Once upon a time in Baviera.

Once upon a time in Baviera.

Autumn gives Bavaria’s countryside a stunning colour with an exceptional luminosity. Everything we know about Germany – beer which is so much more than a drink, culture between tradition and modernity, the panoramic lakes and mountain tops, the castles straight out of fairy books and rich in legends.
Without forgetting that the Bavarian people are friendly and gay, who will welcome you warmly and happily share their omnipresent customs.
The flight to Frankfurt already allows you to see the course of the Rhine from the air, full of charming scenes. The hills in the background shine in the golden light of this season.

 

Baden-Baden appears like a gem in the midst of a green valley. Through this town passes the road of wines of the county of Bade, home to one of the best vineyards in Europe. The road is littered with winery which then give way to picturesque valleys and forests of pine and spruces. The local gastronomy has nothing to envy the good wines, all cooked up in traditional tavernas. 

All around the Black Forest, find an incredible variety of scenery. The wild nature in this area houses a number of natural reserves, farms and animals.

At Lac de Constance, the Austrian, German and Swiss border is invisible and the countries are united by this lake. There are dozens of islands in the lake, the largest are Reichenau, Mainau and Lindau. This last is worth a visit as its gorgeous, with elegant houses and cobbled streets.
Stroll past market square down to the port to watch the sun set over the cute port.

The next stop on our journey will take you straight to Dungeons and Dragons .You will find yourself on top of an inaccessible hill, trapped in a palace inspired from old fortresses, built by Louis II de Bavaria inspired by his wildest dreams.
The emblematic Neuschwansten is awe-inspiring for its grandeur, its fine elegance and its beautiful towers.
Meaning the ‘new swan of stone’ the castle is named after Wagner and sits directly opposite the grand baroque building of his father Hohenschwangau.

The mountains are high here with certain measuring over 3000 metres, throughout the Bavarian Alps you find some beautiful windy roads.
Arriving near the national park of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a natural barrier between Austria and Germany, the highest peak, Zugspitze – offers a stunning view over the entire mountain chain.
From the village of Grainau, the cable car enables you to reach the top in a few minutes for an amazing view from the observation platform.

Enclosed in a green plane, the lac of Chiem is so vast it is known as the ‘inland sea’. A boat ride out to the islands will teach you even more on the mythical Louis II, the most enigmatic king of Baviera. His affinity for extravagance and the beauty of arts earned him the nickname ‘king of dreaming’. A real proof of this is the castle of Herrenchiemsee considered as one of his best architectural pieces. 

History catches up with us at the Obersalzberg plateau, below Kehlstein, the famous eagle nest at the top of the cliff, was the refuge of Adolf Hitler during the summer. The view extends towards the north, towards Salzburg, the old town of princes and dukes, at the feet of Gaisberg.

The spirit of Mozart seems to haunt each corner of this ancient city. Yes, it is of course it’s Salzburg, where the historical city is a world Unesco heritage site. The streets are adorned by pretty fountains, bells, art works, solar clocks appear everywhere.

In every season the small street full of antique shops offering treasures from a different era is a charm. From high up the fortress of Hohensalzburg, down below horse and carriages cross each other to the sound of bells, which gives the impression of being in a different era

Follow the traces of the archbishops down to the cathedral in a true baroque style and the abbey of Saint-Pierre, a pastoral building where the cemetery is covered by vegetation..

 

These adventures in the country bring us to the cultural heart, Munich, the capital of Bavaria, with its multitudes of theatres, museums, its ethnic communities make it a very attractive city.

 

Consult us for our suggestions in Bavaria more than ever away from the crowds and as always with our best guides who are passionate about these destinations.

Live St Trop as an expert !

Live St Trop as an expert !

As we sit around our tables as a family, each of us expresses a desire to travel far, to catch a plane and fly far away, experience jetlag and really feel like we are on holiday again.
But sometimes it’s better to follow reason instead of the heart and what if exotic lands are only a short drive away, where you can still enjoy your daily comforts??

The Charly Team is happy to propose a corner of the French Hexagon where nature and man live in harmony. Lived and relived, this region is adored by many travelers, its villages are dreamlike and its bell towers have featured as backdrops to many a film.

Here the Mediterranean Riviera breathes glamour, some people fall in love at first sight, others like to explore further into the rich backcountry but everyone eventually falls for this area, Yes! This really is the Peninsula of Saint Tropez and let yourselves be guided and inspired by us.

From azure coastlines, divine smelling pine tree forests, green valleys to charming villages with great little places overlooking the gorgeous beach of Gigaro seeing the Peninsula this August will be much quieter than other summers!

