One thing most classic car owners love is getting out on the open road. At White’s Bodyworks, we’ve covered some of the best routes for drivers in the UK, but what if you want to go further afield?
France is a popular destination for classic car drivers. It’s a much bigger country for a start. Whether it’s ambling your way through idyllic French villages or heading up winding mountain routes, there’s a lot to choose from.
Here we look at 6 of the best road trips for vintage vehicle enthusiasts.
1. Route Napoléon
If you love the Alps, this 325 km journey from Grenoble to Nice is a road trip packed with historic towns and villages and plenty of amazing views along the way.
It starts at the Golfe Juan and passes through the picturesque hamlet of Castellane, through the Gorges du Verdon, down to the medieval town of Sisteron and on to Nice. It’s a straight road along the A51 and should take about 6 hours to complete. There are plenty of locations to stop off, enjoy a stroll or even a hike in the mountains, a meal and a bunch of outdoor activities.
2. Paris to Loire Valley
Classic car owners tend to be romantics at heart and love their history. The road trip from Paris to the Loire Valley takes you west from the capital towards Rouen, one of the most iconic and historic cities in the country.
It’s a fairly short drive of 136 km along the A13 which should take about a couple of hours. That’s if you take the straight route, of course. The Loire Valley is an amazing area to explore with plenty of winding country roads that transport you back in time. There are some amazing chateaus and spectacular locations such as Valmer’s Gardens and small medieval towns like Chinon and Loches.
You can spend your whole vacation driving your classic car around this beautiful region and never get bored. Find out more here.
3. Troyes to St Etienne
This is one of the country’s most iconic champagne regions. On the road from Troyes to St Etienne, there are miles and miles of wonderful countryside to explore. The straight route covers around 435 km and takes about four and a half hours to complete all in one go.
Home to the mustard, Dijon is certainly one place you’ll want to stop off at and explore. It’s not just popular for the mustard, the city is the capital of the Burgundy region. If you love your wine there are several vineyards to visit.
St Etienne is a town with a more industrial past and has plenty to do and see including the amazing cathedral and modern art museum. If you love driving, however, the Pilat National Park has some spectacular scenery and a few challenging, winding roads to keep you entertained.
4. Biarritz to Bordeaux
There’s nothing better for the dedicated classic car driver than taking a coastal route. The good news is that France has about 5,500 km to explore. One of the best routes runs from Biarritz in the far south of the country up to the iconic wine region of Bordeaux.
Again, the straight journey is about 195 km and takes just over 2 hours but you’ll want to explore along the way.
Biarritz is a popular holiday resort and if you love surfing it’s well worth a visit on its own. Head up the coast and you come to some other great tourist locations such as Arcachon where you’ll find the world’s largest sand dune. From quaint villages and towns to impressive cliff tops and astounding sea views there’s a lot to see before you reach Bordeaux with its wonderful architecture
5. La Route des Grandes Alpes
One of the reasons for heading to France for a driving holiday is the routes through impressive mountains. Covering about 700 miles of winding roads through impressive scenery, La Route des Grandes Alpes should be top of your list.
Your journey begins on the shore of Lake Geneva and finishes in Menton on the French Riviera. Along the way, you drive through no less than 17 different passes with steep drops and the highest point is Iseran which rises to 2,770 metres. The road isn’t open all year round because of snow and the best time to visit is either in the Spring or late September.
Get Ready with White’s Bodyworks
If you’re planning a road trip to France, you need to make sure your classic car is in tip-top condition. At White’s Bodyworks, we’ve got decades of experience in servicing vintage vehicles of all types.