France, renowned for its rich history, exquisite cuisine, and artistic heritage, also boasts breathtaking natural landscapes that beckon outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. For those with an affinity for trekking, France offers a diverse range of trails that weave through rugged mountains, enchanting forests, and picturesque valleys. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking a challenge or a novice looking for a memorable experience, France has something to offer. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a virtual journey through some of the best trekking routes in the country, highlighting their difficulty, distance, and optimal trekking time.
We leave you with the best trekkings! You don’t have to cover the entire trekking distance; you can start at one of the points and end at another to experience the beauty of the trail.
1. GR20 (Corsica):
Distance: Approximately 180 km (112 miles)
Time of Trekking: 15-16 days
The GR20, often dubbed as one of Europe’s toughest long-distance trails, winds through the untamed beauty of Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean. With its steep ascents, descents, and rocky terrain, the GR20 is a trek reserved for experienced hikers with a high fitness level. However, the reward is immeasurable as the route reveals jaw-dropping panoramas, glacial lakes, and challenging yet thrilling sections that will leave you with a sense of accomplishment.
2. Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB):
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Distance: Approximately 170 km (106 miles)
Time of Trekking: 7-10 days
A classic among trekking enthusiasts, the Tour du Mont Blanc takes you on a journey through three countries: France, Italy, and Switzerland. The trail circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif, Europe’s highest peak, treating you to stunning alpine scenery, charming villages, and diverse landscapes. While the trek requires a decent level of fitness, it is a favorite among intermediate hikers who relish both the challenge and the chance to experience the cultural diversity of the region.
3. GR10 (Pyrenees):
Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging
Distance: Approximately 866 km (538 miles)
Time of Trekking: 50-60 days
For those seeking an extended trekking adventure, the GR10 offers an epic traverse along the Pyrenees Mountains, running from the Atlantic coast to the Mediterranean coast. This long-distance trail will immerse you in the untouched beauty of the Pyrenean wilderness, passing through verdant valleys, snow-capped peaks, and quaint villages. The trek is well-marked but demands good physical condition and experience in multi-day hiking.
4. Calanques National Park (Marseille):
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Distance: Various trails of different lengths
Time of Trekking: Half-day to full-day hikes
Located near Marseille, the Calanques National Park provides a delightful experience for trekkers of all levels. With its stunning limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, and Mediterranean flora, the park offers a unique coastal trekking experience. There are various trails of different lengths and difficulty levels, allowing you to tailor your hike according to your preferences and time available.
5. GR54 (Ecrins National Park):
Distance: Approximately 176 km (109 miles)
Time of Trekking: 10-12 days
Embark on a journey through the Ecrins National Park, known for its dramatic glacial landscapes and rugged terrain. The GR54, also known as the “Tour of Oisans,” encircles the Ecrins massif and offers an unforgettable experience for seasoned trekkers. You’ll encounter high mountain passes, shimmering lakes, and awe-inspiring views, making the challenging trek worth every step.
Before embarking on any trek, ensure you are adequately prepared with suitable gear, maps, and sufficient supplies. Respect the natural environment, follow marked paths, and consider trekking with a group or a local guide for safety.
France’s trekking routes are not only an opportunity to discover its wild beauty but also a chance to challenge yourself physically and mentally while forging unforgettable memories. So, lace up your hiking boots, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and let the adventure begin! Happy trekking!