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A Good General Road Map of France to supplement GPS

I will be driving around France for 5 weeks (so excited) and I have a Tom Tom GPS with updated maps of France. So, I don't plan to rely on a map, but I always like to have a basic one that shows the bigger roads for planning purposes. I don't need one with lots of detail and I don't want too much bulk (I am only traveling with a carry on).

Any thoughts on a good map that I should buy? Should I buy it now or am I better off to wait until I get to France and pick something up there?


Posted by
5036 posts

I'd get a Michelin map (or atlas) before you leave home.

They're great (the standard by which others are measured). And very French!

Posted by
2348 posts

I agree the Michelin map is tops. But it is very detailed and you will appreciate that as you travel I France. Do buy it here. Amazon has them. You’ll spend a lot of valuable time trying to get what you want in France, and there will be little to no English in that version. I found driving in France (except for the big cities) pretty easy with one exception: the roundabouts. Several near misses as everyone seemed to just pop in!

Posted by
1464 posts

You can use Michelin red cover maps for the whole of France with a scale of 1/1 000 000 and buy them at home for doing the planning. Once on the move there and start thinking you need a bit more detail you can always buy the also red cover ¼ France maps with a scale of 1/500 000 showing each a corner of the country. Best is to have a look at them both before leaving. They are easy to get everywhere in France (however the French version) and actually not that expensive, so you can change your mind if you like.

Posted by
1206 posts

Michelin, of course. I have the big one but there's a pocket version (of all of France) too.

Posted by
6067 posts

I drove all around Provence, Normandy, and Brittany. I had a GPS in the car but I'm a bit of an un-techie so I preferred paper maps. I used separate Michelin maps for each of the three areas - the whole France map was big and didn't have enough detail for me, so I preferred the regional maps. I found the easiest way to go was to lay out my route on the map and then note the towns I would be going through to get to my destination. That way it was easy to navigate using the directional road signs for the towns I knew I would be passing through. I was driving alone so did not have a navigator/map reader to help me while I was driving.