France offers a country of diverse terrains, from valleys to mountains, and a fabulous coastline. Discover some of the best places for enjoying an adventure.
Of course, you can take the lift up to the top of the famous 324m Eiffel Tower in Paris but for more of an adventure why not walk up? Alternatively, you could cycle beneath it or take a helicopter ride over it.
Mont St Michel
The dramatic abbey-island of Mont St Michel in Normandy. Mont St-Michel boasts both legend and history and can be reached by bike on the long-distance Veloscenic route from the French capital. Rather than wander the crowded streets (in summer), why not join a guided hike across the causeway sands to look up at the beautiful island?
Best known as the “Garden of France” and the “Land of Castles” offers a chance to visit fine historical buildings and see an array of stunning landscaping. There is also the river, which gives its name to the valley, to enjoy as it flows for 1000km into the Atlantic Ocean. You can enjoy a range of cycling holidays in the Loire, in particular Cycling the Chateaux of the Loire, and many Loire Valley walking tours, too.
The adventure town of Chamonix, located high in the French Alps, is a dream destination for adventurers. In winter, there are many small resorts to ski situated close to the town and also the famous Vallée Blanche, a 20km off -piste descent from the Aiguille du Midi to Chamonix.
In summer, you take a small plane ride over the stunning glaciers of Mont Blanc, go tandem paragliding amid the high peaks or enjoy a long distance walk or mountain bike ride. Find a Tour de Mont Blanc walking holiday to suit you.
The Dune du Pilat
This is Europe’s largest sand dune and also includes the Banc d’Arguin bird reserve and Cap Ferret across the bay. You could cycle to the dune from Arcachon, go sandboarding on the dune or try a sport of surfing in the Atlantic sea.
A boozy marathon
The Marathon du Medoc is quite different to other marathons. The normal refreshments of water and sports drinks are replaced by local wines. It’s all about having run while running and competitors enjoy the chance to combine running with a local tipple.
As a slower-paced alternative, why not visit some of France’s famous wine regions on a relaxing cycling or walking holiday. Check out Food, wine and gourmet holidays in France. You might like to think about other wine regions, such as a walking holiday in Bordeaux or how about a cycling holiday in Burgundy?
Cliff jumping from the Calanques
The stunning limestone cliffs of Calanques plunge straight into the Mediterranean Sea and connect Marseille to Cassis. Many people enjoy walking the clifftops, but they are also famous as a spot for cliff jumping (not a sport we recommend you try by yourself without the support of a specialist activity company!).
Surfing in the south
The south of France is a hotspot location for surfers. Many of the best spots are close to the city of Biarritz. There are at least six large beaches to choose from.
The Three Corniches
The Three Corniches in Nice are a series of three dramatic coastal roads, each one higher and more tightly hairpinned than the next. Many people drive this road for superb views but for a more amazing experience, why not go by bike?
Canoe under the Pont du Gard
The Pont du Gard is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Nîmes in Provence, southern France. It is vast, with 35 arches that straddle the Roman aqueduct’s 275m-long upper tier, containing a watercourse that was designed to carry 20,000 cubic metres of water per day.
You can savour the full and fabulous view of the Pont du Gard from a canoe on the River Gard. Or how about a cycle tour from Saint Remy to Pont du Gard
Hike “villages perchés”
Southern France’s wonderful villages perches (hilltop villages) should be savoured on foot or by bicycle. Many of these villages are medieval and once reached they offer many happy hours of wandering via cobbled lanes and quiet alleyways. Why not walk the Hilltop Villages of the Dordogne or cycle through Dordogne?
Enjoy your adventures, whatever you decide to do, in France this summer.