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    From the capital to Cannes: driving across France

    With its combination of picturesque landscapes and glamorous cities, France is the ideal destination for a leisurely road trip. If you're looking for an itinerary that gives you the opportunity to explore celebrated cities and famous attractions, as well as enjoy plenty of good driving, consider tackling the route from Paris to Cannes.

    The route

    The route from the French capital of Paris to glamorous Cannes takes approximately eight and a half hours, via the most direct route on the A7 and A6. This route will take you past a host of fantastic destinations, including Dijon and Lyon, which means there are plenty of possibilities for fun-filled stops along the way. While it is feasible to make the journey in a single day, doing so wouldn't be the most fun driving experience, especially if your goal is to see as many sights and sounds as possible during your vacation. Instead, we suggest you break your journey up into more manageable chunks; this way, you can both enjoy your driving and spend a decent amount of time in each location.

    We recommend you pick up your rental car from the airport when you land in Paris. This way, you can hit the road straight away. It's worth bearing in mind that you don't need to return your car to the same airport if you plan ahead and select a one way rental, so if you don't have the time or inclination to drive all the way back to Paris, you could return it to, say, Nice airport instead. An added benefit of this is that it gives you an opportunity to round off your adventure with a drive to Nice - perhaps head back a day or so early to see what this exciting city has to offer.

    Paris

    Paris's many attractions really need no introduction - this glorious city is awash with world-famous landmarks, wonderful museums, chic shops and patisseries aplenty. The prospect of driving in Paris can seem a little daunting, and in truth the public transport is so regular and reliable that you can get around the major attractions easily enough without a car, so if you prefer you can simply leave it parked at your accommodation. It's worth bearing in mind, though, that the major road around, into and out of Paris (known as the Peripherique) is not as scary as it looks. It does tend to get congested, so use an alternative route where possible.

    Experience Paris During Your French Road Trip

    Dijon

    Once you hit the road, Dijon will be one of the first major destinations you come to. This stunning city is full of beautiful medieval and Renaissance architecture, and is famous for the caliber of its cuisine. Taking a walk around its colourful center is a must. Among the key highlights to visit along the way is the Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne, which used to be home to the most powerful dukes in Burgundy. Today, this spectacular building is a captivating tourist attraction - which also houses another site worth visiting, Musee des Beaux Arts. This museum can be found in the eastern wing of the palace and is home to an impressive collection of artwork, including modern and contemporary pieces by the likes of Rodin and Matisse, as well as older work. Also take the time to visit the Tour Philippe le Bon - from the top, it offers the most marvellous views across the city.

    Don't Miss Dijon When Touring France

    Lyon

    The third largest city in France, Lyon is a real crowd pleaser - this destination has it all, from bags of culture to brilliant nightlife. Don't miss stopping at the splendid Musee Lumiere, where you can learn all about the history of cinema. Another must-see are the city's distinctive traboules, which are fascinating little passageways specific to Lyon. You'll find them in Vieux Lyon (and can take a guided tour if you wish), where they predominantly date back to the 19th century, when they were used by silk weavers to transport their wares safely in bad weather. However, some date all the way back to Roman times.

    Stop In Lyon During Your French Road Trip

    Avignon

    Reaching the south of France, you can look forward to exploring the scenic city of Avignon, which boasts 800-year-old stone walls, atmospheric streets and beautiful architecture. This is a place that is hard not to fall in love with. Simply strolling around this charming city may be entertainment enough, but there are some individual attractions that you really should not miss. Chief among them is the Palais des Papes - a UNESCO World Heritage Site that cannot fail to impress. This stunning Gothic palace was once the seat of papal power and was luxurious on a truly grand scale - take an audio guide to find out how the rooms would have looked in their heyday.

    Avignon Awaits During Your French Excursion

    Cannes

    Cannes marks the end of your journey, and will provide a wealth of entertainment and ways to relax after your time on the road. A real favorite among the rich and famous, this destination is of course known for its beautiful sun-drenched beaches, and the film festival that takes place each May. Spend a little time shopping on La Croisette, and learning a little about the local history on the pretty islands just offshore.

    End Your French Road Trip In Cannes

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