Tag Archives: Hiking

France: Wellness & Yoga Week-end in La Clusaz

  

Day 1

The Yoga

I had the pleasure of rediscovering the mountain in the summer, during the Satiam Yoga Festival in La Clusaz, in the French Alps. An epic arrival after a day between two flights, two airports! In the morning, I flew back to Belgium (first trip), then changed airport that turned into an odyssey via the train (lol). Followed by a big thunderstorm over the airport of Geneva that has us (a journalist friend and I) held an hour and a half in the air … Then transfer by car to La Clusaz. 

So the next morning at 8 AM, sitting on my yoga mat, I can’t wait to benefit from the first yoga and meditation “Master Class” with Robin Golt marking the opening of the festival. In the background, the mountains! Very good meditation session followed by workshops and activities around Yoga and well-being. In the photo above: SUP yoga (or Stand-up paddle yoga) at Lac de La Ferriaz, in a beautiful setting!

  

Sushi Time

Lunch break at Sushi Fumi: cool little restaurant with a slightly surfer atmosphere. Very nice sushi dishes with traditional sushi and others reinterpreted by the two cooks and patrons, with local ingredients and more Western flavors (photos above and left).

We ate so much sushi that we had trouble getting off the restaurant, where you can also have a drink in the afternoon. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty Discovery : SNÖ Eternelle

The workshop that I really liked (you know I’m a beauty junky, lol): the meeting with the founder of luxury organic cosmetics and relaxation, Snö Eternelle and also former multiple World Champion in moguls skiing, Raphaëlle Monod.

The range of the brand includes sun protection (“Mon fluide protection”), a face skin care (Ma crème riche) and a body oil (“Mon huile S.O.S”) with 100% natural ingredients.

As soon as I have tested them, I will give you my thoughts. As they contain essential oils, I prefer to wait this fall or this winter, my skin being more reactive in spring and summer. Coached by the bubbly Raphaëlle to tone our face, we made a lot of grimaces (and laughed a lot). A kind of facial yoga (photo below). 

The Dinner

We go up to the Chalet du Lac, an altitude restaurant of Savoyard traditional cuisine based on local products. Awesome landscape! The cottage is in the Aravis nature reserve. Too bad that night falls quickly.

The dishes are delicious, with huge portions and the atmosphere really cosy thanks to the very friendly owner who made us taste many different Génépi. Photo below: a 5 kilo bread made especially for the restaurant.

  

Day 2

Finally in Nature!

As I didn’t want to try for the first time mountain biking, I took the Beauregard cable car and then walked for an hour through the pastures in altitude. 

Feeling of peace and euphoria sourrounded by the mountain tops and my friends, the cool cows (lol). Then again the cable car to join the group for lunch.

Bucolic Lunch

While part of the group arrived by mountain bike, we arrive on foot to the Chalet de Paccaly located at 1490 meters (photo above and photo on the right). The Aravis chain is spectacular! And the weather oscillates between threatening clouds and blinding sun.

The dishes are simple, but tasty based on flowers and cheeses (photos below). A pure moment of relaxation. 

  

The spa

And to finish in style this short weekend in La Clusaz: 2 hours Deep Nature Spa, one of the largest spa in the French Alps (with an area of 850 m²). The water course of 160 m² is designed by Serge Blanco (a French famous former rugbyman) and includes multiple hydromassage jets …

Exactly everything my body needs before the long drive to Geneva by car and then the plane! 

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

La Clusaz

Related articles : DESTINATIONSBEAUTY

Many thanks to the Tourism Board of La Clusaz for this beautiful invitation. As always theses are my opnions.

Azores: Santa Maria Island

Our Starting Point

Woke Up At Dawn

We take the 6:30 am flight to Santa Maria, the smallest island of the Azores archipelago (16.6 km long by 9.1 km wide), located 81 km from São Miguel.

It is also the oldest island of the archipelago: its formation dates back to about ten million years. And the first discovered and populated island of the Azores.

It’s a too early for me (lol!). I’m absolutely not a morning person! Thirty minutes later, we landed. Waiting for the heavy rain to stop, Henrique, our tour guide drives us to the only one opened café in Vila do Porto (the main city). 

Then we head in 4X4 to the Fort Sao Bras (video below). The landscape and wind make me think of Ireland (picture above).

 

If you have trouble watching the videos, refresh the page and move the cursor a bit forwad on the timeline. And if it doesn’t work, do not hesitate to leave me a comment.. 

Crossing fields

Movie Set

We take a path in the fields to cross the center of the island. Awesome landscape! My first favorite scenery in Santa Maria! 

 

The Red Desert

  

Barreiro da Faneca

Totally unexpected! After the fields and sheeps, the Red Desert. This arid zone of clay is unique in the Azores archipelago. Leaving Bareiro da Faneca, we find very green landscapes with here and there lovely traditional houses (photos below).

 

Poço da Pedreira

  

North Of The Island

An impressive landscape shaped by man: Poço da Pedreira is an ancient quarry located in Santa Barbara. The stone was used to built the traditional houses and parish of Santa Barbara.

Then we head towards São Lourenço (pictured below). Superb view of the bay and the village from the Mirador of Espigão!

