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Wondering which destinations you should visit on your epic road trip from London to France? Whether you are a luxury traveller or a budget traveller, this cross-country road trip planner stops will give you clear guidance on how to tackle these dreamy destinations France has to offer on a road trip.  France is alive with a truly eclectic range of destinations from dreamy lavender fields, to wine hideouts and classic French seaside towns. Here, we take a look at 13 of the top hotspots that every traveller should have on their France bucket list and Europe road trip planner.

How to get from London to France

There are two ways to get from London to France.

  1. Euro Tunnel from Folkstone also know as Le Shuttle
  2. Ferry from Dover, Portsmouth, Poole, Plymouth, and Cork

Road Trip Planner Stops from London to France

For your complete road trip planner stops from London to France, you might want to consider the destinations you wish to visit. I created this road trip planner stops for my Summer road trip from London to France.  I didn’t want to drive directly from London to Nice and I decided to stop at each destination in France for a minimum of 2 days.

It was my first attempt at slow travelling and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting each destination. The initial plan was to drive from London to Nice however when I got to Nice, I discovered that Monaco was just 25 minutes away and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to see Monaco as well. I have included Monaco in my guide as an extra destination if you wish to follow my road trip planner from London to France.

This is the detailed road trip planner stops I used.

  1. London to Calais. Duration: 45 minutes.
  2. Calais to Lille – Duration: 1 hour 12 mins
  3. Lille to Reims -Duration: 1 hour
  4. Reims to Paris – 46 minutes
  5. Paris to Versailles – 34 minutes
  6. Versailles to Saint-Malo – 3 hours 8 minutes
  7. Saint-Malo to Mont Saint Michel – 51 minutes
  8. Mont Saint Michel to Rennes – 1 hour 5 minutes
  9. Rennes to Nantes – I hour 20 minutes
  10. Nantes to Bordeaux – 3 hours 26 minutes
  11. Bordeaux to Toulouse – 2 hours 43 minutes
  12. Toulouse to Montpellier – 2 hours 40 minutes
  13. Montpellier to Marseille – 1 hour 52 minutes
  14. Marseille to Nice – 2 hours 11 minutes
  15. Nice to Monaco – 25 minutes.

13 Road Trip Destination from London to France.

From my road trip planner stops, you will discover that I didn’t want to drive for long hours at a time and I wanted to see the most beautiful destinations in France.

To drive from London to France, you will obviously need to go through the Euro Tunnel. The short 25 minutes on the Euro tunnel takes you to Calais.

Here are the 13 best road trip destinations from London to France that I visited.

Lille: 1st Road Trip Planner Stop From London to France.

How long is Calais to Lille ?
Duration: 1 hour 12 minutes.

Road Trip into Lille from Calais

  • Driving from Calais to Lille is a great option if you prefer the flexibility of having your own vehicle.
  • The approximate driving distance is around 120 kilometres (75 miles), and the journey takes about 1 hour, depending on traffic and the chosen route.
  • Take the A16 motorway from Calais and continue onto the A25/E42 towards Lille.

from London to France Lille.jpg

Lille is the fourth major city in Northern France as a  commercial and cultural hub. There is a unique blend of French and Flemish cultures here due to Lillie’s closeness to the Belgium border. It is only over an hour’s drive from Calais making it the ideal stopover if you are travelling to Belgium, Amsterdam, or further into France. If you are here for a stop-over, here are some of the best things to do in Lille:

Best Things to do in Lille

  1. Visit the Place Du General-de-Gaulle Square: Start at the Grand Place, the main meeting point in Lille. Place du General-de-Gaulle Square is a bubbly square featuring one of the city’s most famous landmarks – The column of the Goddess. The Column of the Goddess monument was completed in 1875 to mark the siege of 1792 (the french revolution war).  The Fountain of the Goddess is a lovely place to relax, watch people go about their business, go for a drink at the restaurants, or have something to eat. There is a 24-hour car park, cafes, restaurants housed in fascinating historical buildings. The Grand Place is a hub of activity, lined with cafes and restaurants where you can relax and soak up the atmosphere.2. Explore Vieux Lille: Wander through the charming streets of Vieux Lille (Old Lille), a well-preserved historic district with picturesque architecture, cobblestone streets, and boutique shops. Discover the Rue de la Monnaie, Rue Esquermoise, and Rue de Gand, which are known for their trendy shops, art galleries, and delightful cafes.

    3. Visit the Palais des Beaux-Arts: Known as one of the largest art museums in France, the Palais des Beaux-Arts houses an impressive collection of fine art, including works by famous artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck, and Monet. Explore the vast galleries and appreciate the diverse range of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

    4. Stroll through Jardin Vauban and Citadel Park: Enjoy a leisurely walk in Jardin Vauban, a beautiful park located near the Citadel of Lille. Admire the manicured gardens, fountains, and sculptures while savoring the tranquility of nature. Continue your walk to the nearby Citadel Park, a vast green space perfect for picnics or a jog.

    5. Shop at the Wazemmes Market: Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Wazemmes Market, held every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. This bustling market offers a vibrant mix of fresh produce, local specialties, clothing, and antiques. Explore the stalls, indulge in some tasty treats, and soak up the energetic ambiance.

    6. Discover the Lille Cathedral: Visit the beautiful Lille Cathedral, also known as the Basilica of Notre Dame de la Treille. Marvel at its modern and traditional architectural blend, including the stunning stained glass windows designed by contemporary artist Henri Matisse.

    7. Enjoy Lille’s Culinary Delights: Lille is renowned for its gastronomy, so make sure to try some local specialties. Indulge in delicious Flemish dishes like Carbonnade flamande (beef stew) or Potjevleesch (a terrine of meats). Don’t forget to sample some authentic Lille waffles and wash it down with a refreshing local beer.

