Destinations

A new concept: "no car required" villas

Antibes and Fort Carre

ABOVE: Antibes, on the French Riviera, is home to the Villa Les Mimosas, a "no car required" villa within walking distance of the beach.

Not long ago, we received an e-mail from Peter Horrocks of Villas du Monde (a.k.a. Villas of the World) that appealed to our anti-traffic instincts. Mr. Horrocks wrote:

"We're seeing an interesting trend in the number of holidaymakers who want a villa holiday where no car is required."

Mr. Horrocks went on to describe an example, the Villa Les Mimosas in the resort of Antibes on France's Cote d'Azur. The villa sleeps up to eight people, has a private swimming pool, and is within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and the beach. At a bus stop nearby, you can catch a bus into the Antibes town center, where trains from the railroad station make it easy to visit cities and resorts all along the French Riviera.

In addition, the villa's English's-speaking owner (who lives nearby) will take you to the local hypermarket for bulk shopping, and he'll help you organize trips, boat hire, etc.

OK, so you don't need a car at the Villa Les Mimosas. But maybe you're wondering why you wouldn't even want to include a car in your Riviera rental plans. Mr. Horrock cites three good reasons:

"The French Riviera coast is a fabulous place, but--particularly in July and August--it's quite an intimidating place to drive around. For getting out and about and visiting the sights, it's much better to let someone else deal with the hassle of driving and finding the way. Local buses, trams, and trains do just that.

"Also, for many, it's nice simply not to drive on holiday--and of course there is the economy of saving on hire-car cost for a vehicle which isn't needed most of the time."

Mr. Horrocks tells us that his firm now has a collection of more than 30 "no car required" villas in destinations such as the French Riviera, Corsica, the Algarve, the Costa Blanca, and Croatia. He expects more villa owners to hop on the "no car required" bandwagon as demand for car-free holidays continues to grow.

For more information, visit:

 www.villasdumonde.com

For listings of the company's "no car required" villas, see:

http://www.world-villa.co.uk/no-car-required-villas-64-1-en-i.html

If you're curious about the Villa Les Mimosas, click here for detailed property information.

Below are two photos of the villa (including its garden and pool), courtesy of Peter Horrocks:

Villa Les Mimosas, Antibes

Villa Les Mimosas with pool

Photos: Villas du Monde / Villas of the World


Schengen Visa Information

Schengen Visa Info screen shot

Aspiring expats and students--and, in some cases, prospective visitors---normally require visas to enter Europe's Schengen Area. (The Schengen Area consists of 22 EU member states and four EFTA countries that allow free movement across international borders within the zone.)

What are the Schengen countries, what are their individual visa requirements. and how can you apply for a Schengen visa from a country within the Schengen Area?

For answers, go to Schengenvisainfo.com. The site covers the basics (especially in regard to student and transit visas), and--just as important--it includes links to embassy sites with visa requirements for 15 of the 26 countries.

To visit the site, click here.


You can study at Oxford next summer

Tom Tower at Christ Church College, Oxtord

ABOVE: The Tom Tower at Christ Church College, Oxford.

Have you ever regretted not becoming a Rhodes Scholar? Here's a chance to rectify your omission: Sign up for The Oxford Experience, a one-week residential summer course for adults of all ages.

If you're feeling flush, you can enroll for multiple weeks, picking and choosing from more than 60 courses such as "The British Empire at War," "William the Conqueror," "Creative Writing," "The Golden Age of the Romanovs," "The Craft of the Opera Composer," "Understanding the Cosmos," "Oxford’s Medieval Jewish Quarter," "Enjoying the Cotswolds," "Introducing the Human Brain," "Spies in British Fiction," "Ireland’s Troubled Past," "The World of the Vikings," and "Paradise in an English Garden." Classes are small, with a maximum of 12 students each, and there are no exams, term papers, or grades.

You'll study at Christ Church College, which was founded by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525. Your accommodations will be in rooms where many of England's prime ministers, poets, and philosophers once lived, and you'll dine in the Tudor Hall (which was featured in several Harry Potter movies).

Most courses provide excursions to stately homes, cathedrals, museums and such, and on some afternoons tours of Christ Church and the city of Oxford are offered.  In the evening there are pub crawls, whisky tastings, displays of traditional Morris dancing, wine and croquet in the Masters’ Garden, and Evensong in the college chapel, which is also the Oxford Cathedral.  And, of course, there are always plays and concerts available in this “city of dreaming spires."

The Oxford Experience runs from July 6 to August 16, 2015 and costs £1,230 or US $1,989.  The price for a week's participation includes tuition, accommodations, evening entertainment and lectures, a welcome reception, and all meals—a full English breakfast, buffet lunch and delicious served three-course dinner. (There are extra charges for rooms with private bath and for excursions.)

The deadline for summer 2014 registration is May 1, 2014.  (Since courses are filling quickly, however, early registration is urged.) For more information, visit www.conted.ox.ac.uk/oxfordexperience, or write to The Oxford Experience, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA, U.K.

Source: Barbara Gilliam, BGPR 
Photo: istockphoto/DrJools