Monday, 27 July 2015

How to recharge your batteries Fabulous THERMAL SPA Pre St Didier AOSTA 1.5 hrs driving from Geneva

Last Sunday I have spent the full day in this Magnificent Thermal Spa , located in the village of Pre St Didier , few km far from the famous and trendy Courmayeur village and just 1.5 hrs driving from Geneva.

I love Thermal Baths and I already talked about the best ones in Switzerland in another post, however the Terme di pre St Didier  one is really different from all the ones I have been before and I thought it would be worth sharing it with you.

The Thermal Baths complex is simply fabulous and very well organized , you will easily end up staying  one full day to relax and to charge your batteries; location is in an ancient palace that has hosted Italian king and queen, and from the external pools you will  enjoy  a stunning view of the Mont  Blanc.
As soon as you arrive you will be welcome by the staff and given all what you need to start your relaxing journey, including detailed explanations and list of possible free of charge saunas and treatments that include a salt room , several saunas  and steam baths, relaxation rooms and so on.
It will take several hours to test and enjoy all facilities at disposals of the guests, if you want you can have optional treatment at an extremely reasonable price.
salt room in the thermal building , from website

The entry ticket costs 50 Euro a day per person during peak season and week ends , each day a maximum number of people is allowed therefore it's a must to book in advance. Depending on the number of reservations, you will be given a specific time slot to enter , once you are in , you can stay up to closing time, at 9 p.m. during weekends. I definitively think this experience is worth the cost of the ticket and that it's great value for money thanks to the sophisticated atmosphere and the quality of the facilities and of the service offered.
A light buffet lunch is included in the ticket , it consists of fruits, vegetables, yogurt, homemade juices and bread .
It's a fabulous not to miss experience that I will surely repeat , time inside the Thermal Baths has a different dimension and at the end you feel like a new healthier person!
Watch out : children below 14 years old are not allowed !
one of the several relaxation rooms

Saturday, 25 July 2015

How to eat in high quality restaurants in Geneva at very reasonable prices

Geneva has the reputation to be an expensive city , especially for its Restaurants, whose prices are normally very high compared to the ones of most European countries .
Actually this is not fully true , in fact there are ways to eat in very good restaurants, even top class at a very reasonable price.
One of these ways is to buy an Assiette Genevoise Card  , it's a card that costs 90CHF and enables two people  to eat in 130 restaurants in Geneva and nearby area at HALF PRICE ( wines and beverages excluded) , so basically two persons eat at the price of one person. The Card is issued each year in  March and it's valid 12 months. You can experience one of the restaurants in the list once per year , at the conditions  described in the book.
an example of the assiette Genevoise card

We have been buying the card for many years and we have always been very satisfied  because the majority of restaurant in the list are high quality, some are also among the very popular ones in Geneva such as l'Arabesque in President Wilson, Le Parc des Eaux Vives  , L'Escapade and many others , basically the card pays out after  1-2 dinners.
Another , similar option , is offered by Le Passport Gourmand  , it's a card that it costs 95CHF , it's valid from January till December and it's available in several areas of Switzerland , each are has it's own restaurants, the main difference compared with the Assiette is that the Passport Gourmand enables different type of discounts, depending on how many people you are. For example you get 50% discount  if you are two, 40% if you are three, 30% if you are four and 20% if you are five or six. Restaurants that are listed in the Assiette  are somehow different from the one in the Passport so I would advice you to have a look at what is in there and then decide which one to buy.

