09 January 2020

Honeymooning in Barcelona and the South of France

I normally write my travel posts on the way home, but my iPad died right before our honeymoon and I JUST replaced it so I apologize that this has taken so long to get up.

We had the most amazing honeymoon, and I honestly could cry every time I think about it because I didn’t want it to end. It was nearly three weeks of absolute heaven. From the south of France, to Barcelona and Mallorca, we really just loved it all and can’t wait to get back to Europe soon!

While we were away I received so many messages from people asking me for our itinerary. And while I am sure no one will do the EXACT same trip as us, I thought I'd share our itinerary and some photos of our favourite spots we stopped at along the way! (Note: I am writing a separate post on Mallorca — so stay tuned!)

Here is a breakdown of our itinerary:

Day 1 - Barcelona
Day 2-4 - Nice (with  day trips to Monaco, Eze, Villefranche-sur-mer)
Day 5-7 - Cannes, Saint Tropez
Day 8-10 - Lauris, Provence
Day 11 - Marseille, Calenques
Day 12-14 - Cap Rocat, Palma
Day 15-18 - Port de Soller (with day trips to Soller, Deia, Valdemossa)
Day 19 - Barcelona


We flew into Barcelona because we had free flights from WestJet (thank you!) and wanted a direct flight as close to France / Mallorca as we could get. I am so happy we chose Barcelona to start and end our trip, because the city is absolutely stunning. For our first stop in Barcelona, we stayed at Hotel Regina which is at the north end of La Rambla. It was an amazing location for checking out La Rambla, Placa Reial and the port. The port was my least favourite part of Barcelona; I am not really a fan of ANYWHERE massive cruise ships stop. I find those areas are always overpriced and too busy.

On the way back home we stayed at Icon BCN, closer to the Sagrada Famiglia, because we had purchased tickets ahead of time (highly recommend doing this because they often sell out the day-of and then you won’t be able to see inside this masterpiece). It was about a 20-minute walk to the church and WELL worth it. The walk was stunning because all of Barcelona is just so beautiful. We also loved the hotel, so we highly recommend staying here if you’re going to be in Barcelona for a few nights. The hotel offers free bike and scooter rentals. If you stay there make sure you check out the back patio and pool! Also take a few rides in their very VINTAGE elevator.


After a night in Barcelona we flew to Nice via EasyJet. While in the South of France we had a rental car so we could sight-see. Others I spoke to prior to our trip used the trains. We saw a lot of train stations, so I'd definitely suggest checking out the train map before booking a rental car if you aren't comfortable driving in busy cities and through crazy, winding mountains. Lucky Tyler is a confident driver so we chose the rental car option.

In Nice, we stayed at an AirBNB in Grimaldi, which is easily my favourite part of Nice. The streets are lined with cafe after cafe and I just felt so at home there. Every morning we woke up and chose a new cafe to have a French breakfast at. A French breakfast is literally a coffee, baguette and croissant (see below). It was heaven. Our days were spent exploring nearby towns, but at night we found ourselves back in Grimaldi hopping from restaurant to restaurant trying a new bottle of rose and enjoying Italian food. Yep - there are lots of Italians in Nice since it is so close to Italy, so most of the dinner menus are Italian! No complaints there.
Le Plongeoir is a very cool over water restaurant in Nice serving Mediterranean cuisine. In the summer there are two diving boards open for jumping into the Mediterranean ocean. It was a cool experience and we were lucky enough to get reservations there on a very beautiful and sunny day!
The beach clubs in Nice are amazing. My personal favourite was Ruhl Plage, where we watched the sunset with a glass of rose every night. The beaches in Nice are all rocky, so don't forget to pack water shoes (I love Native). These will also come in handy in the Calenques and Mallorca!

I recommend staying at Hotel Negresco, but if it’s out if your budget at least go check this hotel out. Every floor is different, and the walls are essentially a museum. Also the main floor washrooms are a dream (see snapshot from the women’s washroom below). Check out my Instagram stories for a tour of both the men's and women's main floor washrooms. The bar on the main floor is everything Tyler dreams of in a Man Cave (photo below), and with your drinks come some divine fleur d'orange infused marshmallows which you must try - shame on all the people who left theirs untouched! You don't know what you were missing! Sorry not a lot of photos from here as it’s a very dark place.

Old Nice

Old Nice was cute. It was a bit more touristy than I imagined it was going to be. It was literally just a long street of open-air restaurants with hosts out front trying to get you to come in and eat. I wasn't a huge fan. I'd recommend Grimaldi over Old Nice to anyone who asks.

Montecarlo, Monaco and Eze

A great day trip we did from Nice was to Montecarlo, Monaco and Eze. You can easily see both places in one day. We started out driving to Montecarlo to check out the famous Casino. It was underwhelming, so instead we walked through a few stores and then descended on the port to check out some ridiculous yachts. After getting lost trying to find our way back up to street level, we decided to head to Eze for lunch since Montecarlo was so busy.

