France’s Scenic Drives and Villages

7 Mins read

France is a country renowned for its beautiful countryside, which boasts winding roads that will transport you to the most charming and picturesque villages. The route you take will depend on the time of year you visit and your personal preferences, but there are some drives that are a must-see.

The region of France that is most famous for its scenic drives is the Alps. The iconic 700km Route des Grandes Alpes takes you through snow-capped mountains, past glaciers and through villages such as Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Val d’Isère.

Another area worth exploring is the Dordogne Valley, with incredible scenery comprising castles, vineyards, and medieval towns. A drive through the valley will lead you to the stunning gardens of Marqueyssac, the medieval town of Sarlat, and the impressive Château de Beynac.

The Alsace Wine Route is another popular drive that takes you through charming villages with half-timbered houses and vineyards. Along the way, you can sample delicious Alsatian wines and enjoy traditional cuisine.

The Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera, is renowned for its glamorous resorts and beautiful beaches. Driving along this glittering coast will take you to iconic destinations such as Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez.

Finally, a drive through the Provence region during late June to early August will take you through the beautiful lavender fields that are famous in the region. You will discover charming villages and the fragrant fields of lavender that are a feast for the senses.

Plan your trip to France and explore these stunning drives and villages for an unforgettable experience.

The Route des Grandes Alpes

The Route des Grandes Alpes is one of the most iconic and scenic drives in France, stretching for 700 kilometers through the stunning French Alps. The route offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains and glaciers, as well as charming mountain towns and villages like Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Val d’Isère.

The winding roads of the Route des Grandes Alpes will take you through some of France’s most stunning landscapes. As you drive through the mountains, you’ll be treated to views of jagged peaks, deep valleys, and crystal-clear alpine lakes.

Along the way, you’ll also pass through charming mountain towns and villages like Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, a picturesque town known for its thermal baths and scenic hiking trails. Another must-visit spot along the Route des Grandes Alpes is Val d’Isère, a charming mountain town known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Whether you’re an avid outdoor enthusiast or simply looking to take in some of France’s most breathtaking scenery, the Route des Grandes Alpes is not to be missed. So pack up the car and hit the road for an unforgettable French Alps adventure!

The Dordogne Valley

The Dordogne Valley in France is an absolute must-visit for anyone looking to explore scenic drives and charming villages. This region is well-known for its picturesque villages, medieval towns, castles, and vineyards. One of the best ways to explore the Dordogne Valley is by taking a scenic drive through its winding roads.

Starting from the town of Sarlat, this drive will take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes of the region. You will come across the stunning gardens of Marqueyssac, where you can witness the beauty of nature in full bloom. The Château de Beynac, a 12th-century fortress, is another historic site you cannot miss during your drive through the Dordogne Valley.

The scenic drive also takes you through quaint and charming villages such as Domme, La Roque-Gageac, and Beynac-et-Cazenac. These villages offer picturesque views of the countryside and are home to several traditional French restaurants where you can enjoy local cuisine.

If you are a wine enthusiast, make sure to stop at one of the many vineyards along the way to taste the region’s famous wines. The Dordogne Valley is known for producing some of the best wines in France.

Overall, a scenic drive through the Dordogne Valley is an excellent way to explore the beauty and charm of rural France. Don’t forget to pack your camera and capture every moment of this unforgettable experience.

The Alsace Wine Route

The Alsace Wine Route is a must-drive when visiting France. This scenic route takes you through charming villages with half-timbered houses and beautiful vineyards. Along the way, you can explore and taste some of the region’s famous white wines, such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Gris.

Besides exploring the vineyards and trying out different wines, you can also indulge in some traditional Alsatian cuisine. Popular dishes include choucroute (pickled cabbage), flammekueche (a thin crust pizza with cream, onions, and bacon), and baeckeoffe (a slow-cooked casserole with meat, potatoes, and vegetables).

The Alsatian Wine Route spans over 170 kilometers, and you can start your journey in the charming town of Kaysersberg. It is also worth making a stop at the fortified town of Ribeauvillé, which is home to several wine festivals throughout the year. Other notable stops include the picturesque town of Riquewihr and the beautiful Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg.

The Alsace Wine Route is perfect for wine enthusiasts and those who appreciate beautiful scenery. Take your time to explore the charming villages, sample delicious wines, and indulge in some traditional Alsatian cuisine.

The Medieval Village of Riquewihr

The medieval village of Riquewihr is a hidden gem in the French countryside that offers a glimpse into the past. The village is perfectly preserved with colorful timbered houses and narrow streets, making it a charming destination for history and architecture enthusiasts. As you wander through the village, the medieval architecture and quaint atmosphere will transport you back in time.

