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Lodging in France’s Monasteries

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Lodge in a monastery in a castle

Spend a night or a week as a guest at a working monastery and come away filled with the essence of France, its history, art, architecture and local traditions.

There are hundreds of monasteries, maisons and convents throughout France where travelers can enjoy a holiday touring France, including its perched villages and ancient walled towns.  You’ll get a chance to mingle with the locals at the daily market or enjoy a glass of Bordeaux or hot chocolate in a friendly café. Perhaps you’d prefer to people watch from an atmospheric plaza or stroll the medieval quarters and cobblestone streets of a quiet hamlet. Engross yourself in France’s idiosyncratic timber-framed houses and royal castles, as charming today as they were hundreds of years ago or visit a bastide, a town layout unique to France.

Monastery travel represents a singular experience, a travel experience that Europeans have enjoyed for centuries.  Each institution is open to all regardless of religious denomination and without any religious obligation. Whether you prefer the sophistication of a city, the allure of the countryside or the simplicity of a tiny walled village, each offers an experience that will linger long after you’re returned home.

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Beat the Euro… Stay In Beautiful French Monasteries For About $40 a Night

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Do as the Europeans have been doing for centuries. Enjoy the inviting atmosphere of a house devoted to making people feel welcome. Stay at a monastery, convent or maison in many of the charming towns and cities of France and pay a fraction of what it would cost you in any hotel.  Most include breakfast in the nightly charge. Some offer half or full pension as well. Some only ask for a voluntary contribution. There’s no greater bargain to be had anywhere in France. There is no religious obligation and accommodations are open to all.

One of the regions often overlooked by many travelers from the United States is Alsace-Lorraine

, a setting of significant beauty, a land of rolling meadows and vineyards bathed in sunshine and mountain forests that grow right up to the banks of the Rhine. Here you will find a patchwork of beautiful landscapes, outstanding architectural heritage and handsome, region-based crafts that have been made for centuries.

Alsace stretches like a narrow ribbon from the Swiss border in the south to the German border north of Strasbourg. The famous Route du Vin winds its way through seventy-five miles of storybook villages past houses with gabled roofs and chimneys topped with stork nests. Influenced by the German language, architecture and cuisine and cradled by the Vosges and the Rhine, it represents an altogether alluring milieu.

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