Seasonal Specials

     and Cost Savers for France

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Condé Nast Traveler and Bon Appétit magazines

select Endless Beginnings as Top Travel Specialist and for their Epicurean Travel Consultant Board

 

Thinking Outside the Travel Box

While the economy has been challenging of late and many feel uncertain, one overriding comment we’ve heard in our office is “I won’t give up my vacation!” If you still want to travel but are looking for ways to trim the costs, beyond shortening your length of stay or downgrading your hotels, Endless Beginnings has some additional ways to stretch the dollar and give you more bang for the buck on a trip to France

Consider Off the Beaten Path Journey

Paris is always the “big” event for a trip to France but if you are
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saving money you might want to steer clear of the capital this year. We don’t recommended this for the first time visitor but if this is a return trip, you may want to consider staying outside of the city in one of the smaller surrounding towns and making day trips in. Towns like Chantilly, Versailles, St. Germaine-en-Laye are all served by trains to Paris, either mainline or the express RER trains, making for quick trips by day and a return to a more small town atmosphere by night.
2011 could well be the year of the Provinces where you need look no further than those beautiful and diverse, lesser known regions. There are some good substitutions for some of the pricier destinations of Provence, the Cote d’Azur, the Medoc or Biarritz. Languedoc-Rousillon, just to the west of Provence extending all the way to the Spanish border along the Mediterranean, is a less
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expensive alternative for Provence’s costlier towns. Nimes’ Roman ruins rival those of nearby Arles, charming Uzès is a pretty village which can replace trendier St. Remy. There are wondrous towns to be visited from the Middle Ages’ Carcassonne, the walled city of the Cathars, to Montpellier’s leafy boulevards lined with 18th century mansions. Or for a leisurely holiday, cruise along the great canal of the south, the Canal du Midi, by barge.
Look to Brittany, particularly this year as Normandy
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celebrates the 66th anniversary of D-Day, for a summer holiday on France’s Atlantic coast akin to a stay in Maine. The fishing villages on the northern Breton coast are famous for their seafood and oysters while the southern shores are a favorite of artisans and painters. Gauguin painted at Pont Aven and the pottery wares of Quimper are always in demand. Further south, Poitou-Charentes’ Ile-de-Re can be a more casual substitute for the pricier Riviera resorts or Biarritz. Nearby is Cognac which can be visited in a day trip by way of the port town of La Rochelle. Continuing further south, rather than staying outside of Bordeaux on the Medoc peninsula, consider a base north of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers in the beautiful wine town of St. Emilion. From there you can make a day trip to Bordeaux, the Medoc vineyards or depart for tour in Perigord.
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Lyon, France’s 2nd largest city, is a surprise. While it can’t replace Paris, it is beautiful in its own right and on a more human scale, a historical and exciting city with food that is unrivaled. The old city, Vieux Lyon, is charming with tiny streets and interconnected courtyards. Place Bellecour, bounded by the Rhone and the Soane rivers, is one of the largest squares in France. Up in the Croix Rousse district you’ll find the silk weavers who once made the city famous. After a holiday in Lyon, consider traveling up into the Alps of the Savoie or north to the adjacent Beaujolais wine district, a less expensive alternative to a visit in Burgundy’s pricier wine country.

Another less traveled alternative is beautiful Alsace on the German-French border where you’ll be treated by exceptional food and wine, gentle mountain, river and valley scenery and quaint towns with a rich folkloric history.

Explore Alternative Accommodations

While hotels continue to be the favored accommodations for a holiday in France, if you’re watching the budget you might want to explore some of the varied alternatives France offers.  Consider staying in a Bed & Breakfast which could be a privately owned chateau, castle, manor or abbey where the owners offer a few rooms for overnight guests. There are quality bed and breakfasts throughout France, each with accommodations at a fraction of traditional hotel costs.
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And you have the added advantage of hosts who are familiar with their region and enjoy interacting with their guests, giving hints and assistance for sightseeing. Small country inns are another possibility when traveling in the provinces, particularly if you prefer accommodations which also have a restaurant or additional facilities. Lastly, if you are staying a week or two in one area and prefer a self-catering holiday, the rental of an apartment or home is  the answer. You can find many properties on our website under “Vacation Rentals”.
 

Look for Seasonal Bargains

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One of your greatest hedges against escalating travel costs is to take advantage of seasonal bargains. Plan a late spring or early fall trip to Provence or the Riviera, even winter along the Cote d’Azur is mild. The villages are not crowded like they will become later in July and August when all of France, and much of Europe, goes on summer holiday. For a holiday in the summer, go the opposite direction, north to the Breton coast or Normandy, although this year is crowded with the 65th anniversary D-Day celebrations. Champagne is another area, close to Paris, that is a beautiful destination for a summer holiday and can easily be combined with Alsace-Lorraine for an exploration of eastern France. Traveling in Paris during the winter
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months rewards you with fewer crowds, lower prices, winter sales and some special packages for holidays like Valentine’s Day. You can also find lower prices in August when most of the city’s denizens have fled for their annual vacations but many restaurants and shops will be closed. If contemplating a Christmas trip, give Alsace-Lorraine a second look as you’ll find the holiday celebrated with many German Christmas influences including Christmas markets. Or, Provence which has a particular way of celebrating with their nativity scenes peopled with santons and the reveillon Christmas Eve observances.

Special Events in France

If you are saving money, you might want to avoid of some of the special events planned throughout France. As previously mentioned, Normandy will see the return of WWII veterans, many who will be celebrating for the last time, the 66th anniversary of the D-Day landings. The majority of events are planned in early June.

The Cannes International film Festival takes place from May 12th to the 23rd followed by the Formula 1 race at Monte Carlo on May 30th making the Cote d'Azur costly. From July 3rd to the 25th, the boys of the pelaton will return to
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vie for champion of cycling’s great road race, the Tour de France at various destinations, not so expensive for you but fun if your trip overlaps some areas and your a cycling enthusiast. Near the Loire Valley from June 12-13 the Le Mans Auto Race is takes place. Another large gathering is the Nice Jazz Festival in July. While all these events would be a wonderful addition to any vacation, room and restaurants rates are at a premium.

Also check out  our Itinerary Suggestions for France and Contact us to create your unforgettable adventure.

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~ NEW!     NEW!     NEW!     NEW! ~

~ APARTMENTS IN PARIS ~

These are three & four star apartments located in choice neighborhoods of the Latin Quarter & the Opera districts in Paris. The apartments are all air-conditioned from 1 room Studios up to a 6 room Duplex and are rented on a per day basis. Optional services cold include breakfast, an additional bed, daily cleaning or garage parking.

Below is a sampling of the properties:

Paris

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DeluxeFrom 700 sq. ft apartment (2 room) to 2100 sq. ft. Duplex (6 room) – Residential district between the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower is the perfect place to spend a few days or months on vacation or business.

ModerateFrom Studio to 2 Bedroom Duplex – Located near the Opera Garnier or Trocadéro, these apartments have the latest in household design, prestigious furnishings, light wooden floors and modern amenities.

Value – Studio or 1 bedroom apartments located throughout Paris from Montmartre to the Louvre to Saint-Germain-des-Prés districts.  Modern comforts, business connectivity, customized services provide the best daily rates for your stay. 

NOTE:  We also offer apartments in major French cities (Bordeaux, Cannes, Lyon, Marseille, & Nice).  Do not hesitate to contact us with your request. Hurry, Contact us, as these apartments are limited by season and availability!

Also See Our: Itinerary Suggestions for France


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