Want to escape for several days in France, to discover an entire region in several stages? Many circuits lend themselves perfectly to the game of the road trip. Hit the road with our 12 ideas for road trips in France!
The way to freedom
Go back in time by embarking on the historic route commemorating the Liberation of France, Belgium and Luxembourg during the Second World War. You will thus travel the route taken by the French army and the Allies, indicated by markers covered with references to the United States (48 stars like the 48 States of 1944, the flame recalling that of the Statue of Liberty …). Two possible starting points, at Sainte-Mère-Église, and on Utah Beach (the famous “Utah Beach”), at Sainte-Marie-du-Mont.
The castles of the Loire
Among the 22 Loire’s castles must-sees, choose the ones you want to see first, and plan your route accordingly. Among the most famous, let us quote those of Chambord, Chenonceau, Angers or that of the Dukes of Brittany, in Nantes. From a 1h30 drive from Paris, it is a step back in time that takes place within the landscapes listed as World Heritage by Unesco.
>>> If you want to discover in pictures the most beautiful road-trips in France, go to our slideshow !
The Loing valley
Nature lovers will enjoy walking the tourist route “Au fil du Loing”, whether by car or by bike – The Eurovélo3 (the Scandibérique in France), in particular, follows the Loing canal. On your route, several stages not to be missed such as Nemours, Moret-sur-Loing, Souppes-sur-Loing or the ancient medieval city of Château-Landon.
The chain of Puys
Here is another decoration registered in the world heritage of Unesco, which deserves the turning in Auvergne. With its 80 volcanoes, the Puys chain, the youngest volcanic complex in France, stretches nearly 32 kilometers long and 4 kilometers wide. It offers a variety of breathtaking landscapes, which reflect different volcanic phenomena. Pleasant hikes allow you to climb to the top of the puys, with a 360 ° view.
The pink granite coast
North of the Brittany, this pretty coast, which owes its name to the color of its rocks, offers a stay between land and sea in the Côtes-d’Armor, from Perros-Guirec to Trébeurden. During your trip, you will discover villages, each more charming than the next, with points of interest such as the 12 beaches of Trégastel, the standing stones of Saint-Uzec or the lighthouse of Ploumanac’h.
The Grandes Alpes route
720 kilometers through the Alps, from the shores of Lake Geneva to the shores of the Mediterranean … Such is the project of the Route des Grandes Alpes, only open entirely between June and October, which will take you through many mountain ranges such as those from Vanoise, Queyras or even Mercantour. Cycling enthusiasts will be able to tackle the legendary passes of the Tour de France – the Aravis, Galibier or Izoard passes.
The circuses of Reunion
Adjoined to the mythical Piton des Neiges, there are three natural cirques of breathtaking beauty that run from the north to the center of the island: the Salazie cirque and its waterfalls, the Mafate cirque, accessible only on foot or by air , and the Cirque de Cilaos, the highest peak in the Indian Ocean, dominated by the Piton des Neiges.
The Alsace wine route
Along a route of approximately 170 kilometers, you will discover as many picturesque villages with their half-timbered houses – Riquewihr, Obernai, Kaysersberg… – as well-known wine estates. To consume with moderation !
The Opal Coast
From the Belgian border to the Bay of Somme, kilometers of beaches, each more beautiful than the next, pass by. On a clear day, the Grand Site des Deux Caps allows you to see the cliffs of England, which face Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez. On your way, pretty fishing villages like Audresselles, as well as sublime natural sites such as the dunes of the Slack.
The Basque Country on the Atlantic coast
From Bayonne to Hendaye, discover the Pays Basque by the coast, discovering the cities along the ocean, which each year welcome thousands of surfers to their splendid beaches. The more cautious will tackle the local gastronomy as well as cultural visits.
The Napoleon route
How about retracing Napoleon’s journey on his return from Elba Island? This is what is offered on this tourist route which joins Grenoble from Golfe-Juan, via the Col Bayard. Over more than 300 kilometers, the RN 85 crosses several departments and many points of interest – Castellane, Digne-les-Bains or Sisteron in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Lac du Sautet in the Hautes-Alpes or again the village of Laffrey, just before the finish.
The tour of Corsica
If you have several days or even weeks to explore the Isle of Beauty, do not hesitate to plan to go around it, even if certain stages will have to be adapted to your tempo. From Bastia, take the path of natural wonders such as Macinaggio, the Agriates desert, the Scandola reserve and the creeks of Piana, or the Lavezzi Islands and Bavella needles.
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