame, though, is hole 16 renowned for its stunning cliff-top carryover. In fact, this is often used on adverts touting golf in the Algarve, so don’t be surprised if you feel like you recognize it when you see it!

Monte Rei North

Best for: Water hazards, experiencing a rare layout and setting

Located in the east of the Algarve, Monte Rei North is a Jack Nicklaus Signature course something that makes it all but irresistible to keen golfers, especially since its one of just a few of its kind Europe. An 18-hole, par 72 championship course, its home to heaps of water hazards so many, in fact, that you’ll find them at 11 of the 18 holes.

As well as offering an interesting set of challenges, its got some great scenery, with the Serra do Caldeirao mountains visible to the north of the course and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. The fairways themselves are very scenic, with hole 14 generally regarded as the prettiest.

Oceanico Old

Best for: experiencing one of the regions oldest and best courses

The oldest course in Vilamoura, Oceanico Old originally opened in 1969 and was remodeled and upgraded in 1997. An 18-hole, par 73 course, it is famous in the golfing world for being one of the best courses in the Algarve.

If you play here, one of the first things you’ll notice is the abundance of pine trees, which make up the courses principle hazards. If you fancy practicing your short game, there’s a putting green next door, which was part of the changes made back in the 90s.

There are plenty of other world-class courses you can try here, such as San Lorenzo, so its well worth doing your research before you travel to make sure you find something that suits your abilities. Once you’ve found a few that catch your eye, you can bear their location in mind when looking for low-cost rooms to stay in that way, you wont have too far to travel when you want to play.

Making a break for Cannes

Not long ago Cannes was just a small fishing town on the south eastern coast of France. Nothing much had ever happened there apart from a Roman occupation and a brief spell when it was taken over by Saracens. Today you can still see evidence of the old Cannes in La Suquet with its cobbled streets and small local shops. We stayed in the centre of Cannes with a group of friends with this site, so we were close to everything this great city had to offer.

Having miles of sandy beaches and being on the Cote dAzur in the French Riviera meant that Cannes wouldn’t remain unheard of for long. When people started traveling to Nice, a short train ride away along the coast, for the air and the beautiful climate, they started building villas in Cannes too. Today Nice and more especially Cannes are regarded as The social hubs of Europe with stars and celebrities coming from all over the world to see and be seen. And that’s not just during the period of the Cannes Film Festival either. Of course while the festival is on there are more stars per square metre than anywhere else in the world but the attraction doesn’t evaporate as soon as the entourages go home. With its port home to hundreds of luxury yachts, the streets bordered by the most famous designers shops, the soft white beaches and Monaco being but a short sail away everyone whose anyone always seems to be found in Cannes.

Chances are you don’t own a yacht or a Maserati but that doesn’t mean that Cannes isn’t for you. Sure there are nightclubs where the celebrities hang out, restaurants, bars and casinos too, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not welcome too. Cannes is the kind of place that the famous go to when they like to pretend that they’re not while all the time everyone knows that they are. Getting to Cannes is simple, just moor your yacht alongside all the others, mooring fees can be a little steep though, especially during the Festival Season so you might like to try a more conventional method of transport. Most fly to the Cote dAzur international airport in Nice and then take the thirty minute train ride along the coast into town. Even if you don’t need to travel through Nice its worth taking the trip anyway, the scenery’s amazing and Nice is a very pleasant surprise. Its Frances second most visited city while most people outside of France hardly think of it as a travel destination at all. Getting to Provence by coach or car is always possible but people commonly complain about their frustration with traffic delays. Something you will notice from time to time in Cannes is very rich people waiting in traffic in very expensive sports cars going nowhere. Its nice to look at but at the same time, kind of a waste.

While you’re in Cannes you’ll want to look around and La Suquet is the perfect place to start. Along with the little shops, boutiques and bistros you’ll find castle ruins at the top of the hill which offers excellent views over the coast, town and countryside of Provence. If you get tired of walking though, there’s always a cruise to be taken. One of the most popular is the Trans Cotes dAzur from Quai Laubeuf which goes via Monaco, St Tropez, Iles de Porquerolles and Nice.

Once you get hungry you’ll find that you’re not short of a place or two to find something to eat, this is France after all! The regional cuisine differs somewhat from other French diets in that it uses a lot of olive oil and fish, particularly anchovies. The influence of the Mediterranean.

Is Edinburg worth a Visit?

Edinburgh has a huge amount of diverse history, fantastic shopping and incredible culture, which is why so many people choose to visit the city every year. The rich Scottish history can be seen around every corner, and you will soon discover why Edinburgh is so popular. As you wander through the quaint streets, you can soak up the incredible atmosphere, and plan what you want to see and do in the city.

Many people travel to the city for a special occasion, and florists in Edinburgh can help to ensure that the moment is special. There is nothing better than the gift of flowers, which can say so much in a straightforward gesture. You can choose a vast array of different designs to suit every occasion, taste and budget.

