France is 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, what it also has though is an abundance of naturally beautiful locations for the nature lovers in 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, but for those who have had their fill of these aspects of France then these outdoor locations are the best option.
Many of these locations have a lot of activities that you can 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 have noted both why they are so popular and what they have to offer the more outdoors orientated traveller. In some place, we have added the best way to reach these locations and their closest municipal area. Hopefully, you can find an area that sparks your interest and provides you with added incentive to visit these regions of France.
A hugely popular site for climbers Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe, standing at around 4,800 meters depending on the depth of snow throughout the year. The mountain is situated on the border with Italy and France and is popular both amongst climbers and those who wish to simply enjoy the scenery and dramatic landscape provided by the mountain. 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 is required.
Gorges du Verdon:
Located within the French Alps Gorges du Verdon is a river canyon located in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The canyon is up to 700 meters deep in places and over 20 km long. The turquoise water of the river is provided by glacial minerals. Considered one of the most beautiful gorges in Europe, it attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year.
Some popular activities which you can get up to in the gorge include rock climbing, fly fishing canoeing and rafting. Many of these will have to be booked through a tour company as they can only take place in certain parts of the gorge.
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 length of the gorge. Have some extra fuel ready though as stations are at a distance 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 being 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 that many overlooks.
In some places, small coastal cottages have been built between the boulders adding to the design and scenery of this unique locations. 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 then take in the sounds and eats of Brittany, with specialities being the fish caught in the region.
This rock formations which literally translates to bridge is a natural formation located near the town of Vallon in the south of France. The Ardeche river eroded the rock of 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 in which you can unwind and bask in nature. Summer, of course, is the best time to get to get the best weather. Another popular location in the area includes the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave, the site of the oldestPaleolithic cave paintings estimated to be over 3000 years old.
Camargue salt flats:
Located in the south-east of France, the Camargue salt flats are a dream destination for those who want to take their time appreciating natural beauty and who like to take their time as they pass through some of Frances most unique and varied landscape. Along many of the winding trails here, you will find flamingos, horses, black bulls and stunning salt flats.
The best way to view this area is by foot or bicycle. Due to the terrain and the flatness of the area, a car would simply pass by and you could not appreciate your surroundings to their fullest extent.
The town of Arles should be both your start and end in the region as there is not much in the way of public transport and or developed network. Here you can find an abundance of accommodation and tour/bike options for your trip to the salt flats.
We hope some of these outdoor locations have given you some inspiration on what to get up to in France and the number of outdoor options there are to take in the country.