France

Description

Corsica - by Henk

France, country of contrasts, home to the inventors of the Topoguide, is a great walking destination all year round. An intricate network of long distance footpaths, the so-called Grands Randonnées, reaches out to the farthest corners of the country. At least 80 long distance trails and their countless variants are meticulously documented and waymarked. Mastering a bit of French will help you find your way, and a bottle of wine at that.

It may be difficult to find information or topo guides for many trails. The exact route - not only the name "GR" - of any hiking trail in France is copyrighted by the FFRP and cannot be published by others without their consent. The maps of IGN usually show all regional PR's and national GR's.

The French themselves are mad about walking, often in groups of about 20, recognisable by their non-stop rather loud conversations lasting from dawn till dusk and snacking on hard boiled eggs en route. So join the crowd and turn bon vivant. Walk the Provence in spring, pass through the wine regions coloured all red in late autumn. Enjoy the Atlantic coast and its birds in May, and the shimmering sun on the glaciers in summer. Explore the Loire in autumn, and the dark forests of the Morvan in winter. Or take a walk all the way from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean right across the Pyrenees along the GR10. Another popular trail is the GR5, from Luxembourg to Nice through the Vosges, the Elzas and the Alps. For those fearless and bursting with energy, the GR20 is a fine challenge. This trail following the highest ridges of the island of Corsica is for the surefooted only.

Another popular walk of course is the TMB, the Tour du Mont Blanc: eight days with views on the highest mountain of Europe, weather permitting. Drawback: crazy busy. Less known, but just as fine, is the Tour du Queyras (GR58), also in the Alps. Other best hikes in the Alps are the Tour de la Vanoise (GR55) or the Tour de l'Oisans (GR54). You can walk the Vallée des Merveilles (GR52). And a bit on the outside of the Alps is the Vercors (GR91 - GR95) and Mt Lubéron (GR97). There you are, now you know what the French themselves like most.

Along most GR's you will find huts or Gites d'Etappe at regular intervals. These are mostly just simple shelters, so bring food to prepare your own meals. Outside the main summer season, with most French back in Paris, the Gites are often closed. In such cases, bring your own tent. Most GR's can be tough but not dangerous, except the GR20.

Carte

Hiking Map of France NWHiking Map of France NE

Hiking Map of France_SWHiking Map of France SE

Sentiers

Régions

Livres

Stanfords
United Kingdom
2015
  • La Marne à pied FFRP Topo-guide No. D051
  • La Marne à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. D051, with 38 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the department, including in the Montagne de Reims and walks connected with the Meuse-Argonne offensive in the final months of WWI. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2014
  • Pays de Lauragais à pied FFRP Topo-guide No. P115
  • Pays de Lauragais à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. P115, with 39 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the countryside north-west of Carcassonne, on both sides of the Canal du Midi. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map.... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Touring the Italian Front 1917-1919
  • The guide describes the ground and operations covered by the British, French and US Expeditionary Forces deployed from France to the area north of Venice between November 1917 and Spring 1919. These forces supported the Italians after their disastrous defeat at Caporetto and helped stem the Austrian and German onslaught. This is the first guide... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2016
  • Le Parc d`Armorique à pied FFRP Topo-guide No. PN12
  • Le Parc d`Armorique à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. PN12, with 43 day walks of varying length and difficulty in western Brittany. Current edition of this title was published in March 2016.To see the list of other FFRP guides with day walks please click on the series link.ABOUT THE FFRP (Fédération française de la randonnée pédestre)... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2019
  • Le Parc Naturel Regional du Pilat à pied
  • Le Parc du Pilat à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. PN05, with 22 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the regional park between St. Etienne and the Rhone. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 and/or 1:50,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map. Current... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Owl Sense
  • A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEKLonglisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2018The owl has captivated the human imagination for millennia; as a predator, messenger, emblem of wisdom or portent of doom. Owl Sense tells a new story. On `owl walks` with her teenage son, Benji, Miriam Darlington begins a quest to identify every European... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Les Marches du Velay à pied FFRP Topo-guide No. P43D
  • Les Marches du Velay à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. P43D, with 21 day walks of varying length and difficulty near Monistril-sur-Loire. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map. Current edition of this title was published in May... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Les environs de Lyon a pied
  • Environs de Lyon à pied, FFRP Topo-guide No. RE20, with 41 day walks of varying length and difficulty all accessible within a 60min journey from Lyon on the regional train network (TER). Current edition of this title was published in March 2016.To see the list of other FFRP guides with day walks please click on the series link.ABOUT THE FFRP... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2018
  • La Charente à pied
  • La Charente à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. D016, with 43 day walks in the department. Each day walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map. Current edition of this title was published in August 2011.To see the list of other FFRP guides... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2015
  • La Côte Picarde à pied FFRP Topo-guide No. P804
  • La Côte Picarde à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No.P804, with 26 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the area around Amiens and the estuary of the Somme. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map. Current edition of this title... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2015
  • Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin PNR à pied FFRP Topo-guide No. PN20
  • Marais du Cotentin et du Bessin Parc Naturel Régional à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. PN20, with 33 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the southern part of the Cotentin Peninsula, including a walk along the Utah Beach of the 1944 D-Day Landings. Each day walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Lille For Pleasure
  • Lille is City of Culture 2004 and has created a spectacularly innovative programme of events as part of the year-long celebrations. But it is also an ancient town with a fascinating history, poised as it is on the border of France and Dutch-speaking Flanders. A beautiful old city, spectacular fortifications, intriguing Art Nouveau architecture,... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Randonnées dans les vignes de l’Ile de France
  • Randonnées dans les vignes de l’Ile de France from Rando Editions offers 30 walks in the region, with three routes in the capital itself: in Montmartre, Père-Lachaise - Belleville area, and from Jardins des Plantes to Bercy. Most are in the outer suburbs, easily accessible by metro or RER.All the routes, between one and five hours long, start... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Le Pays de Charlieu-Belmont à pied P423
  • Le Pays de Belmont-de-la-Loire à pied, FFRP topo-guide ref. no. P423, with 16 day walks of varying length and difficult near Belmont-de-la-Loire . Current edition of this title was published in May 2008.To see the list of other FFRP guides with day walks please click on the series link.ABOUT THE FFRP (Fédération française de la randonnée... Lire la suite
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Cartes

