A Road Trip Through France can be fun! To be perfectly honest, I drive from England to my home in the South of France regularly, my dogs can come along, I can take as much stuff as will fit in the Range Rover and buy some wine along the way.
However, be prepared because it is a LOOONG JOURNEY! The best plan is to stop along the way. Here is my itinerary:
- Eurotunnel to Calais takes 30 minutes and drive from Calais to Epernay. This drive will take you approximately 2 to 2 and a half hours.
- Stop overnight in the Champagne area
- Drive to Beaune approximately a 4 to 5 hour drive. Stopping in the Designer retail outlet in Troyes on the way.
- Stop overnight in Beaune
- Drive to the South of France approximately 6 hour drive.
French motorways are a delight! Traffic free roads and pretty countryside all the way.
Tip: Pack a picnic for the journey and stop in one of the pretty Aires dotted along the route rather than a Service Station.
We stop in our favourite wine areas of France and enjoy some wine tasting and a degustation menu in the evening and then continue along our route.
First stop on this trip was the delightful Chateau d’Etoges. Read all about this stay in my blog post http://luxurytraveldiva.com/chateau-detoges/
PHOTO: Chateau d’Etoges
A beautiful Chateau and such a delightful place to stay. It also has an excellent wine list and restaurant. Two vineyards are within walking distance, if you want to do a little bit of wine tasting and just walk 100 metres back to the Chateau!
PHOTO: Champagne Vineyards
This is heaven for Champagne lovers! Make sure you leave room in the car for a few cases.
PHOTO: Explore the village
Wake up refreshed and ready to continue the journey to Beaune via Troyes. We avoid Paris, although it looks a shorter route on the map. The traffic is appalling on the Peripherique and this route is much less stressful and pretty much the same time wise.
Follow the signs to Lyon and Troyes. Troyes is a good place to stop for lunch, especially if you like a Designer Outlet.
After Dijon, keep going for about 20 minutes and you will see signs for Nuits St George. A great place to stop if you are a fan of this classic wine.
PHOTO: Beaune. Enjoying drinking the contents of the vineyard!
Beaune is perfectly situated for an overnight stop. Not only does it have countless hotels for every budget, it is an interesting town in the heart of Burgundy. Also, it is right by the motorway. Wonderful wines and so many lovely places to eat.
PHOTO: Degustation lunch at Olivier Leflaive
Some favourites are Hostellerie Le Cedre in Beaune and Le Montrachet in nearby Puligny Montrachet. Puligny Montrachet is a favourite wine of mine. A degustation meal at Olivier LeFlaive is another favourite treat.
PHOTO: BEAUNE town centre
Your journey then continues South, through Lyon (I ignore the bypass and go straight through the centre of Lyon). Try and avoid rush-hour times, which can be time consuming. I don’t really like Lyon and so never stop.
If you want to make a third night stop, I recommend Avignon or the area around Avignon. Such an interesting city and, of course, home to another good wine Chateauneuf du Pape is close by!
The weather always gets warmer after Lyon! If you don’t want to stop another night en route, it is only a five hour drive from Lyon to Monaco.
PHOTO: Saint Tropez on the Road Trip through France
Saint Tropez is a good place to stop once you turn left at Marseille and head along the A6. Although be aware that it will add an extra hour driving down to St. Trop and don’t do this in high season, the traffic is terrible! Read my separate blog for more information http://luxurytraveldiva.com/saint-tropez/
You are now in Cotes de Provence wine and Rose country. Not the quality of the other wines along the way but great for an aperitif in the sunshine.
Enjoy your road trip through France! Let me know how you get on!
PHOTO: Arrived at my destination! End of the Road Trip through France
Calais to Cote d’Azur is 1000 kilometres
Travelling with dogs: Make sure your dog has an up to date Passport. Eurotunnel charge £20 per dog to travel. Most hotels in France allow dogs to stay but usually charge a supplement of 15 euros per dog. France is a very dog friendly country, you can take your dog around nearly everywhere including many restaurants. Make sure you have given a good tick treatment, they are prevalent is certain areas.
Sanef: Buy a pass! It saves hours when passing through the tolls. Take into account toll costs, approximately 80 euros for the trip.http://www.saneftolling.co.uk