For a luxury vacation in France that embodies retro chic, authenticity and relaxation, little beats an excursion in a vintage 2CV car. The iconic Citroen model, instantly recognisable by its bright colours and characteristic curved design, may not be easily be classed as a luxury car: when it was released in post World War II France, it gained popularity as one of the most accessible new vehicles on the market. It’s known in French as a “deux chevaux”– literally, “two horses”– referring to its modest but reliable horsepower.
But it’s become representative of a certain French “je ne sais quoi”– an unpretentious and effortless chic that doesn’t require bling to spell ease and luxury. That’s why so many companies have sprung up in recent years offering travelers vintage 2CV tours of Paris and around France. There’s simply something romantic and classically cool about embarking on a trip onboard one of these coveted old cars, rolling back the retractable sunroof and letting the wind blow through your hair as you wend through gorgeous vineyards, cruise down the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris or through fields of lavender in Provence.
Related: The 30+ Most Luxurious Things to Do in France in the Summer
Since it has light off-roading capabilities and offers an unusually smooth ride, it’s also an ideal vehicle for adventurous, off-the-beaten-path tours of France. Even corporate excursions and team-building trips can be memorable when planned around drives in these classic cars.
Read on for our recommended places to explore in these beloved vintage cars: places that that embody old-school glamour, rustic charm and authenticity, or all of the above. And if you find yourself convinced that a vagabond adventure onboard one of these iconic automobiles sounds like the perfect way to spend your luxury vacation, get in touch with us– we’ll put together a perfectly bespoke 2CV tour of France for you.
Little else melds rustic charm and luxury than a tour through France’s prestigious wine regions. Onboard a 2CV, there’s an added element of retro magic that comes into play: a genuine sense of encountering France’s cultural heritage in a vehicle that shares that heritage. Whether you’re taking a slow drive through the hallowed vineyards of Burgundy and its prestigious domains in Beaune or the Cote des Nuits, or ambling on four wheels through the most coveted wine-tasting destinations in Bordeaux, exploring the centuries-old vintnering regions of France is an authentic way to spend a luxury getaway. Coming away with a perfect bottle or two for your personal cave is an added perk.
Especially since you’ll want to be able to stop at tasting rooms along the way and enjoy sampling vintages without worrying about the driving, we definitely recommend hiring experts to handle all the details of your excursion.
You might associate the Côte d’Azur with ultra-luxury sports cars, but there’s something charming about touring the glamorous, upwardly mobile region in a 2CV. You make a statement without resorting to flashiness or ostentation. Take a drive through glamorous Cannes around the time of the annual film festival: beware of traffic jams, but enjoy the star-spotting opportunities as you make your way to the port and perhaps onto a yacht.
Roll back the rooftop and enjoy breezes off the Mediterranean while driving along the coast at Antibes, or take a drive through Romantic, eternally elegant Nice, with its warm, Italian-influenced architecture, wide beaches and luxury shopping opportunities. In short, a spring or summer getaway to the French Riviera is infinitely more interesting, and casually chic, in a coveted vintage “deux chevaux”.
Between early July and late August, the Provence region comes alive in vibrant shades of deep, bluish purple as lavender fields blossom. Hiring a 2CV and venturing through the rustic Luberon area to witness– and enjoy the heady fragrance of– this “blue gold’ is a true joy. There are plenty of luxurious things to do on your lavender-centric driving tour, too, from visits to luxury spas and gastronomic restaurants to stays in 5-star hotels. For in-the-know suggestions on designing the perfect getaway, see our full guide on where to see lavender in Provence.
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