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Unique Hostels in France

June 29, 2012
guest blogger

Do you fancy staying somewhere different? Exploring unusual places? Discovering France while staying in unique hostels in legendary places?

 

An abbey in Périgord

Cadouin SD FUAJ

The Cistercian abbey of Cadouin is one of Périgord’s treasures. Built in 1115, it has a magnificent Romanesque church and a convent of Gothic inspiration. This architectural master piece, a Unesco World heritage site, shelters the Youth Hostel of Cadouin. Not only will you enjoy the architectural beauty of the area but also the landscapes. Close to the caves of Lascaux and Sarlat, the hostel of Cadouin is the ideal starting point to discover the local heritage and products. As for the nature lovers, they will love canoeing on the Dordogne River. All the ingredients are brought together to spend a unique stay.

Local event not to be missed!

The theater festival of Sarlat – In the city of Sarlat, from July 19th till August 4th. All the representations of this festival, which exists since 1952, take place outdoors, in the magical setting of the medieval city.

www.festival-theatre-sarlat.com

 

Life in a castle in Alsace

AJ SAVERNE château

Near Strasbourg, the Youth Hostel welcomes you to Saverne in the exceptional Rohan Castle, a magnificent eighteenth century building surrounded by an elegant park that borders the canal from the Marne to the Rhine. Saverne offers a rich architectural and botanical heritage. It houses the Tower Cagliostro, the name of an obscure alchemist, the house Katz, with richly carved beam ceilings. You will trample the Unicorn square, fabulous animal keeper of the city and the Rose Garden of Saverne (France’s second largest rose garden). Strategic location between Alsace and Lorraine, the Youth Hostel of Saverne is the starting point for hikes to the Vosges Mountains and the many castles in the region. Experience living in a castle!

Local event not to be missed!

Equestrian show “Rêve de chevalerie” (dream of Knighthood) – At Château Haut-Barr, from May 1st to August 31st. Have fun with stunts and equestrian fantasies of modern knights.

www.spectacles-cascades-equestres.com

 

Heading for Brittany: the charm of an old water mill

Dinan

Nature lovers will fall in love with the Youth Hostel of Dinan, a former water mill, hidden in lush greenery. Dinan, City of Art and History stands at the end of the Rance estuary. Behind its impressive walls, you will discover a unique medieval city. In the footsteps of Chateaubriand, walk between the houses with wood sides, the Romanesque and Gothic churches and soak up the magic of this place! In Brittany, the sea is never far away… You will soon discover Saint-Malo, the “pirate town”, visit Dinard, the “elegant”, or enjoy seafood in Cancale offering a breathtaking view over the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. Relax in this haven of peace that is the Youth Hostel of Dinan, a former mill of character that you will not forget.

Local event not to be missed!

The medieval walls festival – Inside the walls of Dinan, the 21st & 22nd July. The town comes alive on the theme of “Princely festivities and jubilation” for you to relive the Middle Ages through horse shows and games.

www.fete-remparts-dinan.com

 

Romantic stay at Cepoy

AJ Cepoy Montargis

Less than 2 hours south from Paris, is the Youth Hostel of Cepoy: set in an authentic seventeenth-century Romanesque mansion. Ideally located on the edge of the forest of Montargis, this castle opens onto a lush natural setting: a large park, a forest, ponds, a canal… A generous nature which can be explored on foot, by bicycle, horse or even windsurf! Fishing fans can also practice their favorite activity here. The hostel is the perfect stop for weekends with friends, family gatherings and sporting or relaxing getaways. If you fancy a cultural interlude, do not miss the Girodet Museum, rich in collections of fine art and Gâtinais Museum, showcase of the local Gallo-Roman times. Take your prince and princess dreams a little further and visit another castle: Fontainebleau.

Local event not to be missed!

MUSIKAIR FESTIVAL 2012 – At the Velodrome of Montargis, the 29th and 30th June. Watch, listen and dance to: Zebda, Max Romeo, Shakaponk, General Elektriks, Sallie Ford, Buzztown, The JanceePornick Casino, La Fonky Mobile… www.musikair.com

 

The scenic beauty of a hamlet along the Loire

AJ SAINT ETIENNE

In the middle of a large protected natural area near the Loire, the Youth Hostel of Saint-Etienne-Les Échandes is sheltered in a small farmer’s hamlet. You will find all the comfort of modern building in the picturesque charm of traditional ancient houses. Go back in time and indulge in this peaceful setting. Athletes will not be outdone by the many activities offered to them: water sports, walking, cycling… Change of scene and new energy, guaranteed!

Local event not to be missed!

Festival of the seven hills – In Saint-Etienne, from 4th to 13th July. Discover this festival that focuses on the art of circus and dance meant to be a journey through international creation. www.festivaldes7collines.com

 

Take shelter in a medieval City

carcassonne

Located in the heart of the medieval city, declared World Heritage Site by Unesco, the Youth Hostel of Carcassonne is housed in a preserved architecture. The streets and squares of the medieval city, are animated by live improvised performances by modern troubadours. They should not keep you from visiting the main sites of the city: the walls from the third century, the twelfth-century castle, the basilica and the Bastide Saint-Louis. In the surroundings sun-drenched vineyards call for wine tasting (with moderation). The trails “Peiras e vinhas” (literally stones & wine) lead – on foot, horseback or mountain bike – to discover the vine covered hills, picturesque villages and local fauna and flora. Mythical, the Canal du Midi, built in the seventeenth century and World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1997, is best explored on foot by strolling along its shores or by boat. You will not fail to return to the Youth Hostel in Carcassonne to taste the generous local cuisine.

Local event not to be missed!

The Carcassonne Festival – 22nd June to 5th August. A major festival of the great south takes place in the city, nearly 120 shows are presented; 80 of which are free (Opera, Dance, Theatre, Circus, Classical & current French and international music). www.festivaldecarcassonne.fr

Visit HI-France Fuaj: http://www.fuaj.org/en/ for all hostels in France.

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1 Comment. Leave new

We are retired (professor/instructor) interested in staying in a family room or room with 2 beds or 1 double) for 2 nights. I led bicycle trips in 1978 and 1980, spending a week in the Loire valley each time with 12 students. We enjoyed this introduction to interesting hostels in France. The dates we are considering for a hostel stay are October 16th and 17th, 2013.

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