Enchanting France Romantic Best Honeymoon Destination
Discover a relaxed, the best romantic side to the South of France, with a honeymoon tour of Provence and Languedoc.
If you love bling, glitz and a-list chic, then Cannes, Monte Carlo, and St Tropez are your glamorous party destinations. But for understated chic, a more relaxed luxury, and romantic bolt holes, the south of France is the best destination that has lots to offer a honeymooning couple – whether you choose to stop and soak up one area or make a relaxed tour of Provence and Languedoc.
Let the sensual relaxation of Provence seep into your soul, with a few days of bliss at hilltop retreat Hotel Crillon le Brave. The collection of seven ancient village houses overlooks the surrounding Côtes du Rhône vineyards, lavender fields, and olive groves. Views from every window have a calming effect – sun-warmed roof tiles, breeze rippled trees, cobbled paths winding around the hotel grounds.
Drink in the views
Honeymoon couple get ready to explore the best romantic destination in southern France.
In the morning, linger over breakfast, drinking in the breathtaking view generously unfolding as far as your eyes can see. Then set out for a day exploring.
Walks and bike rides (get a route map, and bikes, from reception) take you on magically picturesque forays into the local countryside, and villages with fabulous viewpoints and local markets.
Drink in the wildflowers of the olive groves, the fragrant blossoms, the vines. Sip chilled local rosé at corner cafés.
Hotel Crillon le Brave can organize a local wine-tasting trip – or, if you fancy burning off some of your gourmet dinners, there’re a tennis court, golf and horseback riding nearby. If you’re a Tour de France fan, hi-tech bikes can be hired in Bedouin, and the challenge of the ascent to Mont Ventoux beckons – refresh yourself at Chalet Reynard, near the summit, with great views.
For a gallery, museum and architecture fix, visit Carpentras on market day. If you can’t resist antiques, visit L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, where you can enjoy lunch or drinks by the river – try Bistrot de l’Industrie on Quai de la Charite for a cold beer.
Unwind and relax
Return late afternoon in time for tea or pastis, and a game of boules on the hotel court; or a dreamy swim in the delightfully warm outdoor pool, on a terrace with stunning views. Or you can just find a sunbed, and let your inner lizard bask in the pre-dinner rays, and green-scented air.
Or perk yourself up pre-dinner with the L’Occitane en Provence verbena products in your room’s shower, a snifter from the mini bar, and a favourite movie from the hotel’s DVD collection.
Savour local flavours
Dinner in the hotel is a delightful affair for honeymoon couple– snuggle by the roaring fire indoors if there’s a chill in the air as night falls; or enjoy a balmy night eating on the outdoor terrace as the winking lights of the villages twinkle below.
Seasonal and local produce is celebrated here, so the menu changes slowly – try red mullet on a Provençale onion and anchovy tart; or an intense, rich barley risotto with mushrooms and parsnip crisp. Look out for cherries, apricots and peaches in summer; or truffles in March and November (when the hotel only opens for long weekends).
Night owls can enjoy drinks in the ‘La Grange’ bar, with comfortable low sofas and a staggering array of digestifs, cocktails and wines. Or amble up to the local village church a couple of minutes away, to see the views across the other side of the plain.
- The Hotel has a treatment room – a mini Cowshed spa – where prebooked massages can pummel away knots and revitalise you.
Getting there: Hotel Crillon le Brave is just 30 mins from Avignon. Go via Eurostar (cuts your carbon emissions by a staggering 90% compared to air travel from £109 (www.eurostar.com). Taxis between 75-100 euros, depending on the tariff (Sundays and evenings are more expensive).
The Sumptuous Spa
With graceful gardens, and vineyards surrounding the beautifully restored mansion that is Domaine de Verchant, you feel as if you are in a countryside hideaway, despite being just a 10-minute taxi ride from Montpellier station.
Drink in the views
Lounge by the outdoor pool, linger over lunch on the terrace, or head to the hotel bar, with mosaic flooring and egg-shaped swivel chairs in olive-green leather, where you can enjoy the hotel’s very own wines – the whites and rosé are a perfect aperitif.
The tranquil spa is a haven whatever the weather. There’s a fabulous choice of treatments, with massages ranging from Thai to Ayurvedic, Balinese to Shiatsu, alongside the signature Verchant massage with plant oils.
Facials include anti-ageing treatments using the Swiss Valmont range favoured by Brad Pitt. You can also enjoy the sun terrace filled with white sculptures and overlooking the vineyards.
Dine by candlelight
Make the most of the simple or gourmet dishes alike, in the restaurant surrounded by white linen curtains, or on the terrace on a warm night. Taste, al dente asparagus, local cheeses, roasted duckling fillet in spicy honey, with aubergine marmalade and foie gras. Plus rose cream éclair, raspberries and coulis, and lemon sorbet for those with a sweet tooth. Don’t forget room service if you want to stay secluded.
So much, so near…
There’s so much to see and do locally, so make the most of it. Enjoy the museums, theatres, and restaurants of Montpellier’s old town, a 10-minute taxi ride away. Or spend a day at the beach – there are public and private sands less than 15 minutes away, where you can soak up the seagull cries, sunshine, and smell of suntan lotion.
Fancy something more sporty? There are several golf courses in the region, including Golf de Massane and Golf Grande Motte.
- The sleek, stylish rooms are filled with huge beds, pampering bathrooms, views of the hotel’s own vines just outside, gardens or the outdoor pool.
- Spoil yourself for a special occasion in the Neige d’Avril honeymoon suite’s round bed with sheer white curtains, enormous hydromassage tub, and private terrace, or the Nur Mahal Room with access to the garden from its own terrace.
- Spa treatment prices range from around 110 euros for 60 minutes. Spa break packages are also available – ask about the latest offers.
Getting there: Montpellier is just an hour by train from Avignon if you’ve travelled by Eurostar.
Don’t miss out…
Other great places to explore in the area:
This splendid walled town is packed with stylish boutiques, cafés, restaurants and historical monuments. Explore the winding cobbled streets and pick up locally made soaps, perfumes, pottery, jewellery and crafts – or walk along the river to see the views of the citadel from afar.
Then visit the restored castle and defensive walls, for magnificent views of the newer town and the country beyond. Around an hour from Montpellier by train. Or fly direct with Ryanair from Liverpool, Stansted, Glasgow or East Midlands.
Just 30 minutes from Montpellier by train (Or fly direct from the UK from Liverpool or Luton; or to Marseilles, an hour’s drive away), the ancient city of Nîmes is steeped in Roman history. See Europe’s most complete amphitheatres still used today for concerts and bullfights; explore the dappled gardens set around ancient Roman fountains, lunch in the many squares, and shop in the quirky boutiques.
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