Thursday, 27 February 2014

Rent the South of France Villa, once home to Brigitte Bardot

Villa le Castelet sits high above Cannes with simply breathtaking views over the Cote d'Azur....and is now available for holiday rentals.

In the foreground is the Japanese Pool, once the swimming pool where Bardot swam

Usually associated with the glitz and glamour of St Tropez, Brigitte Bardot was equally captivated by the countryside in the hills above the Cote d’Azur and in 1958 was introduced to Le Castelet by her friend, the French actor Jean Marais who owned a property just a few hundred metres away.

Recently divorced from Director Roger Vadmin, the 24 year old Bardot set up home at the Bastide in the spring of 1958. Residents of the nearest village, Peymeinade, still tell stories of the young boys of the village climbing the trees and walls surrounding Le Castelet to glimpse Bardot relaxing by the pool – one can only speculate that she repeated the trick that made her name in St Tropez by sunbathing in a rather risqué bikini.

Bardot finally decided not to buy Le Castelet and instead invested in a waterfront property in St Tropez. The property was bought by a young Swedish couple and has been lovingly restored and upgraded, including the pool by which Bardot once relaxed which is now a beautiful Japanese pond and not one, but 2 new infinity pools have been added.

This exceptional villa to rent in the South of France sleeps up to 24 people in he main house and guest house. For more details and to book click HERE

Monday, 24 February 2014

Top 5 Villa Views in the South of France

For many people the view is the most important aspect of booking their villa in the South of France for their summer holiday. But with so many amazing views from Cote d'Azur Villas then which will you choose? 

This very pretty fishing village has some of the most amazing views over the harbour and that most exclusive of locations, St Jean Cap Ferrat. 

How about this view from Villa Alina, overlooking Villefranche and onto Monaco

This is possibly the mos exclusive peninsula for Cote d'Azur Villas and is home to the famous Villa Ephrussi built by the Rothchilds. Here villas are lavish and exclusive. 

Enjoy this view from the terrace of Villa O

The home of the glamorous and famous each summer, St Tropez villas are among the most sought after, particularly those within walking distance of the private beach clubs such as Club 55. 

This amazing view is from Villa Les Parcs out over the Bay of St Tropez

Home to the glitz and glamour of the annual Cannes Film Festival, the Cannes villas set just above the town have exceptional views out over the Lerins Islands, just of the coast of Cannes. 

Enjoy the view from your sun lounger by the pool from Blue Horizon in Cannes 

5. Cap d'Antibes

With it's white sandy beaches and luxury Cote d'Azur Villas, here you will find amazing Mediterranean views over the azure waters. 

From La Voile Blanche you will enjoy your own private beach with this amazing view. 

Book all of these exceptional views and more with the team at Cote d'Azur Villas, based in the South of France and offering a personal and friendly service to each guest. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Travelling to your rental villa in St Tropez

St Tropez is notorious for the traffic jams into and out of the town during the summer months and many of the tourists who rent a villa in St Tropez look for other ways to arrive and leave if they are staying between June and September.

But what are the options and what are the costs involved.

For us, the most effective way is to take the boat which goes from Cannes or even closer in St Maxime. It's a wonderful way to arrive in St Tropez and it's also the locals preferred way of commuting throughout the year. From St Maxime, it's a short 15 minute journey and costs around 13 euros for an adult return ticket. Children are around half price. Taking the boat from Cannes costs around 50 Euros and takes about just over an hour.

For our clients with a less limited budget then helicopter is the only way to travel, from all the major airports and the heli port at Monaco. Cost? Well, as they say, if you need to ask....

Renting a villa in St Tropez is an amazing way to spend your summer break. Choose one of the spectacular properties on the waterfront or something a little more modest, ideal for a family holiday.

Villa Maya - exceptional contemporary villa to rent in St Tropez

Villa Palacia - Sleeps 14 guests to rent in St Tropez

Plein Soleil - Luxury villa to rent in St Tropez

Monday, 17 February 2014

Villages Around St Tropez, South of France

Often known as the gateway to St Tropez, La  Garde Freinet is situated just to the north of the glitz and glamour of St Tropez but has a character all of its own – calm, tranquil and authentically Provencal.

La Garde Freinet is dominated by its 450 metre high Fort Freinet which offers panoramic views over the surrounding Provence landscape and down to the coast. In view are the Miremar hills, the Mediterranean and you can see all the way up to the Alps.  Also in view will be a large number of vines and olive trees, cork oaks and chestnut trees representing the four locally grown crops.

