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A Guide to Walking in France

Whether you're in pursuit of epic Alpine challenges or relaxing coastal strolls, a walking holiday in France offers something for everyone and an unfo... Read more
A Guide to Walking in France

Whether you're in pursuit of epic Alpine challenges or relaxing coastal strolls, a walking holiday in France offers something for everyone and an unforgettable adventure.

With such diverse walking trails available, from the high peaks of the Alps to the charming trails of Nice, deciding where to explore can be an overwhelming decision. Read on for our complete guide for everything you need to know about walking in France. 


Highlights of Walking in France

France has an extensive network of Grands Randonnées, or long-distance hiking trails, providing a wealth of choices for walking and hiking enthusiasts. With opportunities to enjoy the French gastronomic delights, explore the multitude of charming villages and climb some of the highest peaks in Europe, there are so many things to look forward to when embarking on a walking holiday in France. The following are just a few of them:


Diverse Scenery 

You'll never bore of the scenery in France; every region, village, mountain and footpath boasts such diverse scenery that no two places are the same. In Corsica, pristine beaches meet rugged mountains, creating a breathtaking juxtaposition of landscapes. The majestic Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest peak, towers over the Chamonix Valley. The lush vineyards and charming villages of Provence exude a special charm, while the French Catalonia region showcases its Mediterranean character along the coast. The range of possibilities for a walking holiday in France are endless.


Hiking Trails


France is filled with an extensive network of well-maintained hiking trails, including the famous GR long-distance paths. These trails cater to a wide range of interests and skill levels, ensuring that everyone, from novice walkers to seasoned trekkers, can find a path that suits their preferences. The trails in France connect not only with the country's beautiful landscapes but also with its rich history and culture. Many trails pass through charming villages and towns, offering the opportunity to experience authentic French life, savour regional cuisine and interact with locals along the way.


Charming Villages


Walking holidays in France will often pass through charming villages that boast cobblestone streets, quaint cottages filled with colourful flowers and lively town squares where locals gather. Exploring these villages offers a glimpse into traditional French life - picture a boulangerie on every corner wafting the scent of freshly baked bread and cosy cafés serving aromatic coffee!


Regions of France to Visit


The Alps 


The pristine, snow-capped peaks, picturesque meadows and glistening mountain lakes create a stunning backdrop for your hiking adventure in the majestic French Alps. The well-maintained network of trails, from gentle walks to challenging ascents, offer a diverse range of experiences for hikers of all levels. Immerse yourself in the charm of alpine villages and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals after an unforgettable day of trekking amongst the breathtaking alpine scenery.


French Catalonia


French Catalonia, located in the southern part of France along the border with Spain, offers walkers an incredible combination of Mediterranean charm and rugged landscapes. Hiking in French Catalonia allows you to explore the enchanting coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, dotted with picturesque coves and beaches, while also venturing into the foothills of the Pyrenees, offering challenging mountain trails. This region boasts a unique blend of Catalan and French culture to immerse yourself in.



Walking in Provence offers exceptionally diverse landscapes, from historical sites, ancient Roman ruins and medieval towns, to lavender fields and the iconic vineyards. At the end of each day, explore the picturesque villages and their charming architecture and enjoy a well-earned, refreshing Provençal wine. The region also boasts a Mediterranean climate, perfect for walking in spring and autumn. 




With its Mediterranean climate, stunning coastal trails and a rich history dating back to the Roman era, Nice provides a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural richness. Walk along the Promenade des Anglais, explore the charming Old Town (Vieux Nice) and indulge in the vibrant food scene after a day of hiking.


Verdon Gorge


Often referred to as "Europe's Grand Canyon," Verdon Gorge offers a landscape of towering limestone cliffs and majestic emerald-green waters. Hiking along its trails provides an unforgettable experience, allowing you to delve into the dramatic canyons and explore its unique rock formations.




Corsica’s rugged mountains, pristine beaches and untouched wilderness offer an opportunity to explore nature at its best. Corsica's diverse landscapes, from the dramatic GR20 trail to the serene coastal paths, cater to all levels of walkers. Beyond the trails, you'll discover a unique Corsican culture, with its own language and traditions, adding a rich cultural layer to your outdoor adventure.


What is the best time of year for a walking holiday in France?



