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
2018
  • Le Velay a pied - autour de St-Paulien et Allegre 2018
  • 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. On a coutume... Read more
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Wandelgids P431 Le Velay... à 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. On a coutume... Read more
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2018
  • Au fil de la Somme 2018
  • 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. De gids bevat een lijst met overnachtingsadressen inclusief telefoonnummers, soms aangevuld met websites/mailadressen. Alle gidsen bevatten een door ons toegevoegde... Read more
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Wandelgids 8000 Au fil de la Somme | FFRP
  • 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. De gids bevat een lijst met overnachtingsadressen inclusief telefoonnummers, soms aangevuld met websites/mailadressen. Alle gidsen bevatten een door ons toegevoegde... Read more
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2018
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Wandelgids Walking in the Briançonnais | Cicerone
  • Guidebook of 40 walks around Briançon in France. Walks for all abilities ranging from 1½ to 7hrs. The book focuses on the stunning valleys of Clarée, Cerveyrette, Ayes, Durance and Guisane, and includes the magnificent Alpine landscapes around Vallouise and Montgenèvre. Read more
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2018
  • Sentier vers Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle via le Puy GR765 2018
  • 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. De gids bevat een lijst met overnachtingsadressen inclusief telefoonnummers, soms aangevuld met websites/mailadressen. Alle gidsen bevatten een door ons toegevoegde... Read more
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  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Wandelgids 765 Lyon - Cluny - Le Puy | FFRP
  • 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. De gids bevat een lijst met overnachtingsadressen inclusief telefoonnummers, soms aangevuld met websites/mailadressen. Alle gidsen bevatten een door ons toegevoegde... Read more
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
  • Compostelle - Routes De Compostelle En France 2010
  • A la rencontre du patrimoine sur les voies de Tours et du PuyDu milieu des années 1980 à aujourd'hui, les pèlerins allant à Compostelle sont passés de quelques centaines à 180 000 par an ! Si la plupart d'entre eux s'y rendent à pied, on y compte des croyants, des athées, agnostiques,... Read more
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Tours - Langeais IGN 1822SB
  • 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
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
2016
  • St-Jacques-de-Compostelle - Moissac to Roncevaux GR65-2 IGN 89021
  • Chemin de St-Jacques - the Way of St James in France along the GR65 between Moissac and Roncevaux/Roncesvalles in the Spanish Pyrenees presented at 1:100,000 on a double-sided, waterproof and tear-resistant map from IGN with cartography from their highly popular TOP100 series. The route is prominently highlighted on contoured mapping and... Read more
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  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • Stanfords, United Kingdom
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • L`Aigle - Sainte-Gauburge - Sainte-Colombe IGN 25K Série Bleue Map 1815SB
  • 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
De Zwerver
Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
2017
  • L`Ariège à pied - du Piémont aux Pyrénées
  • L`Ariège à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No.D009, with 40 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the department of Ariège in the French Pyrenees. 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
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  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2017
  • Wandelgids D009 L'Ariège... à pied | FFRP
  • L`Ariège à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No.D009, with 40 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the department of Ariège in the French Pyrenees. 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
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2019
  • Also available from:
  • Stanfords, United Kingdom
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
2019
  • La Montagne Sainte-Victoire à pied
  • La Montagne Sainte-Victoire à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No.P131, with 28 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the mountains just east of Aix-en-Provence, famous from Cezanne’s beautiful paintings of them. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description... Read more
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
2012
  • Poitiers et ses environs à pied FFRP Topo-guide No. P861
  • Poitiers et ses environs à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. P861, with 24 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the city itself and in its environs. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s street mapping or its topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 and/or 1:50,000, with its description cross-referenced to the... Read more
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  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2012
  • Wandelgids P861 Poitiers et ses environs... à pied et à VTT | FFRP
  • Guide FFRandonnée Poitiers et ses environs à pied et à VTT - P861. PR 24 balades.Magie des églises romanes de Poitiers ou douceur de la campagne aux alentours.Bâtie sur un plateau, cerné par les vallées du Clain et de la Boivre, Poitiers est au centre d'une région riche de plus de 2 000 ans d'histoire.Du parvis de Notre-Dame la Grande aux... Read more
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The Book Depository
United Kingdom
  • Also available from:
  • Stanfords, United Kingdom
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Chablis - Champs-sur-Yonne IGN 2720SB
  • 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
De Zwerver
Netherlands
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More books…

Maps

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
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
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
  • Gavarnie / Ordesa 2018
  • Uitstekende wandelkaart met veel toeristische informatie en bijzonder gedetailleerd. Wandelroutes en hutten / campings zijn ingetekend, met hoogtelijnen. GPS Compatible Met Balaitous, Vignemale, Mont Perdu, Parc National d' Ordesa IGN based cartography Topography shown by hill shading and contours Hiking and biking routes Refuges and other... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
  • Wandelkaart 12 Gavarnie - Ordesa | Rando Editions
  • Uitstekende wandelkaart met veel toeristische informatie en bijzonder gedetailleerd. Wandelroutes en hutten / campings zijn ingetekend, met hoogtelijnen. GPS Compatible Met Balaitous, Vignemale, Mont Perdu, Parc National d' Ordesa IGN based cartography Topography shown by hill shading and contours Hiking and biking routes Refuges and other... Read more
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More maps…

