Comptoire Centrale Electrique, Bonaparte

Rue Bonaparte- the place to be | Stay YNA

Mixité is a good word to describe this area which is one of the most happening places in town. Between the Port and Place Garibaldi this humble street with a BIG name is nicknamed Le Petit Marais Niçois, a nod to the trendy gay area of Paris.  It has been steadily earning its label as gay friendly over the years with bars, restaurants, hairdressers and shops proud to be part of Nice irisée naturellement, a charter for equality and a movement to offer a warmer welcome to all. Its name recalls the time it gave a warm welcome to the then General Napoleon Bonaparte in 1794.

Rainbow chairs Bonaparte

Rainbow chairs Bonaparte

The Place du Pin, a small pedestrianised area at the heart of the neighbourhood is perfect for lunch in the sunshine and hosts evening events from time to time. For Fête de la Musique on midsummer’s eve the whole street turns into one big dance party. In my early days in Nice I was drawn to this little triangular square by the sound of a live rockabilly band. Surrounded by vintage Cadillacs a couple of apron-clad grandmothers were jiving their hearts out with two young tattooed cool cats! I knew immediately that this was my kind of neighbourhood.

 

Bonaparte is currently the scene of a coffee battle. Deli Bo on the corner has a wonderful café crème and is served with a tiny homebaked cookie. Brasilia, a relatively new contender, has the appeal of speciality espressos and Le Petit Napoleon serves a great café au lait while you sit back and wonder how exactly it differs from un crème or perhaps une noisette?

 

Bonaparte

Bonaparte

This neighbourhood is increasing in boutiques that can tempt even the most reluctant shopper (me). Lucien Chausseur sells fine leather shoes in rainbow colours for him and her, Mon Oeil for some beautifully creative jewellery, accessories and ladies clothes, and a number of design and interior decoration shops have sprung up recently. These include Mon Bazar, Babalux and Au Bonheur des Cocottes, a museum-cum-workshop selling vintage clothes and objects with some quirky flair. And keep an eye out for the magic wand seller, Atelier Bonaparte, below Napoleon’s residence.

 

Eating out in the area is a delight, there really is something for all tastes, budgets and moments of the day. Brunch at Deli Bo not to mention its teatime patisseries is extremely high on my list, an organic Italian grocery shop/café O’Quotidien caters for vegans and meat eaters alike and is truly innovative, La Flara and Chez Pippo for a Niçois feel, not to mention Jan, a Michelin starred restaurant, Rosalina and L’Uzine for cocktails and…. If only there were more days in the week and meals in the day!

Article by our guest contributor and Nice expert Zenna Marshall

For more information about where to stay in NIce visit Stay YNA NIce

 

 

 


stay yna

Travel with passion…

Here at YNA we’re all about the personal; we don’t offer package holidays, we don’t sell anonymous all inclusive resorts. For us, travel is a passion and we want to share it with you. We want you to truly experience our destinations, to explore the hidden corners, to enjoy the food, in short to live like a local.

Explore your passions

Explore your passions

Our team is made up of local experts who are all passionate about where they live; they cannot wait to share their insights and tips on the best beaches, what to do if you are travelling with kids, the best restaurants and bars, the must-see cultural events, basically how to make the most of your stay. Whether you are retracing family roots in Dingle, following in the steps of the ancients in Cyprus or embarking on a culinary voyage in Nice, we’re sure our local team can set you in the right direction.

 

Authentic local experiences

Authentic local experiences

Wherever you stay you can expect crisp linen, fluffy cotton towels, a personal welcome and an artisan welcome basket to give you your first taste of the local delicacies. We don’t just hand you the key, when you arrive in your YNA home from home your local manager will show you around, answer your questions and provide all kinds of information to get you started on your voyage of discovery. Do you want to hike to the top of the Conor Pass? Head off on a culinary adventure on the Riviera? Sample the world’s oldest named wine in Cyprus? Your passion is our passion.

Don’t just travel, experience; let your sense of adventure free…κέφι, paisean, authenticité, however you say it,  that’s what it’s all about…Stay YNA and open up your spirit!

Are you ready for your next travel adventure? Check out our latest offers…

Roof tops of Vieux Nice

Fall in love with Nice

Free your spirit in Dingle

Experience authentic Cyprus


fairy dust on hands

Do you believe in magic?

We could all do with a little bit of magic in our lives…prepare to be enchanted by secret coves, stunning sunsets, crystal clear waters, heavenly food and lands rich in mystery and legend!

To celebrate our bewitching destinations, we’ve put together a special magical offer this week! Read on or scroll down to find out how to claim your magical mystery code…

On our theme of magic and mystery we are exploring some of the myths, legends and just plain crazy stories about two very different places to the extreme west and far east of Europe.

Orm monument

Orm monument

Ireland is well-known for its myths and legends, with endless folklore telling of selkies, banshees and leprechauns. It’s no surprise to learn that the Dingle Peninsula with its wild beauty is no stranger to legends and has more than it’s fair share of ghostly and magical sightings! Apparently a rather grumpy poltergeist drove away the lighthouse keepers from Skellig Michael and a banshee struck fear into the hearts of a family on John Street in the town! (we should perhaps point out that there are rather a lot of pubs on John Street!!) Fairies are said to dwell in the remains of the monolithic sites and if you visit Mount Brandon, keep a look out in the lake for a mythical snake covered in jewels and gold. You might have a long wait though as he only appears every 7 years apparently.

