French walking vacation activities


Walking en famille

It can sometimes be a hard sell persuading children to go on a walking vacation. However, throw in a donkey to carry your bags, a mountain yurt or a swim at the end of each day and they start to warm to the idea. And if you get a guide who knows exactly how to get young people interested in landscape, wildlife and all the natural adventures that await, your vacation is made. Or you might choose to go on a self-guided vacation, so that you donít have to get your teens up too early.

A centre based walking vacation works well for families who donít want to pack up each morning but, if you are happy to travel light, walking inn to inn really does add to the adventure. And most importantly, walking time, be it the joys of Mont Blanc, Mercantour or the Med, is pure family time. Something that is pretty rare these days.

Hiking Ďen hiverí

Donít let the powder posers push you off the pistes. The snow covered slopes are for everyone. On a snowshoeing or winter walking vacation, let your guide take you to all the secret hiking spots, often used for centuries by local communities and traders. Such as in the Alpes Maritimes, where you can hike from one auberge to another without hardly meeting another soul, seeing wolf tracks in the snow, eagles soaring overhead and basking in the solace of silence. Or the enormous and exquisite Ecrins National Park, with frozen lakes to hike around, cols to conquer and white valleys to explore. Although you donít need experience to go snow shoeing, a reasonable level of fitness helps. What is vital, however, is that you have the support of a qualified mountain guide. You donít mess with the mountains in winter.

Two for the price of one

There are more and more walking vacations for people who want to combine it with another activity, or learn a new skill.

Seeing Provence or the Pyrenees by hiking the hills is one thing, but you savour all their specialties by learning to cook there too.

Or you can seek mindfulness on yoga and hiking vacation overlooking the Med Ė although it sounds pretty blissful to start with.

Wildlife wonders

Walk quietly and keep your eyes and ears open for elegant Ibex and, thankfully, now treasured chamois, in the Alps.

There are even a few brown bear in the Pyrenees, with rare sightings. Sightings of wolf are also rare, but in the high mountains of the Mercantour, you may be lucky enough to hear them.

And of course, butterflies, birds and the bees just fuel our francophone love affair.
Photo credits: [Hiking in the snow:Aurelien Breeden] [Butterfly:Eric Lelant]
Written by Catherine Mack
Guided walking vacations in the French Alps

Guided walking vacations in the French Alps

Guided walking from a historic chalet base

From £715 8 Days ex flights
Self guided walking vacation in France

Self guided walking vacation in France

Idyllic walking in France with great food, wine and ambience

From Ä1000 6 Days ex flights
French Riviera vacation, walking, culture & cooking option

French Riviera vacation, walking, culture & cooking option

Experience real French culture and get off the beaten track

From Ä510 4 Days ex flights
French Alps self guided walking holiday

French Alps self guided walking vacation

Chalet based, self guided walking vacation in the French Alps

From £525 8 Days ex flights
Mont Blanc vacation, Tour du Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc vacation, Tour du Mont Blanc

The best of the Tour du Mont Blanc

From US $1475 8 Days ex flights
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