    8. Experience the Lille Flea Market: If you’re lucky to be in Lille during the first weekend of September, don’t miss the famous Braderie de Lille, one of Europe’s largest flea markets. Browse through thousands of stalls selling antiques, vintage items, and bargains while enjoying the festive atmosphere.

    Lille offers a delightful blend of history, art, culture, and culinary delights. Immerse yourself in the city’s charm, explore its unique attractions, and indulge in its vibrant ambiance.

If you are on a slow travel, why don’t you stay over at Lille. Here are the best hotels in Lille.

The Best Hotels in Lille

Lille offers a range of excellent hotels that cater to different preferences and budgets. Here are some highly-rated hotels to consider for your stay in Lille:

  1. Hotel Barrière Lille: This luxurious 5-star hotel offers elegant rooms and suites with modern amenities. Located near the Lille Europe train station, it provides easy access to the city centre. The hotel features a spa, fitness centre, gourmet restaurants, and a casino.
  2. Couvent des Minimes: Situated in the heart of Vieux Lille, this 4-star hotel occupies a former 17th-century convent. The rooms are tastefully decorated, and the hotel boasts a beautiful courtyard, a restaurant serving French cuisine, and a wellness centre with a sauna and hammam.
  3. Hotel Carlton: Known for its Belle Époque architecture, the Hotel Carlton is a 4-star property located on the Grand Place. The rooms are elegant and well-appointed, and the hotel offers a fitness centre, a gourmet restaurant, and a bar with live piano music.
  4. Hotel L’Hermitage Gantois: Housed in a 15th-century former hospice, this 5-star hotel seamlessly blends history and luxury. The rooms are stylish and comfortable, and the hotel features a spa, a gourmet restaurant, and a beautiful courtyard. It is conveniently located near the Lille Flandres train station.
  5. Clarance Hotel Lille: Situated in a 18th-century mansion, this boutique hotel offers a refined and intimate atmosphere. The rooms are individually decorated with a blend of classic and contemporary styles. The hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, a bar, and a peaceful garden.
  6. Hotel Up: Located in the center of Lille, Hotel Up offers modern and stylish rooms with vibrant decor. It is known for its friendly service and convenient location, just a short walk from the Grand Place and other attractions.
  7. Novotel Lille Centre Grand Place: This 4-star hotel is located in the city center, close to the Grand Place and the train stations. The rooms are spacious and contemporary, and the hotel features a fitness centre, a bar, and a restaurant serving international cuisine.

For more in depth review into where to stay in Lille, read my review of the best hotels in Lille.

Reims: 2nd Road Trip Planner Stop From London to France.

How long is Lille to Reims?
Duration: 1 hour.

Road Trip into Reims from Lille

Embarking on a road trip from Lille to Reims is a wonderful way to explore the beautiful region of Champagne. Here’s a suggested route and some attractions to consider along the way:

  1. Departing from Lille:
    • Begin your journey by heading east from Lille on the A1/E17 motorway, following signs for Paris.
    • After approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles), take the exit toward A27/E42/E17 toward Tournai/Brussels/Gand.
  2. Arriving in Valenciennes:
    • Consider making a stop in the charming town of Valenciennes. Explore its historic center, visit the Museum of Fine Arts, or take a stroll through the beautiful Parc de la Rhônelle.
  3. Continue to Saint-Quentin:
    • Resume your journey on the A2 motorway towards Saint-Quentin. This city has a rich architectural heritage, including the stunning Basilica of Saint-Quentin and the picturesque Place de l’Hôtel de Ville.
  4. Explore Laon:
    • Take a slight detour from the main route and head north towards the medieval city of Laon. Its hilltop location offers panoramic views, and the Cathedral of Notre-Dame is a must-visit landmark.
  5. Arriving in Reims:
    • From Laon, continue south towards Reims on the A26/E17 motorway.
    • Once in Reims, you can explore its famous attractions, including the magnificent Reims Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the esteemed champagne houses for a tour and tasting, such as Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, or Pommery.
    • Take a walk through the charming streets of the city centre, visit the Palais du Tau, and learn about Reims’ significant role in French history.

Consider stopping along the way to explore the smaller towns, indulge in regional cuisine, and take in the scenic landscapes. Enjoy the journey and the unique experiences that await you in this enchanting region of France.

Road Trip from London to France Reims

Reims is a place where dreams come true for history buffs and champagne enthusiasts alike. ?? Stroll through the ancient streets and gaze in awe at the breathtaking Reims Cathedral, a true Gothic masterpiece that has witnessed the coronation of French kings throughout history. The intricate details and soaring architecture will transport you to another era.

But Reims is not just about its glorious past; it’s also the beating heart of the Champagne region. ?? Venture into the underground cellars of renowned champagne houses like Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, or Pommery, and be captivated by the art of champagne-making. Learn about the meticulous process, indulge in tastings of bubbly perfection, and raise your glass to the magic of the terroir.

When you’re not immersed in history or sipping champagne, Reims offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere. Explore the charming streets lined with cafes, boutiques, and bistros, and indulge in mouthwatering culinary delights paired with the region’s finest bubbles. The city’s artistic vibe will enchant you, from contemporary art exhibits to lively festivals that fill the air with excitement.

So, come raise a glass with us and experience the sparkling charm of Reims! Let the history, culture, and champagne blend into an unforgettable journey that will leave you with memories to cherish forever.

