French Flag at Arc de Triomphe

France: From Paris to the Riviera

Introduction

French Flag at Arc de Triomphe

Two years after getting married my wife and I finally found time to go on a proper honeymoon! The decision to choose France as our honeymoon destination came naturally as France offered everything we would appreciate in an adventure: Legendary cuisine, excellent variety of photographic opportunities, and of course being the romance capital of the world (I know it’s a cliché, but why not go for the gold?).

On our 16-day adventure we wanted to spend at least a week in Paris since this was our first time visiting France, and spend the rest of our time “sampling” different parts of France at a relatively leisure pace (we wanted to smell the roses too!). Cote d’Azur (French Riviera) emerged as an ideal second destination because it combined relaxation with an excellent public transport system. Upon departure our itinerary looked like this: Paris (7 days) -> Avignon area (2.5 days) -> Nice (5 days) -> return to Paris for our flight home (we did not have a daily itinerary because getting lost had led to many amazing surprises throughout our travels in the past).  Unlike our trip to China, my wife’s semi-fluent French turned out to be an extremely important asset.

AND… For the first time ever instead of staying at hotels we rented private apartments for both Paris and Nice… as for Provence… we opted to let fate decide our fortunes.

  1. Paris:  Love, Lights, Memories
  2. Provence:  The Relaxing Countryside
  3. French Riviera:  Sunny Glitzy Cote d’Azur

Itinerary

16-day France Itinerary Overview (exact route not shown due to Google Map limitation)

Conclusion

Our honeymoon took us from the French capital all the way south to the French Riviera.  Despite my frequent complaints about France’s scorching heat it was only a minor nuisance during an otherwise perfect honeymoon.  From Paris’ hypnotizing night lights and Provence’s rustic country allure, to Cote d’Azur’s lively atmosphere… combined together to form an once in a lifetime experience.  In addition, the legendary cuisine and limitless photography opportunities helped strengthen my favorable impression of France.

From our travel we brought home several souvenirs including wine and Pastis, but little did we know we returned to Canada with the most precious souvenir anyone can imagine: I am going to be a daddy!

26 replies
  1. governorphil says:

    Great photos; you clearly have an eye for detail and perspective. Having visited Paris in May last year I now want to return, but it’s a long and expensive trip from Queensland!

    Reply
  2. rajj976 says:

    One of the best trip reports I have seen; thank you for taking the time to share it! I also loved the photography. Did you use a tripod for the night shot from the top of the Arc de Triomphe?

    Reply
  3. Jason K says:

    Congratulations on taking your honeymoon. Your pick was an great choice. Amazing photos and report. You have an excellent perspective and eye. Loved the blog, I will get to making mine on day. I agree with your photo thoughts. I have brought my tripod to many outdoor spots this past summer with no issues. For museums I could see the problem. How do you like the Sony? I was thinking of going that route but I am not sure. I love to shot architecture, but I am some what concerned about the f stop ability and the handling of the wide angel shoots. Shooting the inside of the churches with out the flash can be tricky. Could you please give me some feedback and thoughts in regard to the Sony? Thanks again for sharing

    Reply
  4. fourtytwosouth says:

    Kelvin, loved your report and photographic essay – can you tell me what equipment you took for your trip?

    We are going for three months next year and have a Nikon D5200, 12-24, 18-105 and am proposing to get a 70-300mm for the Monaco GP. Want to take some HDR and B&W/Sepia as well. Some comments on your photos (exposure etc) would be appreciated.

    Looking forward to future editions…

    Reply
  5. thrahtobe says:

    Hi i have just read your blog, brilliant, we have just come back from Paris from doing quite a bit of photography.

    Reply
  6. teacher91 says:

    I enjoyed your detailed trip report and photos! You’ve created a wonderful memory with your wife. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    I am so looking forward to our June trip!! 🙂

    Reply
  7. amatrip says:

    Hi

    I liked your Iceland photos before, and these are just as fabulous – make me excited about the place. Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  8. gene says:

    thank you for sharing that report. very good photos…especially liked the museum shot with the blurred tourists against the masters on the wall…sort of perfectly describes all the people running around in the midst of so many works of art.

    Reply
  9. jaymee2014 says:

    Very detailed account. I love to experience Paris over and over again through people’s trip reports, so thank you immensely for sharing 🙂

    Could it have been UHT milk?

    Reply
  10. NZkiwifarmer says:

    I love your report. I leave for Paris in just over two weeks, and have been wondering which lenses I should take with me….I have the nex6 ( which I adore BTW) ….so thanks for that info.

    I am so glad I have purchased a couple of prime lenses with f1.8 for photography indoors ( 35 and a 16mm)

    Your photos are very inspiring, and now I am itching to get there! You definitely have a good eye!

    Also loved your storytelling style. I find the stories behind the photos to be just as compelling.

    Roll on March!

    Reply
  11. Paul_Hamelin says:

    Glad to know that you had a memorable honeymoon trip. Your Paris trip report is interesting and should be a must-to-read for many first-time visitors to Paris. Yous photos are good and I particularly like the view of the crowd gathering in front of the poor tiny Mona Lisa (as well as your comments) ! I look forward to reading the other parts of your trip report.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  12. travelnutty says:

    I need to slow down to read your words but the photos were awesome! especially some of the angles or perspective you show…

    Reply
  13. tdudette says:

    Very enjoyable report. Thanks, Kelvin and Happy Anniversary.

    A tour guide once told us that all accidents on the étoile were considered no-fault because of that chaos!

    In Arles I could see the café Van Gogh painted—gave me chills!

    Reply
  14. DJ512 says:

    Thank you so much for your trip report and pictures. Congratulations on Daddyhood! I can really appreciate your “picture” of your baby as I am a Sonogrpaher and take these kind of pictures on a daily basis!!

    My huband and I are tracing your same route this May from Paris to Avignon then Nice! We are so excited and you did a lot of the things that are in our plans. Can you recommend any specific resturants in Nice? Also where did you eat in Villefranche? Thank you again and best wishes to you and J.

    Reply
  15. ILuvSeville says:

    Wonderful report, and beautiful pictures, makes me want to go back to Paris and the South France to redo what I missed. Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  16. ti2m says:

    Loved the blog. Your Photos are inspiring and now we will be going to the Arch at night.

    I’ve read your blog bucket list and suggest you go to Negril Jamaica. You will be able to knock off a few items (kite surf, mango,romantic sunset ). Negril is one of my favorite destinations and I would love to see it through your lens.

    Reply
  17. RebeccaT says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful and precious experiences in France! I enjoyed reading your travel story and looking at the beautiful pictures and I can’t wait to visit Paris this coming February. Your tips on looking out for certain things are really very useful for first time travelers to Paris like me. I have taken down lots of useful pointers from your blog and you have inspired me to do up a travel blog!

    Reply
  18. Ana says:

    CONGRATULATIONS ! Wonderful report, nicely written…. beautiful pictures, really helpful !!! Congratulations for your new member of family.

    Reply
  19. flynnsky says:

    I just read your review from your arrival in France, what a terrific report and photos, thank you so much. I know you received some low key criticism( Im sure it was meant to be constructive – hah ) but your report was one of the best I have seen. Your pics in Provence brought back so many great memories. Merci. Cheers Dan

    Reply
  20. ozzie2010 says:

    Wonderful photos (I have just viewed your fantastic Iceland collection as well), you are a seriously good photographer.

    Reply

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