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Useful Travel and Food Tips and Links




Travel Links and Ideas You May Find Useful:

Gourmet Provence

GOURMET PROVENCE welcomes you on its on-line shop. Gourmet Provence sells and ships a range of the wonderful products of Provence in the South of France. They provide only products known for their quality and authenticity that they have selected from provence artisans and producers.

All the goods that you will enjoy are produced by the best local profesionnals. They have also chosen wines among wine growers offring high quality products. The limited range of their products is due to their strict claim for quality.

Romance Concierge Services, Inc.

Exotic Vacations - Magical Dates - Event Planning - Specialty Gifts - Sexy makeovers - Romantic Advice

Romance Concierge Services designs unique & one-of-a-kind romantic events for couples who are dating or married. We specialize in; Luxury Event Planning, Magical Dates, Exotic Vacations, Marriage Proposals, Destination Weddings, Sensual Workshops, Specialty Gifts, and Fashion Makeovers, for all stages of the relationship - Dating, Engagements, Weddings, Honeymoons, Anniversaries, Or Just Because You Love Them.

Great Hotels of the World

Great Hotels of the World presents an unrivalled collection of independent five-star luxury hotels and resorts. Each hotel is selected for its dedication to the highest standards of luxury, unique sophistication, stunning surroundings and innovative facilities. We handpick the most exclusive hotels in the world for your convenience, so you can indulge in the ultimate of extravagances when you travel, whether for business, romantic pleasure, golf or spa indulgence

Barracuda Yacht Charter

A Unique Sailing Yacht Charter Experience!

International superstar DJ Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) and Zoë Ball invite you aboard Barracuda, their own personal classic wooden motor yacht. Charter memories. Sail hidden coves. Sunbathe on empty, unknown beaches. Dawdle on unspoilt islands. Watch our chef cook. Be a pirate. Hear good music or play your own. Drink too much. Oversleep. Wakeboard. Waterski. Lie still while everything moves. Breathe sunshine. Leap from a sailing yacht. Charter the sea. Swim naked in clear cool water. Read that book. Beat the skipper at backgammon. Explore the unknown. Go shopping in the markets of La Maddelena. Eat the catch of the day. Be part of every sunset. Plot your own course. Forget the time. Fall in love. Do everything. Do nothing. Have fun. Never go home again. Live the quiet calm of sailing. Charter a dream.
Yacht charter holidays aboard the Barracuda explore the mediterranean, the northeast coast of Sardinia, the Italian Amalfi coast and Ibiza. For more information please visit http://www.barracuda-yacht-charter.com

Luxury Yacht Charter

eYachtCharter.com offers luxury, adventure and memorable experiences for each of its clients. This charter firm prides itself as a dynamic, next generation company established to revolutionize the yacht charter industry with first class service and the utmost professionalism. eYachtCharter.com coordinates premium yacht charter services on some of the world’s finest ocean vessels. EYC’s fleet is compiled of sailing and motor yachts from across the globe. The global yachting directory is at the client’s disposal 24 hours a day, which enables them to select the perfect venue for their luxury vacation or event. The database directory includes both crewed and bareboat vessels for charter. eYachtCharter.com is committed to providing the luxuries of modern technology and meticulous personal attention to each and every one of its clients.

Just France

France (whose domain name is justfrance.org) is a site packed with information about life in France and traveling in France. It has sections of the major destination cities in France, guides, maps, how to get where ever

you want to go, hotels, information on "red tape" and Visas, section for disable travelers, things to do, French culture from recipes, the language, art, music etc. It even has business covered such as real estate, jobs in France, moving to France, MBA programs, Insurance, health and medical, banking etc. If you like to share information, success and outrages, there is a forum. This is a great and valuable resource for the traveler.
Some of the pages are still under construction, and some are a bit lean on information, but that will change in time. It is still an excellent resource.

Relais Chateau Link

Since so many of the finest establishments we cover are members of the Relais & Châteaux Group of hotels and restaurants (that prestigious organization that spans the world in 47 countries), we decided to give you a direct link to their site. We have found them to be the most reliable group in the years we have been writing reviews of hotels. No one is perfect, and we have encountered the occasional hotel that did not live up to its rating but overall we feel we can recommend them for quality. In fact, the magazine "Worth" in their July/August 2001 issue had a readers' survey that rated top honor for high-end associations of independent hotels and restaurants edging out other chains such as Peninsula and the Ritz-Carlton.

We cannot possibly cover all of their members, so we feel the least we can do is make is easy for you to follow up on the coverages we are creating for our "niche" site by giving you access their full listing. Just click on their logo button to the left to see if they have anything in the area you will be visiting.

French Embassy

French Embassy Site - This site is filled with everything you need to know about France for the visitor and for those wanting to live in France for an extended period of time. To learn about the requirements for taking your pet into France with you, click here. To down load a copy of their health certificate form that will need to be filled in by your vet, click here. To go to their home page either click here or on the logo above. You will find all sorts of other information form what it takes as a student to driver's licence requirements.