Great Blasket

Great Blasket

To the west of the peninsula lie the Blasket Islands, the main island was once home to a thriving community but they all left and now the islands are abandoned. Visitors can take a boat trip across to the main island and visit the empty school house and village homes, the beach is now a great place for seeing seals. Inis Tuaisceart, one of the smaller islands is known as the sleeping giant as it has the form of a recumbant man. As the story goes, this man was taken by the fairies into their magical world. Hundred of years passed and the man was happy in his new realm, he did not realise that he could leave if he wished. Because he had lived for so many years with the fairies, he grew and grew and became like a giant! One day though he decided that he wanted to visit his own world, the fairies told him that if he set one foot on the soil, the years would catch up with him and we would die. But the man was determined so the fairies gave him a horse and said that as long as he stayed on horse back and returned the next day all would be well. At first everything was fine, the giant set off and had been so long away that he didn’t recognise his old home. But then he came across a young boy, trapped under a rock. Now the giant was a kindly soul and wanted to help, he was after all rather stronger than most of the locals. But he knew the rules and tried to stay on his horse while he lifted the rock off the boy, alas the reins slipped and the giant fell on his back into the water where he turned to stone, his eyes became valleys and his nose a sloping hill.

The sleeping giant

The sleeping giant

Many years ago a Dunquin fisherman named Cagans married a selkie who he found trapped in his nets. Selkies are magical creatures that are brown seals by day and turn into beautiful women by night. Many a fisherman is said to have fallen in love with these enchanting creatures and borne them off to live on land as their wives. The selkies were obedient and loving wives and stayed by their husbands while longing for the sea. One day Cagans got tangled up in his own nets, his wife heard his cries and lept into the water to rescue him. She managed to save him but was then unable to return to the land ever again. Her grateful and loving husband gave up his boat and instead swam out into the bay to fish every day to be with his wife!

Ceann Sibeal

Ceann Sibeal

Whilst there haven’t been many sightings of selkies of late, there are still some mysterious goings on! To the West of Dingle with small beehive-like dwellings popping up on Ceann Sibheal. Could the fairies be making a comeback? Have a group of goblins set up home? It’s actually far more legendary than that…Star Wars is back in Dingle! Parts of The Force Awakens were filmed on Skellig Michael but perhaps the poltergeist saw them off too as this time filming for the new movie will take place at the top of Ceann Sibheal to the west of Dingle Town. Of course the area itself is fenced off but it is safe to say that Star Wars fever has well and truly arrived!

Aphrodite's Rock (Petra tou Romiou)

Aphrodite’s Rock (Petra tou Romiou)

At the opposite end of Europe, in fact as far away as it could possibly be, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has a fair few legends too- with 10,000 years of history it would be a little odd if it didn’t! It also has its own very special charm, this most Easterly bastion of Europe has been drawing travellers in for millenia and most visitors agree that when you have been once, the island of beauty and love keeps calling you back!

Of course the best-known tale is that of Aphrodite, ancient Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty, she was born from the sea foam as the waves broke on the shore! If you think this is bizarre you should read about the conception that led to this water birth! It is said that if you swim in the waters around what many call “Aphrodite’s Rock” you will be blessed with the gift of beauty. I must admit that I have tried it but cannot see any discernible difference sadly, maybe you would need to swim a few times to get the full Aphrodite effect? In any case springing out of the sea in such dramatic fashion didn’t do Aphrodite any harm, in fact a whole cult grew up around her with temples and monuments aplenty. The remains of her shrine in Kouklia near Paphos can still be seen today and if you head due West out towards the Akamas Peninsula you can also visit Aphrodite’s Baths, a small stone grotto where apparently she bathed with her lovers!

Rather confusingly, the Greek name for the rock  is “Petra tou Romiou” or Romios’ rock (literally) with no mention of the goddess at all. “Romios” or the Greek, was actually a half Greek half Arabic man named Basil (not quite as lyrical as Aphrodite but never mind), he apparently hurled the rock from the top of the Troodos Mountains to keep out the invading saracens! While he was hurling away he put his hand down and his finger prints were forever embedded in the soil, creating the Pentedaktylos or “five finger” mountain that lies in the centre of the island.

Lefkara village

Lefkara village

Cyprus has had many other rather famous visitors and associations over the years as well. The Apostles’ Paul and Barnabas came by on their journeys and in Lefkara village, they stopped off for a picnic, where St Paul put down his staff a water spring appeared and it is still there to this day! A good few centuries later Leonardo Da Vinci also visited Lefkara village and bought some of the famous local lace work which he gave as an altar-cloth for Milan cathedral. Whilst there is no evidence they actually visited, Cyprus was given as a gift by Mark Antony to his lover Cleopatra- is there a bit of a love theme emerging here?