The Best Things to do in Reims

When visiting Reims, the capital of France’s Champagne region, you’ll find a multitude of captivating experiences to enjoy. Here are some of the best things to do in Reims:

  1. Visit the Reims Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims): Marvel at the grandeur of this Gothic masterpiece, where French kings were once crowned. Admire the stunning stained glass windows, intricate sculptures, and the famous Smiling Angel. Take a guided tour to uncover the cathedral’s fascinating history.
  2. Explore Champagne Houses: Discover the art of champagne-making by visiting renowned champagne houses such as Veuve Clicquot, Taittinger, or Pommery. Take guided tours of the cellars, learn about the champagne production process, and indulge in tastings of exquisite bubbly.
  3. Enjoy Champagne Tastings: Immerse yourself in the world of Champagne by exploring local wine bars, restaurants, and wine shops that offer tastings of a wide variety of champagnes. Experience the distinct flavors and characteristics of different cuvées and toast to the region’s celebrated sparkling wine.
  4. Take a Tour of the Palais du Tau: Adjacent to the Reims Cathedral, the Palais du Tau was once the residence of the archbishops of Reims. Explore its ornate halls and learn about the coronation ceremonies that took place here. Admire the collection of treasures, including the coronation robes and the Sainte Ampoule, a vial used in the coronation of French kings.
  5. Visit the Basilique Saint-Remi: Step into history at this Romanesque-style basilica dedicated to Saint Remi, the patron saint of Reims. Discover its remarkable architecture, ancient crypt, and the impressive collection of religious art and artifacts.
  6. Wander through the City Center: Stroll along the pedestrian-friendly streets of Reims’ city center and soak up the lively ambiance. Explore the bustling Place Drouet d’Erlon, lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor local delicacies like pink biscuits from Reims or indulge in a meal at one of the city’s many gourmet restaurants.
  7. Visit the Musée des Beaux-Arts: Delve into the world of art at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, housed in a former abbey. Admire a diverse collection of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
  8. Take a Champagne Vineyard Tour: Venture outside the city to explore the picturesque Champagne vineyards. Join a guided tour that takes you through the scenic countryside, stopping at vineyards and small champagne producers. Learn about the wine-making process, walk through vineyards, and enjoy tastings amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Reims offers a blend of history, culture, and gastronomy that makes it an exceptional destination. Immerse yourself in the world of champagne, uncover its rich heritage, and savour the pleasures of this enchanting city in the heart of the Champagne region.

Make a visit on  Saturday in time for the market which opens between 6 am and 2 pm.

If you are looking to explore Reims for a few days, here are the best hotels in Reims.

The Best Hotels in Reims

  1. Hôtel de la Paix: Located near the Reims Cathedral, this elegant 4-star hotel offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities. The hotel features a stylish restaurant, a cozy bar, and a fitness center. The friendly staff and convenient location make it a popular choice for travelers.
  2. Les Crayères: Situated in a stunning 20-acre park, this luxurious 5-star hotel is housed in a historic château. The rooms and suites exude elegance and charm, and the hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, a beautiful garden, and a spa. It’s a perfect choice for those seeking a refined and indulgent stay.
  3. Hotel Azur: Located near the city center, this boutique hotel offers contemporary rooms decorated with a touch of French flair. The hotel features a cozy lounge area, a bar, and a garden terrace. Its convenient location makes it a great base for exploring Reims.
  4. Best Western Premier Hôtel de la Paix: This 4-star hotel is set in a historic building near the train station. The rooms are modern and comfortable, and the hotel offers a fitness center, a bar, and a restaurant serving delicious cuisine. It’s a popular choice for its convenient location and excellent service.
  5. Hotel Cecyl: Situated in the heart of Reims, this charming 3-star hotel offers comfortable rooms with a cozy ambiance. The friendly staff and central location, just a short walk from the Reims Cathedral, make it a favorite among visitors. The hotel also offers a continental breakfast to start your day.
  6. La Caserne Chanzy Hotel & Spa: Located in a former fire station, this unique boutique hotel offers stylish rooms with contemporary decor. The hotel features a spa, a fitness centre, a restaurant, and a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Reims. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a trendy and modern atmosphere.

Paris: 3rd Road Trip Planner Stop From London to France.

How long is Reims to Paris?
Duration: 46 minutes.

Road Trip into Paris from Reims

Embarking on a road trip from Reims to Paris allows you to explore the charming Champagne region before reaching the vibrant capital city. Here’s a suggested route and some attractions to consider along the way:

  1. Departing from Reims:
    • Start your journey by heading south from Reims on the A4 motorway, following signs for Paris.
    • Enjoy the scenic drive through the picturesque countryside of the Champagne region.
  2. Explore Château-Thierry:
    • Consider making a stop in Château-Thierry, a historic town nestled along the Marne River. Visit the Château de Château-Thierry, a medieval fortress with panoramic views, and explore the charming streets lined with half-timbered houses. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the local Brie de Meaux cheese.
  3. Visit Meaux:
    • Continue your journey south to Meaux, a town known for its impressive Gothic cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Meaux. Explore the historic centre, stroll along the banks of the Marne River, and visit the Musée de la Grande Guerre, dedicated to World War I.
  4. Reach Paris:
    • As you approach Paris, follow the signs for your desired destination within the city. The A4 motorway provides direct access to various points of entry into Paris.
    • Once in Paris, you can explore a multitude of iconic attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Champs-Élysées, and Montmartre.

It’s worth considering traffic conditions and the time of day when planning your road trip into Paris, as heavy congestion can occur during peak hours. Additionally, be aware of any driving regulations and parking options in Paris, as the city has various restrictions and limited parking availability.

Enjoy the journey from Reims to Paris, savoring the unique sights and experiences along the way. From the sparkling vineyards of Champagne to the world-renowned landmarks of Paris, your road trip promises to be an exciting and memorable adventure.

From London to France

Paris, a city that captures the heart and ignites the imagination. It’s a place where history, art, and culture intertwine to create an undeniable allure that enchants visitors from all over the world. ???

