A three-week road-trip around France gives you vast opportunities to take in much that France has to offer. With charming bustling cities and small quaint villages, you’ll get a whimsical adventure with many popular tourist sights and local attractions for a well-blended road-trip.
In all its splendor, France provides visitors some of the most dynamic scenery and medieval landmarks and more. From its sunny coastal shorelines to its lush estate-vineyards. While on a three-week road-trip you’ll see that there is more to France than only popular tourist attractions such as the stunning Eiffel Tower and the lovely Louvre Museum. You’ll get to experience France in a different way and explore different areas.
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Here is our suggested 3-week road-trip itinerary:
3 Nights in Paris
When traveling to France, Paris is the first place that most people land after a flight and this city boasts some of the most beautiful scenic landmarks, cultural museums, fine dining restaurants, and iconic outdoor sculptures that are a must-see while in Paris.
There is so much to do in Paris. For your 2-3 days visit to the city I recommend seeing:
- The Eiffel tower
- The Arc de Triomphe
- The Musee du Louvre
- Paris’s well-known oldest and fashionable district Le Marais.
Paris has so much to offer and will give you a well-grounded starting point for a great road-trip adventure around France.
1 Night at Mont-Saint-Michel – Normandy
Since you’ve become acquainted with Paris, you’ll have fallen in love with France by the city alone. After you have finished your sight-seeing and explorations of Paris you can head to Mont-Saint-Michel (around 4h30 drive) and continue your road-trip at the Northwest of France and begin to work your way down.
As a UNESCO site, the island commune Mont-Saint-Michel is a picturesque and highly visited place. We recommend you stay for the night as it is typical for this gorgeous architectural marvel to be covered in rain or mist. Upon arrival, we could barely make out the outline of Mont St Michel, but fortunately, the mist had lifted, and we could make the most out of our explorations before heading off mid-morning.
2 Nights at Amboise – Loire Valley
After spending a few hours at Mont Saint Michel, it is time to tackle your 3h30 drive to your next destination.
Located in central France, Amboise makes the perfect 2-nights retreat while on a road-trip around the country. There are several things to do in Amboise such as taking an early day tour of Château D’Amboise before you venture out and around Amboise to see some of the most spectacular castles in all of France.
3 Nights in Bordeaux
Leaving Amboise early in the morning to make a start on the long 4-hour drive to Bordeaux.
This popular French city is best known for its gorgeous wines, but truth be told, this city is so much more impressive than just its connection to wine. It has elegant buildings, delicious food, beautiful gardens, and fascinating museums. Places to see include:
- The Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André
- Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux
- The Grand Place de la Bourse
- The Three Graces fountain that overlooks the Miroir d’Eau reflecting pool
Don’t forget to take a drive and visit some of the stunning vineyards around the city!
1 Nights in Carcasonne
Today’s drive is a 3hr20 minute drive through Toulouse to Carcasonne. Carcassonne is spectacular! A beautiful hilltop town in southern France’s Languedoc area. Its popularity is due to its unique medieval citadel.
[Editor: Carcassonne is historically significant as the home of the Cathars, who were branded heretics in the 1200s and were defeated by a crusading Catholic army.]
3 Nights in Nice – French Riviera
Leave Carcasonne early in the morning so that you have time to make some pit-stops along the long 4hr30min drive to Nice.
Nice is an amazing coastal city and a popular place for tourists in the southwest of France. Nice is known for being well located along the French Riviera, boasts breathtaking pebbly beaches, French landmarks, cultural centers, and more.
While in Nice there are many places to visit such as the Promenade des Anglais, Parc de la Colline du Château, Vieille Ville, Musée Marc Chagall, Musée Masséna, Cours Saleya Market, Nice Cathedral and many restaurants. Nice is in a great location to drift away and visit nearby cities and towns such as Monaco and Marseilles.
2 Nights in Avignon – Provence
Leaving Nice nice and early, enjoy an easy 1-hour drive to Saint-Tropez. Stretch your legs and enjoy a stroll to explore this beautiful coastal town. Our favorite area to explore is the beautiful cobblestoned quarter called La Ponche, together with the Old Port (Vieux Port).
Continue your drive (1-hour) and enjoy a bit of lunch stop in Saint Martin, before finalizing your driving (1hr30) for the day in Avignon. You will have one full day to explore this picturesque fortified city. The town is pretty small and easy to explore. Don’t miss the Palais des Papes, the remains of the St-Bénézet medieval bridge as well as some of the interesting museums.
2 Nights in Annecy
Enjoy the beautiful 4-hour drive to Annecy. Stops that are worth making include Ardeche, Grenoble & Aix-les-Bains.
On a road trip in France, you won’t want to miss seeing Annecy, France. Located in the southwest of France, Annecy is a whimsical town full of colorful buildings and homes which make it captivating for most.
As a beautiful medieval town with classic charm, Annecy is packed with tons of things that you do on your 2-night stay. From Lac d’Annecy to Jardins de l’Europe to Pont Des Amours (The Love Bridge) and Palais de l’Île an old-world palace and then prison. Annecy is stunning, and it is a great city to unwind for a few days.
3 Nights in Colmar – Grand Est
Leave Annecy early and enjoy a drive through Switzerland as you venture towards Colmar (4-hour drive).
The gorgeous town of Colmar is a marvel with classic cobblestone streets and canal-side neighborhoods. Bordering Germany, Colmar provides visitors with an array of historic attractions.
While in Colmar you’ll get to see all of its wonders like the Old Town & Place de la Cathédrale, Musée Unterlinden, Koïfhus, Ancienne Douane (Old Custom House), Eglise des Dominicains, Quartier de la Krutenau (Little Venice) and many more great attractions.
1 Night in Paris
Nearing the end of your road-trip around France, you’ll be heading back to Paris to spend your last night before leaving for home (or your next adventure). The drive today is a really long 6-hour drive.
While in Paris you can wrap up your vacation by winding down, but you can still see great things in Paris before you leave. Paris is beautiful at night and you can rehash your city visit by seeing the Eiffel tower well-lit at night, you can go to Jardin du Luxembourg, see the fantastic Médicis fountain and the rues des Martyrs, visit the Picasso Museum or have dinner by candlelight on the Seine River. Paris doesn’t have to be expensive (see 8 Ways to Enjoy Paris on a Budget).
In every nook of France, you can explore some of the most noteworthy regions from the north to the south of France. There are so many regional destinations that will give you a perfect scenic view of France, especially for seeing some of its most popular places like the gilded Versaille, the palaces and landmarks of Paris and country chateaus or the coastal shore at Nice. The possibilities are endless for getting creative in planning the best itinerary to get the most out of your France road-trip.