France

Description

Corsica - by Henk

France, country of contrasts, home to the inventors of the Topoguide, is a great walking destination all year round. An intricate network of long distance footpaths, the so-called Grands Randonnées, reaches out to the farthest corners of the country. At least 80 long distance trails and their countless variants are meticulously documented and waymarked. Mastering a bit of French will help you find your way, and a bottle of wine at that.

It may be difficult to find information or topo guides for many trails. The exact route - not only the name "GR" - of any hiking trail in France is copyrighted by the FFRP and cannot be published by others without their consent. FFRP is, as far as we know, not willing to allow a free use of information on the hiking trails because they need the revenues of their publications to maintain their trails. Traildino hopes and believes this situation will change. If you want to positively influence FFRP to open up, you can vote to allow OpenStreetMap to freely show the hiking trails here on the FFRP website and to provide free GPX and KML files here on the FFRP website and you can also make suggestions on how hiking organisations in other countries solve this problem.

The French themselves are mad about walking, often in groups of about 20, recognisable by their non-stop rather loud conversations lasting from dawn till dusk and snacking on hard boiled eggs en route. So join the crowd and turn bon vivant. Walk the Provence in spring, pass through the wine regions coloured all red in late autumn. Enjoy the Atlantic coast and its birds in May, and the shimmering sun on the glaciers in summer. Explore the Loire in autumn, and the dark forests of the Morvan in winter. Or take a walk all the way from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean right across the Pyrenees along the GR10. Another popular trail is the GR5, from Luxembourg to Nice through the Vosges, the Elzas and the Alps. For those fearless and bursting with energy, the GR20 is a fine challenge. This trail following the highest ridges of the island of Corsica is for the surefooted only.

Another popular walk of course is the TMB, the Tour du Mont Blanc: eight days with views on the highest mountain of Europe, weather permitting. Drawback: crazy busy. Less known, but just as fine, is the Tour du Queyras (GR58), also in the Alps. Other best hikes in the Alps are the Tour de la Vanoise (GR55) or the Tour de l'Oisans (GR54). You can walk the Vallée des Merveilles (GR52). And a bit on the outside of the Alps is the Vercors (GR91 - GR95) and Mt Lubéron (GR97). There you are, now you know what the French themselves like most.

Along most GR's you will find huts or Gites d'Etappe at regular intervals. These are mostly just simple shelters, so bring food to prepare your own meals. Outside the main summer season, with most French back in Paris, the Gites are often closed. In such cases, bring your own tent. Most GR's can be tough but not dangerous, except the GR20.

Opinions

Rate 9.3 | 3 votes | No 2. in Europe
  • pc22
  • Rate 9
  • Positive I have walked across the full length of france twice now and am always amazed at the diversity of the countryside......The pyrenees (i walked the full GR10) Is on of my most favorite places in the world
  • patacon
  • Rate 10
  • Positive I just love it. France is where I want to walk, to live and to eat everything you can find in a patisserie. My favorite part of it is the Bretagne.
  • Negative Could not find anything I dislike yet.
  • Asmus July 2011
  • Rate 9
  • Positive I hiked around 200 km of the GR5 and GR 52. It was abseloutely amazing! great views, great trail, and the food is good too:)
More opinions…

