France & Italy Road Trip Itinerary
In 2020, our plan was to go on a 3-month road trip through France, Spain, and Portugal. However, due to the unfortunate circumstances of the pandemic, Spain quickly received an orange travel advisory, which also eliminated Portugal from our plans. We decided to rearrange our route but still wanted to explore some amazing surf spots. So, we embarked on a road trip along the west coast of France and then headed towards Italy from Moliets. It may not have been the most conventional route, but boy, did we have a fantastic time!
France & Italy 2-Month Road Trip Route
From the impressive history of Normandy to indulging in the finest pastries in the French countryside, riding the waves in the south, wine tasting in Tuscany, exploring the mountains of Le Marche, admiring the charming houses in Alberobello, and enjoying the most beautiful beaches in southern Italy.
In total, we spent 2 months on the road with our camper van. The first 2 weeks were dedicated to a stunning road trip along the west coast of France. Eventually, Turin became our first destination in Italy. From there, we traveled through Tuscany, then made our way to Le Marche and the east coast before heading to Puglia, the southern region of Italy. We had the pleasure of basking in the sunshine there for a few weeks.
France Route (2 weeks)
1. Calvados, Normandy – 2 nights
From the Netherlands, it took us approximately 8 hours of driving (including stops and a slow old camper) to reach Calvados, our perfect first stop. We discovered a lovely, charming Huttopia campsite in the middle of nowhere. While there wasn’t much else to do in the area, it was a delightful place to start our journey.
2. Le Grand Vey (Utah Beach), Normandy – 2 nights
Normandy had been on our bucket list for years. It’s a destination with so much history. We stayed near Utah Beach for 2 nights to visit the various sites. It was an impressive and moving experience.
3. Le Mont-Saint-Michel – 1 night
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is one of the most famous landmarks in France, and for good reason. This place is absolutely stunning and definitely worth a visit.
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4. Mimizan – 2 nachten
And then we finally arrived at the surfing paradise. It was scorching hot, and there was a beautiful beach within walking distance. We couldn’t have asked for a better place. Mimizan is truly a delightful destination, and even for non-surfers, it’s a great recommendation.
5. Cap de l’Homy – 3 nachten
Cap de l’Homy is definitely our favorite. We discovered an amazing campsite nestled in the forest right by the beach. Everything here revolves around surfing. It’s absolutely picturesque.
6. Moliets – 3 nachten
We were eager to visit Biarritz, but unfortunately, the region turned orange during our road trip. Our final destination became Moliets, a small seaside town where surfing is everything.
7. Domaine Les Teuillères – 1 nacht
Due to the tightening of regional restrictions in France every day, we decided to head towards Italy as quickly as possible. From Moliets, we drove straight to Les Teuillères, where we stayed for a night at a small campsite owned by Dutch owners, Domaine Les Teuillères.
8. Florac, Florac-Trois-Rivières – 1 nacht
After a beautiful and mountainous drive, we arrived in Florac. It was a stunning area and our last night in France.
Italy from North to South
9. Camping Gran Bosco – 2 nights
From Florac, we drove to Gran Bosco, where we finally arrived after several hours in the evening. The next morning, we woke up in a beautiful mountainous setting. It had even snowed. Yes, in SEPTEMBER!
10. Turin – 2 nights
We were a bit hesitant about the city, as Turin is known as an industrial city. However, it is also known as the CHOCOLATE city of Italy. That reason alone was enough to visit the city. In the end, we stayed there for three days and fully enjoyed all the hotspots of Turin. What an amazing city Turin is. It’s an absolute Must-Visit!
11. Campeggio E-Maieu – 1 nacht
Vanuit Turijn maakten we een tussenstop bij Campeggio E-Maieu.
12. Lucca – 4 nachten
En toen was het tijd voor heel veel pasta en vino in Toscane. Onze eerste Toscane stop werd Lucca. Wat een heerlijke stad is dat zeg. We hebben ons helemaal rond gegeten, een beetje gewandeld en vooral lekker veel geslenterd door de Toscaanse straatjes.
