We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving from Paris to Strasbourg then to Calais

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Driving from Paris to Strasbourg then to Calais

We are arriving in Paris next July and hoping to drive from Paris through to Strasbourg and Baden-Baden, Germany then up to Calais. We want to drive to be able to take in the little villages and all the sights, but the problem is this: my husband is TERRIFIED of driving in mountains. Can anyone tell me if this route includes driving through any mountainous areas and/or if there is a way to avoid this?


Level Contributor
3,182 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving from Paris to Strasbourg then to Calais

Don't worry, there are not any big and steep slopes with narrow turns like the cols in higher mountains like the Alps or the Pyrénées. The roads are easy to drive and most of them not in any major mountains. You'll pass through the Vosges approching Strasbourg but they are small moutains.

The only thing I am worry about is the amount of time you have for your trip ?

You have over 1200 km to drive from Paris to Strasbourg / Baden-Baden then Calais and that's only by highways. If you want to pass by alternative routes to be able to see small villages on top of that, you will need to add extra kilometres and extra time. I hope your trip to France is a long one otherwise you might need to change your plans a little.

Level Contributor
1,992 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving from Paris to Strasbourg then to Calais

If you take the A4 highway from Paris to Strasbourg you miss all the mountains, but all the little villages. Alternatively you can take the smaller roads and go Metz - Nancy - St Die - Strasbourg and pass through some nice villages on the last part from St Die to Strasbourg (via Schirmeck). The mountains are then all to the west of you.

How long do you have for the drive? You will average 120km/h on the highway but MUCH less on N and D class roads. If you have time for an overnight or 2 on the way then there are plenty of attractive routes (eg through Champagne to Vittel then to Mulhouse and Alsace and the route du vin).

Strasbourg to Baden-Baden is flat, you can follow the river side villages on the german side most of the way if you want to avoid highways - even crossing the Rhine by ferry instead of bridge.

Back to Calais you can go via Luxembourg and Belgium, plenty of nice stops, again depending on how much time you have.

Let us know your schedule for detailed suggestions.

Alsace, France
Level Contributor
4,226 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving from Paris to Strasbourg then to Calais

Your itinerary seems a bit odd to me ... because I don't quite get why you have to get back to Calais ... but then perhaps this is only a segment of your overall plan.

I drive regularly from Colmar (think an hour below Strasbourg) to Calais, and to Paris. And it's all flat and quite boring. So much so that on the motorway A4 between Metz and Rheims there are little shapes in various colours at the side of the motorway - triangles, disks, totem poles and balls - which I presume are to keep you awake!

If I were you, I'd take the train to Strasbourg - nice TGV ... quite an exciting experience - and then hire a car to visit Baden Baden perhaps going up the French side of the Rhine and visiting the attractive pottery villages of Betschdorf and Soufflenheim on the way, and on returning to Strasbourg take the motorway A35 to Ribeauvillé and then the Route de Vins from there down to Colmar, visiting Turckheim and Eguisheim amongst other villages. NO MOUNTAIN DRIVING AT ALL. Pretty villages and loads to see. You then return the car to Strasbourg, take the train back to Paris and then the regular train to Calais or the Eurostar if you are then heading to England.

The journeys between Paris and Strasbourg and Colmar and Calais are LONG. Colmar/Calais is at least 6-8 hours depending on your speed and not taking any stops (dangerous), and the route via Luxembourg and Belgium is the most boring I've ever driven .... but it is flat. I'd honestly do the best bits of your tour by car and the long stretches by train.

Perhaps not the answer you were hoping for ... but please get in touch again if you'd like more details of car routes. You might find www.viamichelin.fr helpful too.

You then return the car to Strasborug

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving from Paris to Strasbourg then to Calais

Thank you so much for your responses!!! We have revised our itinerary (apparently our travel appetite is bigger than our travel ability) :) We will now be driving from Paris, through the Champagne and Reims region, up to Calais. We need to be in Dover to embark on a Baltic cruise. This just means we need to make another trip to do Germany properly! I will post in the appropriate places for this itinerary, but certainly welcome any response and help. Thanks again!

Edited: 06 January 2011, 01:37
5. Re: Driving from Paris to Strasbourg then to Calais

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 05 July 2011, 07:31