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The Most Beautiful Road Trips in France For Your Bucket List

February 26, 2020

The Most Beautiful Road Trips in France For Your Bucket List

February 26, 2020

Like most European countries, France has an excellent public transport system that makes moving between the big, important cities really easy. Well-preserved autoroutes, high-speed trains and airports all contribute to a great travel experience. However, it’s a country that deserves to be explored on the open road. Its ever-changing landscape, picturesque towns and villages and delicious local cuisine just cry out for enough time to be explored in a leisurely way.

To make things easier for international travellers, an international driver’s permit is not required in France to rent a car or drive within the country’s geographical limits. As long as your drivers’ license is written in French or English, you’re good to go! Whichever the case, it’s always a good idea to be well covered against any inconvenience that may arise: investing in a good traveller’s medical policy and a complete insurance policy for your rental car that won’t break the bank are a must-have.

Route Napoleon

Follow the Route Napoleon and enjoy a road trip that combines equal doses of interesting history and great scenery. As you drive, you’ll follow Napoleon Bonaparte’s 1815 march from Elba to Grenoble on his way to overthrow Louis XVIII. It’s a particularly scenic road as the famous military man chose remote roads away from large cities so get ready to enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in France.

Route Napoleon is 350 kilometres long and it’s perfect for a weekend road trip. There are many interesting villages to be explored such as Cannes, Grasse, Saint-Vallier-de-Thiey, Seranon, Castellane, Digne, Sisteron, Gap, Corps, La Mure and Grenoble. Probably, the highlight of this trip is Grasse, an ancient Provencal town known as the perfume capital of the world.

You’ll be able to enjoy a meandering drive down the mountainside, admiring awe-inspiring cliffs and natural valleys. Make sure you stop off from time to time to enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake en route. Punctuated by beautiful historic landmarks, it’s the perfect trip for those interested in stunning natural French scenery. It’s a very popular drive with tourists looking for a scenic drive to the south of France. The route begins or ends in Cannes and winds its way through towns and villages before climbing to the mountainous Prealps at Grenoble.

The Alsace Wine Route

Strasbourg is a great starting point to explore the Alsace Wine Route. It’s a beautiful border city that enjoys the French charm and the German joviality. Take your time to enjoy the districts of Place Kleber or Petite France and the delicious French-German cuisine. Then, drive south to Colmar and explore the south of Alsace. Visit Eguisheim, Riquewihr and Kaysersberg; they are all small-wine-growing towns where you can taste the world-class white wines that are so characteristic of this region. Walking through the vineyards and hiking to the old castles is a great plan. Get lost at the forest trails and enjoy spectacular views!

What makes the Alsace Wine Route so special is that it will take you through some of the most beautiful medieval towns you can ever see.

Explore the Historically Rich Normandy Region

Normandy is probably best explored and discovered on a road trip. Driving makes it easier for travellers to combine the famous D-Day beaches, colourful harbour towns and the striking white-cliff coastline with ease. Vierville-sur-Mer, where soldiers landed on Omaha Beach on 6 June 1944 is a good starting point. From there, it’s easy to explore other interesting historical stops along the coastline: the Musée du Débarquement at Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, the American Cemetery and Omaha Beach, Longues-sur-Mer battery and the Merville Battery Museum. If you keep travelling NE you’ll reach Honfleur, a picturesque town that was Monet’s favourite place.

Then, hope on the Route du Cidre to the east of the port city of Caen. The route winds through a series of charming towns and hits the best cider and Calvados producers along the way. There are plenty of apple orchards, fermentation and distilling cellars that are really worth exploring.

The Regal Route: Loire Valley and Its Castles

Drive along the picturesque D952 that hugs the Loire Valley and explore the region’s towns that are scattered with stunning castles _ or chateaux _ here and there. The Loire Valley was historically where the French aristocrats would retreat during the summer months so there are plenty of beautiful residences to see and admire.

The Regal Route will take you past all the highlights of the region: the pretty towns of Amboise and Saumur that overlook the Loire river, Angers, quaintest roadside picnic spots or the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Nature Park.