Another famous resident from biblical times is Lazarus, he was the man Jesus was said to have raised from the dead. He decided to spend his second life in Cyprus and became bishop of the town of Larnaca, his remains are said to be buried under the church which bears his name

Cape Greco

Cape Greco

To the East of the island off the coast of party-town Ayia Napa there have been several sightings of a fearsome sea monster! At the risk of sounding sceptical, like the Dingle Banshee, I can’t help thinking that alcohol may have played some small role in this phenomenon! The monster is supposed to hide out in the sea caves at Cape Greco and is to all intents and purposes very friendly which is good news! Not quite so friendly is the legend of another sea monster- Scylla with a serpents’ body, six dog heads and 12 limbs! Being caught between Scylla and Charibdis means being forced to choose between two evils and in Homers Odyssey the hero’s ship has to pass between the sea monster and the whirlpool Charybdis. There are many versions of the location of Scylla but local legend tells that she could be found off the coast of Cyprus! Apparently too, Scylla was not always a fearsome monster but once a beautiful young girl who fell foul of a wicked sorceress Circe who put a spell on the water she was swimming in. Fortunately the sea all around Cyprus is crystal-clear so if there are any monsters lurking today, you should be able to see them coming!

Legend aside, there is plenty of modern-day magic to experience in both Dingle and Cyprus. Enjoy 17km of sandy beach along Brandon Bay in Dingle or sink your toes into the silky white sand of Fig Tree Bay in Protaras. Take a boat trip to the Blasket Islands or around the Sea Caves in Cape Greco,  watch the sun sink slowly into the sea in Dunquin or Paphos, explore nature, history and culture; whichever you choose we are sure you will be enchanted!

Discover our enchanting destinations with our great Magical Mystery code offer!

Get your Nice magic code       Get your Dingle magic code       Get your Cyprus magic code


Belle epoque buildings in Nice

Les Musiciens – the Belle Epoque neighbourhood of Nice | Stay YNA

Right in the centre of Nice between the beach and the train station Les Musiciens is an area known for its beautiful façades.  The streets are named after musicians, some who visited Nice over the years, others who didn’t. A stroll through these streets tested my architectural, musical and historical knowledge.  Guess the date this ‘palais’ was built, name an opera by Berlioz, what was happening in France in 1879? (On a musical note The Marseillaise became the national anthem).

Jardin Alsace- Lorraine

Jardin Alsace- Lorraine

Before the annexation of Nice to France in 1860 (formerly part of the Duchy of Savoy) this area was home to cottage gardens.  Walking the streets today I find some surprisingly leafy corners in this now residential area; heavily laden lemon trees behind villa walls, flowering roses and creeping vines between apartment blocks and the ever-present palm trees. Some of the tallest of these I find towering over the public garden, Jardin Alsace-Lorraine, and its children’s play area.

Situated just below the main train station, built in 1867, and west of the main shopping street, Les Musiciens is truly central. Scattered with hotels but popular also with locals, I find a number of restaurants, bistros and cafés on my walk. Le Verdi and Le Mozart have pavement terraces remincent of Paris and live musicians who serenaded my aperitif as the sun went down.

Nice Opera House

Nice Opera House

There was an explosion of winter visitors between 1861 and 1910 with numbers ballooning from 4500 to 150,000, and this is when residences for Europe’s elite grew out of the city’s gardens. The rich and powerful from the north, revelling in this era of luxury and leisure, all competed to have the most glorious façade. My favourites are on the crossroads of rue Verdi and rue Berlioz. Stand and admire the opulant details, the ornate metal work and exuberant cornices over windows and doors. Sometimes the street level decoration is nothing compared to the delights higher up, only for those curious enough to stop and look up; like the gold mosaics above 40 rue Verdi.

Chez Moi restaurant Nice

Chez Moi restaurant Nice

On the edge of the neighbourhood there is a more international feeling. I see a kosher grocery store and halal butchers rubbing shoulders with Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants on rue Paganini.  And this reknown Italian violinist also hosts one of the two theatres in the area, Théatre de la Cité.  As I am gazing through the window to see the listings (mostly plays but also concerts) I see Chez Moi behind me. A curious looking restaurant I haven’t seen before. I’m reading the reviews on the window that describe the bespectacled, hat-wearing owner when out he steps and invites me to take a look inside.  With unplastered walls, deconstructed interior design and a menu certainly worth investigating, there is it seems always a warm welcome Chez Moi!

Article by our local resident and Nice expert Zenna Marshall

Looking for somewhere to stay in Nice? Visit Stay YNA Nice

Experience the Belle Epoque for yourself with a stay in Musicians

Adele- Musicians

Adele-

Imperial- Musicians

Imperial- Musicians

Rossini- Musicians

Rossini- Musicians


Do you need a holiday?

Need a break?

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s that time of year…we got all excited about spring and then much of Europe has been blasted in Arctic air this week… the days are getting longer but the skies are still resolutely grey.

I am sure there is some official “syndrome” that describes that feeling you get at the end of a long, miserable winter. When summer is tantalisingly close but you are still forced to wrap up in layers of knitwear every morning. You want to plan days out but the weather is just not playing ball. Well, I am not sure what the syndrome is but I think I know the cure! You need a break, a chance to get away from the routine and responsibility of every day life and simply do something different. Our Bookings Coordinator Laura and I were in beautiful Dingle last week and whilst I cannot pretend that the weather was balmy, we had a couple of days of glorious sunshine and the simple fact of being in a new place and trying new things certainly put the spring back into our step!

