France honeymoon itinerary feedback!

Jun 27th, 2012, 09:52 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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France honeymoon itinerary feedback!


Me and my fiancee are planning on going to France for two weeks for our honeymoon starting on the 27th of August. We have both lived there for a year (long time ago though!) so we speak some French and know Paris and the Northern parts. We would greatly appreciate any feedback on our itinerary and what improvements could be made! We are going to drive to the different destinations, starting from Paris flying back from Nice. Currently our itinerary looks like this:

Paris 1 night - staying at Le Burgundy, dinner at 3 star restaurant
La Rochelle 1 night - Masqhotel (we have some friends here)
St Emilion 2 nights - Chateau Grand Barrail (visit Bordeaux wine country)
Brantome (would Sarlat be a better option here?) 2 nights - Moulin de Vigonac (explore Dordogne)
Laguiole 1 night - Michel Bras (stop on the way to Provence, enjoy good food)
Bonnieux 4 nights - Domaine de Capelongue (explore Luberon and Provence)
Nice 2 nights - Le Palais de Mediterranee (drive along the coast, enjoy the Cote D'azur)

My only worry is that we are spreading ourselves too thin. But on the other hand, we are looking to do a "driving" honeymoon.

Any input is greatly appreciated! We really want to make it an unforgettable experience!

Many thanks,
Bo & Jenny Ann
bobax is offline  
Jun 27th, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Sarlat, yes~
Otherwise, perfect, and oh, my so jealous of St Emillion. Visit the Chateau Puynormond for me. Wines are cheap, but damn good! 2005 the best, but 2008 so nice!
Surfergirl is offline  
Jun 28th, 2012, 02:52 AM
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it looks stretched to me, but you know the country
bilboburgler is online now  
Jun 28th, 2012, 07:21 AM
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Brantôme isn't a good base for the Périgord Noir, where all the good stuff is. Sarlat is better. And I wouldn't spend two nights in St-Emilion (or even one, but that's me). Otherwise, it looks rushed, but since you know what you're doing, OK.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 28th, 2012, 07:44 AM
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Are you committed to the Burgundy? Friends recently reserved there and found the smell of perfume in the hotel so overpowering they could not stay. Apparently the hotel perfumes the air. They could even smell it out on the sidewalk. Just an FYI...
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jun 28th, 2012, 07:47 AM
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^^ Oh wow, I wouldn't be able to handle that! Are they sure it was the hotel, or maybe just a very strong scented person?!
Surfergirl is offline  
Jun 28th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Sincere thanks for all your replies!

A few reflections... I wouldn't necessarily say we know what we are doing I lived in Paris and she in Troyes for about a year, but we never went down to Souther France. We would assume that since it's so late in august we will rather be going against the traffic (at least from Paris) but perhaps we are wrong..

Any thoughts on how to make it less "rushed"? We would really like to start in Paris and we sort of "have to" visit La Rochelle. After that we've always talked about visiting the Bordeaux wine country, but perhaps we should skip the Dordogne for now? Or is it better to do both, but from one base? In Provence we are, as previusly mentioned, planning on doing 4 nights in Bonnieux and 2 in Nice, but I doubt we will do very big excursions from there but rather take the days as they come.

StCirq - we've never been to St Emilion, what don't you like about it? Any other suggestions on where to stay?

Surfergirl - thanks for the tip for Chateau Puynormond, we will look into it!

Thanks Surfergirl and StCirq on the Brantome comment, we are planning on changing to Sarlat, a hotel called Clos la Boetie.