Himalania Pink Salt

The Pink Salt from the Himalayas is a very special salt prized by such top French chefs as the brothers Jacques & Laurent Pourcel of "Le Jardin des Sens****, Montpellier, Provence". It comes from the mountains of Himalaya, at 10,000 feet high. It is a fossil marine salt which was formed more than 200 million years ago. It is extremely pure with not only a very special taste, but it is packed with elements and minerals. It has just become available under the brand name of "Himalania" for the rest of us. You can buy it on line at: www.surlatable.com or visit the Himalania site at: www.himalania.com

Coffe Review

Not your average cuppa joe
Now there's a perfect brew for the coffee enthusiast—Kenneth Davids's guide to all things coffee! Navigate the differences among dark roasts,

organics, and fair-trade coffees. Learn about roasting styles, coffee culture, tasting vocabulary, and more in the Coffee Reference section. Find out which rare beans are earthy or mellow, and order them online.

Go to Review (but come back soon!)

Paris Luxury Tours

Paris Luxury Tours elicits those qualities of Paris and France that makes them unique and dear to the entire world, and makes them accessible to visitors who do not speak French. pay them a visit at http://www.parisluxurytours.com


Gayot.com publishes an excellent set of comprehensive guides world wide. If you don't find what you are looiking for on our site, pay them a visit at http://www.gayot.com

Welcome 2 France

www.welcome2france.com is a charming site with high end appartments for rent in Paris and Provence. It is run by a group of friends owning exquisitely furnished apartments in the most charming areas of Paris, refurbished to meet your highest quality and luxury standards for short term rentals. Thet are independent, private owners from Paris and not a company. They created the Welcome2Paris web site to reflect their lifestyle and vision of life.

All-hotels.com is a major independent hotel website with the largest available selection of online bookable hotels throughout the world. Withover 60,000 hotels in over 9,600 destinations, all-hotels.com offers some of the best hotels worldwide with some of the best discounts worldwide. Whether traveling for business or leisure, the site is simple to use and provides a reliable and comprehensive hotel reservation service.

"London Hotels for You" is a London based travel agency offering accommodation in London, England for best rates from self catering appartments to five star world renown hotels. This is a site that specializes in London only, not country wide.

Apartments Around Europe

There is a suite of sites all from "Feel" that list apartments in major cities throughout Europe and even in New York. They can all be accessed through their Barcelona site www.feelbarcelona.com/en/ For their other sites, scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Apartments in Rome

Apartments Rome, is a vacation rental website. Properties are ranked for their ecological footprint on the website. Choosing Category A energy appliances, setting thermostats and/or timers, motion-detection sensors, filters cleaning for air conditioning, proper insulation, etc will help your apartment in Rome eco-footstep to keep at reasonable levels

Epicurian Affairs

is a site devoted to Chocolate Fountains, a current fad for fun occassions. But they also sport a very fine "Links" page with many valuable resourse sites.

Provence Web

has maps, travel information, information about the area, the lakes, the rivers, the villages, food, restaurants - in short everything you could possibly want to know.


A great resource for dog friendly establishments. We cannot claim that all of the recommendations are upscale, but in the US when you are traveling with Fido, you can't always be that choosy!


France Provence web site also has a lot of information on Provence.


The Paris web site is big and full of information. Often this is the city visited before coming south.


How Far Is It? instantly determines the distance between any two places in the world.


Holiday-Rentals.co.uk has the largest selection of holiday homes available to rent direct from owners online, offering travellers authentic holiday experiences, a personal service, and unique accommodation at great prices. Its user-friendly format and efficient search tools have established it as the most popular holiday rentals site in the UK. From cottages to castles, budget apartments to luxury villas, in the city or the country, by the beach or in the snow, Holiday-Rentals.co.uk truly has a home for every type of holiday.


The International Herald Tribune, the English language European newspaper is available online.


Holiday Bank online self-catering vacation house rental site.


Another online self-catering vacation house rental site.


Beyond the French Riviera is especially for people who want to avoid the congested coast.


Another good Provence web site.

Google Language Tools - Free Translator
You can earch across languages
You just type a search phrase or a whole paragraph in your own language to easily find what it would be in another language. You can even have it translate an entire website page and have it replace the text with the translated text.


Discover the REAL Provence: its towns and villages, its food and wine, its culture and lifestyle, etc.....


Instant access to pet friendly lodging in motels, hotels, self catering houses, cabins and condos and more.


CNN has an excellent web page with world wide news, weather, travel, exchange rates etc.


France Provence web site also has a lot of information on Provence.


PagesJaunes.fr is France Telecom's site for online searches on white, yellow and other methods of finding telephone numbers and web sites in France. This is the English version.


The Embassy Page is a good resource for embassies and other government office around the world of all countries. It is still growing so be forgiving if your request is not yet available.


Foreign Languages for Travelers uses text and sound to offer elementary lessons in more than 25 languages.


Yahoo's Foreign Currency Converter is very helpful in getting the latest exchange rates.


Travelocity is a good source of the best prices for traveling, air, car, hotels etc.


The Connected Traveler good source of information for travelers.


London based Thomas Cook foreign exchange specialists started selling currencies and traveler's checks online. If this appeals to you, their site will help you.