There’s something undeniably magical about standing beneath the Eiffel Tower, watching it sparkle as the night falls. ✨ Feel the energy and the sense of wonder that this iconic symbol evokes, reminding us of the beauty that can be found in every moment.

Roaming the picturesque streets of Montmartre, you’ll find inspiration at every turn. Lose yourself in the artistic ambiance, explore the charming cafés, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, proudly perched atop the hill. The bohemian spirit of this neighbourhood is sure to ignite your creativity.

A visit to the Louvre Museum is like stepping into a treasure trove of human achievement. Marvel at timeless masterpieces, from the enigmatic smile of Mona Lisa to the grandeur of Winged Victory. Get lost in the vast halls and discover the beauty that has inspired generations.

The Seine River gracefully winds its way through the heart of the city, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle. Take a leisurely stroll along the riverbanks, soak in the romantic ambiance, and let the iconic bridges and charming riverside bookstalls captivate your senses.

Paris is a culinary paradise that tempts your taste buds with its culinary delights. Indulge in a flaky croissant, savour a delicate macaron, or enjoy a leisurely café au lait at a sidewalk café while watching the world go by. Let the flavours of Paris awaken your senses and leave you craving for more.

So, let yourself be swept away by the romance, the art, and the enchantment that Paris exudes. Immerse yourself in its history, wander through its charming neighbourhoods, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Paris, je t’aime! ???

Here is the absolute best things to do in Paris.

The Best Things to do In Paris

  1. Eiffel Tower: No visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the iconic Eiffel Tower. Take in the breathtaking views of the city from the top, or enjoy a picnic on the Champ de Mars at its base.
  2. Louvre Museum: Explore the Louvre, one of the world’s largest and most famous art museums. Admire masterpieces like the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory of Samothrace.
  3. Notre-Dame Cathedral: Visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Marvel at the stunning stained glass windows and climb to the top for panoramic views of Paris.
  4. Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur: Wander through the charming streets of Montmartre, home to artists and the famous Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Enjoy the bohemian atmosphere, visit the art studios, and take in the breathtaking views of the city.
  5. Seine River Cruise: Take a leisurely cruise along the Seine River to admire the city’s landmarks, including the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Notre-Dame Cathedral. It’s a romantic and scenic way to see Paris from a different perspective.
  6. Champs-Élysées: Stroll along the renowned Champs-Élysées, a famous avenue lined with shops, cafes, and theaters. Visit the Arc de Triomphe, located at the western end of the avenue, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
  7. Sainte-Chapelle: Discover the exquisite Sainte-Chapelle, renowned for its stunning stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes. This Gothic gem is a true marvel of craftsmanship and beauty.
  8. Musée d’Orsay: Delve into the world of impressionist and post-impressionist art at the Musée d’Orsay. Admire works by Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, and many other celebrated artists.
  9. French Cuisine: Indulge in the culinary delights of Paris. Sample exquisite pastries, enjoy a leisurely meal at a traditional bistro, or savor gourmet cuisine at Michelin-starred restaurants.

Remember, Paris is a city with countless attractions and experiences. From its historic landmarks and world-class museums to its charming neighbourhoods and culinary delights, there’s something to captivate every visitor. Take your time, embrace the city’s romance, and immerse yourself in the art, culture, and joie de vivre that define the enchanting spirit of Paris.

I recommend spending at least 2 nights in Paris. Here are the best hotels close to the Eiffel Tower.

The best hotels close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris

If you’re looking for hotels close to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, you’re in luck as there are several excellent options nearby. Here are some highly-rated hotels within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower:

  1. Shangri-La Hotel, Paris: Located just steps away from the Eiffel Tower, this luxurious 5-star hotel offers elegant rooms with stunning views of the tower and the Seine River. The hotel features a Michelin-starred restaurant, a spa, and a beautiful garden terrace.
  2. Hotel Plaza Athénée: Situated on the prestigious Avenue Montaigne, this iconic 5-star hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites with a touch of Parisian elegance. The hotel features multiple restaurants, including the renowned Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée, and a spa offering indulgent treatments.
  3. Hôtel La Comtesse: This boutique hotel provides a charming atmosphere and offers comfortable rooms with elegant decor. Located just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower, it provides easy access to the iconic landmark. The hotel’s rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of the tower and the city skyline.
  4. Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel: With its prime location near the Eiffel Tower, this 4-star hotel offers contemporary rooms and suites with modern amenities. Some rooms provide breathtaking views of the tower. The hotel features a fitness center, a rooftop terrace, and a restaurant with panoramic views.
  5. Mercure Paris Centre Eiffel Tower Hotel: This 4-star hotel is located in the heart of the 15th arrondissement, within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. The hotel offers comfortable rooms, a fitness center, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the tower.
  6. Hotel Eiffel Trocadéro: Nestled in a quiet residential area near the Trocadéro Gardens, this boutique hotel offers cozy rooms and a warm ambiance. It’s within a short stroll of the Eiffel Tower and offers views of the iconic landmark from some rooms.

Enjoy your stay near the Eiffel Tower and savour the captivating atmosphere of this iconic landmark.

Versailles: 4rd Road Trip Planner Stop From London to France.

How long is Paris to Versailles?
Duration: 34 minutes.

