French Riviera vacation, with morning yoga

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2017: 2 Apr, 9 Apr, 16 Apr, 23 Apr, 30 Apr, 7 May, 14 May, 21 May, 28 May, 4 Jun, 11 Jun, 18 Jun, 25 Jun, 2 Jul, 9 Jul, 16 Jul, 23 Jul, 30 Jul, 6 Aug, 13 Aug, 20 Aug, 27 Aug, 3 Sep, 10 Sep, 17 Sep, 24 Sep, 1 Oct, 8 Oct, 15 Oct, 22 Oct, 29 Oct
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Responsible tourism: French Riviera vacation, with morning yoga

Environment

We are keen supporter of local farmers and artisans. All the produce is sourced locally and the fruits and vegetables are mostly organic. We only serve local St Jeannet wine in order to encourage the local industry and also arrange visits to the local cellar.

Having grown up in the region Benoit is understandably enthusiastic about the village and its surroundings. He is an excellent guide and willingly shares information relating to the history, culture and geography of the region. A stay here is a wonderful way to explore French culture.

The best action we can take to respect our environment is to let people know how to behave while walking in the countryside or in the mountains, such as keeping our litter with us, not taking flowers, respecting wildlife habitats, avoiding fragile ground etc. As a certificated walking guide and a professional mountaineer, this is Benoit’s duty. He also offers his guests walks in the National Park of the Mercantour just an hour and a half away from home, which is a protected area in term of plants and animal species. There are nearly 60 “endemic” plants species, and the guards of the park have already reintroduced animal species such as the “gipaete barbu”, a huge raptor bird that had been hunted until it disappeared, and vultures that travel now between this park and the regional park of the Verdon. Also, wolves have come back to the park via Italy through the Alps and are now protected as well. Guardians of refuges in the National Park sometimes have the opportunity to observe them.

Community

We buy as many fresh products as we can, like fresh vegetables grown by local people. Corinne shops at the local butcher, and buys the bread at the local boulangerie everyday, and find local honey and cheese at the peasant market in the next village. We also recently met a young man who just started to make his own olive oil after spending a year renovating (helped by his family) an olive tree fields, that had been abandoned as the work was considered too hard.

We offer our guests the chance to visit the unique vineyard that remains in the area, which is also located near the village of St Jeannet. The same family has been growing this wine for more than 3 generations, despite the fact that all the other vineyards had been abandoned when the perfume industry in Grasse had offered to buy flowers from the local farmers instead.

We also visit some villages around that are being abandoned slowly by slowly by young people who don’t want to work in agriculture anymore make us believe that it will help to maintain a little activity and encourage the few who have decided to still live out there. At last, being in a small village ourselves, we are often in contact with our neighbours who are very keen to come and sit on the terrace sometimes and talk about the old times of the village with our guests, which is we believe a nice way to learn about the culture of a country. And this is maybe the best part of a trip overseas.

Reviews of French Riviera vacation, with morning yoga

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 24 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


For me, staying at the hotel has re-written the rule book on the group activity vacation - something I have avoided up until now, as I have never wanted to spend 24/7 with a random group of people or be tied to a strict, laminated schedule.

Everything about the week I spent in Saint-Jeannet surpassed my expectations. The accommodation was cosy and comfortable (and if you book a balcony room, I challenge anyone to find a better view!), the excursions were flexible, interesting and varied (although I booked them all in advance, others decided the night before or just chose to dip into one or two during their stay),
the food was incredible (all home cooked, home-made, organic, locally sourced etc), and Benoît and Corinne who run the accommodation are some of the nicest, warmest and most genuine people I have ever met. Nothing was too much trouble, they were hugely enthusiastic and knowledgeable on every aspect of the region and had thought of everything that you may need to
make your vacation easy and relaxing, without even a hint of over-scheduling, enforced group activity or coach-trip mentality (everything that has put me off doing anything 'grouped' in the past). The whole structure allows you to spend time with like minded-people, but also lots of time to chill out on your own or with your traveling partner. On top of the excursions, I could dip into Benoît's lovely early morning yoga classes during weekdays, before the best breakfasts I have ever eaten. In addition, they willingly imparted lots of their local knowledge for my second week further up the coast. You could say it was the vacation that
kept on giving!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It's a difficult vacation to define, as it sits between just booking a bed & breakfast and doing one's own thing and the traditional all-in group vacation. So my tip would be: if you are looking for a home-from-home vacation in this stunning area of France, that doesn't feel like a group vacation, but has all the bits you want from a group vacation taken care of i.e. an interesting and varied programme full of culture, scenery, activities, nature etc; transportation; equipment; delicious, healthy food; and a wonderful guide etc. then I cannot recommend the accommodation enough! It also gives you an incredible introduction to the area and its rich and varied heritage,if you are unfamiliar with it, and this was invaluable to my second week's exploration.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely and very obviously. From the locally sourced, organic, home-cooked food, to all the wonderful producers, suppliers and restauranteurs we visited, all with the same green or local ethos. Even the organic toiletries in the rooms were provided in non-plastic, refillable dispensers and there was a recycling bin in each room. They were understandly very proud of their La Clef Verte status and genuinely care and believe in having green credentials, which is another reason I was so attracted to this vacation.

I went on to stay at a hotel, which was promoting its eco/ethical principles, but I wasn't wholly convinced that it was fully adopting them or had thought them through fully. For instance, the pillows were apparently full of eco-friendly feathers and the food was locally sourced, yet they provided endless plastic bottles of water to their guests...! This was not the case here!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


By the end of the week (helped by the glorious weather) I had laughed a lot, had some hugely interesting conversations, seen some beautiful places, learnt a lot of interesting facts, made some new friends, eaten some delicious food, tried lots of new things and completely relaxed. I practically cried when I had to leave, I'd loved it so much! Two weeks on and my friends keep telling me how well and glowing I look...thus demonstrating that spending time at the accommodation was the perfect choice!

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