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Useful Tips:

  • Delta Airlines has a flight direct to Nice, France from LAX via JFK.
  • American Express will sell you traveler's checks over the phone if you are a card holder. You will need to give them your checking account number and they will arrange a direct debit and send you the traveler's check by mail.
  • Dog will Travel. If you hate to leave your small dog behind when you travel, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy are all for you. All you need is papers showing that your dog is vaccinated against rabies and a certificate or letter from your vet within 7 days of departure stating your dog is in good health and off you go (since this process seems to change from year to year, for more on this click here). You and Towser will be welcome. Most hotels and restaurants, especially in France will be happy to see you furry family member. Frequently the waiters make such a fuss with bowels of water etc. it can be positively embarrassing. However, it makes a great icebreaker with the folks at the next table who probably have some description of "chien" behaving himself or otherwise at the next table. We have met so many people everywhere we go because we have our Lassa Apsa with us. Delta, TWA, Swiss Air, Air France, Italia to name a few, all accept dogs in the cabin under the seat if they weigh 10 lbs or less and you have an acceptable carrying case that closes fully. One dog per cabin so book and pay for his/her ticket early. To reenter the U.S. you must visit a vet. in Europe 7 days or less from return departure and also have a certificate stating good health and up to date rabies. Do not visit farms with the dog. Also, in the South West of France, the Dordogne especially, there are "killer" ticks. If your dog becomes listless and off his food, visit a vet immediately for the anti-dote. To be safe, visit a local vet when you arrive in the area you will be staying to check for any local problems such as this. Provence is free of these pests. But areas with high rainfall can have problems. NOTE: FrontLine and Advantage are both widely available in France and Germany and Itay. The majority of US dog foods, dry in bags are available in supermarkets and the special diet foods are available through veterenarians.
  • When in France, if you decide to do as in Rome and join the race track on the Autoroutes with those doing in excess of the 130 k per hour cowboys, remember that although you seldom see a traffic cop, if they catch you, they pluck your license and hit you with a fine that will make your second mortgage look like pocket money. And DO NOT pass on the inside. Verboten! In fact, once you have passed in the faster lane, you are required to move back into the slower lanes until you have to pass again. Also the drunken driving laws have been fortified in 2004 and the level of alchol is very small to put you over the limit, so if you drive - DON'T DRINK! Also in 2004, pedestrians have the right of way at cross walks so be sure to give them priority.
  • Prix Fix Menus. Without a doubt, the best buys in French restaurants are the daily prix fix menus. For the last few years, many restaurants have had business men's lunch menus that include a starter and main dish, or main dish and dessert for a very reasonable price. But sometimes you want the prix fix menu but don't want beef or the cheese course but are frustrated in missing the deal. We find most restaurants will indulge in a modest substitution. If you find a trout or chicken dish in A La Carte, they will substitute that for you usually with a very modest supplement. Without exception, we have found that they will serve you a small green salad in place of the cheese. After all it cost them a fraction of the cost of cheese for a few leaves of lettuce! If you really don't like the dish that you thought was one thing and turned out to be another entirely (we once received well rotted game hare when we thought we were ordering a type of fish!) do talk to the waiter who will talk to the chef. Sometimes they can be most accommodating even when the mistake is your's and offer you something else at their expense. Sometimes they don't. But it never hurts to try.
  • In England some of the best food is at pubs. Pick one that has tables out front. Often they have a buffet at the bar. In fact, over the last 20 years, pubs have been adopting the business lunch as a resource since so much business is traditionally done over a pint why not cash in and feed them as well. Today many have a full restaurant on the side.
  • Coffee. If you find the European coffee too strong, you are not an espresso fan, don't give up hope. Just ask for a single espress or espresso made into a double size cup. This thins it considerably. Either that or have then pour the single into a double cup and add boiling water. They may look at you funny, but if the coffee is more to your taste, who cares. Anyway, today this is known as "café American".
  • Breakfast. English breakfasts are big, satisfying meals. But if you find the Continental start to your day of coffee and bread not quite enough, go ahead and ask for Corn Flakes. Though not on the menu, the kitchen probably stocks corn flakes at least and often can do a hard boiled egg as well. "Nothing ventured, nothings gained" as the old saying goes and it certainly applies to food and travel. Always accept defeat gracefully and the next day you may be surprised. They may offer you your request. Many hotels are also offering Buffet Breakfast which generally will offer cold meats, yogurt, cheeses, various cerials, eggs etc.
  • Your ATM cards will work in Europe if you have a 4 digit PIN code and at least one of the logos on the machine corresponds with the miniature version on the back of your card. Cirrus and Star are very common. You get the best exchange rate and the transaction fees are usually $5.00 or less.
  • English Speaking Doctors in major cities of the world. The nonprofit International Association of Medical Assistance to Travelers provides members with a book of English speaking doctors in major cities of the world. It's free and updated regularly. Call (716) 754-4883 or write IAMAT, 417 Center St., Lewiston, NY 14092
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All rights reserved peter d'aprix ©1985-2012.
No copying, reuse or partial reproduction permitted without written permission by the authors, Peter and Linda D'Aprix.

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