We are all saddened by the events of September 11, and hope
you and your loved ones are safe. During the weeks after, we
assisted many clients who despite months of planning their special
trips to Europe, had to cancel their holidays when flights were
grounded. Clients told us how much those vacations meant and
how hard it was to cancel.
All of us here at Ville et Village share with you, our clients,
the love of travel to foreign shores. We understand you might
not be ready or able to confirm your next trip to France, Italy,
Spain or Portugal. We thought, though, that it might be nice
to start thinking about it again. If you do feel ready to book
your holiday, but worry about committing, here are some ways
we developed to help make the reservation process a little easier.
Lastly, we thought you'd like to read about some exciting regions
of France, Italy and Spain that we've recently visited and adore.
How to Plan Your Holiday in these Unsettled Times
Many clients have called us hoping to book their holiday plans
for next year, but uneasy about committing to a firm reservation.
We understand your concern and consequently offer the following
low deposit promotion.
To confirm a reservation on properties with Vacances en Campagne,
Vacanze in Italia or Individual Travellers Spain/Portugal, you
need only put down 10% to confirm your reservation.˛ The remainder
is due 3 months before the start of your holiday. This reduces
your financial commitment significantly while still allowing
you to confirm a reservation on your selected property. As before,
deposits are nonrefundable and options are held 5-7 working
days. Offer currently limited to clients who confirm by December
We always suggest clients purchase Travel Insurance because
rental payments are nonrefundable to protect individual owners.
This service˛˛˛˛ has become even more important in the light
of the events of September 11. We thought you'd like to know
that clients who had CSA˛ insurance and whose flights were cancelled
due to the FAA grounding flights were covered and did receive
reimbursement. Our˛ understanding is that insurance agencies
are covering loss/delay due to terrorism at destination locations
not departure locations. We're currently recommending Travel
Guard (www.travelguard.com) and CSA (www.csatravelprotection.com)
as the two best policies. Check with them to see exactly what
is and is not covered. Then call us and let us help you plan
Repeat Renters Reward
If you've booked two or more weeks in the past, you are eligible
for a 10% discount on your rental with us in 2002. Thanks for
Refer a Friend Promotion
Clients often tell us they've referred a friend. We appreciate
your support. So each time you refer us a friend who books a
rental, we'll send you a certificate worth $25 on your own future
booking. Only one coupon given per referral, but there's no
limit on how many you can use per rental. And they don't expire.
4 Weeks for the Price of 3!
In low season you can book 4 weeks for the price of 3 in all
our listings for Vacances en Campagne, Vacanze in Italia and
the Individual Travellers Spain/Portugal. This is a great reduction
for our off season travellers. Remember, in order to get the
availability you need, book early.
Try to Book Early
Fall is typically the best time to confirm your reservation
and get the best availability. Even now, European travellers
are starting to plan their holidays. So if you're wanting to
travel in late June, July or August, and if you're looking for
a large house with pool, the earlier you plan the better. We
are still using the 2001 catalog and won't have the new catalogs
until around Thanksgiving, but don't let that delay you. Call
now.˛ Prices are set for 2002 and actually dropped in France
and Italy for most price groups by 1%.˛ In Spain and Portugal,
the increase was only 2%. So if you're ready, it's a good time
This year our family travelled to Biarritz and stayed at 64050
at Ustaritz. It was one of our most special vacations ever!
The house is lovely˛ with a wonderful swimming pool, lovely
garden and a stunning view of La Rhune, the highest peak in
the area. The Basque region is spectacularly beautiful with
two distinct landscapes. The coast has long sandy beaches with
stunning cliffs. Seaside towns, like Biarritz, are elegant with
chateaux, or typically Basque, like St. Jean de Luz with charming
white houses trimmed in red. Inland, the mountains are lush
and green with picturesque villages. Br»bis (long -haired sheep)
dot the mountainside and are raised to produce the famous cheese.
There are Basque festivals from spring through fall. Wonderful
hiking, swimming, surfing and golf are all available. The food
is delicious as the area is known for its spicy peppers, fresh
seafood, flavorful ham, rich chocolate and Basque sauces. And
the extra delight for my family was that it is also close to
the wonders of Basque Spain. We made a two-day trip to see the
spectacular Guggenheim Museum at Bilbao,˛ eat tapas in San SebastiÂn
and even saw the running of the bulls at Pamplona!
Call us soon to reserve your house in the French Basque country.
