Where to Stay and Eat on the Route des Vacances

Where to Stay and Eat on the Route des Vacances

Our pick of the best accommodation and eateries on the Route des Vacances. All that culture and shopping can be tiring – here’s where to rest, refuel and recharge. Note: This article is part of a bigger magazine feature called “Taking the Slow Road to the French Riviera”.

Wine-lovers touring the N7 can explore outstanding wines from the southern Loire Valley (Sancerre, Pouilly-sur-Loire, and the lesser-known Côtes de la Charité) to Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône (including Crozes-Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Saint-Péray close by) to Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Coteaux Varois en Provence (around Brignoles) and the Côtes de Provence. Plus, there are plenty of fantastic eateries and accommodation along the way.

Restaurants & Cafés

La Table du Parc

Fine dining within the château parkland at Fontainebleau with contemporary French and local cuisine served. Attractive covered terrace. Accommodation, too, in the boutique hotel, La Demeure du Parc.

Le Bar à Fromage at La Maison du Fromage

Fresh and simple seasonal dishes, centred on cheese made on the premises in Nevers. Fridays and Saturdays only. If you don’t have time to stop, the boutique is open every day and you can order ahead for your cheese selection.


Like coals to Newcastle, this Salon de Thé Britannique, in La Charité-surLoire, is run by ex-pat Brit Charles, who makes a proper cup of tea if you’re desperate for a builder’s brew, as well as homemade sponge cakes and scones. The vintage tearoom occupies an excellent spot, overlooking the Loire river.

La Brasserie de Lavoir

If you’re taking a detour to Apremont-sur-Allier, take time to enjoy a meal at La Brasserie, with cosy and humble but affable dining in a very desirable building. For light bites with a view, Les Petites Causeries offers a sun terrace on the banks of the River Allier.

La Brasserie de Lavoir offers cosy and delicious dining in a lovely old building © Caroline Mills

Le Café Comptoir Abel

A typical and certified authentic bouchon in Lyon, serving hearty local cuisine in a convivial setting. This is allegedly the oldest bouchon in the city and has an interior that must be seen. The traditional menu includes much meat; this is not the best place for vegetarian diners.

Le Bar du Coin

One of those fabulous little places that you happen to stumble across, Le Bar du Coin is in the perfect location, directly on the N7, for a quick stop-off. As its name implies, it’s on the corner of the main street in Mornas, has a popular outdoor terrace and serves traditional Lyonnais food. There’s a large, free car park opposite.

The luxurious Auberge des Templiers started life as an 18th-century coaching inn © Caroline Mills


Auberge des Templiers

On the D2007 at Boismorand, between Nogent-sur-Vernisson and Briare, this five-star Relais & Châteaux hotel is an historic staging post along the route and today has very comfortable bedrooms and apartments, and a renowned Michelinstarred restaurant. A beautiful building in extraordinary grounds.

Cours des Loges Hotel

Five-star luxury in the heart of Old Lyon, this Renaissance building oozes character, elegant bedrooms with period furniture and fine dining in the Michelin-starred Les Loges Restaurant, or in the bistro. Book a wellness treatment in the Pure Altitude Spa.

Relais 500 de Vienne

It may not be the most sumptuous of hotels, but for a clean and basic overnight stop and authenticity true to the N7, this is the place to stay. It was set up as an American-retro style motel in 1959 as a stopover for travellers on the N7 and has been in the same family for more than 50 years. Includes 35 rooms (including six family), two restaurants, and a swimming pool. Chonas-l’Amballan is midway between Paris and Menton.

Moulin de Vernègues

Directly on the N7 at Mallemort, 31km northwest of Aix-en-Provence, this modern four-star hotel, set in its own idyllic, verdant estate, has the charm of an old Provençal farmhouse, yet with 100 rooms and a spa. Have a tipple from the Bar Lavande while relaxing beside the fountain.

Château de la Chèvre d’Or

This complex of medieval buildings set within acres of gardens in Èze offers five-star luxury with five-star views over the Riviera. Relax in the Jacuzzi overlooking the sea, then retire to your sea-view room or suite for a siesta before a Michelin-starred dinner.

Royal Westminster Hotel
Treat yourself to a Mediterranean sea-view balcony when you reach Menton. It has a grand, wedding-cake façade and the contemporary-furnished rooms are spacious and comfortable. If you can’t book the Westminster, try the neighbouring Balmoral.

Camping Le Parc Saint-Michel

Tucked into an old olive grove on a plateau above Menton, offering glamping units together with pitches for tents and camper-vans, this campsite offers a quiet, leafy retreat from the hustle and bustle of the town centre, with spectacular views of the mountains, sea and basilica.

The Route des Vacances leads to glorious Menton © Shutterstock

Getting there

By Car

The N7 begins at the Place d’Italie, Paris, initially as the D7, then N7. Downgraded over the years, the N7 has different names in different places; nonetheless it’s the same historic route. In order, it becomes the D607, D2007, D907, A77, N7, D7N, DN7, D6007, M6007, D6007.

Tourist Information

Paris en.parisinfo.com
Île de France www.visitparisregion.com
Fontainebleau Tourism www.fontainebleau-tourisme.com
Loire Valley www.loirevalley-france.co.uk
Loiret Tourism www.tourismeloiret.com
Burgundy Tourism www.bourgogne-tourisme.com
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes www.auvergnerhonealpes-tourisme.com
Provence provence-alpes-cotedazur.com/en
Côte d’Azur Tourism www.cotedazurfrance.fr

From France Today magazine

Lead photo credit : Château de la Chèvre d’Or offers five-star views of the Riviera © Relais & Châteaux

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Caroline is a freelance writer with a focus on European travel. She has toured all areas of France, but none more so than the Loire Valley where she finds the combination of rich historical culture, rural landscape and exceptional architecture – not to mention outstanding wine – an irresistible lure to return again and again. Says Caroline, "With the focus over the next three years on the Loire Valley's connection to Leonardo da Vinci, lovers of art, architecture and French culture are in for a treat when visiting the region with the many additional events and activities on offer." Caroline is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

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