Photo: Getty Images
Scouring Pinterest is one way to narrow down romantic honeymoon destinations, but then comes the hard part — where to stay once you've finally settled on a spot. Enter the realm of vacation rentals, and we're not talking the kind where mom and dad are hoping to spend retirement. Brides-to-be have crafted over 54,000 honeymoon wish lists on Airbnb alone, with options as far-flung as a Balian treehouse to an even more secluded spot like a fisherman's cave on Oia, Greece. While the rental site literally puts the world at your fingertips, couples are still going classic when it comes to romantic honeymoon destinations placing Paris at the top of the list. Planning a romantic French honeymoon and want to stay like a local? Start in the French capital and work your way south, island hopping off the coast in lodgings a little less traditional than your typical honeymoon hotel with these Airbnb getaways.
Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb
Just as with hotels, price points in Paris skew from budget-friendly to over-the-top with lodgings just as varied. Couples who love the great outdoors can take in prime views of the Eiffel Tower from the porch of their houseboat sitting silently along the Seine. Sip Champagne and cozy up under the stars watching the tower twinkle with its hourly light show.
Looking for something with a bit more space? Sleep like members of French society from centuries past in a stately mansion just five minutes from the Arc de Triomphe. Complete with a dining room seating up to 10 and Bose system-equipped bedrooms, this glamorous locale also comes with a private driver and Mercedes for you and your beau to whip around the city in.
Couples looking to capture the more artistic side of Paris can live like a modern-day Picasso in a bohemian-style apartment in the up-and-coming 10th arrondissement, outfitted with a record player and vinyl records, as well as a projector and screen perfect for watching vintage French cinema. Even better is the view: floor-to-ceiling windows look out to Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur glowing up on the highest point in Paris.
Photo: Getty Images
A week-long honeymoon in Paris? That's romantic enough. But throw in an island just a few hours away and you have the best of both a beach and city escape. Corsica is one option, but what about an island much smaller and much more untouched by the masses? Hop on the train from Paris's Gare de Lyon and make your way south just four-and-a-half hours away to the town of Hyères in Provence, known for its 19th century palaces and remnants of fortified city walls still lingering from its 2,400-year-old history. From the Tour Fondue's port, set off on a 10-minute ferry ride to one of three islands famous for its picture-perfect white-sand shores — Porquerolles.
Measuring roughly 4 miles long by 2 miles wide, this island sans cars is an easy one for newlyweds to explore both by foot or bike. More than 54 trails snake through the island's center, which is also dotted with almost 500 acres of vineyards producing wine like Domaine Perzinsky's Côtes de Provence rosé. Snag a bottle and picnic on one of Porquerolle's most beautiful beaches, Notre Dame.
Just off the port lies the island's main village, where you can stock up on baguette and fromage from the sole boulangerie, as well as dine on fish grilled à la plancha at restaurant Le Pélagos, sitting just off the town square.
Despite its size, Porquerolles is home to a handful of boutique bed and breakfast options, as well as villa stays. But if you're going to spend a honeymoon by the water, why not sleep on it? Your friends back home will ooh and ah over all your Instagrams from your home-away-from-home on board a fully outfitted sailboat sitting in port, another easy and wallet-friendly Airbnb snag.
Post up in a boat with a name just as uplifting as your new union — Renaissance — catching purple-hued sunsets from the deck, curling up in the back bunk under the skylight where you'll fall asleep under the stars together.