Map

Hiking Map of France NWHiking Map of France NE

Hiking Map of France_SWHiking Map of France SE

Trails

Regions

Books

Cicerone Press
United Kingdom
2008
  • Tour of the Oisans: The GR54
  • This handy guidebook contains detailed route descriptions for the GR54 trail circuit around the Écrins national park, the Tour of the Oisans. The route is known to be one of Europe's toughest treks and traverses difficult terrain. It is described in 10 long day walk stages with suggestions for a 13 day itinerary and alternative stages Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2009
  • Wandelgids Tour of the Oisans | Cicerone |
  • The Tour of the Oisans on the GR54 is a challenging two-week trek around the Ecrins National Park (southeast of Grenoble) in France, one of the most visually spectacular regions in all the Alps. In the course of 10–13 days it covers 176km and climbs more than 12,800m to cross a series of challenging cols that separate deep and enchanting... Read more
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Cicerone Press
United Kingdom
2005
  • The Mountains of Andorra
  • Guide to 60 walking routes in little-known Andorra. The guidebook includes numerous paths with scrambles, summits, via ferratas and a week-long Andorra circuit. Covers Arinsal, Sispony, Arcalis and Angonella, Valls Sorteny and Rialb, Montcaup, Ordino, Casamanya, Valls del Riu, Ransol, D'Incles, Circ de Pessons, Cortals and Vall del Madrui. Read more
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  • The Book Depository, United Kingdom
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2005
Bol.com
Netherlands
2005
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2005
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Cicerone Press
United Kingdom
2014
  • Walks in the Cathar Region
  • Guide to over 30 walking routes around the Cathar castles of south-west France, reminders of religious turmoil from 1000 to 1250. Routes from 16 centres, including Béziers, Minerve, Lastours, Foix, Roquefixade, Lordat, Montailloe, Puivert, Montségur, Usson, Puilaurens, and Rennes. Read more
  • Also available from:
  • The Book Depository, United Kingdom
  • Stanfords, United Kingdom
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2014
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2014
Bol.com
Netherlands
2014
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2011
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • Stanfords, United Kingdom
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Camino de Santiago, The Way of Saint James Pilgimage Route Guide
  • The first one-volume walking guide in English to the most popular long-distance route in Europe walked by British tourists. With the advent of low-cost airlines it is as cheap for the British tourist to go to mainland Europe as to the extremities of the UK - which is why in recent years continental long-distance routes have become increasingly... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
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Bol.com
Netherlands
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Trail Guide Camino de Santiago de Compostela
  • The first one-volume walking guide in English to the most popular long-distance route in Europe walked by British tourists. With the advent of low-cost airlines it is as cheap for the British tourist to go to mainland Europe as to the extremities of the UK - which is why in recent years continental long-distance routes have become increasingly... Read more
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  • Bol.com, Netherlands
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Bol.com
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Lille For Pleasure
  • Lille is City of Culture 2004 and has created a spectacularly innovative programme of events as part of the year-long celebrations. But it is also an ancient town with a fascinating history, poised as it is on the border of France and Dutch-speaking Flanders. A beautiful old city, spectacular fortifications, intriguing Art Nouveau architecture,... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2013
  • Nice - Walk and Eat
  • This pocket-sized full-colour guide is designed for short-break holidays around Nice with a gastronomic touch. Even if you're not a walker, it's worth having just for the restaurant suggestions, the excursions and the information about local food. The book describes two excursions for all-comers (including the superb narrow-gauge Train de... Read more
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  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2013
  • Reisgids stadsgids Nice | Sunflower |
  • Een handig gidsje voor wandelaars die van goed eten houden. De restaurants aan de wandelroutes in Nice en het landelijk gebied eromheen worden omschreven. Met mooie wandelkaartjes (1:35.000) uitgevoerd. 12 wandelingen en 2 bergtochten worden omschreven, tijdstabellen van het goed ingerichte openbaar vervoer, hoogtepunten uit de menukaarten etc.... Read more
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More books…

Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Gabarret
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Cadours
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Rioz
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Amiens
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Nontron
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Auxonne
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Lourdes
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Aurignac
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • All
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
De Zwerver
Netherlands
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More maps…