Walking holidays

Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Classic Provence in Style
  • Walking through classic Luberon & Vaucluse landscapes. Stay in hand-picked and refined lodging in stunning locations and follow trails through classic Provence landscapes in the Luberon and the Vaucluse. Boasting over 300 days a year of sunshine, the natural light of Provence has inspired many artists including Cézanne and Van Gogh. It is... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Mallorca: Tramuntana Trails
  • A self-guided walking holiday on the GR221 through the Sierra de Tramuntana. A classic inn-to-inn walk on the GR221 “Dry Stone Route”, through Mallorca’s Sierra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover the stone villages, history, traditional agriculture and customs of north-west Mallorca. Our route begins in the small village... 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
  • Provence: Luberon to the Vaucluse
  • Walking through classic Luberon & Vaucluse landscapes. A walking trip of a lifetime in classic Provençal landscapes through the Luberon and the Vaucluse. Discover the French ritual of a local market, this region’s fabled food and wine, sun-drenched vineyards and ancient olive groves, in this, Provence’s best landscapes. Boasting over 300... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Highlights of the Tour du Mont Blanc in Comfort Self Guided Walking Holiday
  • Self guided trek focusing on the best sections of the Tour du Mont Blanc staying in hotels. Since The Tour du Mont Blanc was inaugurated as a GR in 1952 it has gained a reputation as one of the world’s classic treks. This route around Mont Blanc goes through France, Switzerland and Italy takes in the very best sections of the Tour du Mont... 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
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stages 1 & 2
  • Self-guided walking tour following Stages 1 & 2 of the Camino Le Puy Way. Walk Stages 1 & 2 of the Camino Le Puy Way and follow trails through the south west of France from Le Puy-en-Velay to Conques. This section takes you through volcanic and contrasting landscapes, from the Velay Mountains, the Margeride and Aubrac plateaux, to the valley... 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
  • Walking in the Pyrenees National Park
  • Cauterets and Luz San Sauveur. Follow trails through the heart of the Pyrenees National Park surrounded by classic mountain landscapes. Discover many natural highlights such as turquoise lakes, waterfalls, jagged peaks, flower-strewn meadows and dramatic cliffs. Walk to Cirque du Gavarnie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and to the Pont... Read more
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
  • Provence: Mountains to the Mediterranean
  • Walking through contrasting mountain and coastal landscapes. This inn to inn walking holiday takes you from the tranquil Sainte Baume mountains to the unique landscapes of the Calanques de Cassis on the glamorous French Riviera. Your adventure starts in the quaint provençal town of Pont d’Etoile. Follow peaceful mountain trails to the Roman... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Complete Tour du Mont Blanc in Huts Self Guided Walking Holiday
  • Self guided walk following the Classic Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Italy and Switzerland. Walk the complete Tour du Mont Blanc, through France, Italy and Switzerland staying in mountain huts and hotels. For the serious walker with a sense of aesthetic there really is no other option for the Tour du Mont Blanc. Although not for everyone,... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Loire Valley: The Châteaux Trail
  • Self guided walking tour through the Loire Valley. Discover the magnificent Loire Valley on foot and visit the historic and opulent Châteaux de la Loire. Once the favourite hunting ground of France’s nobility, aristocrats and royalty, the Loire is brimming with these fascinating relics of a bygone time. Walk from town to town past vineyards,... Read more
Macs Adventure
United Kingdom
  • Camino Le Puy Way: Stage 5
  • Self guided walking tour on the Camino Le Puy Way from Lectoure to Aire sur l'Adour. The Camino Le Puy Way stage 5 meanders through the regions of La Gers and Gascony. This region is renowned for its gastronomy. Your journey begins in the town of Lectoure which sits high above the Gers River, has a natural spa and a 15th century cathedral... 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 self guided 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. The Tour du Mont Blanc is... Read more
More walking holidays…

Forum

  1. Cancel
  • Mich 2019-01-05 15:18:03
  • wandeling Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle van Genève naar Puy-en-Velay
  • Wie kan mij hier meer informatie over geven.
Cancel
  • Peter 2018-06-23 15:58:46
  • maps of France on line
  • Maps at all scales can be found at
    https://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/carte
    You can choose from different maps, for hiking I like the "cartes IGN classiques" (press "voir tous les fonds de cartes" on the left), with marked trails.
    You can not directly print them out easily, you take screen shots, or use
    http://jgn.superheros.fr/fr/
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?
    • jeanne 2017-02-07 20:48:01
    • Hi Terence,
      Did you get any responses to your question? I am looking at the same hike!
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
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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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