 

The Lunch

  

Happiness!

Finally, I can see the ocean up close. The sound and power of the waves! The black sand beach that contrasts with the foam of the waves under a strong light. The color of the water changes from ultramarine blue to emerald. Magic! And the grilled fish is delicious.

 

Cascata do Aveiro

  

110 mètres de haut!

Look at the height of the woman in the right edge of the picture above : so tiny! Then we drive along the coast. The ocean…

 

Ribeira do Maloás

Spectacular!

Wow! The only place I saw this kind of volcanic roc was in Porto Santo (small island off Madeira). We walked on a narrow footpath along the cliff (first picture below).

What a surprise by discovering the wide verdant plateau split in two parts with this huge wall! Outstanding!

Back to the 4X4 to go to Pico Alto, the highest point of the island at 586.64 meters above sea level (second photo below). Great a panoramic view.   

 

Back To São Miguel

In the early evening, we flight back to São Miguel. We are exhausted! I think the dinner will be pretty funny (lol). 

I will go back to Santa Maria!

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations  

Visit AzoresVisit PortugalTAPBootlá

Related posts : HOTEL REVIEWS & DESTINATIONS

Many thanks to Visit Azores, Visit Portugal and TAP for this superb invitation. Thanks also to our great guide in Santa Maria, Henrique Simões. As always, these are my opinions.

Seychelles: 7 Things To Do In Mahé

1. To Go Around The Most Beautiful Bays

Road Trip

Travel at your own pace! The island tour of Mahé is on average 2h30. It took me the double and I don’t think I saw it all. Depends on your curiosity. You can rent a car, or a taxi.

It is an excellent way to discover the littoral with beautiful bays like Anse Louis, Anse Boileau, Anse Lazare, Anse Takamaka (…), as well as the interior of the island and the mountains. I prefered the beaches of the south of the island (wilder and quieter) than the more lively northern ones.

2. To Discover The Mountains of The Island

Tea Plantations And Hiking Trails

As always during the hottest hours, I seek the freshness. So we go up to Mission Lodge that offers one of the most beautiful views of the island. The road crosses big plantations of teas, forests with gigantic trees and marked hiking trails!

I regret not having brought my hiking shoes and planning a hike. It will be for a future trip! Frankly for many of us, you don’t think of hiking in the Seychelles! And I was wrong! 

    

3. Venn’s Town, Mission Lodge

A Bit of History

After the abolition of slavery in 1835, Mission Lodge, formerly Venn’s Town, became a missionary school for freed African slaves (for more details see photo 3 below).

Today, Mission Lodge is part of the largest national park in the Seychelles: the Morne Seychellois National Parc which represents more than 20% of the area of Mahe. 

     

Photomontage below: some of the different tree species (endemic or introduced) that can be seen at the Morne Seychellois National Park

4. Lunch at The Eden Island Marina

Yatchs, Sailboats … And Chili

This pleasant marina can accommodate yachts of more than a hundred meters! Stunning! If you need at midday to enjoy a beautiful view without suffering from the heat, I recommend a long lunch break in one of the restaurants in the Eden Island Marina. Chic relaxed atmosphere (photos 2 and 3 of the photomontage below).

Above: Photo 1. I learn how to eat a creole dish very very spicy. The fish is covered with a sauce with pieces of chilli (type pili pili). Tips of the waitress: to mix a small piece of the ultra-spicy fish with a little rice and tomato sauce. Eat very slowly and stop to chat with friends, then eat very slowly again! 4, the fruit of the children: I discovered the Santol with a bitter and sweet taste. Very good.

  

5. To Visit Victoria

The Smallest Captital City in The World 

I went to Victoria quickly and enjoyed the little market in Market St. (pictured above). There is a little bit of everything: food but also (for exemples), beautiful bouquets of exotic flowers, a myriad of natural coconut oils and tea produced in the Seychelles

Pictures below: 1 and 2, fresh fish market located opposite the hindu temple, Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar, 3, La Domus, and 4. the Victoria Clocktower.

    

6. To Decipher The Word “Takamaka”

A Bay or Rum?

Lol! I help you: it is a very nice bay, the Anse Takamaka (have a look to the two penultimate pictures of the first paragraph). And it’s also the name of the famous rum Takamaka produced at La Plaine St André (photos 2, 3 & 4 of the estate and distillery). I tasted a tear of the Takamaka Coconut Rum, because the other rums were far too strong for me!

On the road, I stopped at the University of Seychelles (photo 1 above). Yes, knowledge in Paradise.

7. Sunset in Beau Vallon

The Post Card

What could be more exciting than this beautiful sunset on the lively Beau Vallon beach (in the North of the island)? We had delicious giant mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) at the Coral Asia (the best sushi restaurant in Mahé according to a local friend). You can also eat grilled fresh fish on the promenade that runs along the beach.

Bye bye gorgeous Seychelles, I will go back!

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés.

Informations  

Seychelles Tourism BoardAir Seychelles

Where to sleep : ,  & 

Related posts : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to the Seychelles Tourism Board and Air Seychelles for this fantastic discovery of the Seychelles islands.