Enjoy Beach Life & Discover More in Cuba

Cuba is the least commercialised country amongst the Caribbean islands.

Ten hours on an international flight may not be that appealing, particularly when you know there are places you’d like to visit in Europe, but it’s a fantastic adventure to see this part of the world – largely untouched by mass commercialisation – enjoy it before it changes!

What’s On Offer

Where to start? Well, it has over 300 beaches, and they are magnificent. Fine grained, pale sand dotted with palm trees and on the commercially developed beaches of places like Varadero, you’ll find the full range of water activities, including scuba diving, deep sea fishing, sailing and water-ski-ing. Varadero was a quiet peninsula until the 1940’s, when the hotel magnets moved in and began building a holiday empire and activity base, in what is now the most developed part of the island. It’s ideal for anyone who likes the 24 hour party life! With over 50% of all the hotel accommodation on Cuba, hundreds of restaurants, bars and nightclubs – it’s a full-on holiday resort.  If you like to mix it up a bit, you can visit the neaby towns of Cardenas and Martanzas for a culture and history “hit”. There are some less high octane pastimes in Varadero too, such as cave diving or taking a trip to the protected area of the Peninsula, which is an established wildlife reserve.

If you are looking for a bespoke, tailor made holiday to discover the best of Cuba, Esencia Experiences  have acquired years of inside knowldege to create the perect itinery for you

Trinidad – Picturesque Faded Glory

If a calm pace and a bit atmosphere is more your thing, then a visit to the historic colonial town of Trinidad is essential, since it’s one of the most beautiful towns in Cuba. It was the third Spanish settlement to be established in Cuba around 1544 and in the 18th and 19th century, the town became rich as a result of their productive sugar plantations in the nearby Valley de los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) which you can still visit. The town has managed to preserve much of the building work carried out during it’s heyday,  and it’s great to wander through the cobblestoned streets, see the pastel coloured houses, old Chevrolets and impressive church buildings.

The bell tower of the Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos offers views of the town and surrounding countryside. and if you go into the central Plaza Mayor you’ll see several museums set in old colonial buildings. In the evenings the the local Squares are alive with traditional Cuban music and dance. Leisure pursuits are slow paced and there are plenty of activity centres offering hiking or horse riding and the countryside is spectacular.  If none of that appeals, there are always the relaxing sands of Playa Ancon to snooze on!

Laid Back Beach Life

Cayo Coco is a 15 mile long sandbar linked to the mainland by a causeway or you can always catch a short internal flight from Havana. If you travel by road, stop at Parador la Silla, and you will see the astonishing sight of hundreds of flamingos grouped along the sand bars and some spectacular views, before driving on to Cayo Coco. Castro wanted to develop the islands of Cuba  for visitors – he knew they wouldn’t mind paying for the priveledge of being in this sumptious part of the country! There are only a few hotels here, and whilst they might cover some acreage, they don’t ruin the sky line. The people are easy going and if you are lucky, you’ll have the Bus Driver who will happily stop the  bus on the side of the road, find a coconut palm and cut you down a fresh coconut – the fresh, clear coconut milk is a real life saver on a hot day!  There are old fashioned glass bottomed boats that visit the coral coves and since- Cayo Coco is also situated on the worlds second biggest coral reef,  it’s a great base for scub divers. This is a place for a real chill-out holiday – no stress, great food, white sand and clear blue seas.

If you want to see Havana too, check out the range of  excursions available. You should be able to find an over night stay in the city where you can visit the Cigar Factory, visit a rum tasting, and let your hair down in a full-on Cuban nightclub.The city is brimming with intriguing monuments – and with the sun blazing down on the old city Squares, it’s easy to find yourself in the middle of an impromptu dance session! Street sales are everywhere, and yes, music is very much part of the scene in Havana, so it’s a lively, vibrant place to visit.


What does the south of France have to offer golf enthusiasts?

Whether you’ve been considering it for a while, or you’ve just decided to go on a whim, choosing the perfect location for your next holiday can be difficult, particularly if you’re not exactly sure that the location you have your eyes on will be suited to your needs and interests. However, if you’re a fan of both golfing and beautiful coastlines and stunning, yet not overwhelming weather, we highly recommend you visit the south of France for some of the most breath-taking golf courses and resorts in Europe.
What does the south of France actually have to offer golf enthusiasts? We’ll take a look at some of the most popular golfing locations and tourist spots in the south of France, to see what floats your boat when it comes to teeing off. 

Golf Resorts and Hotels

The south of France is famous for having golf specific resorts and hotels. All golfing, all the time! Forget poolside leisure, walking along the coastline, watching a movie or anything drab like that. These golfing resorts are purpose built for only the most dedicated and it really shows. The Royal Mougins Golf Resort and the Chateau De La Begude are both fantastic 4 star resorts located in the rolling countryside with fields and courses as far as the eye can see. Simply beautiful.

Private Gold Clubs

It pays to have connections in high places, as most people find and the private golf clubs of the south of France are no exception. There are some fantastic 36-hole courses that you will find it difficult to get into, including the Four Seasons Terre Blanche and Prince de Provence but if you ever get the opportunity these clubs should not be missed. Provence is known as the premier region for golf clubs and Vidauban contains one of the country’s most golf clubs, open to invite only (we’re afraid).

The courses are certainly worth the money, covering aw-inspiring lakes, beautiful greens and a backdrop to rival that of many of Scotland’s golf courses as many of them have idyllic views of the mountains behind them. Unfortunately whether or not you’ll be able to book one is entirely down to luck.
Coastal Courses

You might be a little unlucky in terms of high winds but it is worth it for the views. The south of France is home to a number of coastal courses that makes the best use of the sparkling French coastline, from the outskirts of Montpellier to Saint Cyprien. Coastal golf courses provide an extra difficulty for those looking for a challenge, so why not test yourself by checking out those beautiful ranges?

High-Altitude Courses

Taking advantage of the stunning range of different scenic locations throughout the south of France the Chamonix Golf Club is an idyllic high-altitude course which overlooks the Mont-blanc mountain range. The courses are varied, offering a number of challenges including streams and the rough Arve River, which has to be crossed every now and then during the 18-hole course.

Whether you’re looking at saving some money by renting out a gorgeous classical south of France villa in order to spend some time relaxing while you hit the golf courses, or you want to go all out with one of the many golfing resorts and hotels dotted around, the south of France is the perfect location to get your golfing game back on track. Choose from a wide selection of different courses with beautiful backdrops, during the summer or in the spring time to catch the delicious European weather, or later on the year if you prefer it a little milder. It is completely up to you. 
Article provided by SouthFrance Holiday Villas; a specialist holiday villa-booking agent with a ‘hand-picked and tested’ policy. Established in 2000, the company now proudly maintains a portfolio of over 500 stunning properties – serving customers across three continents.