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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

The French Road Trip

August 15, 2012
Writer _ Aurelie Gonnage When we think of Road Trips, our thoughts wander to never-ending dusty roads deep in Arizona… ‘Play that Funky Music White Boy’ is blaring through the speakers, the only thing in sight is a few stray cactuses and a few rocky mountains in the distance. Let go of that image. Firstly,…

Writer _ Aurelie Gonnage

When we think of Road Trips, our thoughts wander to never-ending dusty roads deep in Arizona… ‘Play that Funky Music White Boy’ is blaring through the speakers, the only thing in sight is a few stray cactuses and a few rocky mountains in the distance.

Let go of that image. Firstly, you probably can’t afford it. It’s too far away and you’ve only got a few weeks to spare. But there is a solution, a cheaper and less intimidating option – a French Road Trip.

You’re now imagining the Eiffel tower and men in berets holding baguettes. But you can also forget about that, because there a more than a few unique spots in France that would really be worth the while if you ever embark on a road trip. Here are a few of these exceptional locations:

  • Paris, just for the sake of it, and whilst you’re leaving the city, have a stroll in the Chateau de Versailles, a beautiful palace built by Louis XIV

Paristo St Michel : 4 hours

  • Normandy and the Mont St Michel for spectacular views. Before you make your way south, make sure to stop by some beaches, perhaps you’ll spot bunkers from World War II

St Michel toLa Rochelle: 4 hours

  • L’ile de Re for some cycling and general relaxation. Enjoy this location for a few days at least – just a bridge away from La   Rochelle, this beautiful island has an extremely developed cycling circuit and is known for its good weather, sandy beaches and salt pans. The view from the Phare des Baleines is breathtaking, and whilst you’re cycling back to your campsite, be sure to taste the grapes in the vineyards

La Rochelle to Biarritz: 4 hours

  • Biarritz – It’s the European capital for surfing so be sure to catch some waves here

Biarritz to the Tarn Gorges: 7 hours

  • The Tarn Gorges –cut 500 metres deep into the limestone, offering amazing panoramas and a spectacular location for rock climbing, kayaking and all sorts of extreme sports

The Gorges to the South: approximately 5 hours depending on where you’re going

  • The South – from the glamour of Cannes and St Tropez to beautiful sites such as Camargue (known for its lagoons, white horses and flamingos), the South has a lot to offer. And Monaco is the perfect replacement to Vegas

Monaco to Chamonix: 5 hours

  • The Alps – a chance for some amazing hikes and mountain biking. If you’ve got the motivation, you can even climb up to the summit of the Mont Blanc (that’s 4810 metres).

 

One tip for the road: go though the ‘nationals’ rather than the highways – the scenery is amazing everywhere you go, you won’t pay the tolls and you’re likely to stumble upon a beautiful little village that you can stop for lunch in.