It’s also an ideal road trip for those with a soft heart for history, architecture, food and wine. From Saumur drive to Chateau d’ Ussee (the castle that inspired Sleeping Beauty) after a stop at Chateau Miniere for a walk among the vines and some delicious wine tasting. The beautiful and sumptuous gardens at Chateau Villandry are also a highlight of this road trip and they are also within easy reach from Saumur.

Go on driving eastwards and head to Amboise. This town is home to the Chateau de Clos Luce, where Da Vinci spent his final years. From there, the most iconic Loire castles are easy to reach: Chateau Chenonceau and Chateau Chambord.

Languedoc and Provence: Lavender Fields

If you love nature and all things beautiful then this road trip will make your day. Languedoc and Provence are neighboring provinces that will have you swooning for dramatic bastides, embracing the sunshine, admiring stunning scenery and frolicking in flower fields. The charming town to Avignon and its stunning Palais de Papes should be your starting point. Take your time to explore it and see around and then drive to the romantic medieval town of Uzes; you’re in the gorgeous Languedoc region so take your time to take it in and admire it!

From Uzes drive south to Nimes. Nimes is a beautifully preserved city with vestiges of the Roman Empire, including the 2000-year-old Pont du Gard aqueduct and the Maison Carree. Go further south through Arles and Camargue and all the way to Aigues Mortes, a medieval walled French commune you’ll adore before entering the Provence region.

If you visit the Provence in June or July you’ll be awarded with the extensive lavender fields in full bloom. Besides, grapes are heavy on the vines and the beautiful colours make for an Instagrammable experience. There are many picturesque villages such as Gordes, Roussillon or Ménerbes just to mention a few of them that are delightful to visit. If you’re lucky to be around in their market day, don’t miss the chance to purchase fresh goat cheese or local lavender honey!

 And while in Provence, if you’re interested in lavender, why don’t you explore the beautiful Lavender Road? Gordes is a great place to begin your journey. It’s a quiet village atop of a hill that looks onto the Luberon Valley. Stone paved homes and streets contrast against the bright flora and fauna that surround the city. From there, you’ll arrive at the lavender fields of Senanque Abbey. Sault is your next and final stop. Perched on a promontory, explore the remains of this feudal castle and enjoy a panoramic view of the lavender fields below.

La Route des Grandes Alpes: Take In The Mountains!

La Route des Grandes Alpes is stunning, dramatic, jaw-dropping and absolutely fascinating. It gives you the perfect opportunity to admire the alpine environment with its snow-capped peaks and rugged mountain terrain. Winter is probably the best time of the year for this road trip that starts out at Lake Geneva and stretches for over 425 miles crossing through forests and mountain passes.

Skiers are avid fans of La Route des Grandes Alpes as it gives them the perfect excuse to grab their skis and stop off at some of the most famous resort towns such as Chamonix or Morzine for a quick race down the slopes until you reach Nice via the French Alps. You’ll be able to see Alpine uplands, larch forests, glaciers and the foothills of Mont Blanc!

Hitting this road in the summer months also offer great perks for adrenaline seekers. You can rest assured that some of the best scenic walks and the most spectacular sights await you as you reach over 2300 meters at the Alps!

The Route des Grandes Alpes reopens every year at the end of Spring and it’s completely open from June to October. In the winter months, it can be too snowy and some of the 16 mountain passes may be close or too dangerous to drive through.

The Romantic Route

France is all about romance and what can be more romantic than a road trip through the vineyards of the famous Champagne region? From Troyes to St Etienne via Dijon, this route is packed with opportunities to explore: quaint towns, museums and galleries invite you to see some of the most classical French architecture.

It may not be the most appealing road trip for children but it’s definitely tailored for newly weds and couples on a romantic getaway!

Say Oui to the French Riviera

Amazing and glamorous, the road trip to the French Riviera is probably one of the top drives in France. To do it properly you’ll need around 10 days but it’s also possible to do it in less time. Nice is a great starting point for this road trip and you can even make it your base city as distances are not that long. Nice is a wonderful French city with a wonderful promenade where you can leisurely stroll in the evenings.

