Best walks, hikes and treks in France [View list of walks]
Well, where to start with such a rich and interesting country? And how to keep it brief?
A long and busy history, from major Roman provinces to Europe's most powerful nation, with centuries of wealth and stability interspersed with cataclysms from the Hundred Years War to the Revolution to the disasters of the 20th Century, have left a magnificent array of towns and cities (with Paris as its supreme if not most charming expression), castles, churches and art, with every little market town seeming to nestle some treasure, or at least a delicious restaurant.
Wandering through France's hugely diverse regions - barrenly beautiful Brittany to lush vineous Burgundy to the foothills of the Pyrenees to the once-volcanic Massif Central to historic Provence to the high Alps, to name just a few - is a delightful way to spend a week (or a year). And this is complemented by a fabulous selection of walking. And its beaches aren't bad, either. And the food and wine are tolerable.
So, France has things to fascinate everyone, children included. The variety of travel and tours you can make in France is as a result huge. We tell you about walking below, but have a look here for a wide selection of the fabulous France travel, tours, holidays and activities available.
Walking, hiking and trekking in France
France has some of the world's best walks, hikes and treks, ranging from famous mountain hiking and trekking trails such as the Tour du Mont Blanc and the Pyreneen High Route to geological absurdities like the Verdon Gorge to historic pilgrimage and other routes (Chemin St Jacques; Sentier Cathar) to coastal beauties (Mont St Michel).
So, walking, hiking and trekking tours and holidays in France are so varied that everyone's taste and energy levels can be met. Walking in France isn't just for hard-nuts, although there is plenty to get their juices flowing. The lazy and youngsters alike will be enthralled by what it offers.
See below a list (currently incomplete - please give us your recommendations!) of the best walks, treks and hikes in France. Various of these are in our World's Top 100 list.
Famous walking regions include:
Famous walking, hiking and trekking regions include:
- The Jura
- The Pyrenees, from the glories of the Pyreneen High Route to the Gavarnie Cirque to the historic Sentier Cathar, which winds among the eastern foothills before crossing the range.
- The once-volcanic Massif Central
- Provence, including the Alpes Maritimes and the Verdon Gorge (GR4)
- Corsica, including the famously infamous GR20 traverse of its spine.
We intend that our walk pages contain detail and photos on walking, hiking or trekking routes, including books, best times and weather, how to get there, possible problems, walking, trekking and hiking firms, organisers and guides in France, accommodation in France and useful links. But this takes a lot of research, so if they are not “there” yet, please give us any suggestions you may have.