France, with its winding cobbled lanes and tree-lined rural roads, is a great place to visit. Your journey will be etched into your memories because of the unique villages, castles and coastlines that are found in the countryside.

You can take a set of wheels and hit the road. Driving on the right in France is a great way to start a road ride in the country.

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Top Tip for driving in France

France's toll road autoroutes are seductive, but be aware that the scenery is more magnificent on the smaller roads, and that the highways are packed with large trucks and virtually invisible speed traps. Driving off the toll routes will be more rewarding.

A blend of wine villages in Burgundy

Best road trip for wine and architecture

The distance from Chablis to Beaune is 200 km.

There is plenty of time to sample the seven grands crus (premium vineyards) of this well-known winemaking town. Many of central Burgundy's most acclaimed vineyards can be found on the Route des Grandscrus.

From Gevrey-Chambertin to Puligny-Montrachet you can explore some of the world's most storied vineyards. Wine-growing villages with names engraved on labels or whispered during a romantic dinner make oenophiles fall in love with them.

If you pair your wine tasting with some of the country's most memorable Romanesque architecture, you'll be able to lift both body and soul. The Htel-Dieu des Hospices de Beaune is located in the old city and was painted in the 15th century.

Bikers bicycle touring near Chambord Castle in France, Loire Valley
The castles of the Loire Valley are charming to explore on two wheels or four © Michal Szymanski / Shutterstock

The castles of the Loire Valley

Best road trip for grand châteaux

Chinon–Chambord is a distance of 189 km.

France's longest river has been the backdrop for royal intrigue for hundreds of years. Powerful men and women have left their mark on the Loire Valley from warring medieval potentates to the kings and queens of Renaissance France.

The drive links up France's most magnificent collection of castles, from austere medieval fortresses to ostentatious pleasure palaces. When the weather is good, you can stop along the way and rent a bike.

South of France & the Côte d'Azur

Best road trip for food and family fun

There is a 62 kilometer (37 mile) journey from Cannes to Monaco.

The Cte d'Azur is as beautiful as a road trip can be. This is a drive you'll remember for the rest of your life. By the end of the trip, you'll understand why filmmakers, writers, celebrities and artists have had their hearts stolen.

When the roads are jammed, aim to avoid July and August. Provence has an embarrassment of road trips, from the charming hilltop-perched villages of the Luberon to the Camargue.

Market at Place de la Clautre in the town of Perigueux in the Dordogne region of France
Time it right and you can drive into the villages of the Dordogne on market day and sample the best local delicacies © lucentius / Getty Images

Dordogne villages & markets

Best road trip for food and fortifications

There is 96 km of Monpazier–Domme.

It's the home of many of France's top delicacies as well as being a land of fortified villages. The area was a battleground during the Middle Ages because of the importance of the Hundred River in the Dordogne Years War.

Most of the region's chteaux and defensive walls are still in place, but some are different. Each village has a central market square and you can sample local specialties at the weekly market.

Issigeac is a small village that is popular for its market. The perle noire of the Périgord is located in the village of St-Cyprien. You can take a turn along the road that leads to the amazing views at Domme.

Across the French Alps

Best road trip for dramatic scenery and family adventures

The distance from Annecy to St-Véran is 362 km.

During the summer months, the section of the Alps provides an incomparable setting for a road trip. The Alpine drive has the charm of a mountain culture.

Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest peak, can be reached through the heart of the French Alps from Annecy. Bonneval-sur-Arc is an Alpine village of incomparable charm and St-Véran is France's highest village. Hike, mountain bike, white-water raft and ride cable cars are some of the things you can do at these high points.

A lookout point at Pointe du Hoc, a historical WWII site in Normandy, France
Moving reminders of WWII spill out of the landscape all over Normandy © Pics Factory / Shutterstock

The D-Day Beaches

Best road trip for WWII history

Utah Beach is 142 km from Caen.

You will learn about the events of D-Day when you drive through Normandy. It is a fascinating and sobering experience. The Caen-Normandie Mémorial is a great place to get a full D-Day overview.

The battle sites are connected by several driving routes. There are signs for 'D-Day-Le Choc' and 'Overlord - L'Assaut' in the American and British sectors. Local tourist offices have created an e-booklet detailing everything about the D-Day beaches.

A Breton coast loop

Best for rugged Celtic coastlines and fine seafood

St Malo– Vannes is a distance of 499 miles.

The region's serene coastal towns, dramatic storm-lashed headlands and the world's greatest concentration of megalithic sites are all encompassed by this sea-salty drive. Start at fortified St-Malo and loop the entire coast of Brittany, standing on the precipice of the cliffs of the Pointe du Raz, and walking through the profusion of prehistoric megalithic sites at Carnac.

The article was last updated about 6 hours ago.