Polina & Kyle | February honeymoon photo session in Nice, France
Ah, the French Riviera, known in French as the Cote d’Azur. A famous stretch of coastline adored by millions. In February? Absolutely! Now, Nice, France, the capital of the region, located on the Mediterranean sea, is not a tropical place. In the summer, it can get a bit hot inland, but stays nice and warm at the beach. In winter, you can get a mixed bag of rainy days, wind, some storms and you can also get mild, sunny days with temperatures in the 50s.
Despite it being winter, there’s a huge festival in Nice every year called the Carnaval de Nice. In a similar vein to carnivals in Rio, Venice and New Orleans, the Carnaval de Nice has been taking place 150 years and offers incredible floats, music and dancing. The beauty of Nice is that there’s something to do every season of the year.
Best winter honeymoon destinations in Europe
As a Nice engagement photographer and Nice honeymoon photographer, I love this part of France! Nice is one of the best winter honeymoon destinations in Europe.
I’d been contacted by Polina and Kyle via Instagram, who were coming to Nice in February to celebrate their engagement and have a nice trip to France and Switzerland. Now living in Miami, they met through work and in a change of plans, ended up getting married at the beautiful Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami. Therefore, their engagement session in Nice would now be a honeymoon session.
Is there anything more fun than meeting with a newly married couple? I think not! I remember back to when I was newly married, on my honeymoon in Bermuda, and what a fun time that was. When I met Polina and Kyle at the #ILoveNice sign on the Promenade des Anglais, it was a chilly 42F, but with a lot of sun. What a warm and friendly couple! Polina wore a gorgeous white dress with feathers, perfect for a honeymoon session, and Kyle was super stylist in his blue suit.
It didn’t take me long to realize just how stylish and natural this couple was in front of the camera. Most people aren’t, which is why I love to provide a little direction and suggestions, which can also be seen in my past work. Polina was already like a model and therefore, needed little direction. We began our morning by walking to the top of the Colline du Chateau, or in English, Castle Hill. There once was a real castle on this hill and now this area serves as a magnificent park that overlooks the old town of Nice on one side, the marina of Nice on another, and the beach on the other side. It’s a great place to take a walk or spend an afternoon.
For the most beautiful light and fewest tourists (this area can get very busy), we started early in the morning. With the sun at their backs for part of our time on the hill, the sun backlit Polina and Kyle, giving a romantic, warm and dreamlike quality.
To get to the top requires some effort, there are stairs, and even the most fit can do some huffing and puffing. Luckily, there’s an elevator to whisk you to the top, but it’s not always in service, and unfortunately, on this morning, it wasn’t in service. We climbed to the top, but this workout is also an excuse to eat whatever you want on vacation!
After Castle Hill, Polina changed into a casual outfit and Kyle donned his black wool coat. We descended to the beach in Nice for a few photos by the water. The beach in Nice is made of large stones called galets, and not sand. This is often confusing to people, who feel that a nice beach should always have sand, but most of the beaches on the French Riviera have stones and not sand. It’s nice because you don’t get sand between your toes, and the hot rocks in summer make for a free hot rock massage! That said, it can be difficult to walk on the rocks.
Even in February, there were a few brave souls swimming and there were a number of seaside restaurants that had already opened. In summer, you’ll find beach clubs with lounge chairs, should you wish to stay off the rocks.
The next stop was my favorite area in Nice, Old Town, known as Vieux Nice. One could mistake it for colorful Italy, as the buildings are painted in bright oranges and pinks, and are so charming. Just adjacent to Castle Hill, there are also a lot of hills to climb in Old Town, but they’re so worth it. There are so many pretty spots that you could spend all day here, and I surely would have, but Polina and Kyle were on their honeymoon and had other things to do, of course!
I had so much fun exploring the Old Town with them, I never get bored of it. Finally, it was time to wind down, so we stopped at a cafe, where they had some coffees and a bit of lunch. It was bittersweet to say goodbye, but I feel so happy to have met this beautiful, in love couple in Nice! I wish Polina and Kyle a marriage filled with joy, happiness and tons of love!