Alternative Aquitaine Blog

Au revoir Aquitaine

Au revoir Aquitaine image

Sadly now back in the UK after a glorious few days basking in Aquitaine’s hot sunshine. Highlights of my latest visit included setting a P.B. of FIVE gateaux Basques (avec confiture, bien sur) consumed on this trip, an excellent gambas lunch with Ed Gruson at Bar Jean in Biarritz, and falling into a water hazard at midnight on my

New 'contemporary classic' near Hossegor

Villa des Chevreuils

'Contemporary' is an over-used adjective for describing a modern holiday villa. But, in the case of newly acquired Villa des Chevreuils, near the surfing beaches of Hossegor, the adjective is certainly justified. The curved architecture and striking interior make this villa one of the most photogenic in our portfolio. It's in good

Justin & Alex's villa picks


June and July are great months for young families to visit the child-friendly lakes and beaches of Aquitaine, south west France. The weather is warm, the crowds haven't arrived and the best value rentals can be found. Check out some fantastic Value Villas and Family Holiday Parks

Bloodshot eyes but worth it!

Bloodshot eyes but worth it! image

Caught the 6am 'milk' train to London yesterday to spend a very enjoyable day reading and shortlisting articles about French holidays, in preparation for the ATOUT France 'article of the year' awards at Sketch Gallery on May 14. Over 100 articles to get through and several caffeine boosts needed! The other jurors on the panel were Jenny

First-time rental for magical chateau

First-time rental for magical chateau image

Chateau d'Arlens is an elegant Gascon chateau and country estate with an easy-going atmosphere, designed for guests who want to relax in style & privacy, and is available for private rental for the first time.  It's a wonderfully convivial place, ideal for those wanting space and privacy at the same time. It is ideal for inviting

Allée des Dunes is back!

Allee des Dunes

  Popular family holiday venue Allée des Dunes near Biarritz has a new operator for summer 13, bookings open again v soon! Modern, well-equipped chalets & apartments in attractive setting amongst pine trees, pool & tennis courts, beach 1.5 kms, Biarritz just 10 kms. Chalets from £380 pw for a family of 4 in June.

From Russia with...?

From Russia with...? image

Sun-tan cream? Any other ideas? Anyway, excellent news for us in the shape of new direct flights from Moscow and Copenhagen to Biarritz. The Russians' love of Biarritz can be traced back to the mid 19th century when the Empress Eugenie had a habit of inviting Russian nobility to her Palace for tea & cakes (possibly)....

Six 'Hush Hush' Beaches in Europe

Six 'Hush Hush' Beaches in Europe image

The Sunday Times (3/3/13) selects its 6 favourite secret beaches in Europe. There's only 1 mention for France and, yes, you guessed it, it's in Aquitaine. The favoured place is Guethary, a little Basque Country gem nestled discretely between St Jean de Luz and Biarritz, it's three beaches "peppered with families and surfers". We've long

Top 25 Holidays France 2013

Top 25 Holidays France 2013 image

Writing in the Sunday Times, resident expert Anthony Peregrine selects an Alternative Aquitaine holiday rental (with a difference) in his Top 25 Holidays in France 2013. Visit ocean yachting along the Basque Country coast for more information on holidays aboard Rallentando.  

New for 2013

New for 2013 image

"More villas with heated pools please!" It's not just Starbucks who 'listen' to their customers (sorry, I'm finding it hard to believe their story). But, lots of our clients this year asked for a heated pool, especially for the early summer rentals. So, very pleased to report we've bagged a few new ones for 2013 including (pictured)

Be smart! And save a fortune...

Be smart! And save a fortune... image

Here's our 3 best tips on how to save money on your French villa rental - it's so easy! 1) Take your holiday in late August and you could save a ridiculous 2000 euros/week on the price of a villa with pool at one of our villa resorts in Aquitaine. How is this possible?! Well, our French partners price the summer weeks to match the

96% of clients would recommend us!

96% of clients would recommend us! image

That's one of the headline figures from our recently published Customer Satisfaction Survey 2012. And talking of satisfaction, this is just the sort of feedback that makes us, the travel company, very satisfied too! Of course, it's great to receive such positive feedback about our service but also a joy to read so many glowing

Anyone for scrabble?

Anyone for scrabble? image

I must admit, I'm partial to a game of scrabble on holiday too - especially as I normally beat my grammar-school-educated wife (her superior education is let down by a lack of tactical scrabble-nous)! However, since when did the availability of a scrabble board become an important holiday rental search criterion? Well, this season was

4 stars tourism award for Chateau de Salles

4 stars tourism award for Chateau de Salles image

Excellent news just received from one of our most popular holiday venues in France - Chateau de Salles has been awarded a 4 star rating from the French Tourist Board. This being France, the process is rather rigorous: the 48 hour inspection included 175 measurement criteria in all! The inspectors commented in particular on the

Aquitaine vs Cornwall

Aquitaine vs Cornwall image

5pm in Biarritz and it's still 29 degrees. You don't get that in Cornwall!

Au revoir Aquitaine

Au revoir Aquitaine image

Can't believe I'm leaving just as the surf comp kicks off at Hossegor, but it has been a fab trip. Started in Lacanau Ocean, via Chateau de Salles to Moliets, Biarritz and Hossegor. Lots of great houses viewed and good times spent with our partners. Time to leave the Gateaux Basques and vin rouge behind, sadly.

Dune - new restaurant in Moliets

Dune - new restaurant in Moliets image

Dune restaurant is "absolutely TOP CLASS. The quality and presentation of the food and the friendly professional service was second to none" - thanks to Jon Cross & family for this tip for clients holidaying at Moliets Plage. All dishes are home-made to the highest standard by English chef Daniel Derrington. Daniel has won an AA

Yes Milady!

Villa Milady Biaritz

We're not sure if Parker, Thunderbird Lady Penelope's laconic chauffeur, was ever allowed time off, but if he was surely he would to visit Milady beach, Biarritz. And, we suspect Lady P would quite fancy a bit of contemporary luxury, sunbathing on the terrace at Villa Milady, cool drinks being served by Parker.

Our Best Summer Deals!

Our Best Summer Deals! image

If you're looking for sun in France this summer you will be hard pushed to find better deals than these villas with private pools. And, for once, there are good offers available in August and July - save up to 15% in August and between 25% to 55% in July. Be quick! Offers end 3/7/12. The beaches are a short cycle ride away, accessed

Book some sunshine now!

Book some sunshine now! image

This weekend's forecast for the Aquitaine coast is sun, clear skies and a lovely 23 degrees. Great news for those who have already booked, and while it's not easy to drop everything and head south at such short notice, it does highlight how Aquitaine's climate is much better than ours! In summer average daily maximum's are at least 5

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