Cannes is another iconic destination you can’t miss. It’s not only where the Cannes Festival is held but also an elegant and lavish destination with amazing seafood restaurants. St Tropez, a lovely French village, is the place to see and be seen; expensive and glamorous, it’s where billionaires park their luxurious yachts.

 

I'M KIRSTY LEANNE

My mission is simple. I want to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, I want to inspire and advise people like me on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences.Join me as I share my own personal experiences, my best tips and tricks and all of the challenges I face along the way. It won’t always be an easy ride, but it sure as hell will be a fun one.

Together, we can change the way that travel looks today

WHAT TO EXPECT

Instagram

  • Just some of the things people (including me) can feel anxious about as a plus size traveller. It can be hard, but thankfully there’s a great community of people here on Instagram who can help ❤️✈️🌎 #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltoo #plussize #travel #fatgirlstraveling #fatgirlstravelling #fatgirlstraveltoo #curvygirltravels #travel #travelblogger #travelblogger #anxiety #anxieties #travelanxiety #overwhelmed #takeuspace #takingupspace #community #travelcommunity #reels #instagramreels #reelsinstagram
  • AD  For a long time, I was scared to admit that I was on my self-love journey as I felt like it meant that I had to constantly be positive about how I feel about my body. I knew that the way in which I felt about myself was definitely changing in a positive way, but I didn’t want to open up and say that I was on this journey because I was so scared that I couldn’t be the positive role-model that people needed 🥺

It took some time, but I finally realised that self-love means something completely different to each and every person that has started the incredible journey of learning to love their body more. For some, self-love is wearing a bikini in public for the first time ever. For others, it’s saying no to something you really don’t want to do and taking time to focus on YOU instead 👙

To believe that self-love was a linear concept held me back from so much so when @welovedates asked me to share what it means to me, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to show you that there’s so much more to self-love than building your confidence in yourself ❤️👏🏻

I’ve shared five ways in which my life has changed as a result of my self love journey over on my blog so if you fancy reading, head over to the link in my bio 👩🏼‍💻✍🏻

If you’re on your self love journey, how has your life changed? 👇🏻❤️ #welovereal
  • In another world, today would have been the first day of the Plus Size Travel Too x Bali trip ✈️🌎
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For those of you that are new here, this time last year I announced my first international group trip created with plus size travellers in mind. For obvious reasons, however, I had to cancel it earlier this year. It felt as though it was my biggest career achievement to date and honestly, I am gutted that it hasn’t been able to go ahead as planned 🥺😢

Being passionate about an industry that is now so uncertain isn’t easy right now, but I’m (mostly) hopeful that things will rebuild and I promise they when it’s safe, I’m going to do all that I can to make Plus Size Travel Too trips a reality again ❤️👏🏻 #plussizetraveltoo
  • ad pr • them: “gross, she probably can’t even touch her toes 🤮”

Me: “......hold my drink 😏👏🏻”

Just your friendly reminder that you shouldn’t assume someone can’t do something just because they’re bigger than you AND if for any reason they can’t do the same things as you, they’re not any less worthy of your respect ✌🏻
  • ad pr • a cat print dress certainly makes for the purrrfect Halloween outfit 🕸🕷

When it comes to shooting new content I’ve been feeling really uninspired lately and honestly, I think it’s because I usually find my inspiration in travel and discovering new places ❤️✈️

Summer has been and gone and I think I must have only taken a handful of photos. I felt like I was putting pressure on myself to create when I didn’t feel like it, so even when I did try to self shoot the photos didn’t come out how I wanted 🤷🏼‍♀️

Thankfully, Autumn is well and truly here and I’m feeling really really motivated to start taking photos again. It’s my favourite season for both the colours and the fashion, so I feel like it’s a time of the year where my ‘at home’ content always starts to improve a little 🍂

As I’m not going to be travelling anywhere for a while, I feel like this is going to be the year to embrace my Autumn content even more (starting with this gorgeous @joanieclothing dress) ❤️📸 

I hope you’re all as excited as I am for my content over the next few weeks 😂🎃👀 #joaniegirls
  • I know things have been a little quiet around here the past few weeks but it’s for good reason, I promise! 🥺❤️

