France THROUGH PARIS MARSEILLE Route is France’s version of Route 66. All 600 miles are packed with stunning vistas of rolling vineyards and countryside castles, from the City of Light to the Mediterranean. It offi cially begins in the heart of Paris at Notre Dame cathedral. Check in to the Generator Paris, a luxe hostel that opened in February 2016, and scarf a scoop of Berthillion’s renowned ice cream.
Rise early for the 200-mile fi rst leg to the city of Moulins, fi lled with timber-frame houses, sidewalk cafes and a 15th-century cathedral. Hotel de Paris & Spa, in the town center, makes a great resting spot. A hundred miles farther down Route 7, stop in Tain-l’Hermitage to get your chocolate on at the circa-1922 Valrhona Boutique. Your next pit stop, La Mule Blanche in P©rigord, is all about seafood.
Gastronomes will swoon over the sweet B&B Maison Pic and the French haute cuisine at Pic Le 7, run by Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic. Stop in Avignon for a photo op with the Pont du Gard, the famous fi rst-century Roman aqueduct. Then make your way to your fi nal destination of Marseille to slip through secret passageways and slurp bouillabaisse, a hearty saff ron-hued seafood stew. SS Note from the road: The roads and signage are a bit tricky, so keep a close eye on your GPS.