When thinking of France, hiking trails may not be the first thing to come to mind. But trust us, there are plenty. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just fancy an afternoon trail, we’ve got you covered. These are the best places to go hiking in France.
7 of the Best Places for Hiking in France
Located in the heart of the French Alps, you’ll find Vanoise National Park. The park is famous for its alpine vistas and range of hiking trails. While most of their hikes are considered difficult, there are several that can be modified to fit lower skill sets. With nearly 400 hiking routes in and around the area, you won’t have a problem finding the perfect afternoon or multi-day hike. Be sure to keep an eye out for the region’s rich wildlife such as lynxes and rare birds.
Head to the dense forests of the Rhone Alps and you’ll find Vercors Regional Natural Park. This stunning nature reserve is full of scenic routes that make for perfect afternoon hikes or can be modified to create a longer trek. The region is covered in forests with hidden limestone cliffs and deep gorges that create a truly breathtaking landscape. Mont Aiguille, a towering mountain is the park’s most beloved feature.
3. Cevennes National Park
Cevennes National Park is famous for its huge variety of alpine and Mediterranean plant and animal species. The rugged landscape is shaped by enormous gorges and rivers such as the Jonte and Tarn. However, the real highlight of the park is the medieval villages that remain within it. Whether you’re a skilled hiker or prefer something more relaxed Cevennes’ variety of nature and history make it a great destination.
This village located in the Haute-Alpes of southeastern France makes for a perfect base to explore the area. From the verdant green hills of Claree to the crystal clear waters of Lac Laramon, there’s plenty to explore. We suggest starting with a day hike around Lac des Beraudes, a stunning alpine lake famous for its turqouise waters.
Luberon is another great option for those who are equal parts history and nature lovers. From Romanesque abbeys to plunging canyons, the landscape is full of surprises. And don’t just take our word for it, UNESCO thinks it’s pretty spectacular too. The entire area is designated as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
6. Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc is one of France’s most sought after nature destinations. Sprawling across the French, Italian and Swiss border, it is the second most prominent mountain on the continent only after Mount Elbrus. Not to mention, it’s the 11th most respected summit in the world. The area is covered in hiking trails for every level. However, the most famous is the Tour du Mont Blanc. This 10 day hike crosses through Italy and Switzerland before completing a full loop in France.
7. Dune du Pilat
Did you know that France is home to the tallest sand dune in Europe? Yep. Her name’s Dune du Pilat and you’ll find her stretching across France’s Atlantic coast. Framed by thick woods and the ocean, the views are just as spectacular as the dune itself. Fortunately, the area is full of hiking trails so that you can fully emerse yourself in the natural beauty.