ROMANCE ABOUNDS FROM CITY OF LIGHTS TO AZURE COAST
To some, a romantic honeymoon in France may seem obvious. But France and everything it represents go far beyond a photo op in front of the Eiffel Tower. The welcoming people, the influential culture and history, the gorgeous and varied landscape, the vibrant and essential cities, and of course the cuisine, all blend into a one-of-a-kind experience that will live on in your memories well after your last au revoir. France is a republic in Western Europe with overseas territories around the world, which is a lasting reminder of the nation’s prominence as a global empire. Roughly the size of Texas, France is referred to as l’Hexagone due to its shape, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the English Channel, the North Sea and on the east by the Rhine River. The country boasts extraordinarily diverse and beautiful terrain from rolling hills and lavender fields in Provence, majestic Alps in Bordeaux, a wind-swept coast in Brittany to the west and balmy luxuriousness of palm trees and warm sun in the Riviera down south. Planning your France honeymoon may seem daunting. After all, this land has the best in fine wine, strong cheese, exquisite breads, extravagant chateaus, fantastic architecture and attractions as unique as they are breathtaking. And don’t forget the cafes and bistros, museums and gardens…all inspiring the sublime essence of love. Taking it all in is virtually impossible, but that’s actually great news—now you have the ideal excuse to return one day to renew your vows!
WHAT TO DO ON YOUR HONEYMOON IN FRANCE
Where to begin? Start with the love you have for your new bride or groom and everything else will fall into place. No matter where you go in France or what you choose to do, there is not a city or district or location in the country that doesn’t radiate beauty and romance. Feel the fresh mountain air in the French Alps. Ride horses together in Normandy. Let the warm sun soothe you both in Côte d'Azur. Escape to the coast in southern Brittany. Visit a cozy hideaway in Provence. The to-do list is endless!
- TAKE THE CHAMPAGNE ROAD. Champagne and honeymoons are the perfect combination. While in France, take your love of the bubbly beverage on the road in the Route du Champagne, an incredible tour of some of the most famous Champagne houses of France. Smaller family-run estates offer tours and tastings as well. To learn more, visit www.tourisme-en-champagne.com.
- PARTY IN THE COTE D’AZUR DURING FESTIVAL TIME, Nice. From mid-February to early March, Nice's Carnaval takes place in the French Riviera. The streets come alive with revelers and colorful excitement that culminates in a tremendous bonfire. If you are traveling at this time, the Mardi-Gras Carnaval de Nice is a unique and unforgettable experience.
- STROLL THE RUES, Paris. The City of Lights is brimming with beauty and mystique that makes the simple act of aimless wandering a sensational event. Take advantage of this most magical of cities by exploring it at your own pace because you don’t need a perfect destination to know when you’ve reached one.
- FIND CULTURE IN THE MUSEUMS OF THE RIVIERA, Provence. Amid southern Provence’s wonderful architecture, fabulous meals and soul-satisfying sunbathing, exceptional museums are scattered about with windows into the minds of some of the most creative artists of all time. From Cezanne to Matisse and Picasso, these modern art museums and studios hold works of master artists that can add a thought-provoking dimension to your time in Nice, St-Paul-de-Vence or St-Tropez.
- DISCOVER YOUR INNER GOURMAND, All regions. Exceptional dining is at the very heart of all things French and something the people of France take quite seriously. With recipes as old as the Alps and ingredients that are seasonal fresh, you’ll find memorable meals at the finest restaurants as well as the most casual bistros so get out there and explore!
- SPEND TIME IN LOIRE VALLEY. Called the Garden of France, Vallee de la Loire is overflowing with fertile lands of vineyards, fruit orchards and cherry fields which line the banks of the river. A short detour here winding among the numerous beautiful châteaux and forests brings you to the France of yesteryear where gallant knights and proud kings held court.
- DISCOVER WHY PARIS IS FOR SHOPPING, Paris. Along the Right Bank of the Seine many of Paris’s most glamorous boutiques are located, showcasing the biggest names in fashion from Coco Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent. It’s only natural then to celebrate your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon in style with a shopping spree in Paris!
Tips and Advice
- PASSPORT: You will need passports to enter France.
- CURRENCY: Euro.
- ELECTRICITY: France, like all of Europe, using the 220-volt electrical system.
- GETTING AROUND: Renting a car is the best way to see the country and do more in less time. If you plan to stay in a major city such as Paris or Marseilles, public transportation will be your best option. Like most world centers, you’ll find taxis, buses, subways and other forms of hired transportations can be on the expensive side, so budget accordingly.
- BEST TIME TO GO: With a country this wonderful, there really is no bad time to go. However, climate-wise, late summer and early fall are best to visit Paris and points south. Winters up north can be a cold, gloomy affair, but also offer fewer crowds.