Travel France & Seize the Moment with a Road Trip!

Hot French Tips for your road trip, include A-Roads, D-Roads, N-Roads & Casual Country Back Road Signs.

They all point in the right direction!

Seize the Moment doesn’t JUST mean get in a car; it means spontaneity, letting go, traveling to your destination but allowing yourself to explore new worlds.

Once you get to Paris, it’s then time to decide how to get where you want to go from there. There are so many options! But standardly, in LoFT, we find taking the high-speed train, the TGV, from Paris to the destination of your choice, gives you so much lateral movement to spread out and explore the region.

Our Hot French Tips are all about that lateral movement; which roads to take, what kind of day do you want to have, how immersive do you want to get ~ and potentially ~ how lost.

Language plays in here too; if you’re a novice and speak NO French, and don’t want to try, this might not be your best choice.

If you can at least get by, and are game to try, the French are most gracious to receive your efforts and help direct you.

But let’s get down to the subject of roads.

France’s road system is GREAT. The Autoroutes or A-routes (e.g., A-84, A-10, etc.) are the main artery roads, that will get you from point A to point B quickest. No question about it. They are well-maintained, have great rest stops for either a meal inside or a picnic en route.

These also are toll roads — not everywhere, but frequently. For instance, there’s a toll road outside of Rennes, direction LeMans, en route to Chartres. It costs 20+ euros to travel on it. You will need a chip credit card, or cash.

For the purpose of journeys we take here at LoFT, generally we like to get to point B quickest, then browse from there. So it’s the A-routes to the region, then divert into the region.

You can take the A-route, for instance from Paris to Limoges, then hop off onto the D-roads. These are designated by a yellow-orange color and say D-22 or D-30. This is the old highway system. If you want to explore any particular area, you can hop off the A-route and tour around the destination on the D-roads easily enough. They bring you through small towns, villages and hamlets. The D-roads also bring you in closer touch with the locals in the area you are visiting, from the butcher to the baker to the boutique shops en route. The pace is more leisurely.

This D-road network conjuncts the N roads, or basically the backroads of France. The signs are black and white and now, pretty weathered and easy to miss! You’d best mark your spot by the church steeples you’re around. It’s a sure way to find your way back!

Frequently, I’ll hop onto the D-roads if I want to check out a local village or its restaurants, or if I want to rest en route and feel like I’ve gotten off the asphalt. It’s a great choice but a slower one. That is the tradeoff.


All over France, when entering every town and village, there is an implicit limitation to not exceed 50 kph. You will frequently be caught on camera if you go over this, and receive that ticket later in the mail.