France Tour: Where to go and what to see on the ultimate French road trip

France attracts visitors with its rich historical tapestry, elegant culture, fascinating culinary scene, and stunning landscapes. From the castles and exotic monuments of the Loire Valley to the picturesque vineyards of Bordeaux, it’s a country that offers a myriad of experiences for the avid adventurer.

A road trip around France offers the opportunity to get off the beaten path and explore parts of the country you may have never known existed. Start by boarding a ferry at any of the Brittany Ferry ports of Portsmouth, Poole or Plymouth and head straight to Caen, Cherbourg, Roscoff or St Malo – here you can start your journey vacation On the way, with a comfortable cruise featuring stunning sea views, space to roam, award-winning service, and great onboard amenities to enjoy and enjoy. From stylish bars to stunning restaurants, cinemas and live entertainment, it’s the perfect way to start your holiday, arriving refreshed after a great night’s sleep, and ready to fully embrace the French The art of living (lifestyle).

Here we’ve outlined the perfect trip from Golfe de St-Malo to Giverny, taking in the best of French culture, cuisine and landscape, for a trip you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Days 1-3: Saint-Malo and the Loire Valley

Enjoy a wine tasting at one of the thousands of vineyards in the Loire Valley

(Brittany Ferris)

Start your adventure in Saint-Malo, a beautiful seaside town in Brittany, home to stunning architecture, delicious cuisine and ancient fortresses. Don’t miss the famous Cathedral of Saint-Malo, built in Romanesque and Gothic styles, with foundations dating back to the 12th century. Spend a day here exploring the castles, cathedrals and fortresses and eating crepes and galettes topped with just-whipped butter – the foods Brittany is famous for – before hitting the road and heading to the Loire Valley.

Here, you’ll come face to face with more history; Home to thousands of castles and a landscape dotted with vineyards, the region is quintessentially French, with 280 kilometers of landscape designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Loire River meanders through castles, including Chambord Castle, built in the 14th century; It is a fine example of French Renaissance architecture. Don’t leave without visiting at least one of the region’s world-famous vineyards, spread along the Loire River, France’s longest wine route. There are more than a thousand vineyards, many with tasting booths and extensive wine cellars.

Days 4-6: Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion and Dordogne

Saint-Emilion is dotted with charming restaurants, ideal for sampling local cuisine

(Brittany Ferris)

Start early and head south to the UNESCO-listed city of Bordeaux, where you’ll find some of the world’s oldest vineyards, elegant 18th-century architecture and riverside promenades perfect for walking or cycling. Spend the better part of a day or two exploring the world-class museums and markets of this southwestern city before driving about an hour to San Emilio. You can expect more wine in this municipality; It is said that the Romans first planted grapes here in the 2nd century. Although small in size, the village is a culinary haven, offering a variety of gourmet restaurants that are best paired with local wines. There is also a historic center full of historical monuments, including the largest monolithic church in Europe and an underground church carved in the 12th century.

Take a leisurely drive east to Dordogne, famous for its stunning scenery, interesting history and the Dordogne River, popular for river cruises and water activities such as kayaking and canoeing. Enjoy a delicious meal while cruising down the river, then stop by a local farmers market to stock up on fresh produce and regional snacks. The area is widely known for its duck, goose and walnut produce and the creamy Rocamador cheese prepared along the way.

Days 7-9: Avignon, Provence and Lyon

France is an ideal place for relaxing wandering and exploring villages, markets and traditional places

(Brittany Ferris)

Next, head southeast to the historic city of Avignon. Dotted with medieval architecture, tranquil gardens overlooking the Rhone River and meadows of purple lavender fields that lead to Provence. Here you can enjoy delicious Provençal cuisine made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, wander through lively outdoor markets and explore well-preserved Roman ruins. It is also home to the Calanques National Park and more world-class wine regions, such as the Côtes de Provence and Bandol. Be sure to pick up a bottle or two of rosé on the way.

End this leg of the trip in Lyon, often called the gastronomic capital of France, dotted with traditional bouchons, Michelin-starred restaurants and markets selling the best regional cuisine. Spend some time exploring Lyon’s remote Trapolis – secret passageways once used by silk workers that offer a new way to explore the city – and wandering around the old city.

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Days 10-14: Lake Annecy, Reims, Giverny and Le Havre

The next part of your trip takes you to Lake Annecy, a scenic alpine lake in the Savoie region of France, known for its stunning nature, water sports and quaint old town often referred to as the “Venice of the Alps.” Rent a bike and cycle around the 42km bike path that circles the lake, or see it all from above with a paragliding spot.

Once you’ve had your dose of nature, head to Reims in the heart of the Champagne region, where you’ll find world-famous Champagne houses like Veuve Clicquot and Taittinger. Enjoy a guided tour and some tastings before spending the afternoon browsing the shops of Place Drouet-d’Erlon, a lively square decorated with local restaurants, bars, cafés and shops.

Spend one of your last days in Giverny, visiting the dusty pink and green house where Claude Monet lived and worked. Admire the gorgeous gardens that served as the inspiration for his famous painting Water Lily Pond, and enjoy a slow stroll through the rolling countryside before stopping by the market where you can buy local produce, antiques, crafts and more.

End your trip in Le Havre, a port city in Normandy famous for its maritime history, beautiful beaches along the English Channel, and modern architecture that has earned it UNESCO World Heritage status. From here, you’ll hop back onto your Brittany ferry and head to UK shores, enjoying on-board entertainment, skipping the stressful airport craziness and getting a good night’s sleep ready to resume everyday life.

Enjoy a comfortable and enjoyable journey from start to finish with Brittany Ferries

(Brittany Ferris)

Enjoy a simpler and easier ferry holiday to France or Spain with Brittany Ferries. With budget-friendly Early Bird bookings and flexible ticket options, you can book the perfect trip with complete confidence for a low deposit. Sailing from Portsmouth, Poole or Plymouth, it’s the perfect way to enjoy hassle-free travel without airport queues or baggage fees, while enjoying sea views and amazing on-board amenities – making your entire holiday unforgettable from start to finish. Find out more and book now on Brittany phrases. Brittany Ferries are rated excellent on Trustpilot. They have also won the 2022 British Travel Awards for Best Ferry Company, Best Central/Western Europe Travel Company, Best Southern Europe/Canary Islands Travel Company and Best Family Holiday Travel Company.

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