France road trips

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Start planning your road trip in France

Get behind the wheel in France and youll have an unforgettable road trip. Expect to drive over magnificent mountains, through glitzy resorts, across picturesque countryside, and into vibrant cities. Fascinating France, with its beguiling culture, outstanding cuisine, and varied natural attractions, is a paradise for visitors who want unique experiences during their vacation.

What makes France a great destination for a road trip?

France has a well-developed road network with over 7,300 miles of highways, alongside thousands of small back roads offering gorgeous views of the countryside. Sightseeing in a car is the best option for convenience and comfort in France, and it means you’ll cover more ground to make the most of your time here.

The best road trips in France

There is no shortage of places to visit or things to do in France, and taking a road trip here means you can pack in plenty for a one or two week vacation. Taking you through beautiful landscapes and idyllic country scenes, a road trip in France is the perfect way to discover the true charm of this timeless travel destination.

Get chic in Champagne and Paris 

In Paris, marvel at the iconic Eiffel Tower or the imposing Pompidou Center before heading beyond the bustle to seek out some Champagne. Outside the capital, explore the majestic Palace of Versailles and its resplendent gardens, then drive out to the renowned Champagne vineyards to pick up a bottle or two to take home. This is an ideal road trip for a long weekend in France.

Cruise through beautiful Brittany

Take the A11 from Paris to explore the rugged coastline of northwestern France. The 282-mile journey will bring you to a hilly peninsula with great views of the Atlantic Ocean. Rub elbows with the elite in Brittany’s chic beach resorts, hike along scenic cliffs, or explore amazing megalithic monuments.

Discover D-Day history and explore Normandy

Normandy is a charming coastal region north of Paris and it offers a history lesson or two for discerning travelers. Follow its picturesque shoreline, and stop at rural towns and sample fine cheeses, fresh oysters, and scallops. Pay tribute to the D-Day landings, starting at the mouth of the Orne River, passing the Pegasus Bridge, and see the town of Arromanches-les-Bains.

Tour Bordeaux to tantalize your taste buds

Explore lush vineyards, sample a variety of wines along the Rue des Vignerons, and admire stunning historic chateaux. The drive here from Paris also offers sightseeing opportunities in Tours, Orleans, or Blois.

Glam up in the French Riviera 

Travel along the 550 mile French Riviera coastline to visit the elegant towns of Cannes and Saint-Tropez. Relax on beaches, admire historic abbeys and monasteries, or visit the glitzy city of Monaco.

Tips and advice for touring France by car

Driving in France isn’t without its challenges. The rural roads in France are narrow, so try to book a small rental car. Parking spaces in cities are tight and occasionally difficult to find, too. Most cars here are stick shift, and if you want an automatic it may cost you more. Carry cash to pay for gas, restroom breaks, snacks, and toll fees.

When to go in France?

France's temperate climate makes it a fairly pleasant country to visit all year round, though you do need to bear in mind that it can get very cold in winter, especially in the north and the east, and very hot in summer, particularly in the south. Many French people (and other Europeans) choose to holiday on the Mediterranean coast in August. This can make the price of accommodation particularly high at this time of year, and the most popular and well-known coastal resorts can get very busy. Shops more or less everywhere will be closed for the annual holidays too. So avoid August if you plan to go on a shopping spree!
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