Looking to vacation or honeymoon in France? Here are some tips on the best places to go and best things to do for adventuers! #France #Europe #Honeymoon #Travel
Have you been planning your dream wedding on Pinterest since before time? Well, that was me, constantly pinning to my Pinterest board, and to be honest, I wasn’t even sure I was ever going to get Married… I never even thought about the Honeymoon… But I am so glad France was our destination of choice!
Our Wedding Day
We tied the knot on September 15th, 2018. The day was Perfect! It was about 80 degrees and was an outdoor rustic wedding in Central NY with about 160 guests. Surrounded by friends & family.
It was a DREAM!
The next day, we headed to JFK Airport and off we went to Paris, France! Nervous and excited!
First Stop: Paris
We landed at the Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport around Noon and then picked up our rental vehicle from Avis-Budget right at the airport. Next, we headed to our Airbnb which was a 2-minute walk from downtown Paris! We try to be minimalist when traveling and spend our money wisely. So, we don’t spend too much time looking at the right places to stay, especially since the most we do is sleep there because we’re out exploring as much as we can! We would usually sleep in a car or tent, but figured we’d splurge a little since this was our honeymoon!
Our first night in France, we stayed in the tiniest studio apartment – Perfect for minimal travel! It had a tiny kitchen, shower, and loft bed; the toilet was in the hallway, which you shared with other people of the apartment complex. It even came equipped with French Wine and our amazing host Pierre would leave us French danishes in a bag pinned to our door for the morning!!
Paris – Things to do!
So, John & I are not really city people, we like the mountains and nature. But, we do like to see the city life every now and then! We started our day off with a walk into the big city, and attempted to find breakfast – which seems impossible to find in France!!
We, of course, checked out the Eiffel tower, which was cool to see, and a must if you visit Paris, but a little too busy for my liking!
The Louvre Museum was awesome to see as well! The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. And the central landmark for the city.
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, France, built between 1806 and 1836. The triumphal arch is in honor of those who fought for France. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought. The details of the Arch are absolutely beautiful and a must-see!
We toured the city for about two days and were so surprised how clean it was compared to NYC and how friendly everyone was that passed ways!
Next: Annecy (Where my heart is)
Annecy, France was AMAZING!!! Everything I want in a town and so much more! Annecy is this picturesque old alpine town in Southeastern France, surrounded by mountains, located on the banks of the Thiou River and Lake Annecy, which is one of the largest, most beautiful natural lakes in France! Lake Annecy is fed by mountain springs and is known for its clean water!
Airbnb in Annecy
Our Airbnb was absolutely adorable! A mini loft right in the heart of Annecy. A short walk from Lake Annecy, pedestrianized streets, restaurants, cinemas, shops, and AMAZING farmers markets! We didn’t spend much time in our Airbnb, as we were out adventuring, but the time we did spend there, we felt we were right at home, but with a Jacuzzi Tub!! We did utilize the kitchen in this Airbnb and loved all the accommodations!
Annecy – Things to do!
THE FARMERS MARKETS! A MUST!!!
We are all about local high quality food! We go to our farmers market at home, every Saturday! Supporting our local farmers and businesses are our top priorities- so we try to do the same when traveling! So when we’re out traveling and spot a farmers market – we get way to excited! Well, France farmers markets will blow your mind! The farmers market goes on for what seems like forever, it’s almost overwhelming, but in a good way! From fruits and veggies to TONS of different meats, (meat’s that I never knew people even eat, like Pigeon) The cheeses, OMG the cheeses!! Buckets of nuts and dried fruit. And the Gluten-Free Macaroons (If you haven’t noticed – we eat paleo)! I have never seen something so beautiful!
And most farmers markets are only once a week, but in France they had farmers markets multiple times a week and it seemed like they were everywhere! We were sure to stop at them all!
We were in HEAVEN!
Cycling Around Lake Annecy
Cycling around Lake Annecy is a MUST! A 50km cycle path that follows an old railway track connecting Annecy to Albertville. It’s a flat path dedicated to cyclers only, No motorized vehicles (Whoop Whoop!!) It offers stunning mountainous and lake views! The route was paved, marked well and even had bike tunnels! You don’t have to be an avid cyclist to experience this! And we thought we would do the touristy thing, especially since this was our honeymoon and rent a 2 person bicycle! It was a blast! I would pretend to pedal and then John would ask me if I was pedaling… (Oops) We went 25 miles!
The Most Amazing Experience!!! A MUST! For ALL!!!