ParAnd for some great suggestions, we must thank our Italian Filippo Verani Masin whom originally from Monaco has chosen to live a simple local life here. He is the owner of the furniture boutique “La Maison des Lices”, stocking accessories but also furniture and textiles with inspirational Mediterranean themes for indoors and outdoors.

 

 Cafes, beaches – we share the secrets!

For Filippo the place for a coffee is undoubtably within the private gardens of the Maison Dior Femme – “Dior des Lices”, where the majestic palm trees shade you and hide the small hotel situated at the end of the garden. Here enjoy a perfect breakfast, a local lunch or a sublime dinner of refined local produce. Open from June to September.

Once upon a time a small restaurant, today, Club 55 is the celebrated family beach club of Pampelonne – it is the only chic and chilled beach club without electro music or Champagne battles. It is welcoming, elegant, and of course a local’s favorite.

Of a morning, walk right along the beach for a coffee at Ramatuelle at “Loulou à la plage”The first one of these was a restaurant-bar housed in the Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris. Now they have opened a second one overlooking the Pointe du Capon. With a homely feel, the private beach with white parasols and wooden transits gives the idea of setting sail. It offers the Dolce Vita vibe, French Riviera version, the menu is simple, generous and light.

Filippo favourite restaurants

The “Banh-Hoi” for its exotic Vietnamise and Thai cuisine. The nicest aspect is that you can dine outside in a small side street without any crowds.

At the “Patio” the Italian chef who receives his guests in the superb courtyard of the Hotel Yaca, a tranquil and picturesque spot. Enjoy a gourmet journey in a romantic setting. 

For a taste of street food, make your way to the White 1921 hotel, on the iconic place des Lices. Now part of LVMH group, a new restaurant has just opened.

Heading up “ToShare”, Jean Imbert has thrown himself into a new gastronomic adventure with his American partner the artist Pharell Williams..

And to finish, a laidback choice:

Au caprice des Deux” where the Chef in collaboration with his sister prepares a regional and traditional cuisine in the heart of the old town 

And of course, how can we forgot the most famous of all the tropézienne, Its delicate pastry and its light patisserie cream perfumed with flower of orange? For him a must is chez Laurent Cavazza rue Clemenceau. Élève Lenôtre, is the grandson of the pâtissier creator of the original recipe.

 

Our coup de coeur : l’Éphémère, a FoodTruck under the shade of pine trees. For an aperitif and a few gastronomique tapas or some plates to share at  Domaine viticole Fondugues-Pradugues in Ramatuelle.

And to start of the evening in a great way, the secret of a perfect apero : a must, a simple hideaway from the bustle of Saint Tropez at “La plage des Salins” sink your feet directly into the water. At sunset then move to the table for a delicious pizza.

The best ice cream in St Tropez generally has long queues but Barbarac will not disappoint you. The sorbet is their speciality alongside traditional ice cream flavours all home made with fresh and natural ingredients. Gourmet flaveurs served in cones with multicolour straws.

 

 

 

And now to shopping – when Filippo leaves his boutique it’s at the market that we find him Tuesday and Saturday morning, he takes time to browse the stalls at the Place des Lices market. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, culinary specialities, regional products of the local area. Let yourself be tempted by the anchovies peppers, the beignet of courgette flowers, calamari or petit farcis.

And to finish off your look of the perfect local, look for the famous sandals les Tropeziene, vintage version, from the shop Rondini, multicolour or plain in natural leather, they are tied to your ankle with flax ties.

And to really treat yourself visit Massimo Marchese a luxury jewellery maker from Italy who can teach you a thing or two about precious stones. Coloured diamonds, sparkling adornments, wedding bands, all of his creations are unique pieces with a minimalist and personal style.

As all lovers of nice things, our guide will take us to the “Fromagerie du Marché”, place aux Herbes. Its speciality the famous brie with truffles, with many different types of comtes, a large selection of goat cheese and renown butters.

And as a base for your exploration we recommend not far from La Croix Valmer, hidden amongst the vineyards between roses and rare eucalyptus “Lily of the Valley”. Imagined by Philippe Starck, is a destination in itself. The renowned architect refers to his project “All my life I dreamed of being here”. Ph.S. The magnificent ancient pine trees are a perfect setting for this hotel immersed in nature.
It all dramatically overlooks the Varois coast with its transparent waters and fine sand from high above Gigaro beach.

An exceptionnel property in a exceptionnel location. The spaces are open and luminous right into the interior. The 38 rooms and 6 suits all surround the external pool and the terraces open up over the bay. Of course, there is outstanding service but the welcoming is homely and the atmosphere is familiar as in typical southern style. A calmness surrounds you.

