1000 kilometers across a country that has played a significant role in the history of Europe and the world, the homeland of the best wines, gourmet cuisine and a source of inspiration for many prominent cultural figures of the 18th-20th centuries.
The small town in which we will begin our journey is located on the very border with Germany. Apart from the German name, many of the distinguishing features of the neighboring country can also be found here.
The historic center of Strasbourg is permeated with a system of canals that resemble those of the Venetian. Here you can wander for hours along narrow streets and bridges, admiring the remains of medieval architecture. Picturesque buildings with overhanging floors are here. In addition, the town is very famous for its German style, which makes it unique.
On the way to our next destination, we recommend stopping at Metz. It is one of the oldest cities in Europe. The first settlements in this region date back to a thousand years BC. Of course, the development of the city began much later - not long before the campaigns of the Roman Empire.
For a long time Metz remained the capital of Lorraine, so the features of German architecture are also clearly expressed here. Nowadays, medieval bridges, an opera built in the middle of the 18th century, and St. Stephen's Cathedral are preserved. For lovers of contemporary art, there is the Pompidou Museum and Exhibition Center, which opened in 2010.
Bordeaux needs no introduction. Delicious wines, huge plantations of climbing broadleaf grapes and cheerful ruddy Frenchmen immediately come to mind. There are no guarantees about the last ones, but everything else is pure truth.
Bordeaux is considered the center of the wine industry not only in France, but also in the world. An incredible number of distilleries, plantations and castles are located here, which have historically served as centers for the development of the alcohol industry. The reason for this fertility is the optimal climate and natural landscape, ideal for grapes.
It is impossible to visit Bordeaux and not go to the tasting. Therefore, we recommend renting accommodation for 1-2 days and going on an excursion, since there are a lot of them here. Enjoy exquisite aftertastes and great views without worrying about being fined for drunk driving.
If you don't like wine, then the city itself is no less beautiful. Its center is included in the UNESCO heritage list as a monument of French classicism. Now most of the buildings have been restored and look just great. In addition, the world's largest mirror fountain is located on the Trade Square.
Another city that you can talk about endlessly. Paris is a must-see, even if you've been here before. Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral (unfortunately, damaged by fire), Louvre — here you can spend a few days and not visit half of the attractions.
To optimize your time, it is worth deciding whether you want to pay more attention: external beauties or works of art. Based on this, it will be possible to adjust plans for the next couple of days.
It can take a very long time to list all the interesting places, and indeed this is a topic for a separate article, so it's better to think in advance where to go and what to do.
Our final point and perhaps the longest non-stop crossing. The small village perched on a rocky island off the coast of Normandy is breathtaking.
The landscape, as if from a picture, will make an indelible impression. The ancient medieval monastery, built in the Gothic style, is surrounded by many small houses nestled on the cliffs.
The monastery complex is also a UNESCO site, in addition, thousands of tourists regularly come here. There is a little secret that you can use, since you do not depend in any way on the guide and the schedule:
- Stay 1-2 days
- Come to the monastery late in the evening or at night, when there are almost no people and the lights are on
- Enjoy the unique view and don't forget to take a couple of selfies!
Our journey will take approximately 11 hours non-stop. This is only a road, so feel free to add a few more days depending on your priorities and plans. Take care of your accommodation in advance: there are many services that allow you to rent an apartment from the owner or even find a host on couchsurfing. Be sure to have a little stash ready as you will have to pay for gas along the way. The cost of fuel in Europe is about one and a half Euro per liter, but it is always better to check this point immediately before the trip.
Summing up, it should be said that France is a country with an amazing and rich history, beautiful landscapes and cities. And now it can also become a part of your own story! All you need to do is rent a car and set out on an adventure!