France has known the world over as the seat of the French revolutions, the fall of monarchies, and the incredible history that went along with this history; however, it is an abundance of naturally beautiful locations for nature lovers, all of us. Many mansions in France are surrounded by untouched beauty; these mansions and palaces may provide a great distraction for those interested in history and architecture. Still, these outdoor locations are the best option for those who have had their fill of France’s aspects.
Many of these locations have many activities to get up to while you are there, from skiing to trekking and everything in between. Here we have looked at a wide range of locations and noted why they are so popular and what they have to offer the more outdoors-orientated traveler. We have added the best way to reach these locations and their closest municipal area in some places. Hopefully, you can find a site that sparks your interest and incentivizes you to visit France’s regions.
Mont Blanc is a hugely popular site for climbers, the highest mountain in Western Europe, standing at around 4,800 meters depending on the snow’s depth throughout the year. The hill is situated on the border with Italy and France. It is popular amongst climbers, and those who wish to enjoy the scenery and dramatic landscape the mountain provides. Climbing the mountain is not technically difficult and is done by amateurs, but these usually have guides, and the proper preparation and equipment due to the altitude are required.
Gorges du Verdon:
Located within the French Alps, Gorges du Verdon is a river canyon in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The canyon is up to 700 meters deep in places and over 20 km long. Glacial minerals provide the turquoise water of the river. Considered one of the most beautiful gorges in Europe, it attracts thousands of visitors annually.
You can get up to some popular activities in the gorge, including rock climbing, fly fishing, canoeing, and rafting. Many of these must be booked through a tour company as they can only occur in certain gorge parts. The best way to view the gorge for those not interested in more leisurely activities would be to hire a car and take your time driving the gorge’s length. Have some extra fuel ready, though, as stations are far from each other, and the drive is quite slow due to the winding roads and the necessary stops for pictures.
Cote des Rose:
As there are only two locations in the world to see this unique rock, and one is in China, the next best place to view these pink granite formations would have to be in Corsica, most notably in Northern Brittany. These unique formations emerge from the sea throughout this region and are an incredible spectacle to see many overlooks.
Small coastal cottages have been built between the boulders, adding to some of these unique locations’ designs and scenery. Two of the best areas to view the formations and these coastal homes are Tréguier and Le Gouffre. Following a visit to the coast, you can take in Brittany’s sounds and beats, with specialties being the fish caught in the region.
This rock formation which translates to a bridge is a natural formation located near the town of Vallon in the south of France. The Ardeche River eroded the rock for many years to create this archway which can now be navigated by canoe or kayak. Many visitors to the area stay in the town of Vallon and take shuttle buses or other public transport to the archway, where you can enjoy picnics or a swim in the river.
A popular destination for camping with two campsites within the park, it is an enjoyable stay for a few days to unwind and bask in nature. Summer, of course, is the best time to get the best weather. Another popular location in the area includes the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, the oldest paleolithic cave paintings estimated to be over 3000 years old.
Camargue salt flats:
Located in the southeast of France, the Camargue salt flats are a dream destination for those who want to appreciate natural beauty and take their time through some of Frances’s most unique and varied landscapes. Flamingos, horses, black bulls, and stunning salt flats are found along many winding trails. The best way to view this area is by foot or bicycle. Due to the terrain and the area’s flatness, a car would pass by, and you could not appreciate your surroundings to their fullest extent.
Arles’ town should be both your start and end in the region as there is not much public transport or a developed network. Here you can find many accommodation and tour/bike options for your trip to the salt flats. We hope some of these outdoor locations have inspired you on what to get up to in France and the number of outdoor options to take in the country.