Hiking in the South of France
Hiking is one of the best activities to do when traveling. You get to see more of the country’s scenery, people and smaller places that are not usually on the tourist trail. The South of France is an accessible travel destination, and it happens to offer amazing hikes for all levels and ages.
The Pyrenees is a great place for those who want to see and experience nature. The mountains are spectacular, and the trails often isolated and peaceful, though well interspersed with quaint villages and towns.
The main trail route on the French side of the Pyrenees is the GR 10, which runs through the range from one side to the other. Of course, you can hop on and off this track as you please or just find a place to pull up in a car park (at a dam or small town, for example) and walk into the mountains.
Remember, the Pyrenees is a mountain range with its atmospheric conditions and climate. Walks can be steep and challenging, and the weather is unpredictable. Plan and stay within your limits, especially if you are walking with little ones.
All the way across on the other border is another opportunity for walking, and this one remains somewhat quiet and less touristy than it deserves to be. A hidden gem of sorts. Tucked away near the Italian border, past the gaming capital of France where fortunes are made over games of poker, are the Gorges Du Verdon.
The Gorges Du Verdon is a river canyon with pristine turquoise waters flowing into a large artificial lake, Lac de Sainte-Croix. The area is full of outdoors activities, including plenty of hiking. You could take small treks around lakes and up rock formations using safe paths, and for older ones who are up to it, there are larger and more challenging routes.
You can also find plenty of canoeing and pedal boating, swimming, rock climbing and more. Even just being in such a stunning place is ideal for a developing mind. Gorges Du Verdon is the perfect initiation for youngsters to get into the great outdoors.
If you want to avoid the trials and tribulations associated with mountain trekking, how about a hike along the South Coast? Known as the “Sentier du Littoral,” you can walk from Nice to Villefranche-sur-Mer around the coast. Or pick a destination on the Mediterranean and take a stroll down the beach for a pleasant option.
Always remember that the South of France can get quite hot, so you should take lots of sun protection and carry water when trekking. The best time to go is probably spring or autumn, as the middle of summer will likely be unbearably hot. If you do the trek in the summer, tend towards morning and evening times for a safer journey.
It’s exciting to get young people out in the great outdoors for a hike. There are so many benefits. Connecting with nature, physical exercise, learning to overcome challenges, enjoying the entertainment of being out in the world — it’s all there for people of every age. Head to the South of France to see some of Europe’s exceptional scenery.