Overnight stops & driving routes in France

Family holidays France Overnight Stops

Welcome to France for Families, a free online travel guide with advice on the best family holidays to France, created by real ‘Francofiles’ who are passionate about the country.  Read our practical guides to the best French beaches to relax on, the best towns to explore and the best attractions in France to keep the children entertained

Here you’ll find a comprehensive list of French hotel chains, cheap and luxury options, that you will find dotted around France that are great for an overnight stay.

France for Families also offers a selected range of gites, villas and cottages in France, perfect for families – find out more about our family holidays in France here. 

Want some personal recommendations on places to stay in France? Email jo@franceforfamilies.com for free advice on holidays to suit your family or head to our Facebook page for top tips for great family holidays!

Hotel Chains for Overnight Stops

Each French hotel chain will offer a mix of locations for your overnight stop.  If you just want a bedroom in which to lay your head then choose a stopover that is easy to access, for example just off the motorway.  However if you fancy more of a break to your journey then head to a city center and combine a stop over with a discovery visit to a new place.

In our travels between Calais and the south coast we’ve enjoyed stop overs at cities such as Reims, Troyes and Lyon – all fabulous towns with loads to see.  French cities are good at underground car parks so there’s always somewhere to park up and navigating the city center tends to be better with a good navigational aid!

If you are staying in a chain hotel on the outskirts of towns, be warned that they tend to be located in industrial estates so you need to think about roof-racks with bikes etc. We always travel with bikes and in the past we have taken these off the roof at night and stored them in the hotel – most hotels are very helpful for that.

If you are in the midst of planning your driving route through France, perhaps our recommendations on the best route to take will help – see below.

The list below is in no particular order.  We have stayed in Balladins, which is slightly more expensive 3* hotel, but great for welcoming families (and dogs!). Premiere Classe is probably the cheapest – and most basic.  Ibis is OK.

Premiere Classe
Mr Bed
Etap (now Ibis) 
Fast Hotels
Quick Palace
Best Hotel

Read more travel in France and check out our quick links below for top tips for driving in France.

Travelling to France before you go

preparing your car driving in France
route planning
Travelling to France driving advice
Driving on french roads
french road signs
rules of the road in france
rest areas in france
entertaining kids whilst travelling
arriving in france

Driving Routes and Overnight Stops

Route 1. To the South of France >>>

The first of our two-day routes is the classic eastern route, perfect for those wishing to go to the Cote d’Azur, Provence and The Alps.  You’ll be heading down the main route through France, popular with all nationalities and famous somewhat for it’s many toll roads.

Read our guide on the route to take and places to stop.

French alps

Route 2. Languedoc, Midi-Pyrenees, Northern Spain and Catalonia >>>

The second of our two-day routes through to the south of France, may be new to you, mainly because it takes you close to Paris, and if you are not heading for the French capital, you will want to give the whole area a wide berth, except that not only is the route through the centre of Paris just as convenient to reach the south of France and Northern Spain, but there is also so much to see.

Plage de Canet-en-Roussillon

Route 3. Normandy, Poitou-Charente, Vendee, Dordogne and South West >>>
In our 3rd and final route through France, we take a look at the Atlantic Coast and cut our way through majestically from Normandy in the north to Biarritz in the Pays Basque in the south west.

If you are looking for a hotel for an overnight stop, our favourites are Premiere Classe, Hotel B&B and Novotel, if you fancy paying more for luxury. We recommend you book ahead if you are planning a stay during the summer months.

Saint malo, brittany