So, as I haven’t mentioned it here yet, last week I started working for a new job on a part-time basis! 👏🏻 I’ve been doing lots of training and getting used to my new schedule so unfortunately, Instagram fell behind a little bit. I feel like I haven’t had the time to develop content ideas or create new Reels for a couple of weeks now and when I finally remember to post, it’s gone 10pm and far too late to consider posting 😂

I’m finally getting the hang of things again, so consider this post an accountability post to say that I’ll be back to posting properly ASAP 🥺✌🏻
  • I don’t have a lot to say today so I thought I’d let you all know I really miss Disney California Adventure, even if their churros were extremely overpriced and small 🎡🎠
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Side note: next time I go to a Disney park, will someone please remind me to wear something practical? I looked cute but oh my god, it was so WARM 🥵 #plussizetraveltoo
  • “PLUS SIZE GIRLS POSING IN BIKINIS ARE PROMOTING OBESITY. THIS IS NOT OKAY”❌
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So, earlier this week I shared a video of myself in a bikini. It was the first time I’ve ever worn a bikini to the beach and honestly, I was super proud of myself for taking a big step personally on my journey 👙
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Over the course of the last few days I have a lot of positive and supportive comments from people but of course, when a video on Instagram gets a lot of views, it starts to attract those that think those in a larger body than them shouldn’t be allowed to live their best lives on social media.
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They’re the people who, no matter what I’m doing, tell me I’m promoting obesity by sharing videos and images of my body online 🤷🏼‍♀️📸
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These comments don’t phase me anymore, so....
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JUST FOR A LAUGH, I DECIDED TO DESIGN THE PROMOTING OBESITY MAGAZINE COVER, JUST TO SHOW HOW RIDICULOUS IT ACTUALLY SOUNDS WHEN PEOPLE SAY THIS 😂👏🏻
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By posting videos of myself travelling and enjoying myself, I’m not saying HEY EVERYONE  YOU SHOULD ALL GAIN WEIGHT AND I WON’T BE HAPPY UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD IS FAT LIKE ME. I obviously recognise that there can be health complications for some people, but size does not indicate your health and health does not indicate your worth. 
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Every single person on this planet deserves love and respect and I am going to continue to fight for that every. single. day. Just because someone lives in a body that is bigger than yours, it doesn’t mean that can’t live the same life that you do publicly for fear that people are going to come for them online.
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When people say we’re promoting obesity what they really mean is we’re promoting loving yourself at any size. We’re promoting happiness. Following your dreams. Travelling the world. Finding confidence. We’re promoting the life that everyone deserves to live.
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Honestly, I didn’t realise a video of a happy fat girl in a bikini was going to make people so mad 🤷🏼‍♀️👙 #plussizetraveltoo
  • I’ve been quiet the last few days but I’m back and feeling super refreshed after spending a night glamping, even if it was just thirty minutes from my front door ❤️🥺
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2020 really has been a whirlwind but I am so so thankful for all of these small, happy moments ✨#plussizetraveltoo

