From the French Riveira, to a wedding in Burgundy, to saboring in Champagne, and spending a week in Paris....we had quite the adventure of a trip!
(bulk pics at the bottom)
Airline: Norwegian (Boston to Paris roundtrip) Airfrance (Paris to Nice)
Rental: Europcar (Nice Airport/Saint Tropez/Burgundy/Champagne/Paris)
Road Tolls/Gas: It adds up...fast (just used our credit card at the toll)
Transport in Paris-Metro: Navigo card (we were there for a week, ~30 euros AND MAKE SURE TO KEEP THE SECOND CARD AND GET YOUR PHOTO ON IT or you will pay a penalty)
Hotels: L'Oursin in Cap Ferrat (very basic), Saint Hotel Andre in Saint Tropez (impressive customer service/great people working here/great location), Burgundy (Gilly): Chateau de Gilly, Champagne (Ludes): Chateau de Ployeux Jacquemart, Paris: Airbnb between 6th/7th eme
Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (SJCF): right near Nice, where the elite stay/have homes, we walked/took bus and train to Eze and Monte Carlo, Monaco (NOTE: check train times, Ubers DO NOT pick up in Monaco)
Saint Tropez: best way to get there is with your own car (rental), we stayed right off the main beach (Pampelonne) and it was only a 7 min drive to Old Town, the best beach place is Cap Taillat (30 min from our hotel)
Valensoles: fields of Lavender and Sunflowers (you can smell the lavender by just rolling down your windows) - we drove here on our way to Burgundy
Burgundy (Vougeot/Gilly): Burgundy is filled with such cute, small towns, people who visit here are mainly here for the wine
Champagne (Ludes): 10 min drive to Reims which is the main city where the cathedral is (traditional location for king coronations), fields and fields of grapes its quite the sight
Paris: took Metro here once was in the city
This trip took months of going back and forth to see what we both wanted to do. I wish we had figured out our specific way of traveling before more in detail so we could see where the common ground was and how to go about planning our days in Paris. It is very important to know what/how the people you are with like to travel. It can make or break a trip.
Our Trip Itinerary:
Day one arrive In Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. Walked along water then found restaurant and bar at plage de passable.
Day two: We walked along water other way after stopping st saint Jean market for fresh fruit. Went to pool area at Grand hotel du cap ferrat. Spent day there (140 euros to use the pool for the day/have a sun bed) Met new friends from New York: Alex and Caroline and Carl and Fran. Then walked back and went to dinner near marina. Met Michael a lawyer from Denmark who lives in Paris who was sitting at the table next to us.
Day three: went to Paloma beach picked up a sandwich at the local bakery for lunch. Spent the day there (just brought a towel and sat on the public side). We went to Monaco that night. Took the bus then train to Monte Carlo. Had a light dinner of a sandwich and drink at Cafe du Paris. Sat in the front so we could watch all the cars show up at the casino (you can only order light snacks and drinks near the road, if you want dinner you won't be able to see all the cars) We then walked around and had drinks in the bar at a fancy hotel called Hotel Metropole. Drinks were very expensive here. We then realized there were no more trains and Uber’s didn’t pick up in Monaco. So we took a taxi for 20 euros to the border and walked until Uber would let us get a car. We ended up spending 40 euro total vs 80 total if we took the taxi.
Day 4: We walked to Beaulieu sur Mer (30 min walk from sjcf) to get fruit at the market and have some tea and breakfast at a cafe across the street. We went to plage de passables. It was very hot that day. I spent most of the time in the water it was so hot. We then went home to shower and went to Chèvre d’Or for drinks and tapas at night and then went to Anjuna beach for drinks. Both were located in Eze. We took an Uber there and back. (Anjuna Beach was a tad difficult to find at night but if you can get yourself down to the beach you will be able to find it that way)
Day 5: took an Uber to the nice airport to rent our car from europcar. The process was so easy and simple and they ended up giving us an automatic! We then drove to Saint Tropez. Checked in. Had some food at the Hotel Saint Andre while we waited to check in. While we waited to get our room we made reservations at Club 55, Nikki Beach, and Moorea. We then walked the beach to club 55. I had salad and cake, Karin had an artichoke, and we split the tomato and mozzarella dish and a bottle of the club 55 rose. I had to try their Tropezienne...it was HUGE! (The food here was quite reasonable compared to Nikki Beach which was just overpriced) We then got chairs (25 euros...umbrellas cost I believe it was an extra 10 euros) and sat by the water for a bit. Then walked the beach back to the hotel. That night was a chill night and we got tea at the hotel and brought it to the beach. We didn’t last long though due to the bugs.
