Walking & Cycling Holidays in France
It is sometimes claimed that no other country encompasses such a variety of landscape, culture and history in so small an area as France.
Our broad programme of self-guided walking and cycling holidays aims to reflect something of the variety and contrasts that France has to offer. From the snow-capped views on the Tour of Mont Blanc to the granite spires of Corsica; from flattish cycling in Bordeaux to the hills of Provence; and the rolling vineyards of Burgundy and the Loire, to the forests of Alsace and the castles of the Dordogne; or from the glacial bastions of the Pyrenees to the grassy plateaus and limestone gorges of the Cevennes.
Then of course, there is French village life, the colours and the characters: the fruit market in Chinon or the flower market in Aix en Provence. On top of all this there is the cult of French cuisine: the sauces, the confits and pastries. Most restaurateurs go to great lengths to prepare good food. We have of course not yet mentioned the wines, which we will let you discover those in your own time, but Burgundy is as good a place as any to start! There is literally something in France for everyone.
The Scottish writer R L Stevenson originated the practice of self-guided walking in France and then wrote a bio-guide book on his travels in the Cevennes. Nowadays using the celebrated GR (long distance trail) network and it's abundance of quiet rural roads, Sherpa Expeditions continue this tradition, traversing the vast upland region known as the Massif Central and the valleys of the great rivers - Loire, Dordogne, Aveyron and Tarn - which radiate from it.
WHEN TO WALK & CYCLE IN FRANCE
France can be enjoyed at any time of the year, however we’ve found that winter is generally best left to snowshoeing and other winter sports, leaving the period of April to October as the best time of year for walking and cycling holidays. Late spring and autumn are the picks, with less crowds and generally good weather. Summer is great for festivals, warm weather and long opening hours, however it does tend to be a lot busier and some regions can be a bit too warm for active holidays.
POPULAR WALKING & CYCLING ROUTES IN FRANCE
Some of the most popular walking and cycling routes in France include:
Explore the picturesque Dordogne region with its many beautiful villages and medieval castles.
Follow in the footsteps of ancient Roman legionaries from the Southern Alps to classic Provence towns.
Attractive medieval walled villages awaits as you walk through the rolling hills and vineyards of Alsace.
Active Holidays in FRANCE