[nextpage title=”Through Italy to South France”]As already mentioned in other articles, we launched our first major road trip in Europe in May and went through Italy and South France. We passed through Switzerland and Northern Italy and along the Ligurian mediterranean coast to the south of France.
After a short detour to Nuremberg, we set out for Italy. We drove past Lake Constance through Austria and Switzerland.
In Italy we arrived at the first campsite at Lake Maggiore. At Lake Maggiore there are plenty of campsites, which are still barely occupied in May. You can easily find a campsite without having to book this time of the year.
The mediterranean coast of Liguria
Then we drove tothe italian mediterranean coast in Liguria. The landscape is really impressive and there are numerous beautiful medieval coastal cities such as Finale Ligure. In Liguria we stayed on a nice little campsite in Loano. Here are some impressions:
After a few nice days at the italian mediterranean coast in Liguria we went on to France to the Côte d’Azur. We crossed the border at the beautiful town of Menton:
Afterwards we directly to Monaco. In Monaco, there is an interesting tunnel system, in which we have lost our way several times. Still we found the Formula One circuit and the port of Monaco:
We did not want to spend much time in Monaco and quickly handed the city back to the rich and the beautiful. We had a different goal: the supernice medieval town of Èze.
Èze is really situated in a dream location. On top of a high rock right on the Côte d’Azur. Èze is a very small, winding city with tiny paths and alleys. You can not get there by car. The highlight of Èze is the botanical garden! The entry of 6 € (as of May 2016) is absolutely worth it! It is worth not only because of the plants, but because of the fantastic view.
[nextpage title=”Haute-Provence and Côtes du Rhône”]
After Nice we drove through the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in the direction of Verdon gorge.
The trip was already very nice and our anticipation for the Gorge of Verdon grew rapidly! Here are some pictures:
Gorge of Verdon
From the Verdon gorge we headed towards Avignon. On the way we also made stops at the lavender fields in Haute Provence:
On the way we passed Roussillon, a town known as the ocher capital. For centuries the pigments for the ocher color have been mined here in the ocher mines.
We also stopped in Gordes. The city was voted one of the most beautiful cities in France.
Côtes du Rhône
After visiting Gordes, we went on to our cottage in Roquemaure, right in the Côtes du Rhône wine region. From there we visited Avignon, Orange and made a hike to the Dentelles de Montmirail.
Bike tour to Avignon
From Roquemaure we did a bike tour along the Rhone to Avignon. The route along the river was unfortunately very stony and difficult to drive on. However, our efforts were rewarded by the beautiful scenery and the arrival in Avignon. Here are some pictures from our bike tour to Avignon:
Hike to the Dentelles de Montmirail
The day after the bike tour we made a hike to the Dentelles de Montmirail, a striking rock formation in the department of Vaucluse. From Roquemaure we drove about an hour. The hike to the Dentelles and to the Chambre Du Turc was exhausting and included some slightly challenging climbing parties. Not for the faint hearted, but very worthwhile!
Not far from Roquemaure is Orange. A small town with the best preserved amphitheater from the Roman era. Of course we also made a small bike trip to Orange. Here is a panorama of the theater:
Pont du Gard
Also the Pont du Gard, a very well preserved Roman aqueduct was not far from our holiday home. Ideal for a day trip by car:
Gorges de l’Ardèche
On the way back we drove via Lyon and Luxembourg. Not far from Roquemaure, is the Gorges de l’Ardèche, one of the most famous gorges in France. It is popular with kayakers, and is particularly famous for the distinctive arch of the Pont d’Arc.
[nextpage title=”Travel data, route and conclusion”]
Travel time: May
Duration: 2 weeks
Length of the route: 3.090 km
Budget: about 500 € per person
Rating: 5/5 points
Here you can follow the route with Google Maps:
Our first road trip through Europe was really awesome. Both the italian and french coastal regions as well as the wine regions in the South of France were breathtaking. The landscapes are beautiful and varied. The villages and towns are still quite original and very impressive. Only the travel period of 2 weeks was much too short. Actually we should have taken at least 3 weeks.
Have you ever been on a similar tour and have some good tips? We’d like to read your comment!
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