Day 6: we drove to Cap Taillat to check out the beach. It was beautiful. We decided to go back to the hotel to have breakfast and then went back to cap taillat to swim and karin to sunbathe. I had a sandwich from the trailer stand. We then went to Nikki Beach for 2. We grabbed beds (around 30 euros each) and got lunch in the restaurant where we met Tristan who went to Rollins and the crew from the megayacht Milestone. We hung out with them by the pool after and around 7 PM went with them to go on the yacht for drinks. Within this time we lost both our bags but found one before leaving the yacht. I borrowed flip flops from tony the chef and we went for drinks then met up with Tristan, Ashley (captain's wife), and her sister Maggie. We had fun dancing and then got an Uber back to the hotel. When we got back to the hotel, the front desk guy told us that the people staying in room 8 had friends at la reserve where we took the boat from and found our bag! They held it there until the next day. VERY LUCKY!
Day 7: we ate breakfast at the hotel then I walked the beach to get our bag from la reserve and get our car from Nikki beach. I then drove the car back to the hotel. Karin came and met me and we drove and parked downtown and walked around Saint tropez old town. We walked around the towns market which was super cute and I got the thyme and Nutella goat ice cream from the farm with goats. I went back a second time for the thyme it was so good. We had dinner at a new restaurant that just opened end of May called Chez Jean Robert. Jean Robert sat us himself! We then headed back to the car but got to see the sunset as we walked back at one of the marinas where we parked.
Day 8: we started our drive at 6 am. Stopped at La Tarte Tropezienne for food which is a local chain and has great pastries. I got a chocolate crossaint and a croquet monsier. We drove through the lavender and sunflower fields in Valensole. You could smell the lavender with just the windows down. We stopped only a few times for gas and bathroom. In total the drive took 9 hours and we arrived at Château de Gilly right at check in at 3 pm. We had plenty of time to get ready and we were on the bus for the wedding at 5:50 pm. The wedding took place at the infamous Chateau du clos de Vougeot. The ceremony began at 6:45 and we had drinks and apps in the courtyard for the next 1.5 hours about. Dinner was a 6 course meal paired with the best wines. The dinner went until almost 1 am. Stayed and danced until 4:30.
Day 9: slept in until 11 hehe then packed up our things and headed to the brunch around 1:30 arriving at the brunch at 2. It was a beautiful drive thru the countryside of burgundy. There was a live old fashion band playing 4 piece and many foods to choose from and things to drink. Around 4/5 we headed off to Champagne. Arriving in Reims around 7 we stopped for dinner near the cathedral. The prices were reasonable and we had a great view of the cathedral from our table. We then headed to our resting spot for the night at Ployeux Jacquemart in Ludes. We had a two bedroom suite with a connecting bathroom.
Day 10. Waking up in Champagne was a dream. Beautiful view of the garden and vines growing in the distance. We went downstairs for a complimentary breakfast of meats cheeses bread juices Jams and of course champagne. We then packed up our things and packed the car so it was done for later and met our champagne tour guide Ben downstairs. He gave us a tour of the cellars, got to see how the champagne is made, and of course try some. I even got to learn how to sabor with a sword. After enjoying our tastings there, we headed to Tattinger for another tasting. We parked right of front and had a tour with a group and then had a very private tasting in a special room after the tour. We got to try three amazing champagnes including the last which was a grand cru which we finished later. They also gave us scarfs and another bottle to take with us. We then hit the road to arrive in Paris around 7 pm. We dropped off Nicole and shayne. Found our Airbnb and drop our bags off. Returned the rental. (Know that And walked back to our Airbnb. We then met everyone (girls plus their friend Karen, and Aussie school friends Anna, Flo, and Berenger at Paparazzi near Opera. We then went to Anna’s apt which overlooks the opera for some more champagne.
Day 11: Unpacked and explored Paris. We went to get groceries to stock the fridge for the week(bought way too much food). All stores were within .3 mile radius which was awesome) We then explored Luxembourg Gardens for the day. And made dinner at the apt.
