Don’t wait for summer…

June deals

Don’t wait for summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OFFER OF THE WEEK!

Up to £75 off 3 nights in Nice    Up to £75 off 2 nights in Dingle    Pay 6 Stay 7 in Cyprus

Did you know that 1st June is, meteorologically speaking the first day of summer? (at least for those of us in the Northern hemisphere), which of course means that meteorologically speaking the weather has taken a complete nose-dive…storms all across central Europe and here in the UK we are basking in a seasonal 11C with grey skies and general sogginess. All in all not very inspiring.

In Dingle meanwhile, they are enjoying a heatwave and people are out and about enjoying the countryside and the sea. Temperatures in Nice are in the 20’s and as for Cyprus, well the mercury has passed 30C today, not that I am at all jealous of course…

On the bright side, the school holidays have not yet started which means there are bargains to be had on flights to warmer climes. If you are looking for a last minute getaway, then we have some great deals on select dates and properties with savings of up to £75 on a two day break!

June is also a great month to travel to any of our destinations with loads going on; the Dingle Adventure Race is taking place on 11th June, the annual Shakespeare at Curium festival takes place in Limassol from 17-19th and I think there is something happening in France too….what was it again? Ah yes, FOOTBALL!

So, don’t wait for summer to come to you, get packing and head off to enjoy summer!

Up to £75 off 3 nights in Nice    Up to £75 off 2 nights in Dingle    Pay 6 Stay 7 in Cyprus


Take it easy and Stay YNA

Summer time...

Summer time…

Summer is all about time for you; whether you want nothing more than to lie on a beach somewhere, prefer to explore a new place or long for the bustle of summer in the city…take the strain out of your holiday planning.

Wherever you stay with YNA you know that there is a beautifully furnished property, fresh linen, fluffy towels and some local treats waiting for you when you arrive. So, all you have to think about is where you want to go and, to make that even easier, find your perfect Nice apartment, Dingle cottage or Cyprus villa and ask us for your summer secret code…

Get your Nice secret code   Get your Dingle secret code  Get your Cyprus secret code

 

 


YNA Events Nice Jazz Festival

Summer time…and the living is easy

Hot summer nights, palm trees and toe-tapping tunes, who could ask for more!  I adore Nice Jazz Festival and this year’s offering promises great things. Although I will be shedding one or two tears as 2016 has been dedicated to the memory of David Bowie. Each evening, from Saturday through to Wednesday, has a theme: Changes, Let’s Dance, Space Oddity, Black Star, Heroes.  In addition, all 30+ performers are said to have been influenced by or have worked with Bowie.  This illustrates the breadth of musical styles included in this ‘jazz’ festival, which for purists (like my dad!)  may be taking it too far, but for most people opens the door to discover a wide variety of international musical styles based, sometimes loosely, around jazz.

Nice Jazz Festival

Nice Jazz Festival

There are two stages set up in Jardin Albert 1er connected by an area selling refreshments and very reasonably priced large glasses of local rosé. The permanent Théatre de Verdure stage has seating and is for the more ‘hardcore’ jazzers . Last year I saw Charles Lloyd there with my dad, himself a jazz saxophonist, and what a pleasure it was to see this longstanding jazz hero light up his face. This year I’m looking forward to the newer and, for once, female stage presence of Géraldine Laurent not to mention the contemporary big band feel of Brooklyn’s Snarky Puppy, an instrumental fusion fest, and Avishai Cohen, arguably one of the world’s best living trumpeters!

 

Nice Jazz Festival

Nice Jazz Festival

The Masséna stage is standing only and more suited to dancing and wailing. And yes, I’ve done both in past years. This year it’s Massive Attack who will be rocking the Riviera along with Youssou N’Dour bringing the sounds of Africa, and other big international names in funk, hip hop, soul and blues, stretching the jazz label to its limits and sometimes beyond. No excuses for missing the free Sunday morning concert from The London Community Gospel Choir, dancing you through to lunchtime.

 

Last year Jamie Cullum was the ‘godfather’ of the festival bringing his inimitable presence to the proceedings and dancing on his piano, this year Melody Gardot has the honour.  A young American singer-songwriter and all round wonder she has played in session on Jamie’s radio show and her voice is as inspiring as her personal journey through music therapy.

Each year I discover a new musical talent to take away with me, and I think the words of Leyla McCalla, whose musical styles just won’t fit into this blog, sum up these 5 days of musical emotions – “I want them to cry, I want them to laugh, I want them to sing, I want them to dance!” I’m sure we will.

For more information on the event please visit www.nicejazzfestival.fr

Article written by Nice local expert Zenna Marshall


Go on...dive right in!

I feel my temperature rising… | Stay YNA

Summer has arrived in the Med; the skies are blue, the sun is shining and the crystal-clear sea is just waiting for you to dive right in!

Get packing...it's summer!

Get packing…it’s summer!

We’ve some some hot deals on last minute breaks in May to select, villas and apartments in Nice. So what are you waiting for? Get packing, summer is waiting for you

Check out our website for our sizzling deals

 


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

 

 

 


Experience

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


Let us weave our magic spell...

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

A walk around 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!