Most people travel to France to see Paris, one of the world’s most famous cities. But few take advantage of the chance to hire a car in Paris and discover this beautiful country by road at their own pace.
Here are five great road trips from Paris. Remember, allow extra time because you’re sure to come across plenty of unexpected wonders.
Travel two and a half hours west of Paris and you’ll discover one of the country’s most beautiful coastal drives. There are several landmarks, from the famous island monastery Mont-Saint-Michel to the so-called D-Day beaches where some of the most dreadful scenes of World War Two took place. Another place to stop includes the colourful town of Honfleur, which inspired impressionist arists like Claude Monet.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a popular resort area near the border of Italy and Switzerland. Mont Blanc is the highest summit in the Alps, making it the ideal place for snow-based activities, while also offering panoramic views. It’s a six hour drive south-east of Paris. Along the way, stop at Avallon. It’s a quaint community, situated at the edge of the Moran Forest, and it comes alive when the market comes to town on Saturdays. You can also make a short detour to Lyon, a large city with architecture up to 2000 years old.
The stunning Loire Valley is located in central France, just two hours south west of Paris. This region is famous for its beautiful and extravagant palaces, which were once home to kings, queens and others from the noble class. These structures are so magnificent, that they’ve earned the Loire Valley the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is also famous for its wineries.
Travel seven and a half hours south on your way to the beautiful French Riviera and you’ll come across the lovely city of Montpellier. There are plenty of sites to see, from museums, gardens and historic monuments. Continue further south and drive along the coast to Nice. Along the way you’ll go through the Camargues, which are home to great vineyards and famous white wild horses. Then you’ll pass picture perfect towns of Marseille and Cassis, before making your way to the famous Nice or Monte Carlo nearby.
The trip to this tiny European country, which is bordered by Belgium, France and Germany, is well worthwhile. It’s a three and a half hour drive west of Paris, taking you through the lovely Champagne-Ardenne region. You’ll want to spend days at your destination. But some of the highlights along the way inclue the city of Reims, which is at the heart of the Champagne wine-growing region, and Verdun. Situated along the banks of the Meuse River, Verdun is home to one of the most famous battles of World War One. The Douaumont Ossuary in the town is home to the remains of more than 100,000 soldiers.