Welcome to the Luxury Backpack Guides! These guides bring you the best of a destination on a shoestring budget. Our ethos is that you can experience luxury for less, you just have to know the secrets, and through these guides all will be revealed!
Each guide will be a Q&A written by a different blogger who is an expert on luxury backpacking in the destination. If you would like to be featured please get in touch.
Tell me about yourself and why you’re an expert on luxury backpacking in Vias, South of France.
“We’re an Australian couple (31 and 28) exploring as much of this side of the world as possible while we live in London. And Vias has become our annual holiday destination! Well, at least for the last 2 years. You can read all about our very different adventures in 2015 and in 2016.”
What made you choose to travel to Vias and why would you recommend it to other travellers?
“Vias is yet to become a major tourist attraction. It’s quiet, relaxing, much warmer than London and a great base for travel to other destinations in the South of France. You can even drive to Barcelona in a few hours if you’re really keen for a roadtrip!
We found Vias thanks to our friend who owns a home in La Carabasse Holiday Park and offered for us to stay there. I’m certain we would not have discovered Vias and the surrounding areas if we didn’t have this connection!”
What is the most effective and best value way of getting to Vias?
“From the UK, definitely a flight from London to Beziers with RyanAir. It’s only 2 hours max flight time and if you’re organized and book well in advance, you can expect to pay as little as £50 – 100 return per person.
Also, hiring a car is recommended and you can save up to 50% on your car rental when booking via RyanAir. Our car rental costs (hire only) for 6 days in 2016 was £160.
Vias is less than 10 minutes’ drive from Beziers airport. Easy!”
Where do you recommend staying while in Vias?
“We were pleasantly surprised by our accommodation in La Carabasse, a holiday park in Vias. The homes are so cleverly designed that initially we thought there was no bathroom or toilet and that there must be a communal area in the park. We soon discovered that actually there were 3 bedrooms, 2 showers and 2 toilets!
La Carabasse also has a restaurant, bar, large pool, waterslides and entertainment every night of the week over summer.
To stay in exactly the same accommodation as we did, you can book here.”
What did you love most about the food in Vias? Are there any must-try dishes?
“One of the quotes we remembered from our most recent visit to Vias was “everywhere will have good food in France’’. Even the ham and cheese panini we had for takeaway lunch in Saint Enimie was delicious.
In Vias, there are lots of restaurants to choose from in the main street. And quite the variety! Pancho Villa is a Central American restaurant with good food and fun, colourful cocktails. Le Riad, a Moroccan restaurant tucked away about 30 metres off the main street is my favourite so far. Though Harry will argue that the duck at Pancho Villa is his favourite!
If you get the opportunity, try the Eden Bar at Saint Chely Du Tarn, a village about 2 hours from Vias. The view is spectacular. Make sure you get there early so you don’t miss out like us!”
Where would you go for early evening drinks? Are there any happy hours we need to know?
“Vias isn’t a party town, but there’s plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from on the main street if you’d prefer to be out and about.
We really enjoyed relaxing on our balcony with drinks and snacks from the Intermarche. Much cheaper too!
Another idea is packing a picnic and enjoying it on one of the many beaches nearby.
Or for something completely random you could have a Guinness at Shenanigans Irish pub in Vias Old Town. There’s a sign out the front that says ‘there are no strangers here, just friends that haven’t met yet’.”
What do you recommend for the adventure traveler?
- Wild swimming at Gorges Du Tarn
- Kayaking at Cevennes National Park
- Sky Rider at Europark in Vias
- Tubing at Vias Plage.
What are your picks of the tourist spots?
- Cevennes National Park (free)
- Lac de la Cavayere (free) – an artificial lake close to the medieval town of Carcassonne
- Carcassone (paid) – a fortified French town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Beaches – particularly Sete (free)
Are there any great markets or shops you recommend?
“The best markets we discovered were in Valras Plage (about 15 minutes from Vias), particularly if you’re looking for clothes. The markets are set up as a large row of shops surrounded by lots of restaurant choices and a short walk to the beach.
If you’re a wine lover there are also vineyards nearby, ready to welcome you to try before you buy.”
Where would you go for a great sunset view?
“Any of the beaches. There are so many within a short drive of Vias, you could watch the sunset from a different beach every day of your vacation!
Another good spot would be one of the villages in the mountains like Saint Enimie or Saint Chely Du Tarn.”
Hints and Tips… do you have any tips for luxury backpackers in Vias?
- Hire a car – public transport is unreliable
- Do your shopping at the Intermarche – wine starts at €1
- Take a good book to read by the pool, and relax!
And lastly: describe Vias in one sentence!
“The perfect destination for a quiet getaway or as a base to explore the South of France!”
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