The rose wine of Provence is exported all over the world but is still underrated. There are literally hundreds of small vineyards producing an excellent range and at a very reasonable cost. Cork oaks still predominate here, feeding the wine industries need for corks, but these forests are now seeing less demand due to the use of plastic wine ‘corks’. La Garde Freinet also has a history of producing chestnut cream.  This, as its name suggests is made from locally grown chestnuts and is adored locally, notably at Christmas time.

The village itself has history going back to the 11th century and some of the original buildings can be still be seen in the pretty streets which surround a lovely square which itself is surrounded by restaurants, and is a very lively place both day and night, especially in the summer season. There is also a highly developed local art scene with galleries and artists seemingly on every corner.  Many well known artists have connections with the area, and many of them have works exhibited in the town.

A number of smaller hamlets can be found in the area, but of course the major attraction is St Tropez a mere 15 minutes drive away from La Garde…..  The wonderful harbour, the yachts and the fantastic beaches have long since been synonymous with St Tropez. This small former fishing village was made famous in the mid 1950’s when Brigitte Bardot spent her summers in the resort.

For those visiting St Tropez this summer, we have over 60 villas available to rent, here are some examples, not all of which will break the bank.

La Balandrine 
La Pouniche  

Villa Katarina 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Visiting the South of France in Springtime - Mimosa Celebrations

Each year we celebrate the wonderful plant that adds such a vibrant yellow colour tour landscape – the Mimosa.  However, what many people do not realise is that Mimosa is not indigenous to the South of France & Provence and was introduced in around 1850 by the British who were attempting to lighten up their winter gardens with this fast growing and hardy shrub.

Here in the South of France we have the Mimosa Trail which covers around 130 kms including the villages of Bormes-les-Mimosas, le Rayol-Canadel, Sainte-Maxime, Saint-Raphaël, Tanneron, Grasse, Pégomas, and Mandelieu-la Napoule.  It celebrates the flowering of the lovely Mimosa shrub with its bright yellow flowers which are particularly welcome in the depths of winter and give one the hope that spring is just around the corner.

Our next Mimosa Festival is in Mandelieu from 14th – 23rd February and we will celebrate with a church service, with the election of a ‘Queen of the Mimosa’ and a parade of floats decorated with the beautiful yellow flowers.

The Mimosa can also be seen in and around Provence.  The locals walk about with armfuls of the stuff to decorate houses, carts, cafe's, restaurants, in fact anything with its beautiful aromatic yellow flowers and one of the villages Bormes les Mimosas is even named after it!

Visiting the South of France in springtime is easy and less expensive than visiting in the high season summer months. The other advantage being that the skies will be blue and the sun will be shining – can the same be said of where you live in February and March?

Cote d’Azur Villas have an excellent selection of villas to rent all along the mimosa trail and booking a rental villa in the South of France is an excellent way to really enjoy our beautiful region.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Golf Courses in the South of France

If you are golfer, then Provence and the South of France are your ideal holiday destination. The courses are too numerous to list them all, however here are a few of our favourites. A full list of courses in the area can be found here.

St Donat near Mouans Sartoux about 15 miles north of Cannes is a very beautiful and testing 18 hole course. The terrain is hilly with streams, ditches and a lake offering spectacular looking hazards. There is quite a lot of tree cover and unless you are reasonably fit then a buggy is recommended. The clubhouse is modern and air-conditioned and the restaurant is top notch, set on a sunny terrace overlooking the lake with its feature fountain. There is a nice driving range but slightly limited putting practice.

Opio/Valbonne golf course is sometimes called Chateau Begude where the course is situated. It is about a mile north of the beautiful 12th century village of Valbonne. It is quite an English looking course, with more tree cover than St Donat which is good I'm summer when shade is at a premium, but tends to have some frosty holes in the depths of winter. The greens here tend to be a little slower than St Donat but nonetheless they are good and true and it also has a nice terrace for lunch. the practice area has a nice driving range a quite a big putting practice green

The Grande Bastide is just north of Plascassier which again is about 15 miles north of Cannes. It is more like a link course with fewer trees and a lot of sand together with gentle undulations rather than hills. Its protection comes mainly from the greens which are tricky and difficult to read. This is a good course to play in winter as it is mostly in the sun, but you can roasted a bit in the summer. This is another course with a nice bar and terrace and a welcoming attitude, although the restaurant is not quite as good as Chateau Begude or St Donat. The practice area is very limited, except for putting which is quite good.

