France is a country with plenty of contrast and lots of open space. That makes it ideal for trekking. Whether you want to scramble up mountains, explore windswept coasts, or hike through green countryside, you’ll find the France trekking itinerary for you.
If it’s mountains you’re after, France has plenty. The Alps and the Pyrenees both make rewarding and popular trekking destinations. Both ranges offer treks up to high peaks and glaciers, across mountain ridges and into sweeping valleys full of wildflowers.
The Pyrenees tend to be less developed and wilder than the Alps, but the Alps have the highest peaks. Climb Mont Blanc and you’ll be on the roof of Western Europe. Stay in mountain huts and refuges and spend as many days as you like trekking the mountain trails.
The massive ski areas such as Paradiski, Portes Du Soleil, Espace Killy and Three Valleys all have lifts open in the summer offering uplift assisted hiking trails. In many areas you can do a different hike every day, or you can trek between towns using the lifts to help make it a little easier or so you can cover extra miles.
If you’d rather stick to the coast, Northern France has some great trekking areas. Brittany’s coast is wild and rocky, with clifftop paths making this easy trekking country. In Normandy, you can take long, windswept beach rambles, checking out medieval fishing villages as you go. In the south, the Cote d’Azur offers some spectacular trekking, with ochre hills rising right from the coast.
Just inland the Provencal countryside offers rolling green hills that rise slowly into the Alps, vineyards and stunning river gorges. Good riverside trekking can also be found elsewhere, such as along the Ardeche. The river is flanked by dramatic limestone cliffs and surrounded by wild national parkland.
A France trekking trip can be hard to plan: there is so much to see and do. It’s possible to trek for days or weeks just along the mountains, coast or rivers. Or you can design a trek that takes you through a variety of landscapes, such as the trek from the Mediterranean up in the Alps.