Home to the rich and famous, Monte Carlo exudes style and panache. The locals walk the paths with a swagger; you can smell the affluence. The town is a charming blend of chic city living and wonderful sun-kissed beaches. Monte Carlo is a compact city; the best way to explore is by foot. The narrow streets and tight alleyways are home to a fascinating array of petite shops, bars and restaurants.
Built in 1863, this architectural masterpiece overlooks the Mediterranean and must be a priority on your sightseeing list. It has a remarkable gold and marble atrium designed by the legendary architect Charles Garnier.
The Monaco Grand Prix has been held annually since 1929 and is considered one of the most prestigious races in motor sport. The roads are transformed from busy public highways into a Formula 1 circuit in an incredibly short space of time.
The palace is open to the public from June to October. The courtyard is paved with over 3 million coloured pebbles, beautifully arranged in geometrical patterns. Built in 1215, the palace was originally a fortress before being transformed into a luxury home.
This magnificent cathedral was constructed in 1875 and is the final resting ground of Princess Grace. The cathedralís fabulous organ was painstakingly restored to its former glory in 1988.
For over a century this luxury spa has pampered and delivered the ultimate in relaxation. Treat yourself to a day you will never forget.
Filled with designer stores to match those of Paris and Rome, the Metropole is a shopperís paradise. A stroll around Casino Square will present you with precious stones of the highest quality.
An abundance of quality restaurants and bars present themselves in the more traditional parts of town. Here you can tuck into local specialities such as Monegasque cuisine.
Located in Casino Square, CafÈ de Paris is the place to be seen. The lively mix of locals and visitors generate a warm atmosphere, whether sitting outside or dining indoors. The menu has an international flavour and daily specials are always recommended.
The stunning Grimaldi Forum is home to a host of cultural events. Watch concerts, opera, ballet, as well as festivals and exhibitions, including the Monte-Carlo Masters tennis.
What the home of AS Monaco Football Club lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in quality. Despite a capacity of only 18,500 (smaller than most top football clubs), the groundís architecture make it one of the more memorable stadia.
Ireland has become a secret hide-a-way for vacationers in the past 20 years, and there is plenty to do while in Ireland. In the early 1990ís, Ireland took an economic turn upwards, and the country began to establish itself with economic success. Since then immigration has increased from the European countries, Russia, and even Australia and the U.S. The well-hidden secret of the wealth that Ireland has to offer has begun to slip out.
Today, vacationers and those who just want a quick get-a way for a weekend or so, are coming to Ireland to experience the old town charm mixed with what the thriving metropolis has to offer. There is something to do for everyone between the ages of 1 and 101, and there’s always more to come back to.
Belfast, again close to 500,00 is the capital of Northern Ireland. Both of these huge cities began as shipping ports, through the Irish Sea, way back around 488AD, so they are filled with the charm and character of an old town, while being able to offer you all the comforts of a bustling city.
There are many cultural villages strewn throughout the country that offer experience, culture and very wonderful foods!
With the mass transit system you and your family can easily reach any destination, or tour the town. The system itself is a thing to see and experience.
Restaurants and outdoor pubs spring up everywhere so you can always stop into one of these friendly taverns and get refreshment. Children are welcome almost everywhere and casual attire is accepted.
Of course, if you want to go out to a fine restaurant for dinner, and then go dancing till dawn, there is plenty of nightlife for you as well.
Ireland has the most beautiful beaches of anywhere, and Galway County on Galway Bay is a great place to enjoy some of the surf. Since Ireland is an island, there are a lot of sandy shores to see, but remember that the summer season is only from June to August, and then a light jacket might be necessary as you walk the shoreline. The waves, sun and the sand are enticing though, and the kids will just love to just go and have fun! So be certain to make at least one of your days in Ireland a beach day!
Then at the end of the day, what could be better than a fresh seafood dinner prepared specially for you, in any one of the many oceanside restaurants that line the coastal towns. You could drive from Dublin to Galway City in a matter of a couple of hours, and with the Atlantic ocean on the west side of Ireland, and the Irish Sea bordering the east side, you had better believe that the best in North Atlantic seafood is available for you!
The variety and charm of Ireland makes it the best get-a-way for your whole family, or just for two. Come and enjoy!
The South of France has the enviable combination of miles of coastline and fertile rural landscapes and has been the inspiration for artists, composers and writers as well as the new visitor.
The term ìSouth of Franceî is usually used to describe the southern stretch of the countryís coastline that runs between Spain and Italy, and the rural inland areas that include Provence and the LubÈron. With its warm climate, fertile landscape and developed coastline, it is one of the most regularly-visited parts of Europe.
Unsurprisingly, for somewhere as popular as the South of France, there is no shortage of hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and camp sites. For a true taste of the area though, stay in one of our recommended boutique hotels. Small and intimate, they are a home from home and turn a basic holiday into a luxury retreat. All of these hotels offer well-designed and contemporary rooms and the service is discreet and impeccable. Good food usually goes hand-in-hand with the cool rooms and public areas – by choosing one of these hotels youíll be treating yourself to a memorable stay in the South of France.
The South of France is too big an area to be fully explored in a single holiday, which is why many people return year after year. Some of Franceís most expensive resorts lie on the south coast, including St. Tropez and Cannes, and where better to watch the yachts and fashions of the rich and famous? The area is famous for its coastline, sailing and water sports and for the cities that lie near it: Nice, Marseilles and Montpelier for example. Inland, Provence is well-known for its rolling landscapes, stretches of vineyards and swathes of wild flowers. With no shortage of historic buildings, local markets and museums to explore, the South of France has something for everyone.
If youíre planning on exploring the South of France, you should hire a car. The French, like most European countries, drive on the right hand side of the road and the roads are largely well-maintained, although many are toll-controlled and you will have to pay at marked toll stations to use the main road network. If you are planning on staying mostly in one place and just visiting major cities or tourist areas, then opt for the train system, operated by SNCF.