Home DestinationsEurope 30 Stunning Places You Must Visit On a Road Trip in France (with itinerary)

30 Stunning Places You Must Visit On a Road Trip in France (with itinerary)

Isn’t a road trip around France a wonderful project to accomplish at least once in your life? We do believe so! France is the country where the most popular conversation topics are food, the weather, strikes and immigrants. It’s also been a time of reconnecting with my home country and being reunited with old friends. Ironically it’s since leaving that I’ve taken the take to explore the place where I’m from. For our trip around France, we went on a road trip along the Atlantic coast – less touristic than the Mediterranean, but equally magnificent!

The Stunning Places You Must Visit On a Road Trip in France

Saint-Malo

I had no idea Brittany would have such a big effect on me. People told me Saint-Malo was a beautiful town but I had no idea exactly how beautiful until I set foot there. High walls demarcate the old town, which give it an extraordinary charm from both within and outside the walls. And what an atmosphere there was at the within the ramparts. The sea views all along the fortifications were magnificent. The tide was low and the kids loved running and playing on the beach.

Fortifications de Saint-Malo

Fortifications de Saint-Malo

Bordeaux

Among the large towns of France, Bordeaux is my favourite. The architecture is unusual and the spacious design of the town eliminated any feeling of suffocation which is so common in other French towns. This town can win over pretty much anyone’s heart with its good quality of life.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux

La Baule

Another beautiful discovery was the gigantic and mythical beach of La Baule. We felt like we were the only people in the world on that beach, we enjoyed digging in the sand to hunt for seashells, cockles, crabs and fish. As the tide was out, we had to walk 500 metres to reach the water. And even after wading for 200 metres we were still barely knee-deep!

La Baule at low tide

La Baule at low tide

Rocamadour

If we had to choose one village out of them all, it would have to be Rocamadour. Walking through the streets we felt like we were in in a different era. Hanging off a cliff, this “citadel of faith” is an ancient site of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages. This place is also among the most visited tourist sites in France.

Rocamadour

Rocamadour

Strasbourg

In Strasbourg, it’s like being in France and Germany at the same time. This town captivated us with its imposing cathedral and its Alsatian houses on the side of the canals. Not to mention the majestic storks gliding over our heads and contemplating us from the top of their nests built on the roofs of town houses!

Strasbourg

Strasbourg

More stunning places (see photos at the end of the post)

After having landed at Basel-Mulhouse airport, we rented a car and set off with my parents and sister to Besancon before heading to the Southwest of France. We drove north following the Atlantic coast and, after a short spell in Benelux, we returned via the Northeast of France for the national celebrations on the 14th of July and the world cup final! We visited huge megacities as well as tiny adorable villages. All these regions, both familiar and new, enchanted us with their quality of life. The beauty of the landscapes, the sunshine and the good food conquered our hearts.

Here is the list in order of the places we visited:

  • The village of Martel, Lot
  • The village of Rocamadour, Lot
  • The village of Monflanquin, Lot-et-Garonne
  • The village of Issigeac, Dordogne
  • Toulouse, Haute-Garonne
  • The castle of Bonaguil, Lot-et-Garonne
  • Bordeaux, Gironde
  • Saintes, Charente-Maritime
  • L’île d’Oléron, Charente-Maritime
  • La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime
  • The village of Clisson, Loire-Atlantique
  • Nantes, Loire-Atlantique
  • Baule, Loire-Atlantique
  • The village of Guéranof, Loire-Atlantique
  • Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine
  • The Mont-Saint-Michel, Manche
  • Saint-Malo, Ille-et-Vilaine
  • Caen, Calvados
  • Deauville, Calvados
  • The Bridge of Normandy, Calvados
  • The cliffs of Étretat, Seine-Maritime
  • Rouen, Seine-Maritime
  • Metz, Moselle
  • Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle
  • Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin
  • The village of Eguisheim, Haut-Rhin
  • Colmar, Haut-Rhin
  • Belfort, Territory of Belfort
  • Besançon, Doubs
  • Basel (Switzerland)

For a better preparation

Transportation

We rented a Renault Grand Scenic to get around. We were 7 as we were travelling with my parents and sister. With 7 passengers, the trunk was ridiculously small, so we had to compromise by only bringing the absolute essentials in our Osprey bags. This experience was actually very useful as it made us realise that our 4 cabin bags had far too many non-essential items for our world trip. At the end of our tour of France, we reduced the total weight of our cases from 40kg to 34kg. And we’re aiming to reduce it further to 28kg when we are in Asia! Pray for us!

