For tourists who seek balanced holidays that offer a perfect blend of popular tourist attractions and insights into the local ways of living, driving around France this summer may be the ideal way to achieve that goal. If you are hard-pressed for time and need to sample all that France offers in just two short weeks, opt for car hire in France and embark on the following 15 day road trip that offers the perfect balance between tourism and local cultural insights:
Driving through south of France can feel like witnessing the unfolding of a fairy tale. Start your trip from Montpellier where you have a choice of driving through Provence. The resplendently beautiful lavender fields in Provence, that bloom from June to August must not be given a miss. A visit to the Lavender Museum in Coustellet is also highly recommended.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Provence by decar66
Drive to Nice via Arles and Marseille and explore Aigues-Mortes, the spectacular walled village. You will also come across some great vineyards between Montpellier to Arles. Make pit stops along the beaches that come your way to behold the beauty of the places. East of Marseille, visit Cassis, a gorgeous town known for its white and rose wines. Enjoy a tranquil boat trip from Cassis to Calanques.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Cassis to Calanque by austinevan
After arriving at Nice, you might want to rest a little before heading for Monte Carlo. In fact, spend a night or two in Nice as well as Monte Carlo to sample some of their delights. A must-try delicacy of Nice is “Farcis,” a dish in which vegetables like eggplant and tomatoes are stuffed with ground meat, garlic, and bread crumbs. Buy souvenirs without burning a hole in your pocket at Monte Carlo’s Condamine Market, a vibrant and bustling marketplace that came up in the late 19th century.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Monte Carlo by herry
Next, head towards Aix-en-Provence, which is again a great place to stop over at.
If you drive back to where you started, you will be able to explore the stunning Orange. The ancient theatre of Théâtre antique d’Orange here, dating back to the 1st century A.D. is one of France’s most famous historical sites and certainly worth a visit. Also, stop by at Les Baux de Provence. A village between Arles and Avignon that offers surreal hilltop views, it has the quintessential charm of a small French hamlet. Spend the last few days of your memorable road trip exploring the triangle between Salon-de-Provence, Avignon and Arles that is home to hundreds of charming vineyards. Between Avignon and Nimes is the Pont du Gard. If you happen to be passing by this place in the day time, stop here for a quaint picnic lunch.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Fontaine de la Rotonde by decar66
Depending on your personal preferences, you can also choose to spend your time exploring Southwest of France, that is famed for the red bricked buildings at Toulouse, the wine at Bordeaux, and the Beaches of Biarritz. Thrifty, the car rental service offers some affordable solutions and deals for travellers planning to drive through France.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Biarritz by AiresAlmeida