If it worked for us, we are sure it will work for you too! So we’ve put together some fab offers to make your great escape that little bit easier on the purse strings… go on, you deserve it!

Views over Dingle Harbour from the secluded garden

Book 2 nights or more in May or June in Dingle and save up to £100!

Did I hear there is football on in June?? A 7 night stay in Nice for 2 adults for £499!

Limassol sea front path

Over 300 days of sunshine? Yes please! 10% off stays in Cyprus in May & June


Dingle Harbour

Go on…get Dingled!

The Dingle peninsula really does have it all; beautiful beaches, rugged mountain passes, coastal pathways, archaeological sites and vibrant communities. Dingle Town is a haven for food lovers with some of the best sea food you can imagine and of course a pub for every week of the year.

If you haven’t been to the area yet, you may be surprised to learn that it is also a mecca for water-sports enthusiasts.

Horse riding Castlegregory

Horse riding Castlegregory

5 minutes drive from the town of Castlegregory, the Maharees is a unique warren of sand dunes that connects the sheltered waters of Tralee Bay to the wilder seas of Brandon Bay with their long rolling swells. This area is excellent for surfing when the wind and tide conditions are right, it is also ideal for kitesurfing and windsurfing and there are competitions throughout the year. On the other side of the dunes the Blue Flag Beach at Sandy Bay is great for families with a wide range of activities for kids such as snorkelling, sailing, kayaking, jet-skiing, a sea trampolene and pedal boats. If you prefer to be under water, the Seven Hogs islands at the end of the spit boast some excellent dive sites. PADI certifed Waterworld dive centre and Jamie Knox Surf School are both located on Dumps beach just past Sandy Bay, they offer a wide range of activities for all levels and all ages. Land-lovers are not deprived either as O’Connors riding stables is nearby and you can enjoy trekking on the sands.

Up close and personal with Fungie

Up close and personal with Fungie

Dingle is a fishing town and boat loads of delicious fish and sea food are brought into the harbour each day to supply the local restaurants and homes. But the harbour is also the starting point for a number of aquatic adventures…a great starting point for finding your sea-legs is a short boat trip out into the bay to meet Fungie the dolphin.  Fungie it seems, spends his days in the water around the habour mouth and loves nothing more than to swim alongside the boats to the delight of visitors. It is a great trip in any case, around an hour long and offering beautiful views of the harbour and surrounding area and you are pretty much guaranteed an encounter with Fungie- so much so that if you don’t see him the trip is free! We took the trip during a recent visit to Dingle and it was great to see the excitement on people’s faces when they came so close to this incredible creature- definitely recommended for first-time visitors. Tickets for these boat trips can be purchased at the harbour, there are several trips per day weather permitting.

Dingle Surf school offers a great range of surf lessons and surf camps for kids. They are based in the harbour area and provide a surf bus that transports you to Brandon Bay.

How do you steer this thing?

How do you steer this thing?

Buoyed up by my first marine experience (and possibly encouraged further by a visit to the Dingle Distillery), I decided to sign up for Sea Kayaking the following day. Whilst I love the sea, I am not what could be described as a natural sailor, but I was assured that no experience is necessary so thought, let’s give it a go! Irish Adventures run kayaking excursions along with a range of other great outdoor activities, their office can be found opposite Dingle harbour. An excursion typically lasts 3 hours and they provide you with wetsuits, life jackets and of course your kayak. Our group of 6 was made up of complete novices (like me) and other more experienced kayakers and we were accompanied by two professional guides. They give a full safety briefing and basic training before you even get into your boat and then give you some time to practice your moves in a sheltered area of the harbour before you paddle out to open water. I am not the most coordinated person in the world and initially had a few issues steering my kayak- I swear it had a limp and kept veering to the left like an out-of-control shopping trolley, but the guides gave me a few tips and my confidence quickly grew.

Open Sea- I think I have got the hang of it now!

Open Sea- I think I have got the hang of it now!

It was quite hard work (I am not the fittest!) but simply the most exhilerating experience I have ever had! I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to have another go. The group usually paddles for 20 minutes before a brief rest on the beach and then heads back out into open sea with the chance to explore the sea caves and get up close and personal with Fungie. Unfortunately on the day we went out, the winds picked up and after 1 hour of really hard paddling, our guides made the decision to end the excursion early. Nonetheless it was a fantastic experience and I was bouncing with energy for the rest of the day

 

So, whether you are a complete beginner like me or a seasoned sailor or sportsman, the waters of Dingle are calling..so go on, move out of your comfort zone and get Dingled!

 

 

 


June 2016 with YNA

Get ready for a fun-filled summer with StayYNA

It’s hard to believe that we are almost at the end of April and summer is literally just around the corner (yay!).

June is a great month to travel to any of our destinations, long light days, great weather, for the most part children are still in school and there is loads going on…

Nice stadium

Nice stadium

Unless you have been living on a desert-island these last months, you cannot have failed to notice that there are a couple of rather important sporting events taking place this summer! The Euro 2016 kicks off in France on 10th June and runs until 10th July with three games taking place in Nice. Even if you don’t have tickets for the big games there is sure to be an amazing carnival atmosphere all over the city, with a fan village and big-screen TVs so everyone can enjoy the buzz. When you’re not glued to the game there is plenty more going on too. Nice enjoys average temperatures of 25C in June so it’s a great time to enjoy the beaches, cafes and bars that are synonymous with Riviera.

