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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Holiday Villa Scams

More Holiday Villa Scams in Spain and the South of France.

SEcure villa rental in FranceLast year alone, an estimated 5,000 holidaymakers lost millions when they discovered their rental homes in Spain, France and other European countries had not been booked.(Data from The Olive Press)

Unfortunately the Phishing scams are still happening especially on the big rental sites. This is a huge problem for clients and for owners of holiday villas.

This month South France Villas received 2 phone calls from people that had been scammed by using one of the large advertising sites, distraught as they had lost all their monies and had nowhere to go. 

One family had lost 10.000 Euro and the other 6000 Euro, both had transferred money to a Spanish bank account. One family had contacted the advertising company to check that the owner was legit as he was concerned about paying the large payment and they replied and said yes all was ok, so he paid his monies. These websites do say:

We make no warranties or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, legality, performance or suitability of the adverts. We accept no liability arising from reliance upon this information made by any user of the site. You should conduct your own research and familiarise yourself with our terms and conditions.

Holiday villas secure rentalsMany websites are now charging a booking fee which the client has to pay, this ranges from 5% to 15%. This can be misleading if you have a set budget, they earmark your monies as soon as your request a booking even before the owner has agreed to the booking. The advantage though is that by paying this fee you have payment protection.
An owner also contacted us as her advert on one of these sites had been amended from a one bedroom to a four bedroom apartment, and her account had been hacked.

If you are looking to book a villa holiday in the South of France or anywhere else then please do take extra care and ensure that you make as many checks as possible. Agencies will completely understand and be happy to put you at ease.

South France Villas have been established for over 15 years and we pride ourselves on knowing all our houses and are committed to customer satisfaction, our team is always happy to go that extra mile for you. If you have a villa to rent in the South of France or if you are looking to rent one then please do not hesitate to contact us.
villas in france

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

South France Villas guide to our favourite beaches on the Cote D’Azur the French Riviera.

From Monaco down to St Tropez, the Cote d’Azur beaches offer something for everybody on holiday in the South of France.

One imagines that all the beaches on this wonderful coast line are impeccable, with fine white sand, shallow waters and luxurious sun loungers. This is true for most of the beaches, however the Cote d’Azur coastline can also be rugged and au natural however still stunningly beautiful.

1. Paloma Plage - Saint Jean Cap Ferret 


South France VillasNamed after Picasso’s daughter Paloma, as they spent lots of family time on this beach. Nowadays it is one of the most popular and exclusive beaches around Cap Ferret and the place to be seen. The beach itself is shingle and not sand, however the picture perfect surroundings more than compensate for this. Eze, Cap d’ail and Beaulieu can all be seen from the beach and as the bay is sheltered it is just the perfect place to top up your tan.

The Paloma private beach restaurant pretty much takes over the beach, the menu is as you would expect on the beach, fresh fish, and salads etc along with being expensive! The service and yet again the view do make it worth every euro!

Our tip- Visit in May, June and September and don’t forget to ring and book your place either for a sunbed on the beach or for a lunch/dinner reservation.

2. Plage des Marinières - Villefranche Sur Mer 


South of France Holidays
A public beach with coarse sand and crystal clear blue sea, imagine yourself living the life of luxury on one the many super yachts which dock in the deep waters including cruise ships and the American Navy.
There are plenty of places to eat or just buy a sandwich, an ice-cream, or something to quench your thirst. Access is easy and there is a large carpark. The train line runs alongside the beach and the station is just a few minutes’ walk away, the downside of this is the sound of the trains may disturb your siesta!

Our Tip- A good old fashioned beach ideal for a family picnic.

3. Plage de la Garoupe- Cap d’Antibes 


Beach villas south of FranceThis beach made the headlines last year when it decided to ban selfies or as they are now known braggies! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel

We can understand why you would want everyone to know you were here on this beach, but surely it is much better to just enjoy the moment! The beach is mainly private with dining tables and sunbeds covering most of the sand and some are actually in the water! A good choice of food and excellent wine and champagne lists can be found at the beach restaurants.

Our Tip- A great place for that special occasion, the place to be seen!

4. Beau Rivage - Nice 

Villas Cote d'Azur

This is the largest private beach on the Côte d'Azur and maybe even in France! Whatever your mood there is a corner for you. The Lounge Box for a VIP experience, the Ovale beach bar, the beach straw (bistro on the beach), restaurants both inside and on the terrace, cocktail bar.… The drinks menu ranges from 4.50 Euro for a beer to 400 Euros for a bottle of Cristal Champagne! Hungry? A wide range of tapas is available all day and the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily.

There are over 300 sun-loungers and they are famous for their “double beds”, daily packages can include champagne and strawberries.

Live Music and DJ’s in the evening turn the beach into a great party atmosphere.

Our Tip- This really is the place to people watch!