Road Trip to Versailles from Paris

Embarking on a road trip from Paris to Versailles is a great way to explore the opulent Palace of Versailles and its beautiful gardens. Here’s a suggested route and some attractions to consider along the way:

  1. Departing from Paris:
    • Start your journey by heading southwest from Paris on the A13 motorway.
    • Enjoy the scenic drive as you leave the city behind and enter the charming countryside.
  2. Visit Parc de Saint-Cloud:
    • Consider making a stop at Parc de Saint-Cloud, a magnificent park located just outside Paris. Explore its lush gardens, grand fountains, and enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline from the Belvédère de la Lanterne.
  3. Explore Domaine de Marie-Antoinette:
    • Upon arriving in Versailles, begin your visit with the Domaine de Marie-Antoinette, located within the Palace of Versailles grounds. Explore the picturesque gardens, the charming Petit Trianon, and the rustic Hameau de la Reine.
  4. Discover the Palace of Versailles:
    • The highlight of your trip is, of course, the Palace of Versailles. Marvel at the grandeur of this opulent UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the Hall of Mirrors, the royal apartments, and the sprawling gardens. Be sure to join a guided tour to fully appreciate the palace’s history and significance.
  5. Stroll through the Gardens of Versailles:
    • Take your time to wander through the expansive Gardens of Versailles. Admire the meticulously manicured lawns, the impressive fountains, and the hidden groves. Rent a bicycle or a rowboat for a leisurely exploration or simply find a peaceful spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
  6. Enjoy a Picnic in Parc Balbi:
    • Adjacent to the Palace of Versailles, Parc Balbi offers a tranquil setting for a picnic. Find a comfortable spot under the shade of a tree or near the charming lake, and savor a delicious meal amidst the natural beauty of the park.
  7. Visit the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon:
    • If time allows, explore the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, located within the palace grounds. These smaller palaces were favored retreats of the French royalty and offer a glimpse into their private lives.
  8. Return to Paris:
    • Once you’ve enjoyed all that Versailles has to offer, return to Paris via the A13 motorway or choose an alternative route, such as the scenic D10 road that follows the Seine River.

from London to France Versailles .jpg

Welcome to Versailles, where dreams of royalty come to life. From the grandeur of the Hall of Mirrors to the exquisite gardens, this UNESCO World Heritage site invites you to immerse yourself in the opulence and magnificence of a bygone era.

Marvel at the Hall of Mirrors, an iconic masterpiece that reflects the palace’s grandeur with its gilded details and stunning mirrors. As you walk through this breathtaking hall, imagine the extravagant balls and lavish ceremonies that once took place here.

Step into the royal apartments and be transported to a world of refined elegance. Admire the richly adorned rooms, each with its own unique charm and historical significance. The royal bedchambers, the Queen’s Hamlet, and the King’s Grand Apartment all bear witness to the lavish lifestyle of the French monarchy.

But it’s not just the palace that will leave you in awe. Explore the meticulously manicured gardens that stretch for miles, adorned with fountains, statues, and lush greenery. Take a leisurely stroll through the geometrically designed parterres, marvel at the Orangery, and find tranquility by the Grand Canal.

Venture into the Petit Trianon and the Hamlet of Marie-Antoinette, where the Queen sought solace and created her own private retreat. Admire the picturesque gardens, the charming cottage, and the serene atmosphere that inspired the Queen’s love for nature and simplicity.

Versailles is a testament to the magnificence and ambition of the French monarchy, a place where history and beauty intertwine. Lose yourself in its grand halls, wander through the gardens, and let your imagination soar.

So, come and experience the splendour of Versailles, a place where fairy tales come to life and memories are created. Let the grandeur of the palace and the serenity of the gardens captivate your senses and transport you to a world of pure enchantment.

The Best Things to do in Versailles

Explore the Gardens of Versailles

The Gardens of Versailles_13 Weeks Travel_ From London to France

With over 800 hectares of land, the garden of Versailles deserves a separate post for you to fully grasp the elegance, the splendour and beauty of this dreamy garden. Explore the freshly manicured lawns, a grand fountain, rare flowers, sculpture. During the Summer, there is a water show similar to the dancing fountains of Dubai. This garden holds a separate UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1979.

See the Majestic Halls of Mirrors

The halls of Mirror is a beautiful gold and crystal hall located inside the Palace of Versailles. It is believed that there are over 350 mirrors used to decorate in the design of this hall. There is 17 mirror – decorated arches reflecting 17 glided and arcade windows. If you plan to see the majestic halls of mirrors, it is best to visit in the morning to avoid the crowds.

Relax at the Royal Opera of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles Spectacles)

The Royal Opera of Versailles is located in the North Wing of the Palace of Versailles. It was cleverly designed with wood to improve the acoustic and sound of the building. It holds an audience capacity of about 1,200 and in line with the glamour of the Palace of Versailles, it features some dazzling chandeliers, wooden flooring and alfresco on the ceiling.

Marvel at the Pink Marble Building of the Grand Trianon

The Grand Trianon was the brain-child of King Louis XIV and the private romantic hideaway of King Louis XIV to pursue his affair with Madame de Montespan away from the intruding eyes of the staff at the Palace of Versailles. It had thick forest hedges and its own private parking.  It was designed by Jules Hardouin – Mansart in 1687 and has hosted prominent guests in the past including Princess Marie Leszczynsta from Poland, The Grand Trianon is now used to host visiting foreign dignitaries.

Visit Petit Trianon

Petit Trianon was designed in 1768 by King Louis XVI then gave Petit Trianon to his bride Marie Antoinette who redesigned it lavishly with Anglo oriental designs. It has exceptionally rich embellishments, marble columns, garden areas which surround the palace. If you are looking for an elegant building to visit, Petit Trianon is the place

Stroll to Notre-Dame de Versailles

The church – Notre Dame de Versailles is a few minutes walk from the central market and the Garden of Versailles and was designed in 1686 to serve the needs of the community. Notre-Dame de Versailles is a great example of Neo-Classical architecture with sculptures by Pierre Mazzeline.

Check out Versailles Cathedral

The Versailles Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Versailles and such a beauty to hold. Its architecture is the baroque style and it has a great number of interesting period painting.