Soak up the sun and the atmosphere with a Football-themed break in June this year. We’re offering a special price of just £599 for a 1 week stay in one of our select one bedroom apartments!

Find out more…

Dingle Adventure Race

Dingle Adventure Race

Dingle is pretty much buzzing with energy  all year round but June is the ideal time to enjoy some of the great outdoor activities that the peninsula has to offer. The days are long and light, the weather is good (well, OK “good” is relative!), the ocean is warming up and there is so much to see and do. It’s the perfect time for enjoying sea kayaking, boat trips, hiking, surfing, windsurfing, horseriding…the list goes on!

If you are the competitive type there are also a couple of great challenges taking place in June. The Dingle Way Challenge on 5th June is a 45km staged trek taking in a mixture of beach walks, grass paths and road walking. The Ultra Dingle Way Challenge is a 57km trek which begins in the foothills of the Connor Pass and includes an extra 12 km of mountaineous route across the pensinsula before joining up the the Dingle Way Challenge route

Find out more: http://www.active.com/tralee-cokerry/walking/dingle-way-challenge-2016?int

Dingle Adventure Race

Dingle Adventure Race

The following weekend on 11th June it’s time for the Dingle Adventure Race. Now in its 4th year this exciting event organised by Noel and the Irish Adventure team in Dingle town combines running, kayaking and cycling. The DAR “Mini” is made up of 1km run, 1 km kayaking, 7km cycling, 5km beach run, 6km cycling and a 1km run to the finish line! If this 21km challenge sounds too easy for you then the DAR Sport adds in some tough mountain runs bringing the total distance up to 43km and the DAR Total covers a total of 48km, by which time you will probably be ready to collapse in a heap in the nearest pub…lucky there are so many of them around then!

Find out more: http://www.dingleadventurerace.com/

Get walking or running and book a stay of 2 nights or more over the weekends of 5th June or 11th June 2016 and save £75 on select properties

Find out more…

Cyprus in June is getting hot, hot, hot! I wouldn’t recommend you try running a marathon or taking a long trek at this time of year with temperatures already well into the 30s. But it is still a great time to explore, ideal for enjoying the beaches, pools and watersports before the school holidays begin and also a good time of year for cultural activities.

Kataklysmos

Kataklysmos

Kataklysmos (Pentecost) takes place 50 days after the Orthodox Easter but in Cyprus the festival also has links to the story of Noah’s Ark and the flood in the Old Testament and ancient Greek ceremonies to honour Apollo and Aphrodite. These days it’s pretty much an excuse for a day off and festivities in the coastal towns involve a lot of splashing and water! There are swimming and boating competitions and of course this being Cyprus there is also a lot of dancing and eating- all in all a jolly good time is had by all! Whilst events take place in all coastal resorts, Larnaca is the most famous for Kataklysmos with a wide range of festivities taking placing over the long weekend.

Ancient Curium

Ancient Curium

If you prefer something a little calmer then June is also the time for the annual Shakespeare at Curium Festival. Every year a group of enthusiastic amateur thespians perform one of the Bard’s plays (in English) in the Greco-Roman amphitheatre at Kourion. It is quite an experience to be part of a live performance in the ancient theatre perched on the cliffs. A word to the wise though- do take a cushion as ancient stone is not the most comfortable of seating!

This year’s production of “All’s well that ends well” is taking place on 17th, 18th and 19th June, for more information or to book your ticket click here :http://www.shakespeareatcurium.com/

Get a good dose of early summer sun and a splash of culture thrown in this June. Book 7 nights or more in June in select Cyprus properties and save £75

Find out more


Dingle Founding Fathers

Dingle Whiskey- crafted by nature

Dingle distillery

Dingle distillery

Irish whiskey is known the world over, but did you know that there are now only 3 whiskey distilleries in Ireland? Actually make that 4…The Porterhouse Group, pioneers of craft brewing in Ireland have created the Dingle Whiskey Distillery! With the whiskey-crafting knowedge of John McDougall, the only man alive who has distilled all 5 forms of Scotch Whisky, Irish whiskey and gin, this artisan distillery will eventually have the capacity to produce two hogsheads of spirit per day or 500 litres of the highest quality spirit.

Now the picturesque town of Dingle has a long been a mecca for those who appreciate a tipple or two; the town has over 50 pubs! It is also a gourmet haven with some of the best food on the Emerald Isle. So an artisan distillery, carefully crafting the finest Irish whiskey couldn’t find a better home!

The Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers

Those of you in the know will realise that whiskey making is more of a marathon than a sprint, in fact in order to be awarded the accolade of being a whiskey, a spirit must be in the cask for no less than 3 years and 1 day!  And, as we learned that whiskey is made by nature, not by human hand! The very first cask of Dingle whiskey was opened in the autumn of 2015 and there are no plans to release another cask until this year’s food festival with the remaining casks being left to mature for another 5,10,20 years….So what makes this whiskey so special? They employ an artisanal method using three copper stills, the distillery purchase a selection of previously-used casks that have held port, sherry, bourbon, the magical alchemy of a “young” oak cask (one that has been used only once before) infuses flavours into the whiskey- no two casks are the same! One of things I loved about this project was that local people were invited to invest in one of the original casks; the first 500 casks of Dingle whiskey to be distilled, finished in whatever wood, port, sherry, madeira or bourbon according to the owners’ wishes belong to members of the local community. The golden contents were distilled and are now being aged and will only be bottled when the owner is ready. These investors are known as “The Founding Fathers”.

