West Coast of France travel Itinerary for 2 or 3 weeks
Breathtaking landscapes, historical towns, numerous UNESCO sights, and amazing beaches. Throw in that delightful surfing atmosphere and countless camping options, and VOILÀ, there’s France. Roadtrip HEAVEN! It’s one of the most visited countries globally! We don’t find it surprising at all because, although France took some time to appear on our road trip radar, we’re now completely smitten with this country, particularly the west coast of France.
In 2020, the initial plan was to embark on a road trip through Spain and Portugal, but due to Corona, we had to change our plans and decided to combine the west coast of France with Italy. A bit of an odd route, but that’s just how we roll. Over a span of two weeks, we embarked on a beautiful road trip, ultimately driving from the southwest coast of France to Italy. We couldn’t get enough, so we decided to add the west coast of France to our road trip route not only in 2020 but also in 2021 and 2022.
In this article, we’re sharing the ultimate road trip route for the west coast of France, highlighting the most fantastic destinations and absolute must-visits.
In this article
West coast of France Travel Itinerary 3 weeks
- Le Grand Vey (Utah Beach), Normandy – 2 nights (8 hour drive)
- Le Mont-Saint-Michel – 1 night (1 hour drive)
- Ile de Re – 3 nights (5 hour drive)
- Bordeaux – 1 night (2.5 hour drive)
- Dune du Pyla – 2 nights (1 hour drive)
- Mimizan – 2 nights (1 hour drive)
- Contis and/or Biarritz- 2 nights (1.5 hour drive)
- Cap de’ l’Homy – 2 nights (1.5 hour drive)
- Bordeaux – 1 night (2 hour drive)
- Olivet – 1 night (4 hour drive)
- Paris – 2 nights (5 -6 hour drive to the Netherlands)
West Coast of France Travel Itinerary 2 weeks in a nutshell
- Calvados, Normandy – 1 night
- Le Grand Vey (Utah Beach), Normandy – 2 nights
- Le Mont-Saint-Michel – 1 night
- Ile de Re – 2 nights (5 hour drive)
- Bordeaux – 1 night (2.5 hour drive)
- Dune du Pyla – 2 nights (1 hour drive)
- Mimizan or Contis – 2 nights
- Cap de’ l’Homy and/or Moliets – 2 nights
No plan is the best plan
For the past 3 years we have seen much of the beautiful west coast of France. Based on our favorite destinations, we have put together our ultimate west coast itinerary of France. The perfect combination of history, charming villages, vineyards, cities and, of course, some awesome surf destinations. We think this itinerary is a nice handle but try not to tie up too much during your trip. No Plan is the best plan. This keeps you nice and flexible and allows you to change the route a little bit each day. We plan everything on the day of departure or a day in advance. That way you can stay a little longer if you love a place or leave quickly if you go screaming mad at a destination. It is also nice to drive short distances. If you spend more than 5 hours in the car or RV, you really need to leave early or you will soon lose a whole day.
Tip! | You could possibly add Calvados (for Normandy) on the way out as a first stop if you find 8 hours in 1 day too much. Other places on the southwest coast of France to possibly add are Moliets, Hossegor and Vieux-Boucau-les-Bains.
From southwestern France to the Netherlands
From Moliets or Biaritz you can drive back to the Netherlands in one trip, which is a total of 12 hours. But much more fun, of course, is to add some additional destinations to your itinerary. Thus, the dordogne is the perfect stopover. From Biarritz, this is about a 4-hour drive. You will find numerous charming villages like Belvés, Beynac-et-Cazaneo and Castelnaud-la-Chapelle.
Then if you want to add another destination to your itinerary, of course you may skip Paris The perfect stopover.
From France to Italy
We decided to add Italy to our road trip. Initially we wanted to visit Provence and the Cote del Azur, but unfortunately these areas were tightened to orange during our road trip. We therefore drove on to a small charming village and then spent 1 more night on the outskirts of Alps before driving on to Turin from there.
