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. The maps of IGN usually show all regional PR's and national GR's.

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
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
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
» Click to open
Bol.com
Netherlands
» Click to close
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Forêt de Compiegne Walks
  • Walks in the Forêt de Compiegne at 1:20,000 on a double-sided map from the IGN designed for family outings in the forests of France and highlighting walks suitable for all ages, conveniently starting from local car parks. Special cycle routes are also marked. Local railway stations and various facilities both within the forests and in the... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
» Click to open
IGN
France
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Forêt du Somail, Espinouse, Caroux Walks
  • Walks in the Forêt du Somail, Espinouse, Caroux at 1:15,000 on a double-sided map from the IGN designed for family outings in the forests of France and highlighting walks suitable for all ages, conveniently starting from local car parks. Special cycle routes are also marked. Local railway stations and various facilities both within the forests... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2006
  • Montargis et le Pays Gâtinais à pied
  • Montargis et le Pays Gâtinais à pied, FFRP topo-guide ref. no. P451, one of the titles in an extensive series of light, A5-size, high quality paperback guides published by the Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre in association with local authorities, ramblers’ clubs, etc. The guides have *colour extracts from the French topographic... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
2006
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2006
  • Wandelgids P451 Montargis Et Le Pays Gatinais ... A Pied | FFRP |
  • Franstalige wandelgids met een beschrijving van een aantal dagtochten. Uitstekende beschrijvingen met duidelijk kaartmateriaal. Mislopen is nauwelijks mogelijk, maar ja .. de franse taal! Ook praktische informatie staat in deze gids. Alle gidsen bevatten een door ons toegevoegde uitgebreide frans - nederlandse wandelwoordenlijst. Par les... Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2015
  • GR de Pays: Autour du Bassin d`Arcachon à pied
  • Autour du Bassin d`Arcachon à pied, FFRP topoguide Ref. no. P331, with six local walks of varying length and difficulty, plus an 85km route around the basin. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map. Current edition of this title was... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
2015
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2015
  • Wandelgids P331 Autour du Bassin d'Arcachon à pied GRP | FFRP |
  • Uitstekende wandelgids met gedetailleerde kaarten en een routebeschrijving. Fout lopen wordt op deze manier wel erg moeilijk. Met symbolen is weergegeven welke voorzieningen (openbaar vervoer / winkels / overnachtingen) er zijn langs of bij de route. Een nadeel is dat de daadwerkelijke adressen dan weer niet altijd genoemd worden. Alle gidsen... Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Lyon à pied
  • Lyon à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. VI08, with six thematic walks within the city centre and across the suburbs, all marked on detailed street plans cross-referenced to the descriptions. Current edition of this title was published in November 2013.ABOUT THE FFRP (Fédération française de la randonée pédestre) TOPOGUIDES: published in a handy... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Lyon à pied - VI08
  • Guide FFRandonnée Lyon à pied. PR 6 balades. Laissez-vous envoûter par les rues de la capitale des Gaules, dont le centre historique... Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Les Portes du Soleil à pied
  • Les Portes du Soleil à pied, FFRP topo-guide ref. no. ST03, one of the titles in an extensive series of light, A5-size, high quality paperback guides published by the Fédération Française de la Randonnée Pédestre in association with local authorities, ramblers’ clubs, etc. The guides have *colour extracts from the French topographic survey at... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
» Click to open
IGN
France
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Forêt de Fontainebleau Walks
  • Walks in the Forêt de Fontainebleau at 1:25,000 on a double-sided map from the IGN designed for family outings in the forests of France and highlighting walks suitable for all ages, conveniently starting from local car parks. Special cycle routes are also marked. Local railway stations and various facilities both within the forests and in the... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
» Click to open
IGN
France
» Click to close
More books…

Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Le Pays de l`Emblavez à pied
  • Le Pays de l`Emblavez à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. P433, with 20 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the hills north of Le Puy-en-Velay. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map. Current edition of this title was... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • La Brenne Parc Naturel Régional
  • Parc Naturel Régional de la Brenne east of Poitiers on a detailed map at 1:60,000 prepared by the IGN in collaboration with the park authorities, the FFRP and various tourist organizations. Current edition of this map was published in summer 2014.The map highlights numerous local and long-distance hiking trails, including specially selected... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Le Perche Parc Naturel Régional à pied
  • Le Perche Parc Naturel Régional à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. PN16, with 20 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the park. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map. Current edition of this title was published in May... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Bourriot-Bergonce
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Montauban
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Centre Region: Paris - Le Mans - Bourges - Poitiers
  • The Centre administrative region of France at 1:250,000 in the IGN’s regional series of France designed to provide convenient coverage of large areas on road maps with tourist information. Coverage extends from Paris to Poitiers and Montluçon. Enlargements show in greater detail road access to Tours, Orléans, Chartres and Bourges. Current... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Pierre-Buffière
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Montguyon
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Montguyon
  • Moins précise que la carte de rando au 1/25 000 IGN (Série Bleue - Top 25), cette carte aux alentours de Montguyon vous sera très utile sur le terrain. Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Langonnet
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Langonnet (Gps)
  • L'indispensable carte de randonnée IGN aux alentours de Langonnet. A conserver dans son sac à dos. Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Forêt de Bord - Louviers
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Propriano - Golfe de Valinco
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Rouge
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Rouge (Gps)
  • L'indispensable carte de randonnée IGN aux alentours de Rouge. A conserver dans son sac à dos. Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Vesoul - Langres
  • Map No. 130, Vesoul - Langres, at 1:100,000, part of the TOP100 series from the Institut Géographique National (IGN). These exceptionally detailed, contoured and GPS compatible road maps which include English language map legend are ideal for exploring the French countryside by car, by bike, or even on foot. Used by millions of locals and... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Pontivy
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Monségur
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • IGN, France
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
IGN
France
  • Monsegur (Gps)
  • L'indispensable carte de randonnée IGN aux alentours de Monsegur. A conserver dans son sac à dos. Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
» Click to close
More maps…