The traveller looking for peace and harmony, body & spirit can take advantage of the spa services and their getting fit program. Grace at “The Village”, the centre dedicated to the perfect balance between pleasure and health objectives. With therapists who can tailor their programs and a diet to get a durable result whilst getting in shape in this paradise. At the spa enjoy relaxation, around the pool where only adults are to be found.

 

Soon you will be jetting off

Soon you will be jetting off

Europe is slowly awaking from its slumber. We would like to introduce a select few regions nearby, to which you may be able to travel sooner than you may think, perhaps even in a plane!  Whilst we wait for the total lifting of travel restrictions and whilst safety and preventive health measures are being established around the World, we can’t resist sharing some ideas to get you travelling again.

Pearl of Central Europe, Hungary is a charming and unique country.

Feel like you are in Brooklyn in the heart of Budapest, rendez-vous in a coffee shop of the center, hidden away in a small side street, for a tranquil breakfast. Delight in a hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream or a fresh bowl of muesli. Then brunch in a « ruin bar », a unique place, straight out of the underground universe of New York, like a vibrant ‘bazar’, a mix between a flea market and a bohemian cafe, generally off the beaten track.

Continue your voyage far from the city, in the spectacular forest known as the city of clouds, Visegrad, which sits high above the Danube and offers incredible views.

We have all missed nature and witnessing the never-ending views over the Hungarian ‘steppes’ brings many good vibes. A visit here offers you another side to the country.

Immerse yourself in local life, cross the countryside in a horse and carriage, and enjoy this traditional art form of riding, taught to you by experienced riders.

Against all expectations, tulips are not actually from Holland…

they were imported from Turkey in the 16th century. The iconic tulips flower in Holland at the end of March, proudly showing their colors until the start of summer. Taking a bicycle and riding along country lanes through local villages is the best way to enjoy seeing the tulips. For those who simply can’t get enough or are less active, visit the gardens of KeuKenhof to see these gorgeous flowers in bloom.

Haarlem is a small authentic town full of charm. Sitting in the famous district of the bulbs, it is the historic capital of Holland. Calm, picturesque, full of flowers on display, its cobbled streets and historic buildings invite you to simply stroll around.

Not to be missed in Haarlem is the chance to enjoy a drink in an old church, wander around the market tasting fresh herring or mackerel smoked directly in front of you.

In need of space? The region of Wadden is a magnificent natural reserve which is a World Unesco site.

Situated just off the coast, the 5 islands that make up the park are a protected area ideal for relaxing.

It’s a paradise for deer, fallow deer, bighorn sheep, roes but also bulls, raptors and other rare animals.

You have already met, the press talks about it, its songs pierce our hearts, one unique island, Corsica ! Where to find many different worlds in one small place?  

The prairies of Argentina, translucent Caribbean waters, Highlands country, American ranches, African farms or the plains of Brazil… here the mountains are steep, punctured by alpine lakes, with walking trails, stunning views and of course the sea which is life here, the catch of the day will always feature on your plate. 

Either Robinson Crusoe or Shepard style, everybody will find their nest, their beach or rock.  
It’s the moment to visit as this island will most likely not be overrun this summer!

 

Croatia, enclave of the Adriatic lying between sea and mountains.
Country of contrasts, you can even reach it by car from South of France.

There are more than 700 islands lost at sea, some inhabited, which have stayed truly wild.

On the west of the country, the natural park of lakes, Plitvice is a World Unesco site. The views are outstanding. Home to 16 lakes set one below the other, from which the waters tumble down from one into the next, creating stunning waterfalls. The clear and turquoise waters, invite you to swim. Don’t give in to the urge as the pools have protected status, to conserve their wild fauna and flora which will surprise and delight you.

The Kamenjak Peninsula with its jagged coastline is home to a number of bays and beaches of exceptional beauty comprising 11 inhabited islands, with a large number of secret beaches and coves. From the cliffs – more of less high – you can dive straight into the turquoise sea.

This small natural reserve is the home of orchids many of which are rare. The absence of construction has let nature take over and go truly wild.

In the Parc National de Krka, there are a number of elevated pontoons allowing you to walk above the clear waters whilst surrounded by dense and luxuriant vegetation. The access to Skradin allows you to walk up to a spectacular waterfall where a swim is a must. The paths and bridge enable you to observe the geomorphological forms which have taken place over the centuries and the hundreds of varieties of bird, reptiles and wild cat.

 

For a dose of culture, all of the oldest towns of Croatia offer their own very unique mix of medieval history and charming seaside resort.
Our tip, stay away from the more touristic ones and enjoy the real vibe of this country of ex-Yugoslavia..
These are only a few ideas to fire up your imagination and start working on your dream.