Exploring the Best Hiking Trails in France
When you're traveling to a country as stunning and diverse as France, it's hard to pin down the best of anything, let alone the best of what nature has to offer. Home to over 100,000 miles of hiking trails, choosing the "best" among these natural wonders is no easy task, but here we share with you our top five hiking trails in France. From coastal strolls to rugged mountain ascents, each of these trails offers a unique journey into France's breathtaking wilderness.
5) Path of Nine Churches
Oftentimes, Capbreton is not at the top of the list for hikers in France, but I really enjoy the easygoing pace of the hiking and the quiet beauty of this seaside region. On our Bordeaux to Biarritz Multi-Adventure Tour, we hike the Path of Nine Churches, a wooded route along the coast where we hike from thick forest to large sand dunes and then back into the forest again.
The hike gets its name because you used to be able to see the tops of nine church bell towers from the top of the tallest dune. Of course, these dunes change quite a lot over the years - the elevation has shifted up to 55 feet in some locations.
Hike a portion of the challenging GR (Grande Randonnée, which translates to Great Hike) 20 trail on our Corsica Walking & Hiking Tour! This popular thru-hiking trail spans over 112 miles of jagged and steep terrain. Depending on pace, the typical hiker can spend 10-16 days completing this trail if tackling the full route.
On our hiking tour, we complete one of our favorite portions of this hike within the span of a day, which is what many first-time GR20 hikers opt to do on their preliminary trip to Corsica. As we're hiking make sure to keep your eyes peeled for horned sheep (locally called mouflon), wild boar and cows.
Similar to the GR20, the GR10 is a historic trail popular for thru-hikers. Explore the lush Basque countryside by way of the rolling green hills and the towering alpine views of the Pyrenees mountain range. If you find yourself doing a portion of this iconic 540-mile hike on our French Pyrenees to Basque Country Walking & Hiking Tour between September and November, make sure to look out for red kites - these powerful birds of prey are known to migrate through the Basque region during this time period.
2) Signal de Forbes Balcony Trail
As travelers, there are places where we take photos and think "this just doesn't do this justice." Glaciers always fall in this category, and the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) is no exception to this rule. On our French & Italian Alps Walking & Hiking Tour, trek out on the Signal de Forbes balcony trail to an overlook of the Alps' second-largest glacier. As you continue this trail, you'll get stunning views of Mont Blanc and end your day in Chamonix, the famed mountaineering town and alpinist haven.
1) Tour du Mont Blanc Hike
Perhaps one of the most famous hikes in France, this 105-mile trek makes our number one position as our favorite hike in France. It gets its name from its circumnavigation of Mont Blanc, Western Europe's highest mountain.
Experience a portion of this legendary hike on our Italian, French & Swiss Alps Lodge-to-Lodge Hiking Tour when we spend a day making our way from France to Italy and get breathtaking views of Mont Blanc and other alpine peaks stretching beyond where your eyes can reach. Take in the views of the lush, green alpine valleys peppered with beautiful slate-roofed homes. You won't forget this truly magnificent hike.
Check out all of our France walking and hiking tours!