France’s gorgeous mountains of the Pyrenees and the beautiful Basque coastline lend itself to numerous adventures including cycling, hiking, rock climbing, and surfing. Besides finding an abundance of adventures and great food, you will love taking a road trip through France just to experience the culture and its kind-hearted people. Everywhere you walk in France feels like the opening scene from Beauty and the Beast–welcoming us with bonjour or two kisses on the cheek. But the real reason you have to take a road trip to France is for the food. All the food is incredible, but the pastries, bread, butter, and cheese are exceptional.
This road trip goes across the South of France then heads north then east. Make sure you add a little extra money in your budget for toll roads because they add up quickly (well over 100 euros for this road trip here). The nice thing though, is that the rest areas on France’s toll roads are really nice. Many have beautiful picnic areas and there are plenty of gas stations with basics such as coffee, salami, cheese or grab sandwiches at one of the many Autogrills.
Road Trip France Destination: Les Calanques
Our road trips always center around being active and the first stop, Calanques, will give you plenty of ways to earn your carbs.
Hiking in the Calanques is a must and we found a beautiful rock climbing wall overlooking a tranquil turquoise bay, however, the climbing here is polished so keep that in mind when you choose your routes.
The campground Camping Les Cigales is nice and you can easily walk to town from here. The waterfront town is quaint with nice restaurants and a chocolate shop, Puyricard, that we loved.
If you want to hike to a Calanque from the campground, it is possible (we did it) but be prepared for a long hike (pack a lot of water). If you want to do a hike, it is better to park near the university.
Also, if you want to save money and not pay for a campground, there were a lot of places to free camp on the road D559 from the town of Cassis to the University.
Our favorite hike in the Calanques was to Calanque de Sugiton. The hike to this cove was an easy one hour downhill (uphill on the way out) and the cove was picturesque with great rocks to jump off of. It totally reminded me of being in Neverland!