FOLLOW MY ADVENTURE

PLUS SIZE TRAVEL TOO COMMUNITY

  • Is anyone else ready for Autumn? 🍂 📸: @sandrapotisek
  • Here’s your friendly reminder that every body is a beach body ☀️🦩👙 📸: @lb_trippinagain #plussizetraveltoo
  • This is a common question for plus size travellers and after experiencing it difficulty on a recent flight, @megkatem has written an article for the Plus Size Travel Too site that looks more into when and where you can’t use a seatbelt extender 💺✈️ 
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The link to read is in our bio ✨#plussizetraveltoo
  • SOUND ON 🔊 HOW TO FIND THE SIZE OF YOUR SEAT BEFORE YOU FLY/BOOK A FLIGHT ✈️🌍❤️
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This is one of the most common questions I get asked both here and on Tiktok, so I thought I’d create this video to help 👏🏻
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1) Log onto seatguru.com
2) Pull up your flight details on Skyscanner (or the site you use to book your flights)
3) Enter the name of the airline and select the carrier you’re flying with from the drop down menu
4) Enter the date you’re travelling and the flight number (if you have it)
5) Take a look at the seat map. You can see the seat layout, the seats closest to the toilets, the ones with the most legroom etc
6) Click info at the top of the screen and scroll down, here you will see the width and pitch of each seat for each available class
7) If needed, scroll through the customer photos to get an idea of what the pay looks like from a user-perspective
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I hope that helps! If you have any questions, please ask below and I’ll do my best to answer 👇🏻❤️ #plussizetraveltoo #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltips
  • Are you looking for plus size friendly activities in LA? Plus Size Travel Too founder @kirstyleanneuk shares her top picks in a recent PSTT blog post ❤️🇺🇸
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“LACMA URBAN LIGHTS: Created by Chris Burden, the Urban Lights have been outside of the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art for almost 12 years. There are a total of 202 1920's lamps and 309 LED bulbs that make up the incredible structure. We visited during the day but as the sun starts to go down, no matter what time that is, the lights will turn on. When the sun comes back up again the next morning, they turn off thanks to an astronomical timer. Since their installation in 2008, they actually haven't missed a single night”
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Find out what else is included by clicking the link in bio 📸: @fordtography #plussizetraveltoo
  • Have you ever put off living your life because of your weight? Kristina from @livingwonderfilled thinks about all of the things she wished she hadn’t missed in her latest blog post on Plus Size Travel Too ☀️🚣‍♀️
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At the end of the day, when we were talking about how great of a time we’d had, planning more days like this, I suddenly felt kind of nostalgic for all the days I’d missed. All the times like that one, when all everyone wanted to do was have fun, but I got too in my head about it to let myself enjoy.”
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The link to read the post is in the profile bio ✨#plussizetraveltoo
  • Ever wondered what it’s like to visit a Moroccan Hammam while plus size? ✨
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“As a plus size woman, I did not feel embarrassed as the hammam I visited had women of all shapes and sizes. No one judged or batted an eye. I was the only woman with dark skin there, however, but still no one seemed to care and were too busy enjoying their spa experience. It was just a normal day for the women who lived there as this was something integral in their culture. I quickly realized that my fears and insecurities stemmed from being judged in America, but that Moroccans were much more accepting and unbothered. I just had a body, it was nothing to gawk at or laugh at, as I had imagined. It was serene to simply be allowed to exist without feeling ostracized. It was also a confidence boost to walk around practically naked while indulging in spa treatments.”
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Katrina, from @globalmidwife shared her experience over on the Plus Size Travel Too blog. To read more, visit this link in our bio 🌍 #plussizetraveltoo
  • EXCITING LAUNCH TIME 🌍✈️❤️
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So for the past few months I have been mentioning a ‘secret project’ and after lots of hard work, the launch day has finally come. Although I know was supposed to launch last week, I had a number of setbacks and I wanted to ensure everything was perfect before I put it out into the world 🥺
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SO, WHAT AM I LAUNCHING?
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Today is the launch day for the Plus Size Travel Too website, a safe plus for plus size travellers to find inspiration and advice when it comes to their travels ✈️
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Although I regularly post plus size travel content on my own website and blog, I wanted to create a space that was dedicated specifically to plus size travel, rather than it being mixed in with all of the other topics I cover. It’s a place for community, as plus size travellers are also encouraged to submit their own advice and experiences too 🥰
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To celebrate the launch day, there are already some INCREDIBLE posts live. These posts have been submitted by @cardifforniagurl @thetravelcurve @thecrownwings @globalmidwife @gemmaslittleworld @livingwonderfilled @rhianwestbury and @leabellablogs ❤️
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I’d love it if you head over to www.plussizetravel.com (the link is in my bio) to have a read of their awesome work and if you can, spread the word about the launch. Wether you’re plus size or not, you never know who may benefit from something they may read ✨ #plussizetraveltoo
  • 🌈 HAPPY PRIDE 🌈 although celebrations may be a little different this year due to COVID-19, we want to know how you’re celebrating in the comments! 👇🏻
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Here at Plus Size Travel Too, I’m celebrating by donating to Mermaids - a charity that supports trans children and their families! If you want to do the same I’ve popped the link in my bio (as well as links to 12 other organisations you can donate to today, or any other day of the year!) 🌈📸: @readytostare #pride

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