If 9 holes is enough for you then Le Provencal at Sophia Antipolis formerly known as St Phillippe is a nice short course, with just one par 5 and a brand new clubhouse, again with a sunny terrace for lunch. The mainly tree-lined fairways make it seem a little narrow for a big hitter but again, the greens are very good. Practice facilities are excellent.

The 18 hole course at Royal Mougins is exceptional in every way. The views are sublime the course excellently tended and there is a wonderful restaurant and spa for after the game.

All of these courses are easily bookable, speak English, indeed they have a great number of ex pats who play regularly and the nice thing is that they are within about 10 minutes drive of each other. That means that if you can find a private villa to rent for the week somewhere central then you can play each course.

The best places to stay would be Valbonne, Mouans Sartoux, Plascassier, or Opio, but Roquefort Les Pins, Le Rouret, Chateauneuf are also very convenient. One could also stay a little further out, maybe at Grasse, Le Cannet or Mandelieu or even in Cannes itself.

Getting to the area is very simple, Nice airport, the second busiest airport in France is only about 20 - 30 minutes drive away and cars are easily hired from the airport. If coming from the UK there are flights daily from each of the four main London airports, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, East Midlands and Southampton.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Villa Views in the South of France

Location, location, location.....yes, we've ll heard it before, but how about when you are booking your villa in the South of France? Location yes, and view of course!

The South of France extends up into the hills with many villas to rent enjoying exceptional views over the Mediterranean, Cap d'Antibes and St Jean Cap Ferrat. Or perhaps you prefer a view over the islands just off of the coast of Cannes or out over the Bay of St Tropez. here in the South of France the possibilities for a wonderful view are endless.

If you book a villa in one of the small villages then you will find amazing views of river valleys carved out of the rocks or perhaps the snow covered mountains - only a 90 minute drive to the ski slopes...

Here we have put together some of the amazing views from our villas, hope you enjoy the video.


Friday, 7 February 2014

Win a Weekend in the South of France

Valentine's Day is fast about treating your Valentine to a weekend in the South of France?

Enter our free photo competition, upload a photo of your valentine and tell us whey they deserve to win a weekend in the South of France. The winner will be drawn at 10am (GMT+1) on Friday 14th February. Imagine giving that as your Valentine present this year....

Here's the link for you to enter

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Our New Ski Chalet Range Launches Today

We are delighted to launch our new winter range of ski chalets - now you can rent your villa in the South of France in the summer and your Chalet in the French Alps in the Winter with the team at Cote d'Azur Villa Rentals.

At our clients request, we are now able to offer a wonderful solution for your winter ski holiday in the French Alps. All our chalets are fully catered and offer luxury service from a dedicated, professional team based in the chalet.

The French Alps offer some of the most amazing skiing in popular ski resorts such as Meribel, Megeve and Chatel. There is something for everyone from slopes for the children and beginners to off piste areas for the more experienced. And of course the 'aprés' ski is just as important and all our chalets offer a fully catered experience so all you have to do after a hard days skiing is to relax in the hot tub and wait for dinner to be served.

Here are some of the chalets from our range - some with exceptional last minute deals for 2014.

Chalet Les Brames - Meribel 

Maison Blanche et Verte - Chatel

Contact the team today for some great last minute 2014 deals!

Monday, 3 February 2014

5 Reasons to Book a Villa in the South of France

So you are being bombarded with holiday adverts on the TV, in the newspaper and it's coming close to the time you have to decided on where to spend your precious summer holiday.

Here are the 5 Reasons why Booking a Villa to Rent in the South of France is the ideal solution.

1. Time to Play with the children - Enjoy the luxury of a private pool, a garden and the time to spend time with your children.

2. Bring the Family Together - Why not book one of our family villas and bring Grandma, Uncles and all. This is a great way to bring the family together.

3. Enjoy some 'Me' Time - Bring a stack of books and relax...let the children enjoy the pool, the sunshine and you can simply relax.

4. Easy Access - With 2 international ariports and a high speed rail link into Provence then getting to your South of France villa is easier than ever.

5. Sunshine and Blue Skies - With over 300 days of sunshine each year then turn your face to the sun, dine al fresco and sit out on the terrace and enjoy the balmy evenings.

So what are you waiting for? Bookings are coming in fast for Summer 2014 - you need to be quick and it's only 30% to pay now.  BOOK NOW!