Five great walking holidays in France

Mar 19, 2014 BY Paul McWilliams

With spectacular scenery across the country, exquisite food, fine wines and charming hotels, there are countless great walking holidays in France. As well as choosing between alpine adventures, river valley explorations and rolling wine country there are many other destinations and types of trip you can choose.

Great walking holidays in France wikimedia image by Diliff

Pick between guided and self-guided treks, have your bags transported between stopovers and maybe even try a spot of camping along the way. It’s all about designing your own great walking holidays in France, and to help you out, here are five incredible walking adventures to give you some ideas.

Tour du Vieux Chaillol

This classic mountain walking trip in the Ecrins National Park, provides views of the four valleys visible from Champsaur’s highest mountain. With such incredible scenery and an array of wildlife to spot – including golden eagles, wild boar, chamois and ibex – this is a real walking adventure. Tours are organised here by Undiscovered Mountains, a company that specialise in all things alpine.

They offer guided adventures, with their expert guides being locals who know the mountains inside out. Or you might prefer to experience a self-guided adventure, exploring the mountain trails between arranged accommodation with baggage transfers included.

Great walking holidays in France image by Undiscovered Alps

Undiscovered Mountains are a small, ABTA bonded, UK owned company specialising in this less known adventure holidays in the Alps. They are committed to  sustainable and responsible tourism and to delivering the personal touch that a company of their size can deliver. You can contact them on +44 (0)345 009 8401 or [email protected] and check out their website here:

Alsace winetrail

As you might expect there are a number of wine trail walks available in France, but this is one of the best. Easy going walking takes you through flower-filled traditional villages, past medieval churches, forests and incredible vineyards as far as the eye can see. All along the route you’ll have views of the Black Forest, the Vosges Mountains and famous Route du Vin. Check out Headwater walking holidays or Sherpa Expeditions for more info.

Chamonix and Mont Blanc

The highest mountain in Europe and the town of Chamonix that sits in its shadow make an excellent destination for a summer walk in France. Explore the circuit with the help of cable cars on really steep sections, and walk with views of high mountain glaciers and incredible summer Alpine flora and fauna. Many companies offer this including MACS Adventure, Salamander Adventure and Explore.

Great walking holidays in France wikimedia image by mtpaley

The Dordogne

Walk through stunning wooded river valleys, surrounded by vast limestone cliffs, and you’ll understand why prehistoric activity was so prevalent here. Of course, the cave paintings and prehistoric sites are also worthy of interest, as are the wines and food. Take a gastronomic tour through the region, eating at some of the most traditional and sensational restaurants after a hard day on the trail. Check out Sherpa Expeditions or Walking Dordogne for more information.

The Pyrenees

France’s other great mountain range, the Pyrenees are home to some challenging walks and treks. The high level mountain terrain offers stunning views of dramatic gorges, impossibly blue lakes and traditional mountain villages. Recommended for intermediate walkers upwards but well worth the extra effort. In the Pyrenees Mountain Bug, Headwater and Colletts Mountain Holidays are all worth checking out.

As we have already mentioned, this is just a small selection of the great walking holidays in France. But any one of these would be a top introduction to walking in this beautiful and varied country.


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