5. Plage des Salins - St Tropez 


Villas in St TropezSituated about 6 kilometres from St Tropez, this is not a star studded beach but offers more of a family atmosphere than the more famous Pampelonne beach in St Tropez.

It is perfect should you wish to escape the St Tropez lifestyle for the afternoon. The beach is about just over half a kilometre long and gets very busy in July and August, life guards are on duty, showers and toilets along with parking are available free of charge.

There is one beach restaurant with sun-loungers for hire.

Our Tip - Great place to escape to in June or September.

South France Villas have a good choice of  holiday villas near to the sea on the Cote d’Azur, we have been making holidays special for over 15 years.

So let us plan your holiday the way that you would plan your own...

Villa on the Riviera


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

South of France Villa Holiday, Eurostar or Budget airline?

Are you thinking of having a villa holiday in the South of France and wondering how to get there?

When booking a holiday to France, one wonders how should we travel. Train, Plane, or take the car?
South France train holidayEurostar have announced a direct service from St Pancras to Avignon and Marseille in the South of France. The all year service starts on the 1st of May 2015, my initial thoughts are fantastic one no longer the needs to cross Paris with suitcases, or change platforms and hope the train is on time at Lyon or Lille...
Unfortunately this only works on the UK to France journey, immigration rules that on the France to UK leg one must leave the train at Lille (along with all your luggage!) pass through customs and then get back on the train. Not an ideal way to end your South of France holiday.

Prices for a one week holiday travelling on the 30th May are from £119 return, this price includes unlimited luggage and an allocated seat. Travelling for 2 weeks from the 25th of July and the price creeps up to £274 return.

Travel South of France
Ryanair fly from Luton to Nimes and various other local airports in the South of France. Queue to check in, queue to pass through security and then queue to board the plane, however it is only a 90 minute flight.... Prices for a one week holiday travelling on the 30th May are from £87 return, this price includes 10 kg hand luggage and an allocated seat upon check in. The Business Plus option which includes a 20 kg
checked in bag, priority seat and boarding is from £172 return. Travelling for 2 weeks from the 25th of July the price creeps up to £260 for the basic option and £367 for the Business Plus.

So which one would I choose for a holiday to the South of France?

The train offers good value for money and a comfortable scenic journey, however depending upon where you live in the UK the flight can be the quickest and the cheapest option if you travel lightly.

After comparing the scenarios for my elderly parents, I have decided that I would use both services. The train for the journey down to the South of France, as they don't like all the hassle at the large UK airports and they would also enjoy admiring the French countryside. For the return journey I would choose the flight, the small local airports like Nimes and Beziers are so quaint that I can actually watch them board the plane and with no duty free shops at these airports any leftover Euros can be saved for the next trip to the South of France!

Villa in south of france
South France Holiday Villa

For more information on getting to the South of France, or for a villa holiday in the South of France check out the South France Villas guide

Monday, 2 February 2015

South of France - Sun, Sea, and Seafood!

The coastline of the Herault is abundant with fantastic restaurants and quirky spots to sample the gastronomic delights of the region. Especially if you are a seafood lover! The Etang de Thau has to be the epitome of oyster growing in the south of France, it is the largest and deepest of the lagoons in the Languedoc and has the widest variety of marine life.

South of France Oysters
Marseillan gastronomic holidayThe nearby villages of Bouzigues and Marseillan have the wonderful charm of ancient fishing ports and beautiful marinas lined by restaurants and cafes.
There could not be a more idyllic place to enjoy a platter of oysters and bottle of Picpoul de Pinet – the local classic combination.

The freshest oysters that are grown on the beds that stretch out into the Etang and the classic crisp, zesty and fresh wine grown in the vineyards surrounding the villages and mad only a few miles down the road….what could be more perfect?

South of France seafood

If you are looking for a Fruit de Mer feast then look no further than La Ferme Marine.
A local favourite located in a rather unassuming plot right on the Etang and just 5 minutes out of Marseillan. When visiting in the day time you will get a spectacular panoramic view of the the Etang and and across the water the town Sète and the Mont St-Clair hill just above it.

The restaurants atmosphere is busy and convivial, so leave your airs and graces at the door and be ready to get stuck into a seafood fest of oyster slurping, prawn peeling and crab claw cracking. The all you can eat buffet has a plethora of seafood all waiting to be sampled, including oysters fresh out of the Etang, half crabs and crab claws, cockles, mussels and juicy pink prawns.

French seafood

The greedy among us will rejoice to know that the buffet is “à volonté” meaning you can eat as much as you like! The restaurant also serves a variety of hot and cold à la carte dishes, a spectacular favourite of these is the Parillada which is a platter piled high with a variety of grilled fish, king prawns and scallops.
South of France beach holiday

If you are looking for a holiday filled with gastronomic delights then a family holiday booked with South France Villas may just be exactly what you are looking for!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Happy New Year from South France Villas

We wish you a very Happy New Year and we hope that 2015 brings you joy and happiness. 

