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South France Villas Blog

Friday 4 December 2015

Golfing holidays on the Cote d'Azur, South of France.

The Cote d'Azur is a great place for a Golfing Holiday, it has the most amazing choice of Golf Courses, You can easily play a different course each day of your holiday!

Golf holiday cote d'azur

We highly recommend Les-chenes-verts-sleeps-10-AM047 as the perfect place to stay for a golfing holiday in the South of France. This holiday villa near to Mougins and Cannes has 5 bedrooms, air-conditioning, an infinity pool and the most wonderful views over the South of France.  If you only fancy a weekend golfing then this is possible out of season, however why not come and stay for a week or two?

Below is a list of golf courses that are all less than a 30 minute drive away from this holiday villa. All the South of France golf courses have a restaurant and bar, driving ranges, buggy and club hire.
Golf passes are available which cover 3-5 green fees for a number of courses and prices start from as little as 225 euro. Do make sure that you reserve your tee off time a couple of days in advance. The clubs marked with an * are included on the golf passes.

south of france golf holiday
There are plenty of other things to do should you have non-golfers in your party, nearby Cannes has amazing shops, museums, market and restaurants.
The South of France beaches are worth a visit, even if you just to sit at a café and people watch!
Grasse the perfume capital of France is only 10 minutes away, why not design your own perfume!

The Royal Mougins Golf Club  (20 minutes drive from the villa) 18 hole par 71  
Said to be one of the best golf courses in the South of France, set amongst rolling hills and a flatter forest area interspersed with 8 lakes and streams.  Designed by golf architect Robert von Hagge this is a beautiful and challenging course.  It is an unashamedly up-market golf club which is reflected in the green fees of €175 - €200.

Golf Country Club de Saint Donat * (20 minutes drive from the villa) 18 hole par 71  
This championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr was inaugurated in 1993 and is now fully mature.  A tree lined parkland course laid out over undulating terrain, it has a number of water hazards and lots of bunkers! 2015 green fees were €79.50 with reductions for late afternoon or early morning starts.
There is also a 9 hole “pitch and putt” course of 800m with a green fee of €23.50.
golf south of france
Golf de la Grande Bastide  * (5 minutes drive from the villa) 18 hole par 72 
A pretty, gently undulating course with wide fairways, water hazards and well bunkered greens. Very peaceful with a relaxed atmosphere.  2015 green fees were between €40 & €82 depending on time of year and time of day.

Golf du Claux Amic  *  (25 minutes drive from villa) 18 hole  Par 72  
Recently fully re-furbished, this highly individual course is perched on a mountain plateau above Grasse.  A challenging course with some tough greens and a long testing par 5 18th hole. The sleek new club house enjoys lovely views. Green fees from €55 to €75.  

Golf Country Club Cannes-Mougins  (15 minutes drive from the villa) 18 hole par 72  
One of the top golf courses in the region and one which has hosted a number of tournaments on the European tour.  A predominantly flat, parkland course - the well maintained tree-lined fairways are quite tight and there are a number of water hazards and well placed bunkers.  Handicap certificates required with a maximum handicap of 28. 2015 green fees were from €100 - €175.

golf near niceGolf d’Opio Valbonne  * (15 minutes drive from the villa) 18 hole par 73  
An attractive mostly undulating course with some slightly hillier sections. A recently upgraded club house with a nice restaurant.  2015 green fees were between €42 and €87.

La Bastide du Roy – Golf de Biot  (25 minutes drive from the villa) 18 hole par 67 
A predominantly flat course with wide open fairways. 2015 green fees €60 reduced to €40 for late afternoon starts.

Le Provencal Golf Club (15/20 minutes drive from the villa)  9 hole par 35  
This is quite hilly in palces with tree lined tight fairways. 2015 green feed were €38 weekdays and €40 at weekends.. 
Victoria Golf Club (10 minutes drive from the villa).  9 hole par 34 
Quite a hilly course with a stream in play on a few holes. 2015 green fees were €38 on  weekdays or €40 at weekends and public holidays.

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our team for further information on our luxury villas near the South of France golf courses.


Friday 6 November 2015

Small villa rental agencies are not afraid of the big boys!

It seems that Expedia are taking over the VRBO and Home Away group for a mere 3.9 Billion dollars!! They have announced that from 2016 they will be implementing a booking fee that holiday makers will have to pay!

So not only are they charging huge fees to the property owners (costs have increased dramatically over the last few years) they are taking money from the end user as well.  The goal posts have been changing over the last few years, one must upgrade if you want your advert to appear..... one must accept immediate on-line bookings..... one must etc......

villa rentals france
As the proverb goes can they have their cake and eat it?
It may sound like they are trying to "oust" the small family companies, but bring it on we say!

The larger they become the harder it will be for them to offer any real customer service, and how do you find the perfect villa amongst thousands of properties?