Secret botanicals

Secret botanicals

But what to do while you are waiting for nature to work it’s magic and transform what is essentially a spirit made of barley into for what many is the nectar of the gods? You make vodka and gin of course!

Our Bookings Coordinator Laura and Marketing Manager Abi headed over to Dingle to visit our beautiful houses there and get a better understanding of all that Dingle has to offer our guests. Along with our Dingle Director Clodagh, we were privileged to be invited to take part in a tour of the Dingle Distillery. Now I am not a committed spirit drinker by nature, I love my wine but, I have to say…I am officially a convert! Even if you choose not to imbibe, a visit to the distillery is a fascinating trip into Irish history. Apparently back in the day , there were over 1200 distilleries in Ireland (admittedly not all entirely legal!)

VIP tasting bar!

VIP tasting bar!

The distillery employs local people, teaching them the ancient alchemy of their forebears. Our hosts and guides Mary and Joe are passionate about the project and gave us the warmest of Irish welcomes. We started our visit in the VIP bar where we had our first taste of vodka and gin- smooth is not the word! We had heard much praise for Dingle Gin and Dingle Vodka in the local pubs (purely in the interests of customer reasearch you understand) and were certainly not disappointed. The distillery buy the high grade base alcohol and then re-distil the vodka prior to bottling. I had no idea that vodka and gin are are essentially the same base. Obviously the key requirement of gin is juniper berries but in Dingle they also add a secret mix of botanicals which contribute to its wonderful smooth flavour, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever tasted! After touring the distillery our tour group congregated around one of the tasting tables , we were shown poitín (see illegal stills above!) some of us even tasted it!, had the chance to ask questions and of course sample some more of the delicious produce from this fantastic distillery.

Dingle Gin and Dingle Vodka are served in most restaurants and pubs in the town (a fact we took full advantage of!), there are tours of the distillery (just 15 minutes walk from the harbour) several times a day. I personally cannot recommend this experience enough; a fascinating insight into local history, a beautiful setting and really rather delicious drinks! We can’t wait until the next cask of whiskey is cracked open! Many thanks to the staff of The Dingle Whiskey Distillery for a most informative and enjoyable afternoon


May day dilemma

May day, may day! | Stay YNA

It is a truth universally acknowledged that whenever we have a public holiday the weather is almost legally obliged to be awful! May Day or the May Bank holiday for many of us is a much anticipated long weekend, we plan days out, barbecues, schedule time on our gardens or DIY projects….and all too often end up sulking on the sofa with the heating on watching re-runs of James Bond as the rain pours down outside!

So this bank holiday avoid the thwarted DIY projects- let’s face it you didn’t actually want to paint the fence anyway, the standing miserably under your umbrella desparately trying to get the sausages to cook while the rest of the family glare hungrily at you from the warmth of the house, the enforced jollity of dragging the kids round a theme park where you get to queue for an hour and then stand shivering  in the cold while they go on the same ride for the fifth time all for the equivalent cost of the national debt of a small country…. This spring holiday, avoid the urge to shout May Day May Day at the top of your voice while stuck in traffic on the highway and actually wishing it was time to go back to work already and take a short break instead! Head off to sunnier climes or simply do something different, believe me, that garden fence will still be there when you get back and there will be plenty more opportunities for barbecues in the rain this summer!

The low cost airlines have some great flight deals right now to all our destinations, we’ve checked it out for you and there are flights to Kerry (for Dingle) from Eur0 16.99 from the UK or Euro 26.99 from Germany, flights to Paphos (Cyprus) from Euro 72.00 from the UK and Euro 67.00 from Sweden and, flights to Nice from Euro 40.00- less than the cost of that day out at the theme park!

To make it even easier to get away, we’re offering you some great deals on short breaks this May Day weekend and we’ve got some ideas for you to make the most of your time away.

Feile the fun!

Feile the fun!

In Dingle 28th April to 2nd May is time for the annual Féile na Bealtaine, possibly the most highly anticipated event in the local calendar. There is a packed schedule of events with exhibitions, concerts, readings, lectures, films, street theatre and a whole lot more. As you can imagine, this being Dingle it is also the perfect excuse for a massive party!

Check out our special Feile offers and book your first Féile na Bealtaine experience today!

 

Flaounes- traditional Easter treats

Flaounes- traditional Easter treats

In Cyprus the Orthodox Easter  falls between 29th April to 2nd May this year so this is a great opportunity to join in the festivities. The weather in Cyprus at this time of year is almost guaranteed to be sunny with temperatures reaching 30C which is probably temptation enough! Easter is the most important festival in the Orthodox calendar and is very much a time for families and feasting! If you are lucky enough to spend Easter in Cyprus, do go along to the midnight mass on Easter Saturday which is a big event, go to a small village church if you can. The solemn service is followed by bonfires and fireworks and the locals then have a midnight feast of thick soup to break their 50-day Lentern fast. The Sunday is all about food with every courtyard in the country seeing the men-folk stoking up the barbecue and spit-roasting large quantities of fragrant lamb- bit of a change from those soggy sausages!

