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Driving the Tour de France Route

20th June, 2022, in Travel Advice & Guides

France is a stunning country, filled with picturesque villages, quaint towns and busy cities. Not only that but almost every step of the way you are accompanied by a landmark or a view worth writing home about. Driving in France can be a real treat

The Tour de France route is one that maximises its potential in all these areas and is well worth driving along to witness its natural beauty. Now, the 2022 event is just around the corner so if you time your summer break right, you can either follow in the cycle tracks (in your car), or complete part of it before they do, enjoying the scenery and surroundings before it gets too taken over by fans. All we suggest is that you don’t try and tackle a route when the cycling is due to pass through it. Road closures and large amounts of traffic can make it very challenging, and probably not the experience you had hoped for.

Instead, choose your favourite part of the route and enjoy the views.

What is the Tour de France 2022 route?

With the time trials getting underway in Denmark from Friday July 1st – Sunday July 3rd, the race doesn’t touch down in France until July 5th, where it starts in Dunkirk. With the time trials taking place over 3 days, these count as the first 3 stages of the race.

DATE STAGE ROUTE DISTANCE
5th July 4 Dunkirk-Calais 172km
6th July 5 Lille-Arenberg 155km
7th July 6 Binche-Longwy 220km
8th July 7 Tomblaine-Planche Des Belles Filles 176km
9th July 8 Dole-Lausanne 184km
10th July 9 Aigle-Les Portes Du Soleil 183km
12th July 10 Morzaine-Megeve 148km
13th July 11 Albertville-Col Du Granon 149km
14th July 12 Briancon-Alpe d’Huez 166km
15th July 13 Le Bourg d’Oisans-St Etienne 193km
16th July 14 St Etienne-Mende 195km
17th July 15 Rodez-Carcassonne 200km
19th July 16 Carcassonne-Foix 179km
20th July 17 St Gaudens-Peyragudes 130km
21st July 18 Lourdes-Hautacam 143km
22nd July 19 Castelnau Magonac-Cahors 189km
23rd July 20 Lacapelle-Rocamadour 40km
24th July 21 Paris La Defense-Paris 112km

Is it possible to drive the Tour de France route?

Overall, it is quite a long distance to cover, so we would suggest picking some stages that appeal to you for particular landmarks or sights. Using our French airport directory, you can find both airports and car hire companies, allowing for an easy arrival close to your favourite part of the route.

We have detailed our favourite parts of the route below. Read on to find out more.

Rodez – Carcassonne

This trip takes is full of fairy-tale scenery and, all being well, beautiful weather. If visiting in the summer, you can expect temperatures in the mid to high 20’s, touching on the 30’s and even 40’s every now and then.

For this route, you will arrive right in the middle and the path you choose determines which part of the Tour de France path you follow. Fly into Toulouse and head in a northerly or southern direction. The north will take you to Rodez, whilst the south leads you to Carcassonne.

In Rodez, you can enjoy plenty of history and culture. Over 90,000 tourists converge upon Rodez each year to enjoy the vast array of historical sights on offer. Stay refreshed and refuelled in one of the nearby restaurants, where local specialities such as aligot and tripoux are served.

If heading south to Carcassonne, you are greeted with the walls of a fortified city which transport you back in time and are well worth a visit. From here, you can head to the Narbonnaise en Mediteranee Natural Regional Park, which is just as stunning as the  hills and mountains found surrounding the Pyrenees region.

Briancon – St Etienne

The best part of this route is that it fits in 2 countries! Fly into Turin, pass Sestriere and scale the heights to reach the highest city in the European Union – 1326. Labelled as a city of art and history, you can visit forts, museums and art centres. In addition, there are plenty of leisure activities on offer, such as horse riding, paragliding, and canoeing, plus a popular ski resort in winter months.

Fabulous restaurants specializing in French cuisine are on hand all year long, as are various hotels and hostels.

When leaving Briancon, you’ll travel the166 km to the Alpe d’Huez. With sights worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, this ever-popular ski resort is definitely a part of France worth visiting, whether a ski enthusiast or not. The steep and winding roads mean that driving will be your focus, rather than the view. However, with multiple stop-off points along the way, you will have ample opportunities to enjoy some of the best sights around. Once you have made your way to the top, the journey down gives provides some incredible valley views.

The final part of this journey takes you through Grenoble and onto St Etienne. On your way, you will pass through picturesque towns and villages. Once in St Etienne, you can rest and recuperate from the visual delights and lengthy drive. Either head on to Lyon for a flight home, or browse the four museums before deciding where your adventure goes next.

Where is the best place to watch the Tour De France?

If you have decided that you would rather watch the race and drive to particular areas, we can suggest three, although driving the actual routes may not be possible during the event due to the road closures.

Any parts of the route that cover the Alps or Pyrenees are spectacular. The atmosphere among fans, the excitement of the race and a stunning backdrop make this very different to many other sporting events you could attend. We highly recommend booking early to secure your accommodation, and many slots for 2022 are already booked, so you may need to look further afield.

Paris is where the race concludes – witnessing the conclusion on the Champs Elysees is a moment at the pinnacle of sport. It gets very busy, so a driving tour of other parts of Paris may be preferred before you take the metro to your desired trackside viewpoint.

Our third suggestion is perhaps the easiest for those travelling from the UK. Stages 4 and 5 take place in Northern France and cover Calais, Dunkirk, Lille and Arenberg. Taking in history and culture without some of the vast distances other routes include, you can enjoy a smaller trip by utilising the easy travel links to France.

There are so many routes available to drive and sights to see, but the above are some of our favourites.

No matter which route you choose or where you fly into, make sure you are comprehensively covered from costly excess car hire fees when you collect your hire car. Direct Car Hire Excess are the leaders in providing those on single or multiple trips. Contact us today to find out how our plans protect you, or get a free quote now and get your trip underway.

 

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