3-Week Honeymoon Itinerary: FR, SP, GR - Help Appreciated!

Hi, Everyone!

This is my first time posting here, and I appreciate any/all help! We are planning a three week honeymoon in Europe for July/August 2014. It's our third time in Europe, and we've been to Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid and throughout Italy.

We're having trouble paring down our itinerary. We MUST go to Paris first because we'll be getting pictures done there, but given that we've already been there, we're fine with limiting our stay to three nights. Afterwards, I'm torn between limiting our trip to just France and Spain (doing more of a "deep dive" into the regions) or adding in a week in Greece (which I'm favoring because we've never been and it just feels like a cool honeymoon location).

Here's a tentative itinerary we're pondering:

Paris - 3 nights
Barcelona (via train) - 4 nights
Valencia - 3 nights
Mallorca - 3 nights (tentative)
Athens (via air) - 2 nights
Santorini - 2 nights
Crete - 2 nights
Athens - 1 night
Fly home to NYC

Does this sound too ambitious? Is there anything I should consider skipping or adding, given that we're looking for a mix of new/exotic, traditional, and romantic for our honeymoon? Would we be better off lengthening our stays in France and Spain to get more immersion from our trip, saving Greece for another voyage? If so, any recommendations for where to find/what to prioritize in these two countries to make our trip feel unique?

I so sincerely appreciate any feedback anyone has!

Posted by LeeB.
211 posts

To me it seems like a lot of travel for a honeymoon. I'd stick with the deep dive into France and Spain and leave Greece for another time. Or just do Paris and Greece. And I'd work on accommodations pretty quickly as July and August are high season.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4721 posts

I've never been to Greece, but having just come back from Taormina in Sicily, my guess is that Greek islands are only a "cool honeymoon location" if you settle in a while. (I sure wish I had been able to do this in Taormina; I enjoyed my two night stay, but it would have been wonderful if I had had the time and money for a longer stay). So I agree with the above poster; either focus on Greece and skip Spain, or focus on France and Spain and skip Greece. If you are determined to see both Spain and Greece, then at least pick one Greek location for the whole stay; don't hop from Athens to Santorini to Crete to Athens. This was something else I learned on this Sicily trip; we were changing locations every 2-3 days, and it got old fast. On a honeymoon, I'd want to stay put for a while, particularly at the end (so you can rest from the earlier moving around).

And I also second the advice to get cracking, since it's high season.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
5640 posts

The others are right. You are moving way too much in Greece. When I picture a Greek honeymoon it doesn't include moving so much. When you spend 2 nights in a location it only gives you one full day.

Even though you've been to Paris, I can't think of a more romantic city. I would give it at least another night. I would limit the destinations to Paris and Spain or Paris and Greece. Give yourselves time to relax and enjoy where you are. It's your honeymoon, not a race.

Congrats and have a great honeymoon. You will remember it for the rest of your life.

Posted by Leslie
NC, US
7 posts

I realize everyone is different, but IMO, the best thing about exploring Europe is "immersing" in it. If you are just in a city or town for a day and snap pictures, you have a picture, but do you have the memories? When we go for 3 weeks we pick only two places... Paris is perfect - but at minimum you can spend a week there just in the city. There are many great day trips from Paris so you can easily spend two weeks. If you really want to see somewhere else, I'd say pick Paris and maybe one other place. If you are just living out of a suitcase for your honeymoon, I would ask myself if that is the memory I want. If you want to use it as a day-trip kind of 3 weeks, that's your choice for sure, but keep in mind, you might not remember much! haha. If you really want to see Spain, I personally would pick Valencia. Good luck - hopefully it won't be your last trip and plenty of time to return!

Posted by Kim
Paris
977 posts

I agree with the earlier poster who suggested Paris because you've already committed to going there and then just hightail it to a Greek island and enjoy!!!! A day or two in Athens on the way back if you really want to see museums, but otherwise just go enjoy the beach!

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
7986 posts

I would also choose either Spain or Greece. Both have plenty of beaches and plenty more to see in two weeks.