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ESCAPE; FRENCH BLISS!

A holiday at the end of the earth sounds like your worst nightmare - but in reality, it's not.

For Finisterre, which means "end of the earth", is the sun-kissed, rugged cape on France's Brittany coast.

And if it's a villa break you're looking for, this northern French region has everything you could want.

Although the trip to the English Channel ports is a long haul, the drive to Brittany on the other side is short and painless.

Breton summers are hot and the scenery is amazing.

There's almost 2,000 miles of coastline, so it's possible "to get away from it all" even during the height of summer.

Beaches vary from those on the gentle southern shores with sandy coves, to the wild coastline of the west.

But Brittany doesn't just have a beautiful coastline. Inland towns like the medieval Dinan or the attractive town of Quimper, are just two of the many places you must visit. You will also be intrigued when you see some of the 3,000 Celtic standing stones which are mysteriously scattered throughout the region.

They're a big tourist attraction and definitely worth a closer look.

But if you want to lose yourself in France, then the only way to do that is through French cuisine, which is among the best in the world.

It is one of the country's glories.

But don't be too worried about how much it's going to cost because a four- course set meal is less than what it would be here.

If you can only afford one meal out, choose Sunday lunch en famille, joining the local extended families who consider it an important social event. For great value, follow the local starter fruits de mer (seafood) - with the plat du jour (dish of the day) as your main course.

Another way to cut costs is to buy local food for a light breakfast or lunch. Look for picnic treats - the French say pique-nique! - like fruit, cheese and charcuterie (cold cuts).

Make sure you try the speciality crepes, which are delicious pancakes usually made of buckwheat.

Open-air markets have top-quality bargain foods, like boxes of cherries this month.

Finally, everyone - from young children to pensioners - should try to speak French, where they can.

The locals appreciate it when you make an effort. So have fun - and don't just expect THEM to speak English!

HOW TO GET THERE:

Crystal Holidays on 0181- 390 3335 or book through local travel agent. Offers wide range of gites, farm houses and villas in Brittany, with family prices starting from pounds 279 per week.

CURRENCY:

You'll get around 7.50 francs to pounds 1. Visa and Access cards widely accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants and can be used to draw cash in banks. Some garages do not accept British Visa cards.

CLOTHING:

As at home. Sun hats and sun block especially for children, even if seaside days don't seem very sunny.

LOCAL DELICACIES:

Cheeses from neighbouring Normandy, crepes (about eight francs), fish soup, mussels. Some set meals may include wine.

BEST BUYS:

Bright earthenware made in Quimper from about 40 francs, lace, textiles, Celtic pottery and jewellery are also good value.

GETAWAYS

Top up your tan with 14 nights self-catering in the Maltese sun. Depart June 22 from Glasgow with Cosmos for pounds 269. Or what about 14 nights self-catering in Corfu? Depart on June 24 from Glasgow and holiday at a two-star apartment for pounds 319.

A.T. MAYS have some special deals for summer breaks. Travel to Tunisia for 14 nights half- board leaving on June 5. The flight departs from Edinburgh costing pounds 199. Deals for the same date depart Edinburgh airport for Turkey, 14 nights bed and breakfast pounds 189 and Tenerife, 14 nights self- catering for pounds 199.

TREAT yourself to two weeks in the States with Direct Holidays. Travel from Glasgow to Florida on June 9 and stay at a three- star hotel. The pounds 369 cost covers room only and car hire.

FLY out of Prestwick on June 9 with Direct Holidays for 14 nights in Gran Canaria. Various three- star one-bedroom apartments are available with pool. Cost is pounds 299 (adults) and pounds 159 (children).

OR what about a June 9 departure from Edinburgh to Laganas on the Greek island of Zante, where the beach is four miles long? Laganas is famous for its nightlife and tavernas. The package includes two weeks at a three-star hotel. Adults pounds 299, children pounds 149. Contact Direct Holidays.

WHY not try self-catering at the Sunny Beach apartments in the Costa Del Sol with Inspirations? Depart on June 29 or July 6 from Glasgow and spend two weeks in the sun for pounds 385. One week costs pounds 300.

SPEND one week in Egypt at the Luxor Hilton Hotel for just pounds 299. This package from Scotia Travel includes flights from Heathrow on June 14 and three- star accommodation. Add pounds 80 for a Glasgow departure.

SAMPLE the delights of the Orient at the Park Lane Hotel on Hong Kong Island this summer. Five nights at the luxury hotel departing June 10 from Glasgow costs pounds 699. Contact Scotia for more details.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Jackson, Barbara Ward
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 2, 1996
Words:863
Previous Article:STAR BIRTHDAY.
Next Article:dollars 20,000 PRICE ON PRIEST'S HEAD.


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