Are you a newbie in France wanting to try something romantic and breathtaking, or are you already an expert for travelling in France?
Doesn’t matter! France still has so much offer, and it’s time to go on a road trip to experience all these by yourself! Follow INSIDR to some of the best ideas on what to do in your self-drive epic journey. Let’s go!
1- Vineyard visits
How many of travellers dream about handpicking grapes during the harvest season in one of the prestigious vineyards in France, the reputed country for its outstanding wines? While many French vineyards actually recruit volunteers from online platforms such as WWOOF or Workaway for some free labour, some wineries wineries still offer hands-on harvest experiences if you are happy to pay!
You can look for some vendange packages that enables you the exclusive experience of picking grapes and having meals with the wine producers in the vineyard in Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux or even in the Savoie region in the Alps. Alternatively, you can also go for vineyard visit tours if working in a vineyard gets too physical for you! End the day with a great wine tasting session, of course!
2- cooking Classes
Do you want to learn the secrets of baking baguettes like French with locals in Paris? Or simply want to master the art of French pastries? You can easily become a baker or pâtissier material by taking classes with La Cuisine ! Their courses are wide in variety, from baking classes to cooking classes, and even local food tours!
Wherever you’re in France, be it Paris, the Loire Valley, Burgundy wine routes or any countryside, cycling is always the best way to explore an area efficiently! Rent and get on a bike to set off on an adventure sightseeing the splendid landscapes or cityscape France can ever offer you.
The perk is that you can stop anytime and have a picnic break when you spot a lovely place to marvel at for a while! There are also local bike tours that you can join, meeting like-minded travellers and knowing the area like a local at the same time.
4- Water activities
France is the paradise for sports lovers like you, you can particularly find gorgeous locations for water sports! From standup paddling (SUP) (basically everywhere), kitesurfing (in Île de Ré, La Rochelle), windsurfing (in Brittany) to ordinary surfing (in Biarrtiz), or even canoeing and kayaking (in Burgundy or Nîmes), you can always end up participating in exciting aquatic activities in the stunning waterscape of France!
5- Going deep
Not only the diverse land is a treasure in France, but if you go underwater, you’ll be also able to discover an astonishing gem of biodiversity! Going for scuba diving or snorkeling in the spectacular waters of Corse or Nice is thus an excellent and off-the-beaten-path way to appreciate the beauty of France! Start your “finding nemo” journey now and swim with all those lovely sea creatures!
6- truffle hunting
This is definitely not a mainstream tourist activity that you can imagine, but in some regions in France, such as Burgundy, you can simply book a truffle farm tour and hand-pick these delicate gastronomic jewels on your own. Magical isn’t it? It will definitely spice up your road trip and make real special travel memories! Ready, go truffle hunters!
7- Paragliding/ Skydiving
If you’re a fan for extreme sensations and gorgeous landscapes, you just can’t miss going on a midair experience! Imagine free falling from a helicopter or floating like a bird in France… this is just something to be checked off your bucket list. You can either go brave or take a tandem with you to do paragliding or skydiving.
We recommend you to do it over the stunning lake of Annecy, between the snow mountains of Mont Blanc in the Charmonix valley, over the turquoise waters of Finistère in Brittany or the cliffs in Etretat, Normandy.
There are too many varieties of food that you should eat and try in this gastronomic heaven! From classic cheese tours to wine tours, to street foods and outdoor food markets, you can find all sorts of seasonal produce, fresh ingredients and delicious local food! The regional dishes and cuisines in France are very surprising too, if you don’t know what andouillette, boudin noir, jambon persillé or gougère are… it’s never too late to actually brush up your culinary knowledge now!
France is not only about the romantic capital of Paris. The landscapes and nature in France is incredibly diverse. Lakes, snow mountains, seas, fields, cliffs etc… you name it! Go hiking on those southern Calanques, in the Pyrénées, or skiing in the Alps! Visit one of the countless national parks that offer you mind-blowing views, or admire the famous Gorges du Verdon for example.
Don’t forget to pick the right season to visit France, to marvel at the blooming flowers of lavenders, poppy fields, sunflowers etc!
So besides the world-known Cannes Film Festival, what are the other big events you shouldn’t miss in France? Indeed, each region in France has its own characteristics and their festivities reflect so much their local colours!
For example, we would recommend you to join the Avignon Festival every July, Fête de la Musique in every part of France during summer solstice, the Nice carnival in February, the Braderie (biggest outdoor flea market in Europe) in Lille every September and Fête des Lumières (Light Festival) in Lyon.