11. Campeggio E-Maieu – 1 night
From Turin, we made a stopover at Campeggio E-Maieu.
12. Lucca – 4 nights
And then it was time for lots of pasta and wine in Tuscany. Our first stop in Tuscany was Lucca. What a delightful city it is. We indulged in delicious food, took leisurely walks, and wandered through the charming streets of Tuscany.
13. Montepulciano – 1 nacht
Om nog eventjes wat langer van het Toscaanse leventje te genieten, besloten we om nog een nachtje blijven in Montepulciano. Een heerlijke stad die we het jaar daarvoor ook al hadden bezocht en compleet verliefd op werden. Helaas zat het weer ons dit jaar niet zo mee en waren de vooruitzichten echt waardeloos. Dus maakten we de beslissing om zo snel mogelijk naar het zuiden te rijden. Die vrijheid is echt heerlijk.
13. Montepulciano – 1 night
To enjoy the Tuscan lifestyle a little longer, we decided to stay for an extra night in Montepulciano. It’s a delightful town that we had fallen in love with the previous year. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate with us this year, and the forecast was quite disappointing. So, we made the decision to head south as quickly as possible. The freedom of making spontaneous decisions on a road trip is truly wonderful.
14. Mont Sibilla – 2 nights
Before we could dive into beach life, we decided to spend some time in the mountains of Le Marche. We found a cozy campsite near Mount Sibilla, and it was surrounded by stunning scenery. It was a truly beautiful setting to relax and enjoy nature.
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15. Montefortino – 3 nights
Hello SUN! After weeks of road tripping, it was finally time to bring out the bikini. And oh, how wonderful it was! Although Montefortino may not be the most beautiful or highly recommended place, we were delighted to spend a few days enjoying the sun, sea, and beach. It was a much-needed relaxation and beach time on our journey.
16. Termoli – 5 nights
Attention, dear people, this place is absolutely fantastic. Near Termoli, we discovered a wonderfully simple yet charming camper spot right by the sea. We spent days right by the camper, working, paddling, swimming, and taking walks. And when we felt like taking a break from the camper, we quickly drove to the nearby and charming Termoli for a drink or a bite to eat. It was a perfect balance of relaxation and exploration.
17. Peschici – 2 nights
Peschici is a charming white town located on the Gargano Peninsula. Perched on a hill, the town offers stunning landscapes all around. It was a bit of a challenge to get there with such a massive camper, but the journey was absolutely worth it. We were mesmerized by the beauty of Peschici and enjoyed exploring its narrow streets and soaking in the panoramic views.
18. Alberobello – 2 nights
Reaching Puglia was the ultimate goal of this road trip, and after weeks of exploring Italy, we finally arrived in the Alberobello, the capital of Trulli. When in Puglia, visiting Alberobello is an absolute must. The unique and charming trulli houses create a magical atmosphere, and strolling through the narrow streets feels like stepping into a fairytale. We spent two nights in Alberobello, immersing ourselves in the local culture and admiring the architectural wonders of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
19. Gallipoli – 11 nights
Yes, you read it correctly! We stayed in Gallipoli for 11 nights, and it was worth every moment. Not only is the old town of Gallipoli fantastic to explore, but the city also serves as the perfect base for discovering the rest of Puglia. Within a maximum of 1.5 hours’ drive, you can reach stunning beaches, Alberobello, Lecce, Matera, and Polignano a Mare.
20. Agricampeggio Terra Di Moro – 2 nights
From Gallipoli, we embarked on a mini road trip to the southern part of Puglia, where we spent 2 nights at the charming Agricampeggio Terra Di Moro. Here, geese, chickens, and dogs freely roam around, adding to the rustic and idyllic atmosphere of the campsite.
Matera was our final destination in Italy, and oh my, what a grand finale it was. Matera is truly stunning. The city is a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and ancient buildings. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in Italy that we have ever visited.
And then, sadly, it was time to wrap up our journey. We had originally planned for a leisurely return trip, but due to our dog falling seriously ill, we decided to drive back to the Netherlands in just three days.
It may not have been the road trip we initially envisioned, but we truly enjoyed every moment of it.
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