Active Travel in France's Regions

Approaching Mirandol Viaduct in the Cevennes | Havang(nl)
Approaching Mirandol Viaduct in the Cevennes | Havang(nl)

Active Travel in France

France is made up of a patchwork of beautiful regions, each with its own distinct flavour. From the Cevennes to the Dordogne, Corsica to Provence, you're sure to find a French region that appeals to you.
Go beyond Paris and explore the many gorgeous regions of France on an active walking or cycling holiday. It's the best way to discover the real France!

The Cevennes 

Taking it all in on the GR70 in France
In the autumn of 1878 Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island, set out to walk across the Cévennes accompanied by “a small grey donkey called Modestine”. His journey inspired Travel with a Donkey in the Cévennes, which 145 years on has since become a travel classic. (We recommend the 2022 film, My Donkey, My Lover & I, for great inspiration - although you won't have to tug a donkey on your tour!).
Starting in the Auvergne, this walking trip follows a winding route across a region that boasts great natural beauty, romantic ruins and is almost totally unspoilt.


Cycling near the D-Day beaches in Normandy
Blanketed in apple orchards, Lower Normandy is home to the Cider Route, where numerous cider and calvados (apple brandy) producers reside in half-timbered houses – apple orchards and brewers are mentioned as far back as the 8th century by Charlemagne! 
Showcasing the land of William the Conqueror, this cycle combines gastronomic tastings and visits to cellars and pressing sheds with historic sites of World War II, such as Omaha Beach and Pegasus Bridge. 


Walking the wine trails in Alsace
One of the most picturesque regions of France, Alsace is also one of the most cycle-friendly. Designated bike paths and quiet country backroads provide a perfect passage along the Rhine, passing ‘Hansel and Gretel’-style houses overlooked by imposing medieval castles. 
As you travel through undulating farmland, orchards and vineyards, explore cobblestoned quaint villages, marvel at striking churches, sample gastronomic delights and soak up the relaxed and jovial atmosphere.


A close view of Chateau Castelnau |  <i>Nathalie Thomson</i>
The Dordogne River Valley is a stunning part of France that is full of elegant stone houses and medieval castles and this itinerary offers plenty of scope to absorb the history and culture of the Perigord. 
With delectable food and colourful markets, you will discover the specialities of the region (including mushrooms, walnuts, chestnuts, truffles and strawberries), while the delightful villages of Beynac and Domme are fine examples of period architecture.


Cyclists enroute to Sens in northern Burgundy
Discover vine-covered valleys, meet local winemakers, wander through vineyards… From Dijon in the north to Santenay in the south, the ‘Route des Grands Crus’ runs through many of the great appellations of Burgundy wine. 
Punctuated by nearly 40 picturesque villages and little towns, it is divided into two sections: the Côte de Nuits is the land of the great red wines, while the Côte de Beaune is where Chardonnay reigns supreme.

Loire Valley

A picture perfect scene in front of the Chateau de Cheverny in France |  <i>Merilyn O'Kane</i>
France’s longest river, the Loire, is also known as Valley of the Kings and is the historic heart of the country. Cycling on dedicated bike paths through countryside that is lined with vineyards, orchards and farms, discover at your own pace the so-called ‘Garden of France’ with its surrounding forests and medieval towns. 
Along the way, you can explore grand imposing châteaux such as Amboise, Clos-Lucé, Blois and Chaumont-sur-Loire, which are surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens.


Resting near Lourmarin
Walk from the rugged terrain of the Gorges du Verdon, France’s most spectacular gorge with 1,500 feet high cliffs towering above the river, to the Plateau de Valensole for endless fields of lavender and truffle oak plantations. 
Following closely the GR4 trail that crosses France from the Côte d’Azur to the Atlantic, throughout your trip you will be amazed at the contrast between the narrow streets and tall densely clustered houses of the Provençal villages and the often uninhabited landscape


View over the Marne Valley, Champagne region
Famous throughout the world for its celebratory drink, EU law reserves the term ‘champagne’ exclusively for wines that come from this region, located about 100 miles east of Paris – but exploring by bike reveals that there is more to Champagne than endless ‘Côte des Blancs’ vineyards. 
Forests interspersed with quiet trails along the Marne River lead to charming villages, while the grand cities of Epernay and Reims are rich in historical legacies.


Hiking on the GR20 in Corsica |  <i>Gesine Cheung</i>
Dense ‘maquis’, mountain ridges and granite peaks that soar to 2,700m create a rugged terrain, tempered by deeply wooded valleys, pine forest and cascading streams. From Corte’s old town, which clings to the steep slope below its majestic citadel, cross the heart of the mountains to the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 
Along the way you will pass ancient villages that preserve century-old traditions and visit iconic rock formations such as Les Calanches.

Discover all of UTracks' affordable active holidays in France.
France, Active Adventures in France, Active Travel France, Cevennes Walks, Dordogne Active Travel, Normandy Active Travel, Alsace Active Travel, Burgundy Cycling, Loire Valley Cycling, Provence Active Travel, Champagne Cycling, Corsica Active Travel

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