Easter decorations

Easter decorations

One of my favourite Easter games was to spot the decorations that are found on every roundabout and in front of important buildings- giant eggs, enormous bunnies and sinister-looking chickens! See how many you can find…

 

Check out our available accommodation and enjoy Easter in the sun

 

 

Fête de Mai

Fête de Mai

Nice, ahh Nice.. is any excuse really needed for a spontaneous trip to the French Riviera? Actually I don’t think so, just a couple of hours by plane and you can exchange the grey skies at home from the colours of the Côte d’Azur (excuse me while I get packed now…). But actually there is plenty going on all year round and the May holiday weekend is no exception. On 30th April head over to St Jean-Cap-Ferrat for the fête des roses, a day long celebration of flowers. On the 1st May the first Spring Festival takes place in the Jardins de Cimiez in Nice, traditional music, dancing and general spring frolicking around! The weather should be a pleasant 20-something degrees, so still comfortable for wandering around the old town and perfect for sitting in sun-filled square and enjoy a glass of rosé

Check out our available accommodation and live the Riviera lifestyle

 

 


Your holiday in safe hands

Ask the local experts

Here at YNA we think your holiday is all about the personal, that’s why wherever you stay with us you will have a local manager to meet you on arrival and share their tips on the best places to visit, where to eat, the nicest beaches and anything else you need to know to make your stay memorable for all the right reasons!

With three destinations and so many beautiful houses, cottages, villas and apartments to choose from we’ve talked to our team and asked where they like to stay and what they like to do on holiday to give you some ideas. And, if you book one of this week’s recommended properties we’ve got some special offers for you too!

Nice- Directors Simon & Amanda Walker- Travelling with young children

The Walker Family

The Walker Family

“On our last visit to Nice, we stayed in Aura as we have a 4 year old and 2 year old. Its terrace is enclosed and very safe for little ones which means we can actually chill out with a glass of wine whilst they are safely playing. Most Nice properties have balconies which with a 2 year old that loves climbing means that staying in an apartment with a safe outside terrace is heaven. Aura is also a great price as the second room has a single bed and we just added a cot. So it was a good budget option without the budget feel! It’s also right next to the chateau which has a fabulous park and play areas for the kids. We packed a picnic and spent many hours up there. There are lots of gorgeous restaurants and bars in the area and a few minutes walk into the old town. So we were able to feel like we had evenings out even though we were home by 8pm as there was little walking involved. It’s a star stay for families who little ones!”

The large secure terrace at Aura

The large secure terrace at Aura

Amanda, Simon, Fox and Flynn Walker recommend Aura a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment with a spacious and secure terrace

Book 4 nights or more in Aura and we’ll take £40 off!

Use promo code WALKER to book Aura online

 

 

 

Nice- Admin Manager Grace- Combining business and pleasure

2006-03-23 13.33.16“I travel to Nice quite often for work but usually get some time to explore and enjoy myself too! I love the Old Town for its great selection of bars, restaurants and cafes. As my colleagues will tell you I am a bit of a fussy eater but Nice has so many different eating options that even I have plenty of choice. Top of my list is Acchiardo on Rue Droite, they do the best ever steak, cooked exactly as I like it. It’s very popular so we usually book in advance. For a more casual meal, the Bar du Coin does amazing pizzas, they are enormous! The Old Town is busy all year round so even if I am travelling on my own I feel quite happy wandering around in the evening. The Cours Saleya is great for a nice cold beer at the end of a hot day and then I like to go to the Le Blue Whales or Waynes Bar on Rue de la Préfecture later on. Le Blue Whales on Rue Mascoinat has a great bilingual pub quiz every week- we usually take part with our local colleagues and let me tell you, competition is fierce!

I like staying right at the heart of the Old Town within easy walk of the beach and all the restaurants and bars. I recommend Lily or La Croix for couples or single travellers and Rossetti if you are travelling with friends.”

View from Lily at the heart of the Old Town

View from Lily at the heart of the Old Town

La Croix, Old Town

La Croix, Old Town

Place Rossetti viewed from Rossetti

Place Rossetti viewed from Rossetti

Grace recommends Lily, La Croix and Rossetti for their central location right at the heart of Nice’s vibrant Old Town. Book one of these properties for 4 nights or more and we’ll take £40 off! Use promo code GRACE to book online today

 

Nice- Bookings Coordinator Laura- First time visitor

Laura at the Colline du Château

Laura at the Colline du Château

“I joined the YNA team quite recently so I am getting to know all our properties which of course means I get to visit our destinations and check them out (yay!). I had my first trip to Nice a couple of weeks back and totally loved it, it made a real difference to see our apartments “in the flesh” and I have a few favourites already. When my boyfriend and I travel we like to have plenty of space so an apartment rather than a cramped hotel room is great for us. Having literally walked ALL OVER Nice, I saw that it really is very compact, wherever you stay nothing is that far away. I really love Paradis in Carré d’Or because it has loads of space and a great location. It is in the pedestrian area right next to all the boutiques and shops and as I am a bit of a shopaholic this appealed to me. It is also super stylish and deluxe. Another apartment I really liked is Destinie, its a two-bedroom so would be a good option if we were travelling with friends, again it is really spacious and the location is great too. It is in Massena but tucked way in a quite street, really close to the shops of course but also near to the beach and old town. I am off to Dingle next week and can’t wait to discover new favourites there too!”

