Ah, Paris. What’s not to love? It’s easy to get swept away by the certain je ne sais quoi of France’s capital and no Paris road trip itinerary is complete without a few days spent exploring this most alluring of European cities.
Paris alone can easily fill an entire itinerary, but there is more to see! For a taste of France beyond the capital, set out from the City Of Lights to explore the countryside.
Stroll through a real-life Impressionist painting in Giverny and skip touristy Versailles in favour of the famed château’s inspiration in Chantilly. Finally, cap off your Paris road trip with a bottle (or three) of bubbly in Reims, the centre of France’s Champagne region. Oh la la!
The writer Ernest Hemingway famously described Paris as “a moveable feast.” Every sense is heightened in this magnetic city, which attracts millions of visitors every year.
Its glamorous boulevards are lined with luxury ateliers and famous monuments while pockets of winding, cobblestoned side streets conceal tiny shops and charming cafes. There is much to see and do here, so a French road trip itinerary should absolutely include a stop in Paris.
When it comes to art and culture, the Louvre is not to be missed. Remember to pace yourself as this behemoth of a museum could take days to explore in full.
For this Paris road trip, don’t skip the stunning Musee d’Orsay, home to the great Impressionists like Monet, Manet, and more. After a morning of sightseeing, do as the Parisians do and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the city’s many sunny outdoor cafes.
While not a destination on the radar of many travellers, a stop in Giverny is an enchanting addition to any French road trip. This picture-perfect village is particularly inspiring right after a visit to the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.
Arguably one of the most important Impressionist painters, Claude Monet lived and worked here in Giverny for most of his life. Now, his historic home and dreamlike gardens have been transformed into a museum that’s absolutely worth a day trip from Paris.
We recommend driving your campervan up early from the capital, to give yourself ample time to get lost in the picturesque village of Giverny.
The Claude Monet Foundation is a must, of course, and worthy of a few hours’ wandering. Book ahead to secure a guide or simply wing it. Knowledgeable curators are scattered around the grounds to offer context and quippy anecdotes that are sure to impress your friends at future dinner parties.
Depending on your energy level, stay the night in Giverny or set out after dinner to reach Chantilly in just over an hour.
Surrounded by the Chantilly Forest, this elegant little town was once home to the princes of Condé, cousins to the king. Their home is now the Château de Chantilly and Musée Condé, an opulent, art-filled estate with gardens rivalling that of Versailles.
Chantilly is known for a number of exports, including its namesake lace and cream, as well as a long tradition of horseracing. Park your campervan and head straight into town to explore.
Fashion enthusiasts should check out the Museum of Lace (Musée de la Dentelle) to explore the delicate fabric’s history and significance. For a slightly more action-packed afternoon, try to catch a horserace at the iconic Chantilly Racecourse.
While its “capital” designation is totally unofficial, Reims is a must-do on any Paris road trip itinerary. Park your campervan just outside of town and opt for a taxicab or public transportation to get around.
You won’t want to be driving here as the town is very walkable and there’s simply too much bubbly to imbibe!
The Cathédrale Notre Dame de Reims has been the site of numerous French kings’ coronation since the 13th century. The Gothic cathedral is also home to incredible stained glass windows and interesting sculptures like the Smiling Angel.
Devote a full day at least to enjoying one of the famous champagne houses here, like Taittinger or Veuve Cliquot.
On your final day, sleep in, have a hearty lunch, and perhaps take a walk through town to dust off the cobwebs before taking your campervan back to our Paris depot in the afternoon.