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

The Book Depository
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • Stanfords, United Kingdom
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
» Click to open
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
» Click to close
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
  • Also available from:
  • 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
  • Also available from:
  • 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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Bol.com
Netherlands
Bol.com
Netherlands
Bol.com
Netherlands
Bol.com
Netherlands
More books…

Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Landivy
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Landivy
  • Moins précise que la carte de rando au 1/25 000 IGN (Série Bleue - Top 25), cette carte aux alentours de Landivy vous sera très utile sur le terrain. Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Beaumont
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Cahors
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Cahors (Gps)
  • L'indispensable carte de randonnée IGN aux alentours de Cahors. A conserver dans son sac à dos. Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Thury
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
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:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Auxonne (Gps)
  • L'indispensable carte de randonnée IGN aux alentours de Auxonne. A conserver dans son sac à dos. Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • eBooks.de, Germany
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
eBooks.de
Germany
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Aulnay
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Aulnay
  • Moins précise que la carte de rando au 1/25 000 IGN (Série Bleue - Top 25), cette carte aux alentours de Aulnay vous sera très utile sur le terrain. Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Laon
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Laon (Gps)
  • L'indispensable carte de randonnée IGN aux alentours de Laon. A conserver dans son sac à dos. Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Maul
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Puy-l'Ev
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN's excellent TOP25 / S Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Chalindrey (Gps)
  • L'indispensable carte de randonnée IGN aux alentours de Chalindrey. A conserver dans son sac à dos. Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
More maps…

Walking holidays

Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Hill Top Villages of the Dordogne self guided walking tour
  • Discovering the Upper Dordogne Valley. Explore the very best of rural France with a self-guided walking tour in the Upper Dordogne Valley, an area of wonderful food, wine, and walks through quaint and unspoilt villages and towns. As you follow trails through the countryside you will discover the perfect rural landscapes of the this region and... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Stevenson's Trail South
  • This is the most popular section of the trail as you are walking in the Cévennes National Park for the majority of the walk. The southern section of writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s epic trail focuses on trails through the picturesque Cevennes Mountains. His trek is immortalized in his classic, ''Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes''.... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 3
  • Self-guided walking tour on the Camino Le Puy Way from Conques to Cahors. Stage 3 of the Camino Le Puy way takes you from the dramatically positioned town of Conques overlooking the River Lot, to the medieval town of Cahors. A journey through some of France's finest landscapes and prettiest villages. On your journey from Conques to Cahors you... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 1
  • Self-guided walking tour following Stage 1 of the Camino Le Puy Way. Le Puy-en-Velay is the start point of your journey on the Camino Le Puy Way to Nasbinals. A one week walk on the Le Puy Camino which continues through South West France to St Jean Pied de Port. Your walk takes you through the Velay Mountains and over the Margeride Plateau,... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Brittany: The Granite Coast Self Guided Walking Holiday
  • Walking the pink granite coast. A colourful walk through the heart of Brittany; pink granite rocks sculpted by the wind and tides, pristine white sandy beaches and a turquoise sea together form an amazingly vibrant landscape. The Cote de Granit Rose (pink granite coast) runs from Plestin-les-Greves to Louannec in the Cotes d'Armor region of... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Provence: Along the Lavender Way
  • Drive & Hike through Old Provence. This self-guided drive & hike tour takes you through classic Provençale countryside, villages and historical sites. Follow trails through perfumed and brilliantly-coloured lavender fields. See hamlets perched on hillsides, such as Montbrun les Bains, one of the “100 most beautiful villages in France” and with... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Complete Tour du Mont Blanc Trek in Comfort Self Guided Walking Holiday
  • Self guided trek staying in hotels following the Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland. Walk the complete Tour du Mont Blanc, through France, Italy and Switzerland, staying in comfortable accommodation each night. It’s the perfect Alpine trek for those who prefer their trekking in comfort. Since de Saussure first walked... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 6
  • Self guided walking tour on the Camino Le Puy Way from Aire sur l'Adour to St Jean Pied de Port. The final stage of the Le Puy Camino runs from Aire sur l‘Adour to St Jean Pied de Port, where it joins the Camino de Santiago French Way. Your route takes you through the two distinct regions of Béarn and the French Basque and before concluding in... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Complete Tour du Mont Blanc (Huts) Self Guided Walking Holiday
  • Self guided walk following the Classic Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland. The Complete Tour du Mont Blanc starts and finishes in Les Houches and covers every step of this classic Alpine trek through France, Italy and Switzerland. For the serious walker with a sense of aesthetic there really is no other option for the Tour... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Relaxed Tour du Mont Blanc (Comfort)
  • Self guided trek staying in hotels following the Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland. Enjoy every moment of your complete Tour du Mont with an extra two nights to give you plenty of time to take in the views and enjoy the towns along the trail. Staying in hand-picked hotels and refuges with private rooms the relaxed Tour du... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Full Camino Le Puy Way
  • Self guided walking tour on the Camino Le Puy Way from Le-Puy-en-Velay to St Jean Pied de Port. Walk the Full Camino Le Puy Way from Le-Puy-en-Velay to St. Jean Pied de Port, where the Camino de Santiago French Way begins. This journey has been a pilgrimage route for hundreds of years and is filled with interest from start to finish. It is... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stages 5 & 6
  • Self guided walking tour on the Camino Le Puy Way from Lectoure to St Jean Pied de Port. The Camino Le Puy Way is a pilgrimage route that follows trails through rural south west France and along the Grand Randonnée 65. Stages 5 & 6 of this self-guided walking tour take you through the regions of La Gers and Gascony, cultivated landscapes of the... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Classic Tour du Mont Blanc Trek in Comfort Self Guided Walking Holiday
  • Self guided trek staying in hotels following the Classic Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland. Our Classic Tour du Mont Blanc in comfort covers the majority on the Tour du Mont Blanc over 8 walking days. Perfect for those who prefer their trekking in comfort you stay in hotels and refuges with private rooms. Your trek... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc (Huts) Self Guided Walking Holiday
  • Walk the highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland. Since de Saussure first walked around the Mont Blanc Massif in 1767 the Tour du Mont Blanc has built on its reputation as one of the world’s classic treks. Our 7 night Highlights Tour du Mont Blanc trek explores the best of this classic trek over six days of... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Loire Valley Trails Self-Guided Walking Tour
  • Discover France's famous valley. The Loire Valley has an abundance of world famous chateaux, beautiful gardens and is also synonymous with first class vineyards. Located in the central area of France, just south and west of Paris, it has also served as an inspiration for painters, including Turner and Leonardo da Vinci. On this self-guided... Read more
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?
Cancel
  • 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
Cancel
  • 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…