The medieval citadel, La Cité, at Carcassonne | dit photo OMT Carcassonne
Great Walking & Cycling Tours for France's Rugby World Cup 2023
The Rugby World Cup
is being held in France in 2023. This is fantastic news for rugby fans and for people looking for a good reason to travel to France.
The rugby tournament is being held between Friday, 8 September 2023 and Saturday, 28 October 2023. Matches are hosted in major cities across France, and rugby fever is sure to sweep the nation.
If you're looking to visit France
to watch the Rugby World Cup it's also a great opportunity to participate in a bit of activity yourself. France is an amazing country to see on an active holiday, and there are many exciting walking and cycling tours that will see you become fully immersed in French culture, scenery and cuisine.
In this article we've listed the host cities, the matches being played in them and the active trips in the surrounding region so you can explore France beyond the Rugby World Cup.
In Bordeaux you can explore a rolling verdant landscape dotted with ancient vineyards, medieval villages and remains of the Roman Empire, you can sample some of the world’s best wines, straight from the cellar door of a magnificent chateau. With such appealing landscapes and rich cultural interest, sun-drenched Bordeaux is a delightful region to discover by foot, bike or barge.
Games being played at Stade de Bordeaux include Ireland v Romania, Wales v Fiji and Samoa v Chile.
Lille | Northern France
Visit medieval cities and idyllic villages as you travel by bike and barge from Paris to the fairytale Belgian city of Bruges, discovering the natural beauty, rich culinary traditions and warm hospitality of northern France and Belgian Flanders. Or take an epic cycle journey from Amsterdam to Paris, exploring the medieval towns, charming villages and ever-changing scenery of Holland, Belgium and northern France, or discover the moving WWI history of The North as you cycle along quiet roads and bike paths between the historic battlefields, museums and memorials of the Western Front.
Games being played at Lille's Stade Pierre Mauroy include France v Uruguay, England v Chile, and Scotland v Romania.
Lyon | Rhone Valley
Connecting the Swiss Alps with the Mediterranean, the Rhone River holds an important place in French history. Serving as an inland trading route where goods were transported as far back as the Greek and Roman civilisations, the Rhone connected many of France's most important cities and subsequently many smaller villages were built alongside it. Today, the cultural and architectural legacy of this period can still be found in many places along the river and can be discovered by cycling sections of the Via Rhona Cycle Path, where the culinary capital of Lyon is situated.
Games being played at Lyon's OL Stadium include Wales v Australia, Uruguay v Namibia and New Zealand v Italy.
Marseille | Provence & Southern France
Marseille sits within the region of Provence & the Côte d'Azur. With its rich history, relaxed pace and sublime landscapes painted in a brilliant palette, Provence & the Côte d'Azur has been seducing artists, authors and travellers for centuries. Postcard-perfect scenes abound—sloping vineyards, sunny olive groves and lavender-strewn meadows, ruined Roman cities, medieval castles and busy market towns, the foothills of the Alpilles, hilltop villages of the Luberon, and glitzy beaches of the French Riviera.
Games being played at Marseille's Stade Velodrome include England v Argentina, South Africa v Scotland and France v Namibia.
Nantes | Loire Valley
Majestic chateaux, magnificent gardens, endless vineyards and the graceful sweep of France’s longest river—you’d be hard-pressed to find a more romantic embodiment of French culture, cuisine and landscape than the Loire Valley. Nantes is resplendently situated on the Loire River, a city filled with historic sights including the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, where the Dukes of Brittany once lived.
Games being played at Nantes' Stade de la Beaujoire include Ireland v Tonga, Japan v Argentina and Wales v Georgia.
Nice | Provence & the Côte d'Azur
Explore the glittering coves of the Côte d'Azur and the lush wetlands of the Camargue, teeming with birdlife and wild horses. Visit the vibrant markets, vineyards and villages that inspired Van Gogh and discover what makes Provence an unmissable and unforgettable corner of France.
Games being played at Nice's' Stade de Nice include England v Japan, Italy v Uruguay and Scotland v Tonga.
Saint-Étienne | Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
With everything from gentle family-friendly walks to exhilarating mountaineering expeditions, the French Alps are home to some of Europe’s most exciting outdoor adventures. Here you can explore staggering alpine landscapes and historic villages by day, and relax and regroup in cosy mountain refuges each night.
Games being played at Saint-Étienne's Stade Geoffroy Guichard include Australia v Fiji, Italy v Namibia and Argentina v Samoa.
Saint-Denis (Paris) | Paris Region
An inimitable cradle of history, culture and style, and quite possibly the world’s most beloved city — Paris is hardly in need of introduction. The Ile-de-France region covers Paris and her outskirts, including the sumptuous royal palace of Versailles, and to the south, the magnificent 12th century Château de Fontainebleau and its surrounding forests. With its bounty of cultural riches and natural beauty, this is a small pocket of France that packs a serious punch, and begs to be explored on foot or by bike.
Games being played at Saint-Denis' Stade de France include France v New Zealand, Australia v Georgia and South Africa v Ireland.
Toulouse | Near Languedoc-Roussillion
Toulouse is near the ancient and mysterious Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. It is blessed with rich history and pleasing landscapes. Hilltop castles, Roman ruins and rocky outcrops dot a gentle landscape of sunbaked vineyards and shrubby prairie, pristine national parks, tree-lined canals and busy Mediterranean beaches.
Games being played at Toulouse' Stadium de Toulouse include Japan v Chile, New Zealand v Namibia and Japan v Samoa.
Who are you cheering for in the Rugby World Cup 2023? Let us know in the comments.