Photo of the Day (8.9.09)

Imagine renting a seaside studio in the South of France. Each morning, you throw open the windows of your balcony to a jaw-dropping view of the seaside village below, punctuated by tiny sailboats and the luminous yellow-orange glow of the early morning sun. If this was your vision, it’s been fulfilled by Flickr user Michael Joseph Goldst …etc. My favorite element of this image is the sunlight – that surreal fiery orange color gives everything a magic glow.

Have any photos of the South of France? Or maybe just from South Florida? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Group vacations – French villas are hot!

Want to make all your friends swoon? Rent out a villa in the south of France for an affordable, peaceful vacation.

Want to make all your friends love you? Take them along!

French villas have become one of the top destinations in the great tradition of group vacations. I love group vacations; it’s like an extended party. Get everyone you like together and watch them interact for a week. It’s fascinating, often scandalous, and makes one feel like they’re in some 17th century comedy of manners, or an old-Hollywood movie.

One villa I recommend is Villa Plantat, near the small town Quissac. Villa Plantat (plantat means “to plant”) is an elegant house set on 400 acres of beautiful grounds with an orangerie and a private spring-fed swimming lake, and is located close to both historic Roman ruins and the Mediterranean sea (just 35 minutes away).

Villa Plantat can provide a private provencal chef for just around $20 per meal, and they also have twice yearly yoga retreats (2 hours of yoga per day plus special events; not yoga boot camp) in May and September. $1380 per person includes accommodations, wine (!), and classes.

Villa Plantat is available year round for $4,200 per week (price drops by $500 for additional weeks) and sleeps thirteen. That’s just $323 per person. Or, for ten people, $420 per week.

Save up your miles and get to the south of France. It’s an idyllic, quaint, and quintessentially lovely experience you won’t forget.

Photo of the Day (3-26-08)

The lines, shapes and layers of this shot remind me a bit of a tiny wooden train set my brother received once as a child. It came in a fine mesh gold bag that tied at the top. Along with the train came buildings and simple wooden trees with a shape similar to these. These trees, the real ones, are so perfect and sculpted-looking. There’s promise in the fields…a sense of waiting for the lushness that will set in once spring’s magic happens.

This shot of the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape by Luke Robinson was posted at Gadling’s Flickr photo pool. How is the beginning of spring looking where you are? We’d love to see your shots for a chance at Photo of the Day. Post them in our Gadling group.