After all the festivities, grandeur and stress that accompanies a grand Indian wedding, all one can think of is putting their feet up and disconnecting from the world. After all the chaos involved in organizing and planning for your big day, you deserve a break and what better than embarking on a Honeymoon to France! Get a chance to prolong the exhilaration of your wedding and embark on a road trip to one of the most romantic spots in the world which will surely remind you both of all the reasons why you fell in love the first place.
If you’re bored of the clichéd honeymoon spots, France has all necessary ingredients for the ultimate honeymoon experience! Be it for a wedding, an outing with your friends or a honeymoon, France is replete with breathtaking scenery, unforgettable adventures, beautiful accommodations and amorous activities that will surely create memories that you will cherish all life long. Jet off to Europe and explore one of the most romantic places in the world. From hiking up hills that have inspired famous artistes like Matisse, strolling hand in hand through picturesque cities, to cruising through the roads lined with luscious lavender in Provence to sipping rosé while lounging at a beach club, France is a country that has numerous romantic escapes for every couple. We bring to you a guide on how to soak up most of the sea and countryside on a romantic road trip to Franceor disconnecting from the world and enjoying the perfect honeymoon. So grab your keys, buckle up your seatbelts and hit the open road with your love.
- Get Your Visa Sorted
First and foremost, you need to sort out your visa formalities. France being a part of the Schengen contingent, you will need to apply for a Schengen tourist visa which grants you an entry for a period of three months. Forms for the same can be procured online or through a travel agent or alternatively you could get the forms from any of the France Visa Application Centres in India (Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Pondicherry, Pune, Hyderabad, Goa and Cochin). You will also need to ensure your passport is not expiring anytime soon (at least 90 days’ validity after the departure date from France) while making sure you meet the specific photo requirements as well. You will also be required to give details of your itinerary, original bank statements for the past three months to verify you have funds in order. The Schengen Visa charges for each applicant is 60 Euros for adults which work out to around Rupees 4,500/- (subject to currency exchange rates) along with a nominal service charge which is inclusive of Goods & Service Tax (SGST @9% and CGST@9%). On an average, the visa gets processed within 15 to 20 working days excluding weekends, the day of submission and national holidays.
- Switch On Your Honeymoon Mode at Nice
Once you get all formalities done, fly into Nice and finally slip into honeymoon mode. The best part about a road trip in Europe is that all the major destinations are just a short drive away from each other. Get hold of a rental vehicle once you land at the airport or at one of the many rental facilities in an and around the airport. Head towards the city centre and take a stroll down the iconic vegetable and flower market in charming Cours Saleya, which is situated in the Old Town’s main square. Later head out to the waterfront promenade to get yourself beach-ready at Movida, an iconic tapas bar which entails spectacular views of the beach from its terrace. Spoil each other in a full-fledged French dinner at Jan, which lies right behind the port. Savor the magical blend of southern French and African flavours in their seasonal tasting menu. Embrace the calmness of the sea along side the beautiful promenade at the boutique Hôtel La Pérouse while sipping on a glass of the best French wine to cap a worthy end to your romantic night. After a night of sweet dreams, enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast before heading out to discover the coast on day two.
- Knock Yourselves out with a bit of fun at Posh Saint Tropez
Just a few miles away from Nice lies Saint Tropez, an exotic honeymoon destination better known for being the wedding spot of rock star Mick Jagger and Bianca. Formerly an ancient fishing village, Saint Tropez easily ranks amongst the most glamorous places in France. With the perfect sunny weather, white sandy beaches, and mesmerizing azure blue Mediterranean waters, this tourist hot-spot is now frequented by the rich and famous. Go crazy at night by dancing the night away at the legendary Caves du Roy, or have a quiet night with your partner with a few fancy cocktails at the breathtaking White 1921’s mansion courtyard bar. If sightseeing is on the agenda, do pay a visit to Vieux Port – The Old Port, La Ponche – The Old Town or the beautiful Maison des Papillons – Butterfly Museum which will surely set your hearts fluttering.
- Soak Up the Country Sides of Quaint Cotignac
Day three of your journey will take you down to the south-east of France to Cotignac. Situated in the Var, Provençe region, get a first-hand taste of the Village life by sleeping amongst the vineyards in the heart of a wine country. This is reflected in the houses which are particularly well preserved and decorated in typically Provençal style. A pretty rural village rooted in history, Cotignac is surrounded with cliff top ruined towers and magnificent rolling green hills covered in vineyards in the surrounding areas. This place was once an escape route from the crowds and a place for holding extravagant parties. However, of late, the people in this quiet little town are more concerned about preserving its natural beauty and picturesque locales sort of a secretare particularly well preserved and decorated in typically Provençal style. Swing by on a Tuesday where the entire village is dotted with flea markets which sell everything from fresh vegetable and fruits to locally made honey, charcuterie and even truffle filled cheese. Don’t forget to check out the vintage winery for a taste of some award-winning Mirabeau rosé. Before heading out to the next destination, do indulge your partner by taking her to the famed La Table de Fanette for dining on their famous truffle-infused dishes that are famous all over France.
- Get an Adrenaline Rush at Gorges du Verdon
Lying at less than an hour’s drive from Cotignac, France is famous for the Gorges du Verdon, a 15-mile-long river canyon, a trekkers delight. This awe-inspiring river canyon is flanked by magnificent vineyards and lush lavender fields. Driving down to this beautiful location while soaking in the scenic locales is the ideal way to add a touch of natural beauty into your honeymoon. Once you land at the river, pick from a variety of treks as per your energy levels and time restrictions. You could opt for the light 3-hour trek which grants you a panoramic view of the canyon. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could pick to the slightly more intense 8-hour trek to the Sentier Martel. Make sure to pack some fresh baguettes, cheese, fruits and some wine for a fun little picnic. Later, do make it a point to take to the waters and row through the canyons on a pedalo (pedal boat) over the tranquil turquoise waters of the Saint Croix Lake.
- Relax Your Senses at Les Baux de Provençe
A 2:30 hour away from the canyon, you will say goodbye to the city lights and come across a series of small nature parks and villages. Eventually, you will hit upon the Domaine de Manville, a former farmhouse which has now been converted into a thirty-room luxury hotel. Relax and unwind with your beloved at the relaxing resort which manages to beautifully combine all the amenities of a deluxe resort with the rustic feel of a countryside manor. Indulge yourselves in some rejuvenating spa treatments with all natural, local ingredients and while soaking in the lovely aroma of crushed flowers. Later pamper your significant other and indulge your taste buds at a candle light dinner with food prepared by Michelin starred chef Dupuis-Baumal. Don’t forget to end the night with a dip in the open pool where you can sip away on some cocktails under the soothing shade of olive trees.