A travel guide that’s specifically aimed at Americans who want to travel through France by car.
Strandoo (The Essential Driving Guide for England, Scotland & Ireland, 2007, etc.) offers a driving guide that’s “designed so that each day of driving includes the most important things to see and do” throughout France’s various regions. It begins with a detailed overview of the local rules of the road, emphasizing such things as the all-important “no passing on the right.” It’s intended for those who are unfamiliar with common European traffic tendencies, so Strandoo includes diagrams for roundabouts, detailed explanations of the tolls on “autoroutes” (highways), useful translations, and even a helpful pronunciation guide. The author also points out specific translations of local delicacies that don’t usually appeal to tourists from the states, such as pig’s feet, sweetbreads, and calf brains. Strandoo organizes his book by region, starting with Normandy’s museums, historical landmarks, and charming villages. He also includes helpful breakdowns of bed-and-breakfasts throughout the area, complete with concise descriptions. Other major highlights include coverage of the Loire Valley and a careful look at Provence and southern France that points out little-known natural treasures, such as the Gorges du Tarn. The author occasionally offers passages that aim to make the locations seem more attractive: “This tiny medieval village boasts a beautiful hilly setting and one of the oldest Romanesque churches.” For instance, his “Best Advice” sections point readers toward particularly special hotels, such as rooms in a “majestic castle dating from the 15th century” called Chateau de la Caze near La Malène. However, the majority of the guide is dedicated to meticulous explanations of autoroutes: “follow the Apt signs until you connect with the N100. About 12 km / 7 mi past the second exit to Cavaillon, and still on N100, watch for the turnoff to Ménerbes.” Therefore, it’s useful for those wanting to adventure without GPS but less engaging than other guides that dig more deeply into France’s past.
A practical choice for road-trip travelers but one that could have delved a bit more into local history.