Our sentiment is "We want to plan your holiday the way your would plan your own".

South France Villas do not charge the client any booking fees, we also provide financial failure insurance at no extra cost offering peace of mind to our clients.

South France villas are celebrating 15 years in the holiday rental business and we thought we would share some of the changes we have seen over that time, our top 5 are:

1 - WI-FI, clients now wish to have high speed and free internet access on holiday and even on the beach, when we first started very few houses even had the internet!

holiday rental languedoc
2 - Bathrooms! We have a joke that the French want to know the size i.e. the M2 of a villa and the British and Americans want to know how many bathrooms and loos there are! Gone are the days of 2 or 3 families sharing a bathroom!

3 - Low cost airlines, Ryanair and Easy-Jet have opened up the Languedoc Roussillon area to the whole of Europe, there are now 5 airports in the region. With a flight time of less than 2 hours this can be more appealing than the 10 hour drive, with the added bonus of not having to pass through Calais.

holidays languedoc
4 - Credit Crisis, this had an impact for off season bookings, however July and August continues to be popular. So many people have happy memories of childhood family holidays in the South of France and want their children to also experience the unique French culture, however with a little more luxury than a tent or caravan and of course not forgetting the holiday essential WI-FI!

5 - Direct marketing sites, Owners Direct, Holiday Lettings and the like made a huge impact on the market place. However owners and clients are now returning to the more personal, specalised agencies like us, not just for the personal service but also after seeing the amount of scams that have taken place on the direct websites.

So if you are thinking of booking a villa holiday in the South of France maybe in the
Languedoc Roussillon, Cote d'Azur or Provence then you know where we are!

holiday south of france 2016

Thursday 1 October 2015

South of France 2016 - It is never too early to book your Holiday!

Are you thinking of going to the South of France for your 2016 annual holiday?

beach Chalets LanguedocMaybe visiting the lavender fields of Provence, the sandy Languedoc Beaches or do you fancy shopping on the world famous French Riviera?

Loyal Francophiles know they have to book early to get the best villas and this year it seems to be earlier and earlier.  Almost all our villas are now taking bookings for 2016 and we even have a couple booked for 2017! 


South France Villas’ top 5 reasons why you should book early:

  1. No settling for second best, get the villa that fits your exact requirements. For example, a villa with a heated pool, walking distance to a restaurant, or on the beach.
  2. The Euro/Sterling exchange rate is good at the moment which will help when paying the deposit (30% is the norm).
  3. Take advantage of the good flight and ferry deals.
  4. Possible early bird discounts.
  5. Peace of mind, no panic when the adverts start on Boxing Day! 

The 5 most popular requests we receive for Languedoc-Roussillon and Cote d’Azur villas are:

Luxury South of France villa 

  1. A villa near or on the beach. 
  2. Walking distance to a restaurant, shops and of course no holiday in France is complete without a trip to the local Boulangerie!
  3. Large family villas with plenty of bedrooms and enough bathrooms!
  4. Villas with heated pools.
  5. Privacy – Not overlooked.



French Chateau to rent What happens if I don’t book now?   

Don’t panic! If your dates are flexible then South France Villas should be able to find you something even at the last minute (we have just added a beautiful 7 bedroom Chateau with 2016 availability). We are adding new villas to our website on a weekly basis, so great deals can pop up.


South France Villas are celebrating 15 years in the business this year and we have a large collection of holiday villas either with a private pool or directly on the beach. We have something for everyone’s budget. All the team at South France Villas speak English and French, live, or have lived, in the area and are passionate about Le Sud de France!

Provence holiday villaSouth of France holiday villa

If you are not sure which area of the South of France you want to visit then please do get in touch and we can talk through your wish list.

We want to plan your holiday the way you would plan your own.....


Tuesday 11 August 2015

Weddings in the South of France

Wedding south of france

Are you thinking of getting married in the South of France?

Have you ever dreamed of getting married in a 17th Century Chateau with enough bedrooms for all of your guests? Or in a typical Provencal Mas surrounded by lavender scented countryside? Or perhaps the thought of a Wedding Ceremony in a Contemporary Villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea catches your imagination?
After all, Hollywood stars have had their wedding in the South of France – look at Angelina and Brad!
A Wedding in the South of France is not only incredibly romantic, it is also much simpler than it may seem.  

chateau wedding france

We have a carefully selected collection of Wedding Venues from a 19thCentury Chateau in the Cote d’Azur, to a large informal beach-front Villa in the Languedoc Roussillon region of the South of France.
Do you need someone to help who knows exactly what is what and has immense local knowledge?  
We will be delighted to help you with your enquiry, we can help with your wedding accommodation along with putting you in touch with a specialist wedding planner. They can guide you through the process and arrange absolutely everything or just as much as you would like including caterers, wine, flowers, music and photographers!  

languedoc wedding

The facts: There are various scenarios for a Wedding in France, the Civil Ceremony, the Religious Ceremony, and the Humanist Ceremony.