Finally the last option  I would like to mention is Buyclub , that offers great deals to the ones who have signed in, membership is free and offers are limited in quantity to first come first served. The site is in English and If you are interested in an offer you buy it on line and receive a voucher that  you have to print and present at the restaurant. You must reserve in advance and tell you have a buyclub voucher .We are regular Buyclub users since many years and have always been satisfied about the offer. Definitively worth trying it.Buyclub offers also otehr type of deals, like  Spa treatment, hotels , hairdressers  and so on

How to save money to travel to Italy via the Mont Blanc - Mont Blanc Tunnel PASS

Last month talking with a friend who travels often to Italy to go skiing in the Aosta valley area , I was surprised to hear that he didn't know the existence of the Mont Blanc Tunnel Pass, and then I discovered that also many other friend of mine didn't know either so I thought it could be useful to share it with you.
The Mont Blanc Tunnel Pass is a card with a set  of 10 or 20 transits across the Tunnel , it costs 135.60 Euro and 189.90  Euro  for 10 and for 20 rides respectively .

If you consider that a round trip across the tunnel by car costs 54.30 Euro , you save 50% on 10 transits and and 70% on  20 transits
More information on  the Mont Blanc Tunnel website . Note that the pass has a validity of 12-18 months that can be extended and it's not nominal , it's nor linked to a given  car plate so all your family members and friends can use it.

Aosta Valley - OPEN NATURA DAY on July 26th - More than 30 natural parks and protected areas open to public with a free guide

If you are looking for an idea on how to spend this week end,  then my suggestion would be to go and enjoy the Open Natura Day that will take place tomorrow in the nearby Aosta Valley.
Tomorrow more than 30 natural parks, botanic gardens and protected areas will be open to the public to allow people to do extraordinary excursions accompanied by an expert guide

Guided tour are free and last half a day or one day, the have to be reserved .
Look at the full program to get all details

Saturday, 18 July 2015

How to go from Geneva to Milan and Italy (Aosta, Turin, Parma,Florence ,Sicily) by BUS, new service in place , from 29 CHF one way

To go to Italy from Geneva has never been so easy and cheap, a NEW connection has recently been put in place , it links Geneva with most of Italian cities such as Aosta, Milan, Turin, Parma, Bologna, Florence, and many other places in the center and South of Italy up to Sicily).
The Buses of the Eurolines  Company leave on a daily bases from Genev Bus Station that is located in PLace Dorciere 5 ,1201 Geneve, this square it's between the Train Station and the lake , 5 minutes walk from MontBlanc Bridge . One way trip to Turin or Milan costs 29 CHF, which is much less than the amount you would pay by train.
Note however that the bus is much longer than the train,, it takes 7.5 hours to go from Geneva to Milan, while the train trip lasts less than 4 hours with the fastest train.
Before booking, check the areas where the bus will stop at your destination city , in some cases the arrival point is not in the city center so you will have to plan a taxi ride to get to your hotel or to the center.
Tickets can be bought on line , by phone or at the Eurolines travel office , in Rue de Mont Blanc 14, 1201 Geneva, just few minutes walk after the Mont Blanc Bridge, direction train station.
Last but not least, Eurobus Company links Geneva with many other European Countries  so when visiting the website you will find many more destinations.
There is another Bus company that has started a similar service, it's called iBUS  , check timetable and prices on their website.

How to wait for the dawn with music - DAWN CONCERTS on the lake- FREE ENTRY

Another great opportunity,especially if the summer heat prevents you from sleeping.
These free concerts take place every day in the beautiful background of  the Bains de Paquis from 6 a.m. till 7 a.m., until August 23rd.

Click here to get the full program.

                                       © 2012 - Association d'usagers des Bains des Pâquis.

How to learn French - SUMMER FRENCH LESSONS in the Parks of Geneva - FOR FREE, including free baby sitting service

I think this is a fabulous initiative for all those ones who are in town and want to learn French in an original and pleasant way.
The Geneva city organizes free French lessons in the different parks , the enrollment to the lessons is free and a babysitting service is also offered to entertain your kids while you are having your lessons.

Lessons take place from Tuesday till Friday afternoons from 4.30 p.m. till 6.30 p.m. , schedule is as follows:

Park Geisendorf : from July 14th till July 24th
Park Des Acacias from July 28th till August 7th
Park La Grange from August 11th till August 21st

Just show up on time, no enrollment needed , if it rains the lesson might be cancelled , to get more information , visit the website or  call 022 5467492