Eze is a tiny village, nestled at the top of a hill between Nice and Monaco. It's rich in history, but to be honest I was more interested in the food and views. At the very top of the village, you'll find Le Jardin Exotique de Eze, an exotic botanical garden that costs 6 Euros to get in but gets you PRICELESS views. Also Chateau Eza is a great spot to grab a drink and enjoy some appetizers. After hiking all the way to the top of the village, you'll be hungry!

Also in Eze is the Fragonard Perfume Factory. We stopped in to do a little shopping (I got my Mom some lavender-scented goodies) and to check out the perfume-making process. I saw many of these stores around France, but none in Spain ... I wish they were sold in Canada!


Another amazing day trip from Nice is to Villefranche-sur-mer. Easily accessible by train (we know because we parked at the train station), this cute and colourful beach town was probably one of our favourite stops along the Cote d'Azur. I loved the beach here. It was made up of tiny tiny pebbles that rolled off your toes when they dried. It was also the first place we realized how densely salted the Mediterranean is, and where I also learned to not shave and then swim in the ocean - ouch.

Saint Paul de Vence

Between Nice and Cannes, we decided to check out the Medieval village of Saint Paul de Vence. It was a fun and windy road to get there, but so worth the drive. The pebbled streets reminded me of a scene out of Romeo and Juliet, and I just felt so much love for this untouched little village. It resembles a fort, with large exterior walls that protected it. And the coolest part is, you can walk along these walls and see the entire village. Tyler was amazed there were no railings -- something that would never fly in Canada!


On Day 5 we made it to Cannes in time for dinner. Upon first impression, I did not like Cannes. It seemed too modern and hip for me. But after taking a few recommendations from our AirBNB owner, we found what Cannes is truly all about. In this case Old Cannes was an absolute dream -- and not overly touristy like Old Nice. I adored this little Michelin star restaurant.
Just east of Cannes beach is Bijou Plage, a much less busy and very gorgeous beach where we spent a lot of time.

We also spent time in some of Cannes very famous beach clubs, especially during sunset.

I was surprised by Day 5 that I hadn't seen macarons in the many cafes and boulangeries we had been to. Finally in Cannes I stumbled upon the Laduree store and got my sugar fix. This was the only macaron I ate the entire trip. Shocking!

Saint Tropez

If you're going to Saint Tropez hoping to find a white sandy beach lined with fashionable beach clubs, keep driving. No actually. The beach of Ramatuelle, where many of the popular beach clubs lie, is often mistaken as Saint Tropez. Saint Tropez is actually a very small, very busy port where many massive yachts park. It is rich with amazing restaurants, but if you want the true beach club experience, drive to Ramatuelle and stop at Nikki Beach Saint Tropez! My favourite part of Saint Tropez? The Dior cafe!


We're leaving the coast for a bit here. We spent a weekend at a vineyard in Lauris called Domaine de Fontanille. When we arrived it was blissfully sunny, but by the next morning it felt like we were in the English countryside. It was rainy and gloomy, but that didn't stop us from grabbing umbrellas and heading out to the vineyard with a bottle of the house rose. We tasted some grapes that were missed during harvest and they were deliciously sweet. Then we went wine tasting with the very Australian sommelier, who taught us tons about biodynamic wine making. I realized I much prefer wine that is made in metal barrels than that from oak barrels. Mind. Blown.

On site, the hotel has two places to eat; A casual bistro and a gourmet, Michelin-star restaurant. We chose the bistro for all of our meals, including breakfast which is not included but is well-worth the price of 23 Euros per person including champagne!

We had so much fun chilling out for a few days here, and drank PLENTY of rose. I wish we had brought a bottle home!

Our room at Domaine de Fontenille was absolutely stunning. We stayed in the Executive Room which has a private terrace. When you first walk into the room there is a long hallway which brings you to the bedroom, stunning glass doors which open to the patio, and the most grand bathroom I have ever seen. The bathroom had a freestanding tub, walk-in shower, towel warmer, separate toilet room and a double sink. Bathroom goals for sure!

Nearby towns, Lauris and Cadenet are very cute, and worth checking out. But keep in mind European shop hours are funny. They open early, close for most of the day, and then open LATE for dinner. We found ourselves always looking for a place to eat during siesta time. Silly Canadians!


Marseille was the only real disappointment of our trip... if I can even call it that. The hotel I booked on Expedia was in a great location, but the room was very small and it felt like we were on a cruise ship. The old port of Marseille itself is a very touristy area, and a cruise ship HOT SPOT, so I wasn’t overly impressed with it. However, just south of Marseille is a very sweet beach town called Bonneviene which we really liked, and of course a short drive from Marseille brings you into the Calenques mountains which are STUNNING. I highly recommend checking them out and doing a few hikes to various calenques, because the water is crystal clear, cool, and stunning! Below photos are of Calenques Blanches, and the port in Marseille.

Next stop: Mallorca. But you’ll have to wait to hear more about Mallorca ... so stay tuned!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig