Paris, the capital city of France, has always been associated with the country—to the extent that many people believe that there is nothing else to see in France other than Paris. While Paris is a truly beautiful city in its own right, it is more recommended for people who like to walk around an urban setting to explore the various charms of this European country.
However, if you would like to explore France while driving, here are a few scenic routes to take.
The French Riviera
Found in the southeast corner of France, the French Riviera or the Cote d’Azur, is a slice of paradise set in the Mediterranean coastline of the country. This extremely popular resort town is home to one of the first resort developments in the continent, tracing its beginnings as a health resort where the British aristocracy and upper classes went to during the colder months. If you want to drive in style to this once upper-crust destination, make sure to rent a convertible and pop the top down to enjoy more of wonderful weather. The roads to this French resort town have been immortalized in film thanks to the ultra-popular British spy, James Bond.
To enjoy the most scenic drives to the French Riviera, you can take the Route A8 (starting from Cannes) and drive all the way down to the Italian border. In this route, you will be rewarded with stunning vistas filled with the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean and the vibrant towns built near the coast. You can also start your road trip in Monaco, where you can drive along the legendary Grand Prix Route. Make sure to keep your speed in check—the local police do not really appreciate amateurs roaring down their roads.
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France is home to numerous wine-producing regions, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne. These areas are usually very scenic, as the grapes used to make these exquisite wines typically grow in specific landscapes.
There will be plenty of charming old-fashioned wineries that you will encounter along the way, and while wine tasting is part of the fun (and perhaps the most fun part of a vineyard road trip), make sure to have a designated driver who would not touch any of the excellent wines offered for tasting. The roads can get tricky in these regions.
The French Alps
Alpine scenery is always breathtaking, no matter where it is in the world. The French Alps is definitely magnificent, especially during the warmer months of June until October. La Route des Grandes Alpes is one of the most challenging drives in France, but the rewards are amazing.
With an elevation of up to 2,300 meters, traversing the roads that wind through mountains and forests is clearly not for nervous novices. The views will be unforgettable—right outside your window, panoramic views of the Mont Blanc, glaciers, lush forests, and French alpine towns will unfold as you cruise along the route.