You are not required to have a religious wedding in France, however you cannot get married in a church without firstly having a Civil Wedding.
Here is a useful guide to the different types of weddings, and the essential documents that you need to be able to marry in France.

Civil Ceremony

Only a Civil Ceremony is legally binding in France. (You must have been resident in the town/village for at least 30 days prior to the wedding.)
They are conducted by the Mayor, or their legally authorised representative in the Mairie (Town Hall). You will need two to four témoins (witnesses) for your civil marriage. They will need to be present at the wedding and sign the official register. The ceremony will be performed in French, however, it can be possible to make arrangements with the Mayor for a translator to be present.

Religious Ceremony
A Religious Wedding Ceremony is not legally binding in France. In order to have a religious ceremony, you must first have a civil ceremony, and your religious official will need to see your marriage certificate. It is a popular idea in France to have the civil ceremony the day before the religious ceremony, or have the civil ceremony in your country of residence prior to arriving in France.

Humanist Ceremony
Due to the residency requirements in France, and to makes things easier many foreigners to marry in their home country and then have a blessing, such as a Humanist Ceremony in France. This opens up the possibilities of dream locations as the ceremony can be conducted almost anywhere.

south of france beach wedding

What Documentation is required for a Civil Wedding (Legally binding)?

All documents must be an original or official copy and endorsed with an Apostille Stamp/Apostille Certificate. This is obtainable from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK.  Also, any documents which are not in French must be officially translated, (by an agency verified by the French Consulate).
Valid Passports for both parties and also for the witnesses (les témoins), including photocopies of the front and back.

Justificatifs de DomicileProof of Address. You will need two documents showing proof of residence in the town/village where the ceremony will take place, for example; a gas/electriciy bill and a bank statement.  Both parties must be resident in the town or village for at least 30 days prior to the civil ceremony. If you have family are friends in the village they may be able to give you an Attestation d’Hebergement.

Official copies of your Birth Certificates. They must be translated into French by a certified translator and issued within three months of your wedding date.

Certificat de CelibatThis is a certificate which does not exist in the UK. It states that you are not married already. It can be obtained from your Consulate. 

Certificat de CoutumeA notarised statement of law by an attorney who has a licence both in France and in your home country. It certifies that both parties are free to marry and
 that your marriage will be recognised in your home country.

Certificat de NotaireIf you are planning to have a prenuptial agreement, this must be presented to the Mairie.

wedding south of france

The Marriage Certificate
If you marry in France by way of the official Civil ceremony then you will receive a livret de famille. It is an official document which is used for all events concerning your new life together as a family. It will be a record of all births, deaths, divorce and name changes.
You can receive further copies of your marriage certificate by writing to the Mairie in the village where the wedding took place.
If you would like any further advice about rules and documentation required for getting married in France, you can contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK) or the French Consulate for your country.

Wedding Planners
At many of our venues the owners double up as wedding planners as they have made many contacts over the years. If you do not speak French then you may wish to recruit a professional wedding planner in France, they can do as little or as much as you would like. Quite often they can save you money as they may have negotiated discounts with suppliers in particular for wine and flowers.  We can help put you in touch with the correct people as South France Villas are rental specialists rather than wedding planners, and it is essential that your day runs smoothly.

wedding france 2016

General information and advice
Traditional French Weddings are a little different from British ones, straight after the ceremony and photos, it is the Aperitif or Apero as it is fondly known in the South of France. The Apero is similar to the “evening party” in the UK when all friends and relatives are invited and drinks and nibbles are provided. The evening meal and party for a French Wedding is for close friends and family, the meal would normally commence around 9pm and one would be lucky to finish eating by midnight! Live music or a DJ may play on into the early hours. (Certain venues, villages and towns have restrictions in place so do check this out).
A free bar is the norm, with a selection of wines and spirits or digestives as they are called in French.
The French don’t tend to have a wedding present list, and instead a boite is provided at the venue for guests to give money either by cheque or anonymously with cash.
Of course lots of Brides and Grooms to be, want their wedding to be influenced by their home country thereby having the best of both worlds.
There are 300 days of Sunshine in the South of France and the summer can be very hot, so do make sure that you have a back-up plan should it be too hot or should there be a drop or two of rain.

Cote d'azur wedding

If you are renting one of the larger Châteaux or Villas and guests will be staying with you, do not be afraid to ask your guests to contribute to the accommodation costs. In your contract it will say the maximum number of guests allowed at the property and this must be respected outside of the wedding day (ensure you have agreed with the owner to a larger number on the day). We can help with alternative villa bookings or recommend local hotels and Chambre d’hotes for extra guests.

For further information please feel free to contact us or you can check out Weddings and Special Events page
Pezenas, south of france