UPDATE: 24th June 2010: Thanks to all for participating and to those who spread the word about this offer! We have selected New Zealand world travllers, Craig and Linda Martin of Indie Travel Podcast to stay at Chalet Balaena and experience the Tour de France! Congratulations to them and looking forward to it!
Here’s a chance for bloggers with a theme of Travel, France, the Mountains or Cycling: Watch the Tour de France next month as it rides over the Col de la Colombière on the major mountain stage, and your trip will be subsidized by us.
You can stay for free in the comfortable self-catering apartment in my beautiful Alpine chalet for up to 4 nights alone or with up to three family or friends. I can also provide transport if needed from/to Geneva or Annecy. On your first night we’ll offer you a welcome tasting of local Savoie wines and beers, and discuss with you how to make the most of your stay, including sharing the best viewpoints to watch the Tour come past.
The Tour rides over the Col de la Colombière on Stage 9, Tuesday 13th July 2010. The dramatic pass is above Le Chinaillon, part of the village of Le Grand Bornand in Haute Savoie, France, just an hour from Geneva in Switzerland and 40 minutes from the delightful town of Annecy. The village is a ski resort in winter and the rest of the year becomes a much more relaxing place, devoted to looking after the cows that make Reblochon cheese, and providing a range of activities for tourists.
I’ve been lucky enough to have owned Chalet Balaena in the old hamlet of Chinaillon for 12 years and I live there part-time. The chalet is set off the main road (the Tour de France route) with one of the best views in the area. The 2-bedroom apartment on the lower floor with direct access to the garden, is equipped for rental, and this summer is available for the first time in three years – for the past two years I’ve had long-term tenants.
The apartment has been freshened up with a lick of paint, but we don’t yet have a booking for the week the Tour de France rides past. If you’ve never seen this extraordinary spectator event, I can assure you, even a resolutely non-sports lover like me feels it’s an event that any Francophile, lover of spectator sports, or anything to do with endurance or mountains, should see at least once in their life.
So now, it’s over to you. If you are a blogger specializing in travel, France, the mountains or cycling this offer is yours for the taking.
What’s the deal?
Simply agree to write a post after your stay, mentioning the apartment along with the village/region (and, if you want, the experience of the Tour de France) on your blog and if possible elsewhere too. Better still I hope you also have such a fantastic experience that you tell all your friends, both in real life and in your virtual network. Here are the details:
- To be eligible you must own and/or write a blog focussed on Travel, France, the mountains, the Alps or cycling, written in English or in French. The blog should have been active for at least 12 months with at least 2 posts a month. Ideally, it should have a minimum Google PR3. I need your commitment that you will publish at least one complete post on your own blog (or the one you regularly write for) about your visit here within 4 weeks of leaving.
- Your stay: We offer you and your party of up to 4 people in all (family, kids, friends or colleagues) a stay in the apartment from Sunday 11th July – Thursday 15th July (4 nights), or if you prefer, just 2 or 3 nights to include the night of Monday 12th July. The apartment is fully equipped for self-catering and bed linen/towels will be provided.
- Transport: To get the most out of your stay, a car is ideal, but if you would prefer to visit without a car, that’s fine too. If you get to Geneva airport or train station, or Annecy train station (at your expense), we will collect you and take you back at no charge. Within the village of Le Grand Bornand there are free buses circulating during the day, and the apartment is walking distance to the shops and restaurants of Le Chinaillon, as well as to some great Tour de France view points.
- To apply, simply email me with the reasons why you think you deserve to be the one to take up this offer – include what appeals about the visit and give me all your links to your blogs or other sites (including social media sites) where you can post. Quantity of posts is not as important as quality of both the writing and the visibility of the posts. Let me know about anything else that might entice me to choose you e.g. about your network and about what you might post (photos, videos etc) that I could re-post on the Chalet Balaena Facebook page.
- The deadline is Wednesday 23rd June at 12 mid-day UK time and the successful applicant (my personal choice) will be announced on the following day. He/she then needs to provide proof of booked transport (flight/train etc) arrangements by Monday 28th June, otherwise the offer will go to someone else.
Take a look at the dedicated bloggers page on the Chalet Balaena website for more details about the small print/conditions and look around the site for more about the apartment and local area.
Quick! Send your application/proposal to me at wink[at]winklorch[dot]com and either mention in the comments here that you’ve applied or if you prefer tweet me to ensure I don’t miss your email.
Good Luck and please spread the word!
If you are a blogger in the above categories and can’t take up this offer, or you are one of the unlucky ones who doesn’t succeed in your application, please do contact me for a favourable rate if you are interested in staying at the apartment this summer.