Monday, May 14, 2007

Chateaux and Golfs in France

Many of France's châteaux and monuments offer this possibility. Sometimes, culture and sport are a perfect match for each other. Golf, for example, fits wonderfully with a certain refinement and art of living found at many châteaux and monuments in France.

In the Paris area, golfers visiting the Château de Versailles can take advantage of their stay to test their swing at the Golf des Yvelines course, set in a 90-hectare forest estate, or the Golf de Rueil-Malmaison course. Near the town of Meaux (Seine-et-Marne), with its episcopal buildings and cathedral, they can take a break at the Golf de Meaux-Boutigny international 18-hole course.

In Oise, not far from the historic towns of Senlis and Compiègne, the Château de Raray welcomes you to a 60-hectare estate that includes a golf course.

Pearls of the Renaissance

In the Loire valley, not far from the famous Château de Chambord, the international Les Bordes course (6,457 m, par 72 and slope 166) is counted among the best in Europe, and was elected number 2 in France by the Peugeot guide 2004/05. If you are visiting the Château de Cheverny (which inspired Hergé to create Marlinspike in the Tintin books) and its magnificent gardens, don't hesitate to make a detour to the golf course neighbouring the château. With its 18 holes laid out in 142 hectares of woods.

In Normandy, near the famous cliffs of Etretat and their internationally-renowned golf course, the Domaine Saint-Clair le Donjon estate consists of a small 19th-century château in Anglo-Norman style and a Belle Époque seaside villa.

In the Périgord (south-west France), the 16th-century Château des Vigiers is nicknamed the "little Versailles". Now a 4-star hotel, it invites visitors to relax and enjoy gourmet food while discovering the history of the place and the region. The architect Donald Steel has created a unique 18-hole course, between orchards and plum trees, vines and oaks.
Another land of vineyards, Burgundy houses the Hôtel-Golf du Château de Chailly. This mediaeval fortress, ennobled by the Renaissance, has become one of the region's most luxurious hotels. Laid out in 75 hectares, the Golf de Chailly offers enthusiasts a magnificent 18-hole course.


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