Walking holidays

Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 2
  • Self-guided walking tour Stage 2 of the Camino Le Puy Way. Walk Stage 2 of the Camino Le Puy Way through the south west of France from Nasbinals to Conques. This is an ancient pilgrimage route that takes you along the Grand Randonnée 65 and through contrasting landscapes from the high plateau of the Aubrac to the lush valley of the... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • GR10 Discovery In Comfort
  • Walking in the in the heart of the Atlantic Pyrenees. This section of the GR10 begins in lovely seaside town of Hendaye on the Atlantic Coast and finishes in St Jean Pied de Port, a fortified citadel. One of the main reasons to try this superb stage of the GR10 are the accommodations as on the regular GR10 you stay in refuges and huts,... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Stevenson's Trail North
  • The Northern section of Stevenson’s Trail explores the Haut Loire and the Romanesque Abbey Churches are a delight. The northern section of writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s epic trail follows spectacular walking routes through the Haut Loire and the Auvergne in south west France. Recreate his fascinating journey, immortalized in his classic,... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Classic Provence
  • Walking through classic Luberon landscapes. Walk through classic Provencal landscapes in the heart of Provence. If you do only one walk in Provence then make it this. You will wander through the Luberon National Park, explore honey-coloured hilltop villages and discover ancient abbeys and crumbling castles. In this, Provence’s finest... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stages 3 & 4
  • Self-guided walking tour on the Camino Le Puy Way from Conques to Lectoure. This delightful section of the Le Puy Way from Conques to Lectoure wanders through the natural landscapes of the Causses du Quercy, the luxuriant Lot region and the green round hills of the Garonne. On the first part of your journey from Conques to Cahors you will... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Provence: From the Mountains to the Mediterranean
  • Walking through contrasting mountain and coastal landscapes. This self-guided walking tour in the Bouches du Rhone and Vars regions of southern Provence takes you on a rich discovery of the Sainte Baume Mountain chain and the unique fjord landscapes and vertical cliffs of the Calanques de Cassis, officially declared as a national park in 2012.... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • GR10 Trail Self Guided Walking Holiday
  • A self-guided walking holiday in through the French Pyrenees. The principal attraction of the Pyrenees is their breathtaking natural beauty and status as one of Europe's greatest wilderness areas. Although the memories you will take away from the GR10 are more likely to be of the people you meet, the charm of her mountain people and the unique... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Walking in the Dordogne
  • Discovering the Périgord Noir. Walk through the Dordogne and Vézère river valleys amidst the heavenly landscapes of the Périgord Noir and to the dramatic towering strongholds of Beynac, Castelnaud and Domme. Tranquil trails and riverside paths link ancient villages and vistas are framed by magnificent limestone cliffs, rolling hills and thick... 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
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Normandy: Walking the D-Day Beaches
  • Self-guided walking through World War II sites and the D-Day Beaches. Witness how history has indelibly left its mark on Normandy by visiting the D-Day Beaches. The hallowed ground of Omaha Beach, the Mulberry Harbour in Arromanches and the military battery in Longues-sur-Mer. The Bayeux Tapestry which depicts an earlier invasion of England... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Full Italian Via Francigena: Bourg St Pierre-Rome
  • Self-guided walking tour completing the full Italian stage of the Via Francigena from Bourg St Pierre to Rome. Pilgrims have been undertaking to walk the full Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome since the 8th Century, and it is one of Europe's great pilgrimages. During your journey along this ancient pilgrimage route you will start at the... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Provence: Walking and Wine Self Guided Walking Tour
  • Exploring the Chateauneuf du Pape region north of Avignon. Discover one of France’s most prestigious wine villages, Chateauneuf du Pape and stroll under the warm Provençal sun, past gnarled vines that have produced award-winning wines for over 700 years and the red rocks that carpet the vines like a warm blanket at night. To complete your tour... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Dordogne: Sarlat & the Périgord Noir In Style
  • Discovering the Périgord Noir. The perfect Dordogne walking tour if you enjoy travelling in style. Walk through amazing river valleys amidst the idyllic French landscapes of the Périgord Noir, staying in hand-picked hotels. The early morning mist hangs over the river like a blanket, then dissipates as you enjoy your morning croissant and... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Alsace Medieval Trails
  • Idyllic walking in the Northern Vosges Mountains. Walk through medieval Alsace and the Northern Vosges where you discover a land of fortified castles, ancient hamlets and sandstone summits covered with magnificent forests. It is an area incredibly rich in history and heritage. At one time this area was at the heart of a series of conflicts... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 4
  • Self guided walking tour on the Camino Le Puy Way from Cahors to Lectoure. Follow the Camino Le Puy Way from the medieval town of Cahors, across the Quercy Blanc and on to Lectoure. Which sits high above the Gers River. This is stage 4 of the Le Puy Camino which stretches from Le Puy to St. Jean Pied de Port. Begin your journey in the town of... 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.
Cancel
  • 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!
Cancel
More questions…