Paragliding & Hang-Gliding!
I am not a risk taker! John, however definitely is an Adrenalin Junkie! I do not partake in roller coasters or activities that involve your stomach to drop. Snowmobiling with my husband is one of those activities that I often opt out of! I even get carsick easily.. So the point here is that if I can do something this crazy (to me & to my family), then so can YOU!!!
However, this was our honeymoon, and I so badly wanted to do something risky, something that would surprise everyone, and something my family would not believe! We decided to go Paragliding (Ally) & Hang Gliding (John), which we booked through Adrenalin Hunter, our instructors were through Delta Evasion. Spur of the moment booking, and that’s why we didn’t do the same activity!
I paid for it ahead of time, because I knew I would chicken out the minute if I didn’t already prepay!
When we got there, all the Para-gliders and Hang-gliders were landing in this big open field. So, I was checking out the people landing to see if they looked absolutely terrified. They all had the biggest smiles on their faces! Were others just as scared as I was before making the jump?
This is it…
So, we get in this van with a bunch of French guides and instructors. They’re speaking in French, laughing, having a good time the entire ride up this mountain. John and I just sitting their awkwardly, no idea what’s so funny and I’m scared out of my mind. We continued to go farther and farther up this windy mountainous road. Thinking to myself, I am going to chicken out, I am going to chicken out… As we finally reach the top where we takeoff from, they pull John and I in different directions. So fast, that I didn’t even know what was happening. John couldn’t even give me a pep-talk.. The take off for Paragliding and Hang-gliding were at two different platforms.
I get to the take off spot we my instructor, and he starts connecting the parachute. I feel a little nauseous from the nerves, and from the windy drive up the mountain.. It felt like a blur. Next thing you know we’re running and jump off the mountain at 5,000 feet up. What the hell did I just do?
The very first 15 seconds, I don’t remember, but the go pro video recapped that, (It is so worth spending the extra few bucks for the video and photos!). Especially if you’re a chicken shit like me – It’s a must have! Once the parachute opened, I was able to catch my breath, and take in those breathtaking views of Lake Annecy! The beautiful town and the mountains surrounding it with the sky fluttered with parachutes! I have never felt more alive!
John, however, the Adrenalin Junkie that he is had a huge smile on his face the entire time! Acted like it was so natural for him to just jump off a mountain.
We couldn’t wait to tell everyone what we experienced in France! Family definitely wouldn’t have believed I did it without the photos and video! Annecy had to be one of the most beautiful places to experience such an amazing venture!
Other things to do Annecy!
Tour the old village! The medieval core on the Thiou River is beautiful! Canals, pedestrian streets and tons of little passageways. Literally one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to! And on Saturdays and Tuesday they run their farmers markets in the old centre, which adds so much culture and energy to the old streets.
The Palais de l’Île is a historical monument in Annecy.
Today it exhibits Annecy’s architecture and heritage, and you go in and view it. The old courtroom, dungeon, cells and chapel. It’s really cool!
From the 17th century the palace was actually a prison, and then after the Revolution it served as a home for veterans, and also as a warehouse and barracks.
The Château d’Annecy is a restored castle which overtook the old French town of Annecy in the Haute-Savoie département. It was purchased by the town, restored and transformed into a museum, le musée-château d’Annecy. The castle is listed as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture since 1959.
Taking a dip in the lake, you’d think would be incredible cold since it’s fed by the mountain springs, but oddly enough it was relatively comfortable and absolutely breathtaking and there wasn’t a big crowd!
We’re Not Done Yet! Chamonix – Mont-Blanc
Chamonix is a resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy! We actually drove through a piece of Italy while traveling to Chamonix! Mont Blanc is the highest summit in the Alps. A Skiing Town!
Airbnb in Chamonix:
Our Airbnb in Chamonix was so adorable! It was this cozy little alpine style Mazot. Also walking distance to shops, restaurants and bars (if that’s your thing!) And it was 5 minutes from the Aiguille de Midi lift! In a peaceful little area surrounded by mountains! It felt like the sun didn’t rise until 10:00 a.m because of those beautiful mountains surrounding this commune! It was the perfect little get-a-way cabin for our honeymoon!
Chamonix – Things to do!
Aiguille du midi cable car to Mount-Blanc! Unfortunately a week before we arrived in Chamonix, France (September 11th 2018) a fire broke out destroying a cable car station at 1,972m and severely damaged one of the ski area’s main lifts. (It should be open again!) But we weren’t able to go all the way to the top, which we still got to enjoy the amazing scenery! There is a restaurant and a souvenir shop that are open all year round too! It is absolutely stunning and like no other mountains we’ve seen!