Renault Grand Scenic

Renault Grand Scenic

Accomodation

For 10 out of 19 nights in France, we were able to enjoy the hospitality of family and friends. We spent the remaining 9 nights in 7 different hotel/apartments.

Cancon

Cancon

Food

What a pleasure it was to finally eat tomatoes that taste like tomatoes, apples that taste like apples, milk that tastes like milk and pastries that taste like France! Do you know what I’m talking about, fellow Quebecers?

Tasty fruits and vegetables

Tasty fruits and vegetables

We forced ourselves (without much difficulty and with a lot of pleasure in fact) to try the regional specialities.

Crêpes bretonnes

Crêpes bretonnes

And in the regions with a coastline, we never forgot to eat oysters, like here at Oléron.

Oléron

Oléron

Expenses

The biggest component of our expenses was the transport. When returning the rental car, the counter indicated that we’d added an extra 5700km during our trip in France and Benelux. Petrol costs, toll fees, and parking quickly ramped up the transport budget.

The expenses listed below are those which we made exclusively in France. I’ve subtracted 3/7 of our accommodation and food costs, which make up my parents and sister’s contribution. I haven’t subtracted transport costs as travelling without them wouldn’t have saved petrol, toll and parking costs.

And our 4 plane tickets from London to Basel only cost us 58,00 EUR (70.30 USD)!

All in all, the real cost of our trip to France for our family of 4 is totaled at:

  • 2.224,00 EUR (2,695.71 USD)
  • 117,00 EUR (141.82 USD) per day;
  • 29,25 EUR (35.45 USD) per person per day.

In detail :

Expense Category Amount Spent
Flights 58,00 EUR / 70.30 USD
Accomodation 433,00 EUR / 524.84 USD
Transport (including gas, toll, parking) 1.177,00 EUR / 1,426.64 USD
Eating out 331,00 EUR / 401.21 USD
Groceries 209,00 EUR / 253.33 USD
Activities 17,00 EUR / 20.61 USD
Total2.224,00 EUR / 2,695.71 USD

In a nutshell

Dates2018-06-19 to 2018-07-02; 2018-07-10 to 2018-07-16
Number of days 19
Cities we visited Toulouse, Bordeaux, Saintes, Oléron, La Rochelle, Nantes, La Baule, Rennes, Saint-Malo, Etretat, Rouen, Metz, Nancy, Strasbourg, Colmar, Belfort, Besançon
Inbound London to Basel-Mulhouse by plane
Outbound Basel-Mulhouse to Berlin by plane
Mode of transport Rental car
Distance travelled (car & foot) 4300 km
Number of photos taken 5200 (275 per day)
Currency The Euro (1,00 EUR = 1.21 USD)

Conclusion

The second month of our world trip has gone smoothly. Although it was not always easy, we were on familiar ground being in my homeland. We have recuperated well and are now continuing our adventures in Germany.

==> Download all our photos of France and Switzerland for free!

More photos

Martel

Martel

Rocamadour

Rocamadour

Monflanquin

Monflanquin

Issigeac

Issigeac

Toulouse

Toulouse

Bonaguil

Bonaguil

Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Saintes

Saintes

Oléron

Oléron

La Rochelle

La Rochelle

Clisson

Clisson

Nantes

Nantes

La Baule at low tide

La Baule at low tide

Guérande

Guérande

Rennes

Rennes

Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel

Saint-Malo

Saint-Malo

Caen

Caen

Deauville

Deauville

Pont de Normandie

Pont de Normandie

Etretat

Etretat

Rouen

Rouen

Metz

Metz

Nancy

Nancy

Strasbourg Cathedral

Strasbourg Cathedral

Eguisheim

Eguisheim

Colmar

Colmar

Belfort

Belfort

Besancon

Besancon

Basel

Basel

no pinno pinno pinno pin

Pin it!

France-pin-1

France-pin-5

France-pin-7

 

Are You Craving for More ?

Keep reading our great travel stories by browsing through all our destinations!

Browse through 15,000 of our most beautiful travel photos sorted by destination and download them for free!

I would also like to take this opportunity to share with you the summary of our exceptional world tour as a family!

 

How About Some Travel Tips?

To learn some techniques to improve your travel planning skills, have a look at our our travel tips:

Don't miss our upcoming posts about how to make the most of your next trip. Subscribe now!

Leave a Comment

In the same category

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you accept, we'll assume you're ok with this. Accept Read More

ajax-loader