Super spacious Paradis

Super spacious Paradis

Destinie 2 bedroom apartment Massena

Destinie 2 bedroom apartment Massena

Laura recommends Paradis and Destinie for their central location and spacious layouts. Book 4 nights or more in Paradis or Destinie and we’ll take £40 off! Use promo code LAURA to book today

 

 

Dingle- Director Clodagh- Family Time with older children

Clodagh, Phil, Georgia & Noah with Dingle in the background

Clodagh, Phil, Georgia & Noah with Dingle in the background

“My kids are now at that pre-teen stage so need to be kept occupied on holiday. Dingle Town is a great base for families with older children because there is so much going on that everyone will find something to keep them happy. There are boat trips from the harbour, the Aquarium, the beach and some great walks close by. I recommend Dundreemin for its indoor/ outdoor space and location. It’s situated right in the middle of all the fun but on a quiet street. The contemporary kitchen/ diner is flooded with light and opens out onto a great private garden, we’ve enjoyed many a picnic there! Kids will love popping off to Murphy’s for ice cream or to the summer amusement park on the harbour or the park just round the corner. Everything is just a few minutes walk away and when the kids are finally in bed or busy with their tablets, the first floor balcony is a great place for the grown ups to enjoy a well-deserved quiet drink!”

sized diner with gardenClodagh recommends Dundreemin for a family holiday in Dingle Town. This 2 bedroom house also has a self-contained chalet in the garden- a great adventure for older kids or a haven for Mum and Dad!

Book Dundreemin for 2 nights or more and we’ll take £100 off! (excludes July & August). Use promo code CLODAGH to book Dundreemin today

 

 

Cyprus- Director Andriana- A relaxing beach holiday with friends

Andriana enjoying the summer nights in Protaras

Andriana enjoying the summer nights in Protaras

“One of the great things about Cyprus is that you don’t have to drive far for a total change of scene! When I have time off I like to head over to Protaras on the East coast for a few days chilling out with friends. We literally spend the whole day on the beach, Fig Tree Bay is one of my favourites, lots of people say it is the best beach on the island with its white sand, warm clear waters…total paradise! When we’re in Protaras we are in holiday-mode so no dashing around. In the evening we usually have a relaxing drink out on the terrace first before heading out later to Kalamies for a fish meze and then onto The Cliff Bar. The bar is perched on the cliffs overlooking Konnos Bay, it has great views in the daytime and in the evening is just a really zcn chill-out bar. The perfect end to a lazy day!

If I am with a group of friends The Beach House or Sea Shore are perfect, you can literally step out of the house onto the beach path- great for a morning or evening dip. If I want a quiet break then High View is great, really relaxing setting with the gardens but also close to the night life.”

The Beach House- great terrace right next to the sea

The Beach House- great terrace right next to the sea

Sea Shore- great for the beach and relaxing

Sea Shore- great for the beach and relaxing

High View, lovely pool and lush gardens

High View, lovely pool and lush gardens

Andriana recommends The Beach House, Sea Shore and High View in beautiful Protaras. If you book 4 nights or more we’ll take £40 off (excludes July & August). Use promo code ANDRIANA to book today

 

Cyprus- Marketing Manager Abi- Catching up with friends and enjoying the sun

Abi enjoying lunch by the sea in Limassol

Abi enjoying lunch by the sea in Limassol

“I lived in Cyprus for 16 years so when I go back either for work or a holiday, catching up with friends is a priority as well as soaking up as much sun as I can! I love Limassol because there is so much going on and the beach is never more than a few minutes away. The Old Town is one of my favourite areas, it’s totally buzzing with life and new restaurants, cafes and bars seem to pop up all the time so I usually head down there to meet friends in the evening. On my “must do” list for any visit is eating fresh seafood at the beach- I don’t know why but it always tastes so much better by the sea. I recently discovered the fried calamari with sweet chilli at La Isla beach bar and they were to die for! These days when I am in Cyprus I usually have to work so staying in one of our city-centre apartments Camellia or Narcissus makes sense. Location-wise they are handy for work, but also great for going out in the evening and just a few minutes from the beach so ideal for my favourite after-work swim.

Next time I am in Cyprus I will also be going to see our newest property, Casa Indy in Fasoula. I used to live next door and watched the renovations over the years so I can’t wait to see the finished article and celebrate with a glass of something sparkling next to the brand new infinity pool!”

Narcissus, 3 bedroom apartment Limassol

Narcissus, 3 bedroom apartment Limassol

Camellia, city centre apartment Limassol

Camellia, city centre apartment Limassol

Casa Indy, Boutique village house Fasoula

Casa Indy, Boutique village house Fasoula

Abi recommends Camellia and Narcissus for business or holidays that make the most of all Limassol has to offer and Casa Indy for a relaxing village escape in a boutique house. If you book 4 nights or more we’ll take £40 off! Use promo code ABI to book online today