Walking holidays

Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk - Vaucluse
  • Rustige wandelvakantie met wandelingen over het ruige Plateau de Vaucluse langs sfeervolle en comfortabele onderkomens. Tussen de maquis begroeiing vindt u onderweg vele juweeltjes, zoals de Abbaye de Sénanque, mysterieuze Bories, leuke stadjes, canyons in lichtgrijze kalksteen en natuurlijk de beroemde Fontaine de Vaucluse. Dit alles begeleid... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk - Tour de France, Ariège
  • Op bijna 900m hoogte in de Haute Vallée du Salat ligt het bergdorpje Salau. Alle wegen houden hier op, alleen te voet kunt u verder, bijvoorbeeld naar de 2087m hoge pas Port de Salau, de grens met Spanje. Er zijn ook minder zware wandelingen te maken in de schaduw van de beuken die in het lagere deel van het dal groeien. Het kleine berghotel... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk -  Lot - Stijlvol kamperen
  • Uitkijkend over de vallei van de Lot, zittend op het houten terras van een van onze luxe safaritenten, uitrustend van een verkwikkende wandeling. Na elke wandeldag in een nieuwe omgeving wacht het verblijf op een biologisch landbouwbedrijf met restaurant à la campagne, dat verse eigen producten verwerkt. Ervaar het boerenbedrijf en ga mee op... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk - Albigue
  • Op wandelvakantie door het 'Pays du Tarn', een kleurrijk landschap van donkere bossen, bollende akkers en diepe valleien. Zonnig wandelen langs een lint van hooggelegen middeleeuwse 'bastides', behorende tot 'Les plus beaux villages de France'. Overnachten in bijzonder sfeervolle chambres d'hôtes, waar u 's avonds aan tafel lekker wordt verwend. Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk - Chemin des Cathares
  • Bijzondere voettocht door het land van de Katharen, een groep gelovigen die een dualistische variant van het Christendom aanhing en daarom door Paus Innocencius III vervolgd werd. U wandelt door een vredig mediterraan landschap naar het kasteel van Montségur en leeft onderweg mee met de opgejaagde Katharen. U overnacht in een prettige mix van... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk - Tour de France, Lot-et-Garonne
  • Heerlijke locatie in een authentiek stukje Zuid-Frankrijk. Fiets door het dal van de Garonne of wandel langs boerderijen, bastides en kastelen. Ga kanoën, vissen of paardrijden. Geniet van een stranddag bij de lagune van Arcachon of bezoek het indrukwekkende Château-fort de Bonaguil. Een fijn zwembad en een mooie tuin maken deze plek 'af'.... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk - Alpes-Maritimes
  • Eind 19e eeuw is men begonnen met de aanleg van een spoorlijn door de Vallée de la Roya, een oude handelsroute van de Middellandse Zee naar Italië. Na vele internationale verwikkelingen rijdt hier nu, met tunnels en viaducten, de Train des Merveilles. Bekend is de vallei vanwege de Barokke kunst en architectuur, maar bijvoorbeeld ook vanwege de... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk - Tour de France, Gers & Gascogne
  • Vind in de Gers het Frankrijk van vroeger. Het golvend land is hier puur en de mensen stralen rust en vertrouwen uit. Wandel langs glooiende akkers vol zonnebloemen. Geniet van de weidse uitzichten over de heuvels met op bijna iedere top een statige boerenhoeve. In Miradoux wordt u door Karel en Wilma Thissen gastvrij onthaald in hun... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk & Spanje - Côte Vermeille
  • Een kleurrijke, Catalaanse wandeltocht langs de  prachtige 'Vermeille' kust. Van het antieke, Franse vestingstadje Collioure naar het spierwitte, Spaanse Cadaqués, één van Dali's favoriete plekken. Over oude smokkelpaden onderlangs de Pyreneeën, met altijd zicht op zee. Langs slaperige kustdorpjes en ruige zeekliffen. Een heerlijke mediterrane... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Snp Wandelreizen, Netherlands
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Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • Frankrijk & Spanje - Côte Vermeille
  • Ontspannende wandelreis langs de ruige Catalaanse Vermillioenkust; van het Franse stadje Collioure naar het mooie witte stadje Cadaques, waar Dali ook verbleef. Prima hotels, vaak aan het strand gelegen.  's Zomers zijn de stranden en haventjes overladen; ons rest rust en een aangenaam winterzonnetje. Read more
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More walking holidays…

Forum

  1. Cancel
  • Terence 2015-02-24 01:14:04
  • Camino from Paris
  • I am starting my Camino Walk in Paris but I want to walk to Vezelay. Does anyone have any ideas on the route?
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  • Pinteaux 2013-04-03 11:30:29
  • Hébergements Via Gebennensis GR65
  • Bonjour, quel sont les meilleurs hébergements sur la Via Gebennensis GR65 ? merci de nous faire partager votre expérience récente.
    Pascal
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  • Frank Leonowitz 2013-02-19 06:01:38
  • GR6 in Dordogne and Lot
  • We plan to walk the GR6 in June. We are looking for maps and books that would help us with the distances/lodging situations. We plan to carry no tent or sleeping bags. We usually average 20-25 km per day
    • Henk Nouws 2013-02-19 08:46:45
    • Hi Frank. I'll give you my best secret: go to the online map of IGN. The GR's are all there. Refer to the discussion below. Best strategy: find a town the GR6 passes, zoom in to 1:50.000 or something, and you will find your trail. Then you must find out distances and villages yourself. Bit of work. The FFRP only offers two guides, describing only small parts of the GR6.
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  • Anita 2012-03-14 03:22:06
  • GR 51 Diversion around the Domaine Barossi
  • Has anyone a clear map of the diversion please? In the area of Napoule-la-Mandlieu. I am walking the GR51 this May 2012 and would appreciate any update info on this.
    Can to join me? Thanks!
    • Henk Nouws 2012-03-15 12:18:41
    • Hi Anita. I haven't been there. But I can give you a tip. Go to http://www.geoportail.fr/ This is the online map of france. Click on France. Select Cartes In the left menu. Zoom in. Once you zoom in to 1:50.000, you will view the GR trails! This might help you if you haven't got the maps yet!
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More questions…