Activities - Tips

Chateau La Coste

Our last day in Aix En Provence, was chock full of activities. After a quick shopping spree at the morning markets in Aix En Provence (see post), and a wonderful lunch at La Petite Maison, we had to make a quick dash to this amazing modern winery - Chateau La Coste en Provence in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade that I heard so much about from fellow wine buff friend AL. As we drove into Chateau La Coste, the perfectly manicured landscapes along the long driveway greeted us, before we entered the minimalist designed underground carpark. First views of Chateau La Coste as we drive in. Entrance from carpark. What sets Chateau La Coste apart from many other wineries is that rather than just having a modern designed building...

Sunflowers in Provence

Very often when one googles for flowers in summer in Provence, images of lavender and sunflower fields fill the pages. So it's only natural to any non-local including myself that sunflowers are just springing up anywhere in Provence in the peak of summer. So here's the reality check, for sure lavender fields aren't everywhere, and with sunflowers, they are even rarer. But after chancing upon these sunflower fields, I decided to do some research so that if you are planning on finding these happy flowers the next time you visit Provence, at least you have a game plan. First sightings of sunflower fields in the area of Cadenet. Honestly, given it was our last day in Provence, we had pretty much almost given up on seeing any sunflower fields up...

Day trip to Cassis

On our first day arriving into Aix En Provence, we were planning to just take it easy and walk around the town square. But yes there's always the unexpected that pops up in driving trips. Our concierge from Hotel Le Pigonnet was sharing with us places to go near Aix En Provence, and what we could do if we wanted to see something different. Cassis, a Mediterranean seaside town located south of Aix En Provence, came up as the place which many Aix-ers (short form for the locals from Aix En Provence) tend to head to especially during these hot sweltering summer months. The pictures of the famous Calanques in Cassis and the idea of our feet submerged in nice cold sea water was enough to...

Stay in Aix En Provence

For the last leg of our Provence trip, we decided to stay in Aix En Provence, given that we might need to have some 'city life' after a few days of countryside and small towns. And it's convenient to depart from here back to Paris via the TGV. I acknowledge we didn't thoroughly explore Aix, but our first and last impressions of this city is we really hate the traffic, enough for me to strike it off my list of cities to visit in Provence. It's notorious for its high traffic and constant jams on the town roads and highways during summer and this runs on till maybe autumn when both the domestic and foreign tourists have dissipated. Sculpture in the square at Cours Mirabeau. Given we spent...

Lavender in Gordes

Gordes, part of the Luberion region, has been helmed in many tourist websites on Provence as one of the most beautiful villages of France, and after coming here, I can understand why. Gordes has also been mentioned in Peter Mayle's best selling, famous book - A Year in Provence, which am sure has also helped in attracting curious tourists from round the world. Strangely, I have not read this book yet, and it makes me want to read it after having visited Provence. First views of Gordes. Ideally, it would be nice to stay a few nights in the Luberon region and explore the likes of Gordes, Menerbes and Bonnieux. However, given we had limited time, we decided to settle with driving at good speed from St Remy all the...

Carrières de Lumières – breathtaking!

When you visit Provence, it is an absolute must to come to Les Baux Des Provence (a 20 minutes drive from St Remy) to visit the Carrieres De Lumieres here and also the Chateau which sits on the former old town of Baux. Sometimes good things come out of bad experiences, and CG found out about this place by chance when speaking with a French couple while we were queuing up in the heat for our Avis rented car in Avignon. Front entrance to Carrieres De Lumieres. Upon parking our car, we found an imposing limestone quarry right in front of us. With a height of 25 meters tall, this was converted in 1977 into a site to showcase incredible multimedia shows called the Carrière de Lumières. Each year,...

St Remy Provence shopping and sights

The second stop in our Provence virgin trip was St Remy. This town is picturesque with its tree lined streets and has a great selection of art galleries, gourmet shops and museums, spread throughout the main boulevard and the tiny streets. I love especially the mixture of pastel and bright coloured windows that accent the old buildings through the various tiny streets, it makes for a perfect picture. It's also most famous for being the place which inspired Van Gogh and where he produced many of his most important works while staying in the asylum at Saint-Paul de Mausole monastery. Remember the famous Starry Night? SLEEP We stayed at Hotel L'Image, a 4 star boutique hotel with 32 rooms. Upon check in, we were given a tour of the premises before...

Zermatt skiing

Zermatt skiing is very popular with many given it's the highest resort, with sure guaranteed snow, and one of the few or only places in the world where you can even do summer skiing! Even when we were there, and the whole of Europe barely snowed for the month of December, Zermatt was still decent enough for skiing though not perfect powder snow conditions like Japan, but we couldn't complain given the sad snow situation in the entire Europe. There's a total of 360 km of pistes in Matterhorn alone and it's right next door to their Italian neighbours, which means you can literally cross country and head to Italy to ski and eat! Golden tip of the Matterhorn at sunrise. A typical ski day in Zermatt slopes - nice...

Vevey Switzerland in December

My first trip with Y and R to Switzerland in December last year started with a driving trip through small quaint towns of Vevey, Montreaux, Monthey before rounding up with my annual ski trip in Zermatt with Y's buddies. Although taking the efficient Swiss train seemed the most logical and economical thing to do, but we figured driving might seem more convenient. Given the number of pit stops we wanted to do and coupled with luggages of ski wear, winter wear and even one dedicated luggage filled with local Singapore groceries, a rented Volkswagen from Europcar in Zurich became our trusted transport for the next few days in Switzerland. Navigating the GPS map for R. He was a little stressed driving on the roads in the beginning....

Cheli and Peacock Safaris

Earlier this year, our friend JC started a group chat with Y's bunch of friends - one of her fun traveling buddy groups that have taken me with her a few times to Bali and last year to Maldives. The topic header being "Safari trip"? It finally ended up with me plus the 6 of them including WT bringing his mum, how sweet, to go on this fun safari experience which was a first time for many of us other than buddy YL and her hubby SH, who has gone before just recently to Botswana. It's nice sometimes not to be the travel planner, so I was glad I could relax my paws away while YL did the research. Website home page of Cheli and...
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