Road trip France & northern Spain
In case you have been following us for a while, it is probably no secret that we are fans of Northern Spain. This part of Spain is still relatively undiscovered and there is a wonderful vanlife atmosphere. Northern Spain is perfect to combine with France. So if you have some extra time, we definitely recommend adding Northern Spain to your trip.
We love the vanlife life, but actually not that much of a long drive. We prefer to spend a maximum of 3 hours a day in the car with the exception of the first day. Then it is nice to get some mileage. So we decided to drive on to Calvados in one go, which took us about 7 hours. We found a fairly new Huttopia campsite here and since we had heard many good stories, we decided to stay here for the first 2 nights. The campground was incredibly cozy and charming, but otherwise there wasn’t a huge amount to do in the area. It was a nice and quiet city, but after 2 nights we decided it was time for the next destination.
Utah Beach & Omaha Beach
Normandy had been high on our bucket list for a long time. It is, of course, once the place where the liberation of Europe began during World War II. The place where thousands of soldiers managed to surprise the Germans by air and water on D-Day. A piece of history and a region you should definitely visit. We decided to stand near Utah Beach and visit different places from there. A very impressive destination that we certainly wouldn’t have wanted to miss.
Le Mont-Saint-Michel – 1 night
As a tip, several people passed on Saint Mont Michel. It is a peninsula in southwestern Normandy and, in fact, one of the most visited sights in France. It is absolutely a picture. You can spend an entire day here just fine.
Ile de Re
Ile de Ré is a cozy island on the French coast just past La Rochelle. The peninsula is known for its charming villages with whitewashed houses, beautiful beaches, stunning salt marshes and laid-back French atmosphere. Not for nothing that this island belongs to UNESCO heritage.
When you are in France then of course a wine tasting should not be missed. At many wineries you can book an overnight stay including wine tasting. But you also have numerous options (almost always for nought) to pitch your RV at a winery. The wine tasting is often free with the idea that you do take home a bottle of wine. On Park4Night, you can find numerous options around Bordeaux.
Dune du Pyla
In Dune du Pyla you will find the largest dunes in Europe. The highest garden rises as much as 110 meters above sea level. An absolute must-visit during your road trip along the west coast of France.
Mimizan – 2 nights
Mimizan is a super fun surf spot with a huge amount of things to do. Besides surfing, the town itself is great fun to visit. The stench from the paper mill is really a downside, though. Too bad, because otherwise we would definitely have stayed here a little longer.
Cap de’ lHomey- 3 nights
The favorite of our France Roadtrip. Indeed, Cap de’ l Homey is a small relatively undiscovered surf spot located in a beautiful natural area. It is the destination for surfers looking for tranquility, nature and the best waves. You have one campsite and it’s instantly awesome!
Moliets is a small surfing town in southwestern France. You’ll find Moliets just a little below Biarritz. Initially, we also wanted to visit Biarritz, as this is the most famous surf spot in France, but in the meantime, this region was also colored Orange. Eventually we ended up in Moliets, a small surfing village with beautiful beaches.
If you like to break up the drive to Paris, Olivet is the perfect stop. In fact, in the town you will find a very cozy cute campsite that includes a nice terrace and if you are lucky the pizza food truck.
Taking a motorhome to a metropolis? Yes it can! We decided to add Paris to our road trip in 2022 and booked 2 nights at HUTTOPIA VERSAILLES. It may cost a little, namely 45 euros per night but then you have something. The sites are nice and spacious and green. You have a nice cafe, pool and you walk right to the metro. Within 20 minutes you are in the middle of Paris. Have breakfast at the Eifel Tower, stroll through Mont Matre, dine in the Latin Quarter and end the day with a beer by the Seine. It was thoroughly enjoyable.
Tip! Use a truck navigation on the paris ring road. In fact, part of the ring has a height restriction that unfortunately google maps does not take into account.
See more photos of Paris? Then you might also like this photdump reel of Paris.
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