Honeymoon suggestions - April 2014
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Nov 24, 2013 9:18 AM Last Post By: Sarabin
Oct 9, 2013 12:11 PM
Honeymoon suggestions - April 2014My fiancee and I are thinking about a 10-12 day trip to France for our honeymoon. We'd fly in and out of Paris, but would like to spend a good portion of the trip in other areas of the country. Some recommendations have been something like 2-3 nights in Paris, 6-7 nights to Loire, Brittany, Normandy and champagne, back to Paris for 1 night and fly home.
I'm completely open to suggestions: we're trying to stay within a reasonable budget, we'd like to do a vineyard & resort spa location for at least one portion of the trip, and I'd like to avoid tourist traps while still seeing the sites.
Any thoughts? What's a good loop to do that won't leave us too exhausted but will let us see a good amount of the countryside.
Oct 9, 2013 2:03 PM
Oct 9, 2013 2:33 PM
Oct 9, 2013 7:57 PM
Oct 10, 2013 1:59 PM
4You can't do Normandy, Brittany, The Loire and Champagne region with 6-7 nights. I would pick two of those regions and split the time between them. Normandy and Brittany would be good or else Normandy and Loire. Champagne is completely in the opposite direction and unless you are real champagne aficionados I'd skip that region altogether. You should get familiar with drive times and distances involved in your travel and my preferred website is www.viamichelin.com. It gives drive times and distances as well as toll and fuel costs and also options for suggested routes (fastest, no tolls, scenic etc.). You could easily spend all 6-7 days in either Normandy, Brittany or the Loire and not run out of things to do. You could actually spend a couple of weeks in any one of these regions and still not see it all.
Get your hands on the Michelin maps fr any region you are planning on exploring. You want the ones of the scale 1:200,000 (regional maps) or 1:150,000 (departmental maps, more detailed, cover slightly less area) for whatever regions you visit. A nice feature of the 1:150,000 maps is they show the starred attractions in the corresponding Michelin Green guidebooks. The Michelin maps have icons for all kinds of historically/touristically interesting things such as châteaux, ruins, churches, abbeys, scenic view points, caves, Roman sites, megaliths, designated scenic roads and many other things. Usually when I'm exploring various regions in France I just look at the map and I am able to plan interesting and scenic drives just reading the map. For instance, I usually look for a designated scenic road, which are highlighted in green, and I especially look for towns with the historic church and/or château icon. I also try to make sure the route goes through as many small villages as possible. Usually putting all these things together I find interesting and scenic drives without even knowing where I am going and with no assistance from a guide book. Often these places are never mentioned in guidebooks and remain completely unknown to many tourists.
You can buy the Michelin maps from their website and here is a link to the page that shows you the 1:200,000 scale maps of France: http://tinyurl.com/4bt96ev
And here is a link to the page that shows you the 1:150,000 scale maps of France:
You could also buy them here but then you can't do research beforehand. The maps can be bought in many places such as bookstores, news stands, magazine stores, larger supermarkets, department stores, hypermarkets and in the full service rest areas on the autoroutes, just to name a few.
You need good guidebooks for whatever region in France in which you will be traveling. I like The Michelin Green Guides. If you need restaurant info then get The Michelin Red Guides, which cover restaurants.
You should also acquaint yourself with rules of the road in France and road signs and such and this website will give you some useful tips:
Here is some other general advice for you. You should google some of the town/tourist office websites for any region, département, city , town or village you may want to visit. You will find loads of info on these websites including hotel/accommodation and restaurant info as well as what to see and do in the area. Occasionally the websites have English versions. In doing a google search enter the words "office de tourisme" followed by the name of your region, département, city, town or village and this will bring the town to the top of your search.
If you want some tips on things to see and do in Normandy, Brittany and the Loire you can have a look at these three threads:
There's certainly more to see and do in these areas than is outlined in those threads but a lot of the highlights are covered and you can use the info as a starting point to do your research.
Edited by: french_mystique
Oct 12, 2013 3:30 PM
Oct 30, 2013 3:25 AM
6Congrats on the upcoming wedding! And France is such romantic country for a honeymoon :) Last year I lived in a beautiful, less-well known/visited pat of the Loire Valley - a village called Montsoreau near Saumur. It's on Loire River front, has a luxury spa hotel, 2 Star hotel and campsite so covers all budgets and it perfect for the wine region. Ha, the more I talk about it the more I want to go back. It's a few hours by train from Paris. A car is recommended for exploring but not essential. If you want more details about the village as well as pics, have a look at my blog post. I fell in love with this place, so think it would be ideal for a honeymoon! http://indianajo.com/2013/02/guide-to-visiting-montsoreau.html
Nov 24, 2013 9:18 AM
7You'll surely find enough in Paris to keep your honeymoon very active for a week or more, specially in the spring. But unless you just want two days in Brittany, two days in Normandy and two days in the Loire valley (minus the time it takes you to travel, presumably by hire car), you'd probably be best advised to take a train to either Orleans or Tours, and then plan a trip from there.
I'd allow at least five days to wander down the Loire valley, perhaps as far as the mouth, taking in the Loire chateaux and then some lovely little places on or near the south coast of Brittany, such as the little walled city of Guérande, Vannes and Quiberon, or the classic seaside resort of La Baule - and back.
For the Loire chateaux area, look at the map showing the locations of the most popular Loire chateaux on http://independent-hotels.info/france/loire-valley.htm , which also shows some attractive and romantic hotels. The Loire valley also has other interesting things to see and do, in addition to the chateaux: these include visiting wine cellars, and wine tasting.
Enjoy your honeymoon.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$214.90 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$186.04 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$145.89 per night