south-of-france-holiday

Road tripping in the south of France: the dreamy itinerary Princess Beatrice would totally approve of

Travel inspiration from Princess Beatrice and Edoardo

Lottie Gross

Royal newlyweds Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi were spotted honeymooning in the south of France last month.

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The couple got married on 17 July in a surprise ceremony at All Saints Chapel in Windsor Great Park after their original wedding was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Continuing in their spontaneity, last week they packed up their car and hit the road to cross the Channel for a mini honeymoon. 

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The south of France is prime road trip territory, so with Edoardo behind the wheel (according to one eagle-eyed tourist), there’s no doubt the couple are having a fantastic time.

We know very little about what they’ve been up to, but there’s plenty for them to see and do. Here’s a little taster of what they might be enjoying on their French mini-moon.

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Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi are honeymooning in the south of France

Where is Princess Beatrice on her honeymoon?

There are very few details about the couple’s itinerary, but they have been spotted driving their car around the south of France. This part of the country is famous for its glitzy cities, namely Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and spectacular beaches. 

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The region is also home to the Pyrenees mountains in the west and the Alps rise up from the coast in the east. This means the couple could enjoy majestic mountain drives (we love the southern section of La Route des Grandes Alpes near Nice) and some excellent hiking – the Cagire Loop is a challenging but rewarding walk. 

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Road tripping around France is the perfect excuse for wine 

Of course, you can’t visit France without sipping some of its best wine, and in the south of France there are plenty of vineyards to explore. In eastern Provence, blushing rosé wines are paired perfectly with the region’s cuisine – think garlic, tomatoes, anchovies and olives – while in the east, the Languedoc is one of the country’s major wine-growing areas. 

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Major attractions such as the Roman Pont-du-Gard aqueduct and the striking Verdon Gorge make excellent pit-stops on a French road trip. 

Which are the best beaches in the south of France? 

Whether the couple are looking for secluded coves or ritzy beach clubs, the French Riviera has a stretch of sand for every occasion. Flashy yachts glide past Paloma Beach in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, where a world-famous restaurant serves sensational fresh seafood and offers sunbeds for hire, while La Pointe de l'Aiguille has beautiful sandy beaches backed by rugged, red cliffs. 

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Les Calanques has one of the best views around

For total seclusion and privacy, though, the couple should head to Les Calanques, where vertiginous limestone cliffs protect a series of little coves and bays on the fringes of a national park. 

Are there any hotels fit for royals in the south of France? 

Absolutely. Having long been the playground of the rich and famous – and many royals before Beatrice and Edoardo – the French Riviera is packed with ultra-luxury boltholes. Hôtel Martinez in Cannes has been hosting high society since the 1920s and its glamour is unparalleled, while in Saint-Tropez is one of the world’s most famous hotels: Hotel Byblos. A serious celebrity playground, even Prince Charles has spent time in this lively, luxury hotel.

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In Nice, prominent artists, politicians and royalty have signed the guestbook of Hotel Le Negresco, where 16,309-crystal chandeliers and stunning stained-glass windows are the norm. 

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The Hotel Martinez in Cannes has been a celebrity haunt for decades 

How do you get to the south of France? 

If you fancy a French odyssey yourself, copy the newlyweds and pack up your car. From England’s south coast you can cross the Channel on a ferry and then follow the motorway all the way to the Côte d'Azur. It’s a 12-hour drive, but you can opt to stop off in exciting cities such as Reims and Lyon to break up the journey.

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Alternatively, there are ample flights from UK airports to Nice, Marseille and Avignon. 

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