Music-loving newlyweds Leslie and Ryan planned their honeymoon around the Worldwide Music Festival in Sete, France. After a lot of research to find the perfect hotels and restaurants for their atypical trip, their hard work paid off with this honeymoon to remember. Check out some photos from their adventure (which started in Barcelona) and read on to get the scoop from Leslie.
We bounced around and traveled by car—a BMW Z3 convertible (by luck, only!). The rental company ran out of automatic cars and tried desperately not to give us the BMW. After a two hour wait, they gave in. We spent one night in Barcelona at Alma Barcelona. It's a great design hotel in the center of the city. We spent our first honeymoon night wandering the streets eating tapas and the next day at La Sagrada Familia.
Then we were off to the Languedoc region of France. We spent three nights in Marseillan France (a small coastal village) at Hotel Port Rive Gauche, a Garrigae Resort. We had a three-day pass to the Worldwide Music Festival. We spent the days hanging out on our porch, eating inexpensive patés and fresh bread. Then we'd spend the whole night at the festival. Not a care in the world except making sure we didn't hurt the car!
After a one night stopover in Toulousse, we spent three nights in Getaria, Spain, a tiny fishing village west of San Sebastian. We stayed at Hotel Iturregi. It's the most beautiful place on earth, but off the beaten path (literally an unpaved road). We spent most of our time reading and napping. We had an amazing meal at Arzak in San Sebastian—considered one of the top ten restaurants in the world—a wedding gift from my sisters and brothers-in-law. But even the fresh grilled fish at the local restaurant was unforgettable.
From Getaria, we drove to Bilbao. We spent one night there to go to the Guggenheim. I'd advise that people only need to spend the day there and go back to San Sebastian or Madrid. We did however have drinks on the rooftop of our hotel sitting next to Radiohead!
And our last day/night was in Madrid. We stayed at a beautiful hotel, the Hotel Unico, which is in a quiet part of the city. We went to museums and walked around, but we were exhausted and ready to go home.
The whole trip was incredible. I think our shared favorite part was in the south of France, going to the music festival. That was what really made the trip unique to us. Our advice to other honeymooners would be to look for a trip that will have special meaning to you beyond it being your honeymoon. We were struggling to find a place for a while. As soon as Ryan mentioned the music festival, our mind was made up! We would have made that our honeymoon regardless of whether it was two months or just the one week after our wedding. Also, don't feel pressured to use a travel agent. We did it all on our own and we were more than happy to give up the honeymoon treatment that agents get you in exchange for small, hard-to-find places that matched our taste. And there's nothing like showing up to a hotel after countless hours of research to find it lives up to the ten reviews on TripAdvisor!