EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

Category: France

5 Idyllic Areas In France For An Active Holiday

Over recent year, France has really come into its own as one of the world’s top holiday destinations, especially for UK tourists. This of course comes largely down to the…

Over recent year, France has really come into its own as one of the world’s top holiday destinations, especially for UK tourists. This of course comes largely down to the frankly brilliant transport connections to the continent which are being refined and stepped up year after year, but more so than ease of access to the country, Brits and others are just beginning to find out about so many of France’s long-time hidden haunts.

So, if you’ve been thinking of heading over to France this year and would like something a little off the overly-beaten path, you simply cannot go wrong with any of the following five idyllic areas in France:

Midi-Pyrénées Camping

In the summertime at least, the Midi-Pyrénées is the place to head for the very best weather in all of France and guaranteed sunshine. Well, almost guaranteed! It’s an area that’s bursting at every seam with incredible mountains, valleys and gorges which come together to present some of the most spectacular cycling, walking and camping opportunities anywhere in Europe. A true haven especially for the families, it can also be surprisingly cheap to rent a delightful hut for the week, or better yet bring along your own tents for further savings!

Auvergne Volcanic Adventures

One of France’s best-kept secrets is undoubtedly the country’s central Auvergne region, which presents no less than 80 volcanic peaks and boasts some truly spectacular landscapes. You’ll be able to explore the peaks of ancient volcanoes and climb the country’s largest for incredibly views – the Puy de Dôme.

Brittany Beach Life

Of course, few places in France can promise quite the same quintessentially French experience as Brittany. Spend your days unwinding on the beaches or bring along the bikes and head out on an adventure – you’ll be spoilt for choice! What’s great for UK travelers is that Brittany Ferries are right now offering some great holidays with ferry travel included. Visit their website as they are currently offering 20% off holidays during school holidays.

Argeles-sur-Mer Seaside Treats

When it comes to the blending the bliss of the beach with the most astounding natural wonders in France, nowhere does it better than Argeles-sur-Mer. Here’s where you’ll see the Pyrenees finally giving way to the ocean, with a six-mile stretch of beach the likes of which is absolutely drenched in sunshine for the whole of the summer.

Menton’s Old World Charms

Last but not least, for a heady blend of the best elements of the Côte-d’Azur without the clichés and the unnecessarily high prices, Menton is the place to head. Again blessed with stunning natural beauty and all the thrills you’d expect from any high-class coastal resort, Menton just doesn’t have that kind of snootiness you’d find if you holidayed a little further to the west. Instead, it’s all about family-friendliness, wonderful old-town streets to explore and that genuine feeling of discovery you just do not get from the more obvious French holiday hotspots.

Photo by leshaines123 on Flickr under CC

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5 Excellent Cycle Routes In France

France is one of those countries that is ideal for cycling tours, primarily thanks to the extraordinary scenery, delicious food and growing network of long distance cycle routes. This makes…

France is one of those countries that is ideal for cycling tours, primarily thanks to the extraordinary scenery, delicious food and growing network of long distance cycle routes. This makes France one of the biggest markets for cycle tourism in Europe and the world. Thousands of people, especially British families take holidays to France each year for no reason other than to lap up the amazing cycling opportunities on offer. Although with the size of the country and its abundance of stunning towns, cities and resorts, choosing the right route may turn into a difficult quest.

Here are five excellent cycle routes in France that deserve to be considered;

Voies Vertes

The first thing to remember is that just as long as you head in the direction of France’s famed Voies Vertes, aka the Greenways, you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with over 2,600km of wholly family-safe cycling paths and tracks. As such, you can take a look at the resort you were thinking of going to, locate the nearest Voies Vertes (the full map can be found online) and take the bikes out for a day you’ll never forget.

Loire à Vélo

Don’t be put off by the fact that the Loire à Vélo project measures in at 800km in total cycle path length – nobody’s saying you need to cycle the whole thing! A full two-thirds of the pathways between Saint-Brévin and Cuffy run right next to the stunning River Loire, making it the perfect choice for those wishing to take in the majesty of a few famous buildings and all manner of glorious little villages along the way.

Le Bais de Somme

For those with a taste for all-things nature and for the perfect excuse to stop along the way and soak up the sun on the sand, there’s an amazing network of cycle routes at Le Bais de Somme which go through gorgeous grasslands, mudflats and right through to stunning sand dunes – all with a beautiful view out to the sea along the whole route. It is a bit on the hilly side in some places, but the good news is that your bikes at least travel 100% free of charge on the local railway – great for when those little legs have just about had enough for the day!

Voies Vertes Trans

Close to the border with Belgium, this beautiful area of greenery boasts an 85km stretch of the Voies Vertes and is, at least in an official capacity, certified as easy. From Givet to Charleville-Mezieres, you’ll be treated to a dreamy backdrop and stumble across pretty little regions apparently forgotten by time as the rest of us know it. Again, there’s a train service that runs the whole of the route, so no worries if you can’t handle the full length of it.

Piste du Canal L’Ourcq

Last but not least, it’s one thing to get out and about across France’s gorgeous countryside on the bikes, but what about those with a taste for cosmopolitan city living? Here’s your answer – the Piste du Canal L’Ourcq stretches from the lovely greenery of Claye-Souilly right through to Parc de la Villette in Paris.

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