Explore the Royal Chapel

The Royal Chapel is another stunning place to see in the Palace of Versailles. It features some exquisite altarpieces and monumental pillars. It has large sculptures, marble flooring and illustrious paintings. It is used for musical concerts and private events now.

Grab a bargain at the Versailles Market

The Versailles Market is famously known for organic produce and fresh french food, the market is an ideal place to visit if you are looking for the freshest organic produce in France.

The best hotels in Versailles

When visiting Versailles, you’ll find a selection of charming hotels that offer a comfortable stay in close proximity to the Palace of Versailles and its gardens. Here are the best hotels in Versailles:

  1. Hôtel Le Louis Versailles Château-MGallery: Located near the Palace of Versailles, this 4-star hotel offers elegant rooms with modern amenities. The hotel features a restaurant, a bar, and a fitness center. Some rooms offer views of the palace.
  2. Hôtel Le Versailles: Situated in the heart of Versailles, this boutique hotel offers stylish rooms with contemporary decor. The hotel features a restaurant, a bar, and a courtyard garden. Its central location makes it convenient for exploring the town and the palace.
  3. Waldorf Astoria Versailles – Trianon Palace: Nestled in a picturesque setting near the Palace of Versailles, this luxurious 5-star hotel combines historical charm with modern luxury. The rooms are beautifully appointed, and the hotel boasts multiple restaurants, a spa, and a stunning outdoor pool.
  4. Les Étangs de Corot: Located in nearby Ville-d’Avray, this boutique hotel offers a tranquil retreat amidst nature. The rooms feature a blend of contemporary and rustic decor, and the hotel offers a spa, a gourmet restaurant, and a peaceful garden. It’s a short drive from the Palace of Versailles.
  5. Hotel Le Versailles: This charming 3-star hotel is centrally located, just a short walk from the Palace of Versailles. The rooms are comfortable and tastefully decorated, and the hotel offers a bar and a lounge area.
  6. Hôtel du Jeu de Paume: Situated in a historic building near the palace, this boutique hotel provides a cozy and intimate atmosphere. The rooms are individually decorated, and the hotel features a courtyard garden. It’s a great choice for those seeking a unique and charming stay.

Remember to check availability, rates, and specific amenities for each hotel before making a reservation. It’s also advisable to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or popular events in Versailles, to secure your preferred choice. Enjoy your stay in Versailles and immerse yourself in the rich history and beauty of this enchanting town.

Saint-Malo: 5th Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

How long is Versailles to Saint-Malo?
Duration: 3 hours 8 minutes

Road Trip into Saint-Malo from Versailles

Embarking on a road trip from Versailles to Saint-Malo offers the opportunity to explore the picturesque landscapes of northern France and reach the charming coastal town of Saint-Malo. Here’s a suggested route and some attractions to consider along the way:

  1. Departing from Versailles:
    • Start your journey by heading west from Versailles, joining the A13 motorway towards Caen.
    • Enjoy the scenic drive as you pass through the rolling countryside of Normandy.
  2. Explore Honfleur:
    • Consider making a stop in the picturesque town of Honfleur. Stroll along the charming Vieux Bassin (Old Harbor) lined with colourful houses, visit the Sainte-Catherine Church, and explore the narrow streets filled with art galleries and boutiques.
  3. Reach Saint-Malo:
    • Continue your journey north towards Saint-Malo, following the signs for the city.
    • As you approach Saint-Malo, you’ll catch glimpses of the impressive ramparts that encircle the old town.
  4. Explore the Old Town of Saint-Malo:
    • Wander through the cobbled streets of the old town, known as Intra-Muros. Discover the historic fortifications, visit the Saint-Malo Cathedral, and take in the panoramic views of the coastline from atop the ramparts.

Enjoy the journey and the unique experiences that await you in Saint-Malo.

from London to France Saint Malo

Saint-Malo is the charming coastal city where history, beauty, and adventure await at every turn. Located on the breathtaking Emerald Coast of Brittany, France, Saint-Malo is a destination that captures the hearts of travellers from around the world. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this walled city has something to offer everyone.

Stepping into Saint-Malo is like stepping back in time. Encircled by medieval stone walls that have stood for centuries, the city exudes a timeless charm. As you wander through its narrow cobbled streets, you’ll encounter ancient buildings, bustling markets, and an atmosphere that resonates with tales of seafaring adventures and legendary corsairs.

One of the highlights of Saint-Malo is its magnificent beaches. With miles of sandy shores kissed by the azure waters of the English Channel, it’s no wonder that this city is a paradise for beach lovers. From sunbathing and swimming to thrilling water sports like sailing and surfing, the beaches of Saint-Malo offer endless opportunities for relaxation and recreation.

History buffs will be captivated by the city’s rich heritage. Saint-Malo has a storied past as a bustling port and a stronghold of maritime trade. Explore the imposing Fort National, which stands proudly on a rocky islet at the mouth of the Rance River, or visit the Musée d’Histoire de la Ville to delve deeper into the city’s fascinating history. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the Ramparts of Saint-Malo, offering panoramic views of the city and the sea.

For nature enthusiasts, Saint-Malo is an ideal gateway to explore the stunning beauty of Brittany’s coastline. Take a boat trip to the nearby Channel Islands, where you can discover pristine beaches, rugged cliffs, and diverse wildlife. Alternatively, embark on a scenic hike along the GR34 coastal trail, known as the “Sentier des Douaniers,” and be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the dramatic coastline.

In addition to its natural and historical attractions, Saint-Malo is renowned for its delectable gastronomy. Indulge in mouthwatering seafood dishes, including freshly caught oysters, mussels, and lobster, while savouring the city’s vibrant culinary scene. Quench your thirst with a glass of local cider or sample the region’s famous crêpes and galettes.

Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family adventure, or a solo exploration, Saint-Malo has all the ingredients for an unforgettable experience. In our upcoming blog posts, we’ll delve deeper into the must-see attractions, hidden gems, and insider tips to help you make the most of your visit to this enchanting coastal gem. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the magic of Saint-Malo, and get ready for an extraordinary journey into the heart of Brittany’s coastal splendour.

The Best Things to do in Saint-Malo

Here are the absolute best things to do in Saint-Malo:

  1. Explore the Historic Old Town (Intra-Muros): Take a stroll through the ancient cobblestone streets of the walled city. Admire the well-preserved ramparts, historic buildings, and charming architecture. Visit the Saint-Malo Cathedral, wander along the bustling Place Châteaubriand, and explore the quaint shops and boutiques.
  2. Walk the Ramparts: Climb atop the city walls and walk along the ramparts for stunning views of the surrounding coastline, the harbor, and the old town. Don’t miss the chance to witness breathtaking sunsets over the sea.
  3. Visit the Fort National: Take a short boat ride or walk at low tide to the island of Grand Bé to visit the Fort National. Explore the 17th-century fortification and enjoy panoramic views of the coastline from its vantage point.
  4. Relax on the Beaches: Saint-Malo boasts beautiful sandy beaches. Spend a leisurely day sunbathing, swimming, or taking long walks along the shore. The Plage du Sillon, Plage de Bon Secours, and Plage de l’Eventail are popular choices.
  5. Discover the Museum of History: Dive into Saint-Malo’s rich maritime history at the Museum of History (Musée d’Histoire). Learn about the town’s connection to famous explorers and privateers, such as Jacques Cartier and Robert Surcouf, through captivating exhibits and artifacts.
  6. Take a Boat Trip to Île de Cézembre: Embark on a boat trip from Saint-Malo to Île de Cézembre, a small island located just off the coast. Explore its peaceful beaches and enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty of this idyllic spot.
  7. Indulge in Local Gastronomy: Sample the delicious Breton cuisine in one of Saint-Malo’s many restaurants. Treat yourself to fresh seafood dishes, savory galettes (buckwheat crepes), and sweet crêpes. Don’t forget to try the local specialty, the Kouign-Amann pastry.
  8. Attend the Route du Rock Festival: If you’re visiting in summer, consider attending the popular Route du Rock music festival. This multi-day event features an impressive lineup of international and French indie rock bands, held in various venues throughout the town.

Saint-Malo offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and seaside charm. Immerse yourself in the rich maritime heritage, stroll along the ramparts, and soak up the relaxed atmosphere of this enchanting coastal town.

If you are thinking about staying over at Saint Malo have a the 3 hour drive, here are the best hotels in Saint Malo.

The Best Hotels in Saint Malo

When it comes to finding the best hotels in Saint-Malo, you’ll discover a range of options that cater to different preferences and budgets. Here are some highly-rated hotels in Saint-Malo:

  1. Hôtel Le Nouveau Monde: Located on the beachfront, this 4-star hotel offers stylish rooms with contemporary decor. Enjoy stunning views of the sea, relax in the spa and wellness center, and savor delicious cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant.
  2. Grand Hôtel des Thermes: Nestled on the beach and just a short walk from the old town, this luxurious 5-star hotel offers elegant rooms with sea views. Indulge in the spa and wellness facilities, including indoor and outdoor pools, and enjoy gourmet dining at the hotel’s restaurant.
  3. Hôtel Oceania Le Saint-Malo: Situated within the walled city, this 4-star hotel offers comfortable rooms with a modern design. Take advantage of the hotel’s wellness area with a swimming pool, sauna, and fitness center. The central location allows for easy exploration of the old town.
  4. Hôtel de l’Univers: Located in the heart of the old town, this charming 3-star hotel provides cozy rooms with a traditional ambiance. Enjoy the warm hospitality, relax in the lounge area, and appreciate the convenient location for exploring the historic streets of Saint-Malo.
  5. Hôtel Cartier: Situated near the beach and close to the old town, this boutique hotel offers individually decorated rooms with a mix of modern and vintage elements. Enjoy the intimate atmosphere, friendly service, and proximity to the main attractions of Saint-Malo.
  6. La Maison des Armateurs: This elegant 4-star hotel is set in a historic building within the old town. The rooms are beautifully decorated, and the hotel features a cozy lounge area and a breakfast room with a maritime theme. The central location allows for easy access to the town’s attractions.

Remember to check availability, rates, and specific amenities for each hotel before making a reservation. It’s also advisable to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons or popular events in Saint-Malo, to secure your preferred choice. Enjoy your stay in Saint-Malo and immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of this coastal gem.

Mont St Michel: 6th Road Trip Planner Stop From London to France.

How long is Saint Malo to Mont St Michel ?
Duration: 51 minutes.

Road Trip to Mont St Michel from Saint Malo

Embarking on a road trip from Saint-Malo to Mont Saint-Michel allows you to journey through the picturesque landscapes of Brittany and experience the breathtaking beauty of this iconic medieval abbey. Here’s a suggested route and some attractions to consider along the way:

  1. Departing from Saint-Malo:
    • Start your journey by heading southwest from Saint-Malo on the D155 road.
    • Enjoy the scenic drive as you pass through the charming countryside of Brittany.
  2. Explore Cancale:
    • Consider making a stop in Cancale, a picturesque coastal town known for its delicious oysters. Take a stroll along the harbor, visit the oyster beds, and indulge in fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.
  3. Visit Pointe du Grouin:
    • Continue your journey to Pointe du Grouin, a stunning headland that offers panoramic views of the rugged coastline. Take a walk along the cliffs and soak in the beauty of the natural surroundings.
  4. Arrive at Mont Saint-Michel:
    • As you approach Mont Saint-Michel, you’ll catch glimpses of the abbey rising dramatically from the tidal flats.
    • Park your car in the designated parking area and prepare for an unforgettable visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Renting a car in Saint-Malo and driving to Mont Saint-Michel is a convenient option. The approximate distance between the two destinations is around 55 kilometers (34 miles), and the journey takes approximately 1 hour.