South France Villa

After a wonderful break recuperating we are refreshed and raring to go, ready for our busiest time of the year!
New year is when the holiday dreams start, Christmas is forgotten and one starts dreaming of the sunshine, clear blue skies, sandy beaches, glorious Mediterranean food, and maybe a glass of wine by the pool… South France Villas can make these dreams come true.

South of France Beach Villa

What about a week or two in this fabulous villa which is directly on a beach, has its own private swimming pool, and  restaurants, bars and shops are within walking distance.
Villa Fabienne can sleep up to 10 people so there is plenty of room for 2 families or Grandparents!

South of FranceVilla for 2

For a Honeymoon or a romantic escape to the South of France, this beautiful villa  La-maniere is just wonderful with a large pool and garden.

What better way to start the New Year by booking your spring or summer holiday.

We now have over 250 holiday villas across the South of France; Languedoc, Provence and the Cote d’Azur and we are adding new villas every week. All our villas have a swimming pool or are directly on the beach. You will be spoilt for choice!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Thinking of visiting the South of France for your 2015 family holiday?

Should I book my villa rental early or wait for a last minute deal?

Villas to rent in Cannes
South France Villas top 5 advantages of booking your summer holiday early.
  1. You get to choose exactly what you would like with no compromises.
  2. Take advantage of the early booking offers on Flights, Eurostar and Ferry travel.
  3. Something to look forward to, "this time next month I will be in the South of France"….only so many sleeps!
  4. Easier to budget as your deposit has already been paid.
  5. Plenty of time to plan your holiday agenda, the best places to visit, which beaches etc.
When should I book? If you are a large group with specific requirements then the earlier the better. The larger Southern France villas with pools, en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, heated pools and within walking distances of shops, restaurants etc., can already be fully booked for the school summer holidays by mid January. 

Villa to rent South of France
Francophiles who come to the South of France every year have even been known to book 18 months in advance to ensure they get the right villa or location. For example, this wonderful villa with breathtaking views over Collioure, Languedoc has only one peak season week left Villa-la-voile , don’t panic we have many other fabulous villas that do have availability! Like this lovely one near Grasse on the Cote d’Azur Villa-des-Pierres, with heated pool and a hot tub.
Villa to rent in Pezenas

Should I wait for a last minute special offer? Again, this depends on your requirements. If you are not too concerned about staying in a specific South of France village or town and are a small family with date flexibility then maybe you could take the risk. However, you may find that the best ones will have been snapped up. New Villas are been added all the time, so this could work to your advantage. This French villa on a golf course near Pezenas was new to the site in August La-Petite-Bastide - a great family rental.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Village Life in the South of France

Following on from the controversial comments about France made by John Lewis’s boss Andy Street “ Nothing works, and worse, nobody cares about it”, Anthony Peregrine hits back in the Daily Telegraph!

Le Rosbif Writes: The boss of John Lewis reckons France is "downbeat and hopeless". At least it's not packed with Poundlands, kebab shops and staggering drunks, says Anthony Peregrine.
We particularly love his comments about Villages;
“It’s been said before, but can stand repetition: French villages retain vigour. They remain complete unto themselves as many rural English settlements no longer do. They will have a grocer’s, a butcher’s, a baker’s and, all being well, a bar-tabac with lottery tickets, old fellows playing cards and pictures of the village football team when they all had moustaches, c. 1978. They will have a boules pitch, associations, a weekly market, a carnival and an annual church trip to Lourdes.....”
Rent a villa in South of France
Village Carnival

This is why South France Villas have a great selection of Holiday Villas to rent in authentic wine producing villages. Experience the real South of France and immerse yourself into the “French Arte de Vivre” even if it is only for a week or two!

Villa in Village South of FranceEach village has a summer fete which can range from an evening with a roasted Beouf  to 3 days of celebrations.

Amazing 20 piece Orchestras or Bands tour the villages and play such a wide range of music that every generation can join in. It is fantastic to watch Grandparents teaching their Grandchildren the Paso-Doble and everybody hits the dancefloor for the “Madison” the French version of the slosh!
Holiday Dancing, south of france

If you fancy visiting the South of France please do not hesitate to contact one of  our team. We have some wonderful villas that we have to rent in villages around the Herault area of Languedoc, South of France.

4 bedroom holiday Villa in Magalas

Holiday villa, South of FranceLovely holiday villa in the pretty village of Magalas with splendid views, a private pool, summer kitchen, a large garden and is walking distance to shops, bar and restaurants. Air-conditioned throughout and freeWi-Fi. Sleeps up to 10, so perfect for a family holiday.

A traditional Maison Vigneronne near Pezenas for holiday rentals. Sleeping 4 people in 2 bedrooms, a private heated pool, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and within walking distance of the village. Until recently this housee was used by generations of winemakers to store wine in the large cuves which are still standing in the garage.