The city is enchanting all year round, and regardless of the time you visit, you will find plenty to experience. During August, the Edinburgh Festival brings the city to life, and thousands of people visit. There are many different artists and acts on offer, ensuring that you are entertained for the whole event. However, this time of the year may be too busy for you, therefore, choosing another time may be advisable.

Hogmanay is world famous, and people travel for this event every year, to be part of the huge celebrations throughout Scotland. Alongside the partying, there are also fireworks, concerts and many different events. You will be surprised just how big this event is, and to be part of the celebrations is incredible.

Whilst in the city you may want to spend time, thanking friends, family or hotel employees. There will be many people that you meet in Edinburgh that become your friends, and encourage you to return time and time again. Whether you are visiting for the culture or the shopping, you can easily return time and time again.

There are several different shopping areas within the city, offering something for very taste and budget. The older part of the city offers some of the best cafes and restaurants, enabling you to experience locally grown produce, cooked the old fashioned way. Alongside the old pubs and guest houses, there are modern bistros and five star restaurants.

Edinburgh has fast become the ultimate place for a night out with several different nightclubs, bars and evening venues to entertain the party travelers. Whether you are on a stag or hen night, or just want to party, there is plenty on offer. The varied music scene throughout the city ensures that there will be a venue for you to enjoy.

The city remains one of those places that you will never have enough time to explore in full, which is the perfect reason to return in the future. The people are incredibly friendly, and will always be there to offer help and advice. Whether you are unsure of what flowers to order, or where to stay, help is always close by to ensure that you have an amazing time in Edinburgh.

Four Must Visit Casino’s in Europe

Gambling casinos are all over the world. Those that are interested in brick and mortar casinos in Europe should investigate the following gambling establishments.

Casino Lisboa in Lisbon,Portugal is one of the casinos that has gotten a great deal of acclaim. It is a casino that has over 1,000 gaming tables. It also offers 26 table games. It is a dynamic sight in the skyline of Lisbon. It is described as big and roomy with great live music shows and bar areas.

Baden Baden in Germany is one of the worlds most well known casinos. I also offers a way to playgames in a highly sophisticated and opulent setting. It resembles a castle more than a casino and it is one of the most well known establishments in Europe with good odds as well. They also feature a wide variety of table games, and experiences, including blackjack and poker. Those that have gone to this casino describe is simply as a great time. It is a bit formal in that men must wear a jacket and tie to gamble, and women can not wear shorts.

Another casino that is quite well known is one in Monaco. Monaco and Monte Carlo has long been the hub of European gambling. One of the casinos in Monte Carlo that has attracted a great deal of interest is the casino known as the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. This is one of the most dramatic casinos,is something that has over the top opulence and is one of the most sophisticated known in Europe. It offers a number of roulette games for the user, and well as baccarat and other table games. Be aware this is a casino primarily for, and frequented by the rich.

One of the other casinos that are interesting and well reviewed in Europe includes the Baden Congress and Cafe in Vienna. This casino is one of the best in Europe according to European casino reviews, for its gaming odds and atmosphere with spa waters, and a vineyard nearby. It is just a fun way to be able to play in a large, interesting venue in Europe, with Euros if that is your currency of your choice.

There are some great European casinos as detailed above. However, some amazing casinos are also offered on the web. Play your choice of poker, blackjack, European style roulette, and many other casino games.

An online casino can have all the bells and whistles of traditional casinos. They can have all the sounds, sights and scenes of a real casino and the best thing is that you do not have to go out of your living room to get the experience.

All you need is a good internet connection, and if you want to play with real money, a credit card, and you will be in business. They can even provide you bonus money for casino play. It is one of the nice and easy alternatives you can do when you opt to do casino gaming.

Making a Trip to Corsica

Conveniently located off the French cost, Corsica offers holidaymakers almost endless seaside, historical monuments and mountains for nature lovers. It is also a popular destination for those looking to unwind from the rat race of life by renting a villa holiday.

A villa holiday is a type of accommodation where you get all the perks of a real home located in a destination of your choice. Unlike other types of accommodation you can be your own boss setting your own times and restrictions. If you are looking to rent a villa in Corsica, here what to bear in mind:

Travel insurance – Villa packages will most likely exclude two types of important insurance policies. One is personal travel insurance that is meant to provide financial protection in case of a medical emergency and the second villa insurance that is meant to provide contents insurance against accidental damage. Before commencing on your journey, ensure that both levels of travel insurance are available for you and for your party.

Car hire – You can get by in Corsica by using either public transport or hiring your own car. Hiring a car will give you the option to explore some of the amazing mountain scenery with attractive towns and villages located all around. You can do so directly with the holiday villa company or by using one of the major service suppliers.

Transfers – Renting a villa makes you your own boss and so you are responsible for traveling from the airport or seaport to the villa. Most packages will exclude this cost and you should make your own plans prior to avoid disappointment and wasted time.

Paying for your Corsica villa – Most packages will require an initial deposit and the rest paid prior to your arrival. Clearly you are right to feel slightly unease with paying before you had a chance to start your vacation. You can place certain safeguards against your money by using an ATOL and ABTA service. These government schemes will guarantee your money in case the travel company goes into administration.