For a leisurely or "princess pace" hike, tours such as the L'Art de Vivre Walking Vacation offer a romantic tour of the areas surrounding the Nivernais Canal. The trip is split into five to 10 easy miles per day, culminating in a moderate-level hike up Colline Eternelle, or "Eternal Hill."
For a more challenging tour, try the trekking tour of Mont Blanc, or the French Alps. These tours require a high level of fitness.
Most guided tours are offered throughout the warmer months (May to September) to match the tourist season. Also, winter hiking in the French countryside can be difficult because many regions get lots of snow. Early fall is a good time because tourism will be dying down, and the weather will be a bit cooler.
Depending on the length of the trip and the level of accommodation, guided tours in France range from about $50 per day to almost $1000 per day. Self-guided tour routes often are free (excluding accommodations) but sometimes charge a nominal fee for maps.
Popular Tour Regions
Many regions of France lend themselves perfectly to outdoor adventuring. According to "Maps of the World," "the French Alps, the Pyrenees, Champagne, the Jura, the Massif Central, the island of Corsica, the Ardennes, Brittany, Dordogne Valley and Ile-de-France," are the best places for hiking.
In addition to hiking, France is known for cycling, fishing and whitewater-rafting trips and tours. Most of these adventures are best in the warmer months, but the winter season in the French Alps offers excellent skiing.
Article Written By Cam Middour
Cam Middour has an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University, and has worked for "The New Yorker," "Narrative Magazine," and the Poetry Society of America. Her work is forthcoming, or has appeared in "New England Review," "Western Humanities Review," "Sarah Lawrence Review" and others. She has been writing professionally for seven years.