Our walking vacations in France
The joy of our France walking vacations is roaming the country’s eclectic landscapes, and exploring regional cuisine farm to table as you stay in family-owned accommodations in welcoming rural communities. Explore lavender fields in Provence, the foothills of Mont Blanc, walk vineyard to vineyard in the Loire Valley, or in the company of a charming donkey on family walking trips in Mercantour. Small group tours, often led by guides who were brought up in that area all their lives and boast unparalleled knowledge about local culture and nature. And self-guided, tailor made walking vacations, where you can take any diversion that appeals.
Our top Hiking vacations in France
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From US $2179 to US $23998 days ex flights
The best of the Tour du Mont Blanc
Small group2022: 14 May, 21 May, 28 May, 4 Jun, 11 Jun, 18 Jun, 25 Jun, 2 Jul, 9 Jul, 16 Jul, 23 Jul, 30 Jul, 6 Aug, 13 Aug, 20 Aug, 27 Aug, 3 Sep, 10 Sep, 17 Sep, 24 Sep, 1 Oct, 8 Oct, 2023: 20 May, 27 May, 3 Jun, 10 Jun, 17 Jun, 24 Jun, 1 Jul, 8 Jul, 15 Jul, 22 Jul, 29 Jul, 5 Aug, 12 Aug, 19 Aug, 26 Aug, 2 Sep, 9 Sep, 16 Sep, 23 Sep, 30 Sep, 7 Oct
From €450 to €10804 days ex flights
Experience real French culture while relaxing mindfully...
Map & highlightsLong waymarked walking routes known as Grand Randonnees criss-cross France – including the GR52 through Mercantour National Park. Mercantour is a lesser-known part of the Alps and offers some of the most spectacular scenery in France. Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in the range. Intrepid walkers can climb it, although circumnavigating on the classic Tour de Mont Blanc offers plenty of challenge too. Tranquil rural scenes abound in Poitou-Charentes and Provence, with idyllic walks between traditional guesthouses. And if you want to know the real Mediterranean coast, head inland from the Riviera to the mountain culture of the Alpes Maritime.
To describe the French Alps invites every conceivable superlative: titanic peaks, ice-white glaciers and sparkling sapphire lakes, but to see them first hand will leave you speechless. The Giffre Valley, an exciting almost eerie terrain of towering cracked limestone cliffs sits beside champagne Chamonix, the iconic backdrop to 007’s stunt-tastic ski chase; a wonderland of adventure.
2. Mercantour NP
Take a mountain train into the other worldly wonders of the Alpes Maritimes and Alpes de Haute Provence, all part of the relatively unknown Mercantour National Park. A popular area for walking with donkeys to carry your bags, you follow in the steps of shepherds who still do the same, along waymarked ways through ancient forest, up rocky inclines, and along icy river valleys.
3. Mont Blanc
The highest peak in Western Europe, it has seven main valleys feeding off it inviting some of the world’s finest hiking. It’s covered in snow and ice all year round so, although ascent trips are available, most people hike the Tour de Mont Blanc, a 170km lower level circuit taking you through France, Switzerland and Italy. Because Mont Blanc is a tripartite triumph of nature.
Easy to reach by TGV from Paris, this is the France that French hikers know about, with mild weather, ancient woodland trails, and classy guesthouses. The Pays de Gâtine area, in particular, is exquisite escapism with typical rural scenes, be it ancient farmland, orchid-filled woodland, blissful Beugnon Lake or medieval villages. And a plethora of local wine, toasting fields fecund with local produce.
The Provencal cliché: wafting lavender; stone villages; smiling people sipping wine. It exists, and it is wonderful, but the region is actually very diverse. Discover the limestone escarpments of the Luberon, the Verdon Gorges canyons, the turquoise Lac Sainte Croix or the pine forests leading up to the dustily dramatic Plateau de Vaucluse. And everywhere, Provencal produce to wine and dine upon.
Walking on the Riviera is the best way to get to know the real Med, maritime and mountain cultures which segue so smoothly here. Hike inland along the lower slopes of the Alpes Maritimes, not pushing up peaks all the time but strolling from one stunning village to another. Or take on stunning headland walks such as the Cap Martin Peninsula or around Menton.