France is more than its glamorous cities! Take a favourite France road trip route from Paris to Nice and witness the charming trails of all things Romanesque, Renaissance and Gothic.
When it comes to treating yourself to picturesque, post-card ready sceneries, nothing beats the road trip from Paris to Nice. This road trip typically takes ten hours, but you can spend a little extra time getting lost along the way in the beauty of France, because who hasn’t? From the bustling heart of Paris to the sprawling beaches of Nice, here’s the perfect France road trip itinerary:
1. Paris to Orleans
Indulge in the shopping (don’t forget to say no to DCC when shopping overseas) and culinary wonderland that’s Paris before hitting the road to experience a trail of Romanesque churches, stunning timbered houses, and the colossal Cathedral Ste-Croix on the road to Orleans.
Accommodation: Empreinte Hotel Boutique, 80 Quai du Châtelet
Empreinte Hotel rests in the heart of Orleans’ historic district and at the edge of Loire – the longest wilder river in France. With a collection of 31 rooms with 3 charming suites, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Must-Eat: Le Lièvre Gourmand, 28 Quai du Châtelet
Helmed by Tristan Robreau, this One Michelin star restaurant offers fusion cuisine of local produce and flavour inspired by the chef’s travels.
2. Orleans to Chambord
Chateau de Chambord is a stop you must not miss. This beautiful, distinctive castle possesses a blend of traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structure, and for centuries it remains as the most recognisable châteaux in the world.
Accommodation: Relais de Chambord, Place Saint-Louis
The newly-restored Relais de Chambord offers the charm of a large country house combined with the sovereign comfort of a warm contemporary hotel.
Must-Eat: Le Rendez-vous Des Gourmets, 20 rue Roger Brun
Awarded the Bib Gourmand, this family-run guesthouse uses fine ingredients in their traditional cooking.
3. Chambord to Bourges
Another stunning sight to behold! Feast your eyes on incredible French Renaissance architecture, alongside the famous gothic cathedral, Jacques Coeur’s Palace in Bourges.
Accommodation: L’Hôtel de Panette, 1 Rue Henri Ducrot
Located in the heart of Bourges, the historic L’Hôtel de Panette was originally built in 1418 by the Duke of Berry, before being rebuilt again in 1818.
Must-Eat: La Gargouille, 108 Rue Bourbonnoux
An intimate bistro located in a cathedral’s small garden in the old Bourges, serving neat French cuisine and fresh homemade products.
4. Bourges to Vichy
Enjoy a well-deserved pampering along the way in the small spa city of Vichy. The quaint city is full of luxurious spas with natural minerals from the Source des Celestins – indulgence doesn’t get any better than this. If you’re paying by card, remember to remain vigilant against common overseas card scams when travelling around.
Accommodation: Vichy Célestins Spa Hôtel, 111 Boulevard des États Unis
Set in the idyllic Napoléon III park, Vichy Célestins Spa Hôtel borders Lake Alliers and the famous mineral spring, Vichy Célestins.
Must-Eat: La Table d’Antoine, 8 Rue Burnol
For 20 over years and counting, Chef Antoine Souillat treats his guests with inventive, generous cuisine inspired by his travels.
5. Vichy to Avignon
If you only have time to visit one place in Avignon, go to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where life revolves around good wines and a countless number of vintage wine cellars. Clink, clink! Let’s get sippin’.
Accommodation: Hotel de l’Atelier, 5 Rue de la Foire
Tucked away in the historic center of Villeneuve-Lez-Avignon, Hotel de l’Atelier provides an authentic 16th century residence within the thick stone walls and sunlit terrace.
Must-Eat: La Cuisine du Dimanche, 31 Rue de la Bonneterie
Behind the large wrought iron gate, get ready to be transported back in time at the bucolic and romantic terrace.
6. Avignon to Provence
Provence has always been a secret spot for celebrities to enjoy their vacation. Lavender fields, olive groves, vineyards, and pine forests, what’s not to love about this magical place? Indulge your senses further and shop in one of the Provencal markets for fresh produce and flowers – a must-do when you’re in Provence.
Accommodation: Hôtel Le Pigonnet, 5 Avenue du Pigonnet
This haven of peace is bordered with hundred-year-old chestnut trees, inhabited by a bright and colourful rose garden.
Must-Eat: Pointe Noire Bar à Mets, 37 Place des Tanneurs
Pointe Noire Bar à Mets is a Michelin two-star restaurant that serves extraordinary tapas. Heads up! It has no signage, so keep your eyes peeled on 37 Place des Tanneurs.
7. Provence to Nice
No place in France compares with Nice. The booming artistic hub is also home to a rich culinary scene, and has attracted aristocrats as early as the 18th century. While the sun is still up, soak in the beauty of the French Riviera along the pebbly shores of the Baie des Anges.
Accommodation: Hôtel La Pérouse, 11 Quai Rauba Capeu
Carved into a steep limestone cliff in the 1930s, Hôtel La Pérouse is a small, luxurious, Mediterranean-chic hotel that overlooks the sparkling Baie des Anges.
Must-Eat: Le Canon, 23 Rue Meyerbeer
Le Canon doesn’t have a menu! The bistro serves dishes that change with the seasons, and according to what is delivered from local producers.
Ready to go on this amazing French road trip?
Before you set off, remember to pick a suitable travel insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events along the way. Also, utilise the 7 best booking hacks to save yourself some money 💰.
This guide was specially curated in collaboration with Etihad Airways.
Enjoy a worldwide fees-less travel experience!