Again, thanks for your input and any further help and feedback is much appreciated!
bobax is offline  
Jun 28th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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ParisAmsterdam - thanks for the tip! We can still cancel, I will ask some friends who stay in Paris to go there and check it out. It sounds really annoying and my fiancee is quite sensitive to smells so we really appreciate your input.
bobax is offline  
Jun 30th, 2012, 11:56 AM
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Bump - any further feedback would be much appreciated! Thanks!
bobax is offline  
Jun 30th, 2012, 12:13 PM
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bobax, I've had a holiday house in the Dordogne for 20 years, so I'm quite familiar with the Bordeaux wine region and the various parts of the Dordogne. St-Emilion is fine in the off-season and when the harvest isn't taking place; the rest of the time it's kind of tourist-central, and priced accordingly. It's fine for a day visit; it has some excellent restaurants and nice (expensive) shops; and the monolithic church is a treat to visit...but there are so many more wine and other villages just to the west in the Périgord Noir that have so much more appeal, IMO. Also, Bordeaux wine country just frankly isn't that attractive (nowhere near as charming as Burgundy, for example).

I totally understand La Rochelle (I'm planning to sell my Dordogne house and buy a small place there or nearby)...and the Ile de Ré and Saintes and the whole Gascony region. Having to go to La Rochelle isn't a bad thing.

I'd rearrange things a bit to cut back on Bordeaux and substitute a night or two in the Languedoc on your way to Provence. Plenty of great wine country there, and far more interesting (and less expensive), to my way of thinking.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 30th, 2012, 07:17 PM
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StCirq has on the ground experience, and is a really good person from whom to take advice.

I don't think I've ever been to any of the areas that make wine -- I just like to drink them, and I've always preferred a Bordeaux -- maybe the peasant inside of me. For that reason, though, I'd spend more time in Bordeaux than say Burgundy. But I'm leaving Friday for Switz/France, so maybe sometime in the month we'll be there, I might just go if the mood hits me.

I think of things differently, I guess. I think most of France is beautiful, and all have different, unique things about each place. I lived in Grenoble, and loved the alpine area. Here, in California, I don't know of too many friends who don't go up to Napa or Sonoma, or even Paso Robles for a meal/wine tasting fest without staying 2 nights. More to drink, easier to drive not being drunk! So that's my perspective.

There's always those wonderful drives through the countryside, finding a little town that you may not even see on the map where you find a neat old building with a flower box full of red and white flowers. And you see it, and you remember how cool that is for the rest of your life. It's these chance finds that make a trip YOUR trip. Like the first time we discovered Annecy -- not that it's a tiny town, but it's not talked about much, but people on this board that have been there are absolutely enchanted with it.

So all I'm saying is keep asking for the great input, but don't second guess what you want to do. If YOU think it's going to be "rushed" it may be. My husband and I, however, have always been prowlers -- spend a lot of time in places we've either not been to and want to experience, spend a lot of time in places we have been to and want to re-experience, then prowl around from place to place for lots of new "finds" in a relatively short amount of time. I think we probably both have a little ADD, so it works for us. It would probably drive a lot of other people nuts.
Surfergirl is offline  
Jun 30th, 2012, 11:34 PM
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Having been to both burgundy and Bordeaux, burgundy wins hands down for better landscape and gorgeous is what I pictured France to look like. The scenery around Bordeaux isn't as stunning. We stayed in Beaune and just live Dijon.
jamikins is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2012, 06:43 AM
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Hi all,

Many thanks all, for your input - we highly appreciate it!

We will make some changes to our itinerary based on your input, it has been very valuable!

Thanks all!
bobax is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 06:49 AM
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I LOVE your description of you and DH, Surfergirl!! You guys have boundless energy and I am thinking that you may already be in France right now. If so, have fun, if not yet have a great trip!

To the OP, I am so happy that I found this site back in '04. The collective wisdom, experience and helpfulness has contributed SO much to every trip we have taken since joining Fodor world.
socialworker is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 07:16 AM
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bobax, you don't mention any particular interests (which is fine), but I thought I'd contribute a little about art in southern France - especially since you're traveling by car!

In addition to the well-known museums in Nice, the Côte d'Azur is dotted with modern art locales. Just outside Nice, the Fondation Maeght is a really nice place to stroll around and look at modern art. And in Vence, Matisse's chapel is worth the trip.

I just found this article that sums it up better than I could, complete with map!
ggreen is offline  

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