In Provence, the best time of year for a walking holiday is arguably during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). These seasons offer pleasant weather with warm, sunny days and mild temperatures, making it ideal for exploring the region's charming villages, rolling vineyards and lavender fields in full bloom. Summer can also be a good time to visit, however it is often very hot and can make walking slightly more strenuous. Spring and autumn, however, provide a perfect balance of comfortable weather and fewer crowds, ensuring an enjoyable and authentic Provençal experience.

The Alps

The best time to visit the Alps for a walking holiday is typically in the summer months. During this period, the weather is generally more predictable, with mild to warm temperatures at lower elevations and clear skies that allow for breathtaking mountain views. The snow has melted, making hiking trails more accessible and alpine meadows come alive with vibrant wildflowers.


The best time to visit Corsica for a walking holiday is typically late spring (May to June) and early autumn (September to October). During these months, the weather is pleasantly mild, making it ideal for exploring the island’s diverse landscapes and hiking trails. The springtime brings lush greenery and wildflowers, while autumn offers comfortable temperatures and fewer tourists, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty and local culture of Corsica. Summer is also an option, but it can be hot and crowded, so choosing the shoulder seasons ensures a more enjoyable and authentic experience on this beautiful Mediterranean island.


Like the Alps, the best time for a walking holiday in Queyras is during the summer months, from June to September. During this period, the weather is typically the most favourable, with pleasant temperatures and clear skies. The trails are in their best condition and the alpine meadows are adorned with colourful wildflowers.




On a walking holiday in France you will experience a variety of different accommodations. From comfortable hotels in the French Riviera to basic shared Alpine huts. France's renowned hospitality is a consistent theme throughout, ensuring that wherever you stay, you can anticipate exceptional cuisine, fine beverages, a comfortable night's sleep and breathtaking views.

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Hotels offer a comfortable and rejuvenating retreat after a day of exploration. Whether it's a charming countryside inn, a cosy alpine lodge or a chic hotel along the Mediterranean coast, there is a wide variety of hotels that we stay in.

Mountain Huts

Staying in mountain huts provides the opportunity to get off the beaten path and immerse yourself in the mountains. These rustic lodgings, perched in pristine high-altitude locations, provide a sense of isolation and tranquillity. While the accommodation may be basic, the warm hospitality and the camaraderie with fellow hikers create a unique and communal atmosphere. Waking up to panoramic mountain views and sharing tales of the trail over a hearty meal makes staying in a mountain hut an integral part of an Alpine adventure.


Camping during a walking holiday in France offers a unique way to connect with nature and enjoy the stunning landscapes. Numerous designated campsites are scattered throughout the country, providing facilities like showers, restrooms, and often, access to cooking areas.


Staying in hostels and gites offers a unique and immersive experience. These charming, often family-run accommodations provide a glimpse into local life and culture. This form of accommodation usually involves dorm sharing and always provides good facilities.




Our walking holidays in France cater to a wide range of fitness levels and preferences, offering diverse levels of difficulty. Each of our trips have a difficulty rating to help you decide which level is right for you.

For those seeking a leisurely pace, gentle coastal strolls along the picturesque French Riviera provide a serene and relaxing experience. Our Self-Guided Walk from Menton to Nice allows you to surround yourself with the glamour and beauty of the south of France at your own pace.

If you're in search of a challenging adventure, we have an array of holidays tailored to your needs. Consider our Walk to Freedom across the Pyrenees which offers an invigorating journey along a historic trail. It provides an ample challenge, allowing you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery without it being overly strenuous.

For those looking for a really tough adventure, look no further than the Alps. Embarking on a challenging level walking holiday in the Alps, such as scaling Mont Blanc and traversing the iconic Haute Route, is an adventure for those seeking the ultimate in alpine exploration. These journeys offer an unparalleled opportunity to push your physical and mental limits while indulging in the sheer magnificence of the high-altitude landscapes.


Alternatives to walking in France   


If you've already explored the charms of France and are now seeking another European gem to discover, there are plenty of options! Embark on a trip to Italy, where you can walk the trails of the Amalfi coast, explore the shores of Lake Como and wind your way around Tuscany. Similarly, Spain boasts a multitude of walking options whether it's completing the Camino de Santiago, venturing to the Canary Islands or journeying through the coast of Catalonia. If you're seeking an off the beaten path destination, Slovenia might be your perfect choice; its captivating combination of stunning lakes and breathtaking Alpine landscapes makes it an undiscovered gem that should not be overlooked when deciding on your next travel destination.


If you would you like to know more about any of the above holidays, then give us a call on +44 (0) 17687 73966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415. We offer trusted holidays with financial protection and flexible booking conditions. 

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