Alternative holidays in France

France offers many activities for those of you who dislike walking on the beaten path. Taking the most of the rich nature and historical heritage, you can enjoy many different activity holidays. So why not spend adventurous, hiking or walking tours this year?


For most winter sports, the high season starts in December (for the Christmas Holidays) and ends in April (after Easter Holidays). Let us mention that plenty of ski resorts have developed summer activities nowadays; mountain biking, hiking or even canoeing are indeed great alternatives to take the most of the French Alps region for instance.

For those who are keen on summer tours, the average high season is from June to September.

Boating

France is the right place if you love boating. Several options are available: if you are keen on boating at sea, the western and south eastern coasts are full of charming cities where you can easily have a break and taste the local French food (Marennes-Oleron oysters, dry sausages from the South of France, fresh fish, Provencal specialties…).

The most adventurous visitors cannot miss the outstanding coastline of Corsica island in the Mediterranean sea.

If you prefer canal, river or lake boating, France's waterways offer thousands of kms throughout the country - amongst which the famous Canal du Midi - but also great lakes renowned for carp fishing, notably in the little-known Champagne Ardennes region.

Camping

Camping is a really popular way to spend relaxing and entertaining family holidays. France is littered with camping sites from luxury to municipal ones.

Discover our page dealing with Camping Holidays in France.

Cycling

Some regions are real heavens for cycling enthusiasts. You only have to choose between mountain biking and beach riding, depending on the type of landscapes - and the challenge! - you are willing to face. The top French regions for cycling are those where you meet miscellaneous relief.

For those reasons, Aquitaine and the South East of France are great places to spend cycling holidays.

You know the Tour de France is near when you begin to see tightly - and brightly! - dressed cyclists on the French country roads!

Golfing

France offers plenty of golf courses in breathtaking landscapes. Why not browse our regional pages and once you have chosen where you want to play golf, select the Golf Courses page in the left menu?

Or let us give you some advice: for wild courses, visit Corsica. To enjoy golf but also French food and wine, head for Aquitaine! For a breath of fresh air, let's choose Brittany courses!

Wine Tasting

France is renowned worlwide for its fine food and wine, so why not benefit from your holiday to taste some local fine wines?

Apart from some wine-growers who now propose wine tasting and visits of their vineyards, the best known tours have taken place in Alsace and Burgundy. Locally named Route des Vins, this type of tasting wine route generally consists in exploring the regional vineyards and growers' warhouses before tasting some of their vintages.

Popular wine events are also more and more organised in Paris - the hipest places being star restaurants and wine bars. To make the experience even more "Frenchie", do accompany your glass of wine with a piece of French cheese!

The table below lets you discover the perfect places for hiking & walking, windsurfing & surfing, canoeing & kayaking, horse riding, climbing and many other adventure holidays!

Best places to practice...

Please click on column headers to learn more about the topics dealt with.

Golfing Water Sports Windsurfing Cycling
Aquitaine x x x
Poitou Charentes x x
Pays de la Loire x
Brittany x x
Lower Normandy x x
Upper Normandy x x
Nord Pas de Calais x x
Picardy
Ile de France x
Champagne Ardennes
Lorraine x
Alsace
Franche Comte
Burgundy x
Centre x
Limousin x
Auvergne x
Rhone Alpes x
PACA x x x
Languedoc Roussillon x x
Midi Pyrenees x
Corsica x x x x

Fishing Hiking, Walking Surfing Horse Riding Wine Tasting
Aquitaine x x
Poitou Charentes x x
Pays de la Loire x x x
Brittany x x
Lower Normandy x x
Upper Normandy x x
Nord Pas de Calais x x
Picardy x x
Ile de France x
Champagne Ardennes x
Lorraine
Alsace x
Franche Comte
Burgundy x
Centre
Limousin x x
Auvergne x x
Rhone Alpes x
PACA x x
Languedoc Roussillon x x
Midi Pyrenees
Corsica x

Skiing, Mountaineering, Snowboarding Boating, Cruises (sea & canals) Climbing Camping
Aquitaine x x x
Poitou Charentes x
Pays de la Loire x
Brittany x
Lower Normandy x
Upper Normandy x
Nord Pas de Calais x
Picardy x
Ile de France x x
Champagne Ardennes x
Lorraine x x
Alsace x
Franche Comte
Burgundy x
Centre
Limousin
Auvergne x
Rhone Alpes x x x
PACA x x x
Languedoc Roussillon x x x
Midi Pyrenees x x
Corsica x

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