There are many different kinds of holidays to enjoy in France, and most people simply can’t wait to get to their final destination in order to start enjoying it. Whether they are staying in a rented gîtes in the south of France, enjoying a luxurious hotel break in a Mediterranean resort such as Nice, or spending their time in major cities such as Paris or Lille, the general attitude is to get across France as quickly as possible.
Getting across France very quickly is easy to do, especially with their wonderful and often un-crowded motorways that put the British motorway system to shame. By car you can cross France from Calais to the Med, a distance or around 1,000 km, in under nine hours, but it can get quite boring with nothing much to see for much of the time other than service stations.
An alternative approach is to take the scenic route, and there are several good reasons for doing so. One of these is financial. Although the motorways are excellent roads, the tolls are quite expensive. Crossing France this way will cost you at least £80. By using the routes nationals you will avoid all of those tolls, and although they are nowhere as fast as the motorways, they tend to be better than typical British A roads, though you will need more petrol as they tend to be longer in distance and with a maximum 130 km/h speed limit, traffic lights, towns and villages to drive through, considerably slower. Your nine hour journey by motorways could now take fifteen hours.
Naturally you do not need to cross France in a single go. Even by motorway it is better to spread it over a couple of drives with an overnight stop in one of France’s budget hotels which cost around £50 for a double room.
The advantage of taking the scenic route is that you have time to soak up the atmosphere of France, stopping for breaks at a village café or restaurant rather than at formulaic and expensive service stations.
If you really want to take away all the strain of driving across France, then you could take a travel coach across the country instead, and if you really want to explore rural France on your journey then you might consider a travel bus type hop on hop off service. Not only are these options much less stressful than driving, they are also considerably cheaper.
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This is a guest post by Claire Chat a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Chat).