In addition to its stunning architecture, Riquewihr is also home to several wineries that offer tastings of local wines. The vineyards around the village produce some of the best white wines in the region, making it a must-visit destination for wine lovers. You can also sample some of the local delicacies, such as foie gras and Alsatian tarte flambée, at the many restaurants and cafes in the village.

If you are visiting Riquewihr, be sure to stop by the Dolder Tower, a medieval watchtower that offers stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and countryside. The tower also houses a museum that showcases the region’s history and culture.

The Hilltop Village of Eze

Eze is a charming hilltop village located in the French Riviera. The village offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and is known for its narrow streets and beautiful stone houses. The village is perched on a hilltop, making it one of the most picturesque destinations in the French Riviera. Eze is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can explore the village’s winding streets and admire the stunning views of the sea.

The village is also known for its botanical garden, which is a must-visit attraction. The Jardin exotique d’Eze is a stunning garden that is perched on a hilltop overlooking the sea. The garden is home to a diverse collection of cacti, succulents, and other exotic plants. Visitors can explore the garden’s winding paths and admire the stunning views of the sea and the surrounding countryside.

Overall, Eze is a charming destination that offers stunning scenery and a relaxed atmosphere. It is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the French Riviera.

The Lavender Fields of Provence

The Provence region is a sight to behold, especially during the blooming season of late June to early August when the fields are blanketed in shades of purple and fragrance fills the air. A scenic drive through this region will take you through charming villages, rolling hills, and fields of fragrant lavender. Some of the best places to experience the lavender fields in full bloom include the Plateau de Valensole, Sault, and the Luberon region. Along the way, you can also visit the Lavender Museum in Coustellet to learn about the history and production of lavender in the region. Make sure to stop at one of the local markets to pick up some lavender products, such as essential oils, soaps, and sachets, to take home as a souvenir.

  • Visit the Plateau de Valensole for stunning views of blooming lavender fields
  • Stop by the charming village of Sault, also known for its fragrant lavender fields and shops selling lavender products
  • Explore the Luberon region, where you can visit charming hilltop villages and enjoy scenic drives through lavender fields
  • Don’t miss the Lavender Museum in Coustellet to learn about the history and production of lavender in the region

The Côte d’Azur

The Côte d’Azur, also known as the French Riviera, is a stunning stretch of coastline that runs along the Mediterranean Sea. This region is famous for its luxurious resorts, beautiful beaches, and picturesque towns. A scenic drive along the coast will take you through some of the most iconic destinations in Europe.

One of the top destinations on the French Riviera is Nice, a beautiful city with a mix of French and Italian culture. Nice boasts a stunning Promenade des Anglais, a long seaside promenade that offers stunning views of the sea and coastline. The city’s historic Old Town is also a must-visit, with colorful buildings and narrow streets filled with cafes and shops.

Cannes is another popular destination on the French Riviera, known for its glamorous film festival that takes place every year. The city also boasts a beautiful old port, sandy beaches, and upscale shopping and dining. Saint-Tropez is another town worth visiting, with its charming harbor, historic buildings, and beautiful beaches.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, enjoy some fine dining, or explore historic towns, the Côte d’Azur has plenty to offer. A scenic drive along the coast is the perfect way to experience the beauty and charm of this stunning region.

Plan your trip to France and explore these scenic drives and villages for an unforgettable experience.

If you’re planning a trip to France, be sure to include these scenic drives and villages in your itinerary for an unforgettable experience. From the stunning mountain views along the Route des Grandes Alpes to the charming half-timbered houses in Alsace, there’s something for every traveler.

Take a leisurely drive through the Dordogne Valley to see the fairy tale castles and picturesque vineyards. Stop in the medieval town of Sarlat for a taste of local cuisine, and explore the stunning gardens of Marqueyssac. For wine enthusiasts, don’t miss the Alsace Wine Route where you can sample some of the region’s famous white wines and experience the unique Alsatian culture.

For a step back in time, visit the perfectly preserved medieval village of Riquewihr or take a stroll through the charming hilltop village of Eze, offering breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea. And don’t forget to see the famous lavender fields in Provence, blooming from late June to early August.

Finally, drive along the iconic Côte d’Azur, known for its glamorous resorts, golden beaches, and picturesque seaside towns like Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez. No matter which route you choose, each drive will be a scenic adventure through some of the most charming and beautiful parts of France.

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