Archives for category: attractions

A painting by Paul Cezanne.

In Part 4, we saw how Vincent Van Gogh’s art was impacted by his mental issues, how mountaintop former castles and fortresses continue to “live,” and how the idyllic beauty of Southern France country landscapes inspire paintings.

Aix-en-Provence

It was a reality jolt to spend days roaming gentle villages of country folk living high in ancient fortresses and then to find oneself in the thriving urban city of Aix-en-Provence. We strolled along Cours Mirabeau, a wide, tree-lined thoroughfare, explored the Old Town, and took in the artistic drumbeat left by Artist Paul Cezanne, born here in 1839 and who Read the rest of this entry »

Shopping at the farmer market.

In Part 3, we cruised down the Canal du Midi in a barge, cooked a full-course meal in a 5-star French hotel’s cooking school, and learned that Vincent Van Gogh left his impressions on more than canvas.

SAINT-REMY-DE-PROVENCE, LES-BAUX-DE-PROVENCE, ISLE-SUR-LA-SORGUE and ROUSSILLON

One of the absolute delights of this Southern France trip was getting to visit (albeit too briefly) small mountainside medieval villages on day excursions. We were lodging in Aix-en-Provence. Each village brimmed with the flavors of France, from fresh bags of lavender to nutty confections of nougat, to the flower-potted window sills that crowded narrow passageways within the former fortress rock walls. The air was fresh from mountain breezes. The views of multi-hued fields Read the rest of this entry »

The locks at Canal du Midi

In Part 2, the journey took us to Figueres, Spain to explore Surrealist Salvadore Dali’s Theatre-Museum, to the seaside city of Collioure immortalized by paintings of André Derain, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, and to the quiet beauty of Perpignan.

CANAL DU MIDI, AVIGNON and ARLES

On our way to stay in Arles and to visit Avignon, we paused for a morning excursion on the famed Canal du Midi.

CANAL DU MIDI

The slow steady pace of cruising down the 150-mile-long 17th century-constructed Canal du Midi in a flat-bottomed barge was one of the most relaxing aspects of the two-week Odysseys Unlimited tour thus far. Originally named the Canal Royal en Languedoc in 1681 when completed by Pierre-Paul Riquet, it was renamed by French revolutionaries to Canal Read the rest of this entry »

Idyllic Southern France countryside

Art. Food. Wine.

Those were the three words that drew my husband, Russ, and I to book our two-week tour to Southern France, the Languedoc and Provence regions. Russ expected this tour would be a bit more laid back than our previous Odysseys Unlimited tours, though sometimes we still felt as if we were racing against time to cram in as many cultural experiences as we could before our weary bodies collapsed. That’s not a complaint, by the way… just the reality of not wanting to miss out Read the rest of this entry »

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa

HOT DEALS!

Summer isn’t the only time Florida Resident discount rates will be available at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, minutes from Naples, FL. A seven-day advance purchase is required, but the rates are available through December 31 by using the code CPFLR. The 26-acre property can host meetings up to 1500 people, has an 18-hole golf course, Camp Hyatt kids club, two firepits and is close to the airport. There is a three-acre pool area with waterslides, lazy river, adults-only pool, hot tub, and both a Read the rest of this entry »

The Met Hotel in Greece is both an art gallery and upscale hotel.

When I first began writing this column, I was working regularly for a high end travel magazine that catered to the hospitality, meetings & events industries. Over time I have realized that not all travellers visit destinations or plan events because they are part of a corporate or social group. This edition (and likely more in the future) will feature some personal travel options for adults and families.

HOT DEALS!

It’s an art gallery. No, it’s a hotel. No, actually The Met Hotel in the ancient coastal city of Thessaloniki, Greece is both. While Read the rest of this entry »

GRAND OPENINGS

A terrace of El Llorenç Parc de la Mar overlooks the Palma neighborhood in Mallorca

One of the oldest neighborhoods in the Palma area of Mallorca will be getting awakening jolt of modern sophistication when El Llorenç Parc de la Mar opens this July. The 33-room boutique hotel will have a three-tiered rooftop terrace providing 360-degree views of the city, as well as two restaurants, a lobby bar, and a wellness center called Natura Bissé. Renowned island chef Santi Taura’s culinary offerings will reflect traditional cuisine, with ingredients sourced locally, such as signature black pork from an island producer. El Llorenç Parc de la Mar is located within the ancient quarter known as La Calatrava, an area once inhabited by Jews, Muslims and Christians. Highlights include the Arab baths, the Church of Santa Fe and the Church of Monti-Sion and the Convent of Santa Clara, where the nuns of the Order have lived and prayed for more than 750 years. The quarter is located just a short distance from some of the city’s major landmarks, including the Palma Cathedral, Almudaina Palace, Cort Square or the S’Hort del Rei Gardens. Swedish designer, Magnus Ehrland. Incorporates geometric motifs reflective of the local history and Moorish influence on the island. Read the rest of this entry »

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