Honeymoons in the South of France
by Rowena Carr-Allinson
Heading away from Paris, to the beautiful southern coast, honeymooners will find bewitching and contrasting landscapes from herb scented hills to steep gorges, lavender fields to vineyards, and famous sandy beaches!
Provence’s heart: Les Baux
A perfectly preserved medieval village, perched high on a cliff, Les Baux has unique views over olive-tree groves, rolling hills and the dramatic bauxite quarries. Today the village’s narrow cobbled streets snake up to the 10th Century castle and tempt tourists into souvenir shops and quaint cafes.
For extraordinary cuisine and a cosy Provencal décor, head to the Vallon de Valrugues, in nearby St Remy de Provence. The hotel has become a hideaway for those in the know: everyone from Rod Stewart to the Spice Girls have enjoyed the glamorous pool, friendly service and award worthy food. Push the boat out and enjoy an eight-course gourmet meal that will leave you flabbergasted: from the foie gras starter to stuffed pigeon and scallops. To really go overboard, book the Prestige Suite with its own gym and infinity pool on the first floor!
Leave busy Nice behind and head to St Jean Cap Ferrat, one of the Riviera’s better-known yachting harbours. A classic resort reminiscent of the roaring twenties it boasts enormous villas, postcard-like streets and palm fringed cliffside roads. Perfect for some convertible cruising!
Try your luck at the casino or head to nearby Villefranche Sur Mer. Culture buffs should visit the Rothschild’s Villa or drive up to the dizzy heights of Eze, a 6th Century village built into the rock face: worth a detour for its stunning coastline vistas.
To sleep chic, try the revamped Hotel Royal Riviera. The impressive rococo beachside masterpiece exudes sophistication. Bathing in the elegant atmosphere, it’s just the type of place where you’d expect to meet James Bond.
Everyone knows Cannes and its glamorous film festival, but just half hour inland lies Grasse, the French capital of fragrance. The pace of life is slow, as locals chat on terraces after a game of boules.
But beyond the quiet, narrow streets hides a real gem: Michelin starred chef Jacques Chibois’ charming gastronomic Relais & Chateau hideaway.
The Bastide St Antoine’s rooms are a typical blend of chic French rural and Provencal florals. And, for a real taste of the region the ‘Menu Senteurs’ has it all. Succulent asparagus and langoustines are followed by sea bass with truffles, delicious morel mushrooms, suckling lamb, a monster cheese platter and two delicious deserts! After coffee, romantics should take a moonlit stroll through the enchanting gardens where fragrant rose bushes grow wrapped around century old olive trees by the pool. A meal to remember forever.
St Tropez Cool
From low-key fishing village to internationally renowned hotspot, St Tropez is legendary. The name of the game is glamour.
On the harbour full of mega yachts, people watching is a bona-fide sport. Sailing, sunbathing or shopping in the boutiques and markets are also a must. And, there’s the buzzing nightlife with the infamous Caves du Roy, VIP or Papagayo nightclubs where you might bump into Paris, Pammy or Diddy.
Check in to the exclusive Chateau de la Messardiere, an 18th Century castle with romantic rooms complete with dreamy wrought iron four-poster beds swathed in white drapes and incomparable sea views. Make the most of the gourmet cuisine too where chocoholics will love the uber-indulgent ‘study in chocolate’.
Water and Wilderness in Camargue
In the glittering wetlands where wild white horses and bulls still roam, there’s a magical aura in the air! With strong ties to Spain and the Ziganes, flamenco music and bull rodeos are part of everyday life. Go riding with the local ‘cowboys’ at the Mas des Arnelles, find out about the Camargue’s deepest secrets and learn how to creep up on the glorious pink flamingos.
Check into the Mas de La Fouque, a hip hideaway set in the natural park with fantastic views of the wilderness. With strong Moorish influences, the ultra romantic rooms are all uniquely decorated with spectacular antiques, linens, driftwood and of course, four-poster beds with mosquito netting. At night a different set menu awaits with a main course cooked in the fireplace! It’s a unique place with a relaxed vibe bringing together sleek and rustic.
5 Other Honeymoon Hotels in France
- 3.14, Cannes
- Hotel de la Cite, Carcassone
- Hôtel l'Aigle des Neiges, Val d’Isere
- Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez, Cannes
- Château de Montcaud, Sabran