France is a country made to be explored during a road trip. The scenery is beautiful and the roads and the infrastructure are perfect for such an endeavor. It will also help you appreciate the cultural diversity France has to offer.
As is the case with any other road trip, it’s important to plan it out first and make sure you have the France International drivers license needed for the trip. It’s also useful to have your itinerary planned and to have some emergency supplies in case you experience an issue with your car.
Driving from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean
Southern France is often considered the most beautiful part of the country and driving from one coastline to another will help you see most of its beauty. That’s where you’ll find the wine country and the most important historic sites dating back to Rome.
Some of the most beautiful fortresses for which the country is known can also be found along the way. Take the time to stop at Marseille for its cosmopolitan mix of cultures and influences and for the much-needed rest as well. The trip is about 900 miles or 1450 long and you’ll need to prepare for that as well.
A Trip Through the Loire Valley
Loire Valley is the region to visit if you’re a fan of medieval history and want to be immersed in the long and complex French past. It’s the region for its many castles that emerged during the wars between the local lords in the middle ages and during the Renaissance.
It’s also one of the most French trips you could take since you get the experience of all the local cuisine and wines for which the regions are now known. The most popular chateaux to visit are probably Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Amboise and, of course, Chambord. It’s a much shorter ride of only 190 km or 120 miles.
A Road Trip Through the Alps
Alp villages are known for their rustic charm and beauty and traveling through the French Alps can truly seem like entering a postcard. The trip starts at the lakeside Annecy and ends in St-Veran. Along the way, you’ll go through Mont Blanc and Col de l’Isera, the highest mountain top in the country.
Try to stop along the way as much as you can, since it will be worth your while. There’s no better region for those who like hiking, biking, and spending time outdoors. There are also plenty of cable cars to take and see the region from high above if you’re up for it. The trip is about 360 km or 225 miles long, meaning you can complete it in a day, even though you shouldn’t.
A Trip to the Basque Country
The Basque country is most well known for Biarritz, a high-end resort, known for its lavish venues. However, you’ll be mistaken in believing that’s the only destination the region has to offer. It also has beautiful scenery and a few lovely fishing ports that you should visit and stop at.
This region will be strikingly different from what you may expect from France. The houses are usually painted in white and red and chili peppers are often hung from the rooftops making for picturesque scenery. It’s a 110 km or 70 miles trip.
The Riviera Highway Trip
The Riviera is probably the most iconic landscape for which France is known and taking a ride alongside it is the best way to get to know the country. Small villages, beautiful and rustic, can be found along the highway, but the view of the Mediterranean will be the main start of the trip.
The southern region of Nice is known for its beauty and its fabulous lifestyle which attracts tourists from all over the world. There’s a reason why it has inspired so many artists throughout history. The trip is short and can be taken in a day – it’s 80 km or 50 miles.
France has more sights on the Unesco list of world heritage than any other. There are 35 such places to visit and it’s a good way to set up an itinerary for your trip. The trip will include the banks of the Seine River in Paris, as well as Château de Fontainebleau and the Théâtre Antique in Orange.
It’s a long trip and it takes much more planning than others on our list. It takes a trip of 1150 km or 715 to complete the whole list and see all 35 sights.