These homes book early.
The Mediteranean side of the Pyr»n»es is equally impressive.
In the past we rented a house near Prades, a charming town with
houses trimmed in pale pink marble. When Pablo Casals, the famous
cellist, left Spain to flee Franco, he settled here. In gratitude
to the French, he started a music festival. Each summer the
Casals Festival offers classical concerts in the beautiful Abbey
de St. Michel de Cuxar. In addition to music, the area offers
wonderful scenery with the lofty Mt. Canigou dominating the
landscape. The hiking is exceptional. An old world spa exists
at Molitg-les-Bains where you can "take the waters".
At C»ret you can visit the Picasso museum where Picasso lived
when he left Spain. And it's a short trip to the beach at Collioure
where caf»s offer fresh grilled sardines. A day trip into Spain
gets you to Figueres and the incredibly outrageous Dalí museum.˛
We've a lovely selection of charming houses in this region,
both big and small, many with lovely views. Call soon to discuss.
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Many of our clients have been inquiring about the Amalfi Coast,
so it was time to see what was attracting their interest. The
Coast is spectacularly beautiful and worth a trip at any time.
We went in late June when the weather was warm and sunny, and
the villages busy, but not jammed with tourists.
There are three main cities. We offer rental homes in all. Amalfi
is a seaside town nestled in a valley through which a tiny river
leads to the sea. The town is small, but is filled with terraced
paths that lead to homes above the lively main Piazza. Amalfi
has a proud history as the seafaring capital of one of Italy's
first maritime empires. The beautiful Duomo dominates the central
Piazza, and hanging out at a caf» there or˛ by the pebbly beaches
on the Bay of Salerno could well be the focus of your stay.
Ravello is a lovely, verdant town high in the mountains, which
is only 15 minutes from the sea and offers stunning views of
the coastline. In July a wonderful concert series takes place
in the palazzo gardens. Positano is the third town on the coast.
Its terraced streets afford almost all homes a stunning view
of the Bay. There is less of a town center here than in Amalfi
but the views and beaches are stunning. Positano is known for
its many shops that sell lovely clothing. All three locations
are incredibly beautiful.
My husband and I chose not to rent a car so we could enjoy the
views when we were on the narrow, winding mountain roads. Instead,
we took the efficient buses, taxis, ferries or hired a wonderful
limousine driver who took us to Naples, Pompei and Sorrento.
A day ferry trip to Capri was a delight. The food was terrific
with lots of fresh seafood, milky mozzarella and the famous
local limoncello (or lemon liqueur). We loved our entire stay.˛
Because the Amalfi Coast is so famous, properties book up early
so call us soon to discuss your trip.
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Last winter, I took a trip to southern Spain to inspect some
of the wonderful properties we feature there. The landscape
is dramatic with broad mountain ranges and a spectacular coastline.
The climate year round is excellent. Even in November the weather
was pleasantly mild; most days I didn't even need a sweater
or jacket. The Moorish influence is apparent in the region's
architecture, and there are many remains to explore. Though
there are some regional specialties, the food is typically Spanish
and features lots of fresh seafood. The innumerable tapas bars
serve inexpensive and tasty snacks, perfect to tide you over
until the very late dinners. I found the people to be very gracious
and friendly, and their pride in their region is evident. For
the sports enthusiast, this part of Spain has excellent golf,
water sports, and lots of biking and walking possibilities,
The three most famous cities are Seville, Granada and Cordćba.
Seville, the birth place of the myth of Don Juan, is the largest
and is home to a beautiful cathedral where Christopher Columbus'
tomb is located. It is also host to the famous "Semana Santa"
festival every April. Cordćba, the next largest city, has been
named by UNESCO as a "Heritage of Mankind" city in recognition
of its cultural and artistic˛ legacy. Granada, the smallest,
is where the breathtaking Moorish monument stands, the Alhambra
In addition to these fantastic cities, there are the smaller
cosmopolitan towns along the coastline like Estepona, Marbella
and Nerja. And there are dozens of picturesque white-washed
towns perched on the mountainsides a bit further inland. These
are the well known "Pueblos Blancos" or White Villages and are
quaint and authentic with fantastic vistas. My favorites are
Gaucín, Frigiliana, Alcaucín and Ronda (the site of the oldest
bull ring in Spain!). We represent houses in each of these beautiful
locations. I'd be glad to help you book your property so that
you can experience this wonderful area for yourself.
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