Over the past three years, I’ve shared some fun adventures in travel through France. Many will agree that train travel through the country is one of the fastest ways to get around, and I agree, if you have the extra budget and if you don’t get stuck in the middle of a train strike, which happens often and unexpectedly and for extra effect, usually take place during the summer months when visits to the country is at its highest.
If you are up for the challenge, have the time, and are open to an adventure, I recommend taking a road trip through France instead. I have done this a few times now and have found that two weeks is a nice time to cover the best of any one region.
This is some a subject I’ve written about extensively in the past, but thought it might be more helpful to gather the highlights here to help better decide the destination for you, as well as plan your trip.
The Aquitaine Region
I have loved a lot of the different areas I’ve explored through the country, but the Aquitaine Region remains my very favorite of all time. Start your travels in Bordeaux. On one of my very first days here I had gotten lost exploring its winding streets. I had accidentally thrown away my map as I distractedly indulged in some gourmet chocolate samples given to me by one of the local shopkeepers as I walked by.
But, even in the rain the cobblestone streets, limestone buildings and many arches found throughout the city made this a fun adventure and one I would happily repeat.
The city is easy to walk and taking the trams from one end to another is inexpensive and a quick option. For this reason, I would plan to park my car and explore it all by foot.
The Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is one of my favorite French road trip regions. There are so many historic villages and smaller destinations that aren’t easily accessible any other way. Start your travels in Angers, deserving of at least a full day of exploration before moving on.
You will definitely want to plan on breaks from driving as your tour around so that you can fully enjoy the Loire Valley wine tasting experience offered at the various wineries in the region.
The Rhone Valley
Of course, nothing beats a summer road trip through Southern France. This is a drive that you must definitely experience. The valleys, forests, as well as the many B&Bs and chateaus, the views and endless fields of lavender make for a magical and very French road trip experience. The Rhone Valley can have quick moments of rain followed by immediate sunshine, and days are often marked by the presence of the mistral winds.
Take a break from your car to ride your bike through the winery of TerraVentoux.
Most travelers arrive through Paris, which I recommend walking through and taking the metro around, especially to enjoy the most of everything the city has to offer.
Rainy day at the Louvre.
But the true beauty of France is outside of the larger cities, and once you do it, you will find that there is no better way to travel here.