Day 12: took the metro to Montemarte. We walked around the cute area. Saw Moulin Rouge from the outside. Ate lunch at Pink Mamma. Then went to the Basilica de Sacre Couer where we explored inside, went up into the dome to see the amazing view, walked around the area some more, and headed home to eat. We then went back out to go the the Louvre because it is open late on Wednesday’s. It would have been nice to have more time but it’s ok. We got in line at the "carrousel du louvre entrance instead of the main entrance through the pyramid. It was not very crowded which was nice and we were one of the last to see Mona that night. (cost 15 euros per person)
Day 13: We had breakfast and headed to the Catacombs via metro getting off at Denfert-Rochereau. We got there at 9:45 AM (opens at 10) and still waited 2 hours in line. I suggest trying to get a pass online if you know what day you will be going. After that we took the metro to go have oysters at a recommended place called Huitreres Regis but it was sadly closed for the summer so we had lunch at a restaurant nearby then walked toward Notre Dame. On this walk we came across an adorable street which led all the way towards Notre Dame and had a Lebanese section. I stopped and had ice cream at a Lebanonese shop called Omisk. I had avocado but can’t remember the other two flavors. We then saw Notre Dame then metro'd to check out the fancy bon marche and see the Grand Epicerie which was a little too pricey for me (2 mangos=$30!!!!). I bought some tomato sauce and parmesan cheese to make pasta, and karin got a truffle spread. We then walked 5 minutes home to make dinner and called it a night.
Day 14: My day to explore Paris. I walked EVERYWHERE. I started off by walking to see the Eiffel Tower. Walked up to the memorial side past Arc de Triomphe, down Champs D'Elysees, up the street I stayed on last year rue de saint honoree where all the fancy shops are, checked out the Ritz again, had lunch at pizza populare, checked out Galerie Lafayette and Peruche (was closed at that time) to check the view from the top, explored Palais Garnier, sat in the garden of Plage de Vosgues, had a caramel crepe and cider from Breizh Cafe, and headed home. We got ready and headed to have dinner at our new friend Angelo's restaurant Amici. He treated us like to cliquot champagne to start and then spoiled us with so many delicious items from the menu and bottles of wine. We also met two ladies sitting next to us who are American Airlines flight attendants one who worked with a friend of mine on a flight. What a small world it is! After the restaurant closed, Angelo, Karin, and I had some more amazing cocktails behind the bar. We then went out to meet Angelo's friends at a french night club. We went home around 3:30 am.
Day 15: slow start lol very slow start. We walked to the Champs D'Elysees again, saw Arc de Triomphe, rue de saint honoree, had fika at a cafe around there, and headed back to relax for a bit. We head dinner at Chez Janou which was recommended to us by multiple people. I had the duck and it was incredible. We then went to Angelo's summer closing party for his Amici restaurant. They brought out a flaming tiramisu when it became my bday at midnight, and the DJ played the happy bday song. We called it a night around 1:30. Took an Uber back to the Airbnb and caught a glimpse of the sparkling Eiffel Tower on the drive home. Paris truly is the city of lights.
Day 16: MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! August 4th if anyone forgot =P Karin woke me up to breakfast in bed and playing Lion King. <3 We then got up and headed to brunch at Big Love. We then walked to Musee D'Orsay and enjoyed the free museum for the day. TIP: museums are free the first Sunday of every month except the Louvre which is free on the first Saturday night of the month. I was lucky that it just happened to be my bday. We then walked to the island next to the Notre Dame to try Berthillon ice cream because Gianna Pocaro venmo'd me money and said I had to try it. I’m glad I did! I tried wild strawberry sorbet, honey nougat, and pear sorbet. The main glace place was closed for summer but all the restaurants around carried it so we sat down near the bridge and enjoyed ice cream while Karin had a snack and tea. We then watched roller coating skating street performers for a bit and took the metro home to get ready for my bday dinner. We had reservations at Girafe at 7 and we stayed until 10:15 to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle at 10 PM. (I made reservations a few days prior) The view was amazing. We had wine, shared oysters, a salad, and octopus. For dessert, I had a flaming strawberry shortcake and Karin had a cheese platter. Everything was fantastic and I got to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It was a magical evening and overall birthday!
Day 17: We finished packing our things and met our friend Anna who was very kind to let us keep our bags at her apartment in Opera since we needed to be out of our Airbnb by 11. (the only downside to Airbnb) We then spent the day at Galerie Lafayette shopping. Had some light breakfast (croissants and tea/Capp) on the roof at Creatures. For lunch, we ate at the Asian restaurant one floor down from the roof called Panasia. The portions were huge and the prices weren't bad!!!! We then headed to the airport via Uber pool around 3. (the bus in Opera only takes euros...keep that in mind)
I hope you have enjoyed my French Itinerary, and hope you are able to use it to help plan your own trip to my favorite country!
Travel well. Travel Often.
The Traveling Tee