Be sure to do some wine tasting! We stopped at this little family owned wine shop one night while waiting to go out to dinner. It was just us and the owners (husband, wife & daughter (who wants to be a vet!) & their two adorable dogs), we didn’t plan to stay long. But the conversations were deep! And the owners kept pouring us glass after glass! Finally, we said we had dinner reservations and should get going, they didn’t charge us anything (and we drank quite a bit!!), and they gave us a bottle of champagne to take home with us! We then stumbled out of the Winery, and off to find the restaurant we had reservations for!
On our way to our final destination in France- with a couple pit-stops along the way!
Ivrea, Italy Pit-stop #1
We were literally just passing by, so we stopped for lunch, a walk around the town and a little hike- where we saw tons of lizards!!
Monte-Carlo, Monaco – Pit-stop #2
Again, we were only just passing through – which was good we didn’t stay long as it is a super expensive place to just hang out!
Amazing Restaurant Alert*** The Horizon Deck, Restaurant & Champagne Bar, absolutely beautiful! We sat outside on the balcony overlooking the bay, with outdoor fire warmers! The food was amazing!! The champagne was pricey! But worth the stop!
Monte-Carlo had this crazy Yacht sale while we were there! The Yacht’s. The car’s people were driving! I felt under dressed! Parking was wicked hard to find and wicked expensive! But worth the stop!
Our Last Destination! Gassin
Gassin is a commune in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France. It is located near the holiday destination of Saint-Tropez. Perched way high up on a rock, and is less than 4 km from the sea. It is known as ‘the most beautiful village of France. We Concur! The village has crazy winding streets and ancient houses which approximately 3,000 people live in Gassin all year round. But, significantly more come for the summer months to enjoy the Côte d’Azur lifestyle for which the area is desirably famous!
Airbnb in Gassin
Gassin was also one of my top places in France! Especially the medieval village! Our Airbnb was a charming Triplex house right in the center of this picturesque village of Gassin in Provence. One of the most beautiful villages in France, overlooking Saint-Tropez! The beaches were about 10 minutes away. It was so tiny and cute. But it had 3 floors with this little spiral staircase leading to each room.
Gassin- Things to do!
Gassin was full of wineries and vineyards!! Everywhere you turned! They were beautiful, some in castles, and the every wine we tasted was so delicious! We only brought carry-on bags on the plane – but we bought luggage after being in Gassin and packed it full of 80lbs of wine (John could barley stand!!), and shipped it home!!
OMG the Food!!!
We went to dinner at the Chez Camille, Restaurant de Bouillabaisse à Ramatuelle, and Oh My God, was it amazing!!!
The following morning we walked to a restaurant for breakfast, which again, seemed impossible to find breakfast in France!! The waitress comes over and says something, and John agree’s with her, I’m like “do you know what you just agreed to.” “No.” Well it was a complete breakfast, which we don’t usually eat bread, and it was a full breakfast of pastries! It was AMAZING!!!
The Mediterranean Beach’s!! So Beautiful! So, I am not one who typically likes touristy things, and I don’t like crowds, so I do sooooo much research to try to find the more secretive spots! I found Cap Taillat, which is a French cape located in the Var department, south of the peninsula of Saint-Tropez. Between the communes of Ramatuelle and Croix-Valmer! Due to the richness of the flora and fauna, it is protected by the Conservatoire du Littoral. We often find that if you have to walk a distance to get to a place, it typically scares off the touristy or family crowds! So we walked about a half mile and found this quite section on the rocks (the sandy sections had a few too many people for my liking). Cap Tailat is also a nude beach, which John & I have never experienced! It was perfect!!!
Beaches aren’t typically our thing, because we have trouble sitting in one spot as we are very active people, but it was just so beautiful, quite and meditative!
Gassin should be on everyone’s list to see!
Back to Paris to catch a plane!
A few pit-stops along the way!
The Buildings. The Churches. The Farmers Market. The Mustard!!!
France has come to an End – And has been AMAZING!!!
I never really thought, hey, I want to go France… But I did not want to leave.. It was absolutely beautiful! Everyone needs to take a trip to France! You will not be disappointed! I think about it daily.
One thing to note tolls in France are wicked expensive, and they have road camera’s that will get you when speeding!!
Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed it, and want to take a trip to this beautiful country!