  1. From Saint-Malo, you can take the D137 road south towards Dol-de-Bretagne. From there, follow the signs for Mont Saint-Michel on the D155 and D275 roads.
  2. Parking facilities are available near Mont Saint-Michel, and shuttle buses or a short walk will take you to the island itself.

from London to France Mont Saint Michel

Welcome to Mont Saint-Michel, where history and faith collide in perfect harmony. This iconic abbey, perched on a rocky island, holds centuries of stories and captivates the imagination of all who visit. Prepare to be transported to another era!

As you wander through the labyrinthine streets of this medieval village, let the narrow alleys and charming houses transport you back in time. Marvel at the Gothic spires, ancient ramparts, and the mesmerising interplay between land and sea.

Climb the stone steps to reach the abbey’s summit and enter a world of architectural wonder. Explore the grand halls, intricate cloisters, and peaceful chapels that bear witness to centuries of devotion and craftsmanship. The breathtaking views of the surrounding bay from the abbey’s terrace will leave you spellbound.

Witness the ebb and flow of the tides as the waters recede and reveal the vast expanse of sand and mudflats that surround the island. The ever-changing landscape of Mont Saint-Michel is a testament to the power and beauty of nature.

Indulge in the flavours of Normandy by savouring a delicious meal in one of the island’s charming restaurants. From savoury galettes to fresh seafood specialties, every bite is a celebration of the region’s culinary heritage.

As the day draws to a close, find a serene spot to watch the sun dip below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the abbey and the surrounding landscape. Witness the magic of Mont Saint-Michel as the night falls and the island is bathed in a mystical atmosphere.

Mont Saint-Michel is a timeless gem that will ignite your imagination and leave you with memories to treasure. Let the whispers of history and the beauty of this remarkable place inspire your dreams and fuel your wanderlust.

St Michel is situated on the border of the Brittany and Normandy regions of France. It is a charming coastal town worth checking out on your road trip from London to France. Many people visit Mont St Michel for pilgrimages. There are two pilgrimages on Mont St Michel. The first one is to celebrate Archangel Michel Day in September and the other is in July.

Mont St Michel is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Best for seeing the holy site and monks.

The Best Things to do in Mont Saint Michel

  1. Explore the Abbey: Begin your visit by exploring the stunning Mont Saint-Michel Abbey. Take a guided tour or wander through the abbey’s halls, chapels, and cloisters on your own. Admire the intricate Gothic architecture, remarkable stained glass windows, and breathtaking views from the terrace.
  2. Wander through the Streets: Get lost in the enchanting streets of Mont Saint-Michel’s medieval village. Explore the narrow alleys, passageways, and charming houses that have stood the test of time. Discover unique shops, galleries, and boutiques that offer a range of souvenirs and local products.
  3. Walk the Ramparts: Climb up to the ramparts that surround the island and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding bay, coastline, and the picturesque village below. The views are particularly stunning during sunrise or sunset, so plan your visit accordingly.
  4. Visit the Museums: Dive into the island’s history and heritage by visiting the various museums in Mont Saint-Michel. Explore the Maritime Museum, which showcases the island’s maritime and navigational history, and the Archaeoscope, where you can learn about the island’s geological formation and past.
  5. Enjoy Local Cuisine: Indulge in the delicious regional cuisine of Normandy during your visit to Mont Saint-Michel. Try mouthwatering specialties such as salt-marsh lamb, fresh seafood, buttery omellets, and the famous Mont Saint-Michel omelette. Don’t forget to sample the local apple cider and traditional Breton crepes.
  6. Witness the Tidal Phenomenon: One of the unique features of Mont Saint-Michel is its tidal surroundings. Observe the mesmerising tides as they ebb and flow, dramatically changing the landscape around the island. Be sure to check the tide schedule to experience the phenomenon at its best.
  7. Take a Guided Tour: Consider joining a guided tour of Mont Saint-Michel to gain deeper insights into its history, architecture, and legends. Knowledgeable guides can provide fascinating stories and anecdotes that bring the island’s rich heritage to life.
  8. Explore the Surrounding Bay: Take a guided walking tour across the bay to explore the picturesque surroundings of Mont Saint-Michel. Traverse the sands, navigate through natural channels, and learn about the unique ecosystem and biodiversity of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Remember to check the opening hours and any specific guidelines or restrictions for each attraction or activity you wish to pursue. Mont Saint-Michel offers a captivating blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty, making it a truly unforgettable destination to explore.

Rennes: 7th Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

From London to Rennes

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Nantes: 8th Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

From London to France Nantes

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Bordeaux: 9th Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

From London to France Bordeaux

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Toulouse: 10th Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

From London to France Toulouse

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Montpellier: 11th Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

From London to Montpellier

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Marseille: 12th Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

From London to France Marseille

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Nice: 13th Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

From London to France Nice

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Monaco: Extra Road Trip Planner Stops From London to France.

From London to France Monaco

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Here are the 5 best things to do in Monaco.

  1. Hire a Helicopter for a transfer from Nice to Monac0

Final Thoughts

This is the best road trip planner stops and itinerary from London to France. Although the final destination was Monaco, another country, visiting these top destinations in France was truly inspirational.

Slow travelling around these France bucket list destinations afforded me the opportunity to dip my toes into the best historical stories, wine, and culinary adventures that France has to offer.

I hope you find this guide useful. Let me know in the comments if you have done any road trip from London to France and what destination is on your France bucket list.

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