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Le Perche Parc Naturel Régional à pied FFRP Topo-guide No. PN16
  • Le Perche Parc Naturel Régional à pied, FFRP topo-guide Ref. No. PN16, with 20 day walks of varying length and difficulty in the park. Each walk is presented on a separate colour extract from IGN’s topographic survey of France at 1:25,000, with its description cross-referenced to the map. Current edition of this title was published in May... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • La Brenne Parc Naturel Régional IGN 83309
  • Parc Naturel Régional de la Brenne east of Poitiers on a detailed map at 1:60,000 prepared by the IGN in collaboration with the park authorities, the FFRP and various tourist organizations. Current edition of this map was published in summer 2014.The map highlights numerous local and long-distance hiking trails, including specially selected... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Forêt de Rambouillet IGN TOP25 Mini Map 2215OTM
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Tour of the Vallée du Trient L`Escursionista Editore Map-Guide
  • Tour of the Vallée du Trient long-distance hiking route presented on a waterproof and tear-resistant, contoured and GPS compatible map at 1:25,000 published jointly by L’Escursionista Editore and Editrek, plus a separate multilingual guide booklet with stage by stage descriptions and other tourist information.Contour interval is 25m and the map... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Romorantin-Lanthenay - Cour-Cheverny IGN 2122SB
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Facinas CNIG Topographic Map 1077-I
  • Topographic coverage of mainland Spain at 1:25,000 published by the Centro Nacional de Información Geograficá, the country’s civilian survey organization. The maps have contours at 10m intervals and colouring and/or graphics to show different types of vegetation or land use. Boundaries of national parks and other protected areas are marked. In... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Nantes and its Environs IGN 88406
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Autour du Thabor: Modane - Bardonecchia - Briançon
  • Mont Thabor area at 1:50,000 on a contoured and GPS compatible map from Editions Didier Richard in their series of walking maps of French Alps and other popular hiking regions of south-eastern France. Coverage extends from Modane in the north to Briançon in the south-east, and west to Valloire.The base map with cartography from the IGN has... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Nantes - Saint-Herblain IGN 1223SB
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • France: IGN 100K Top100 Road Maps of France
  • TOP100 road maps of France from the Institut Géographique National (IGN); exceptionally detailed, contoured road maps, ideal for exploring the French countryside by car, by bike, or even on foot. Used by millions of locals and tourists alike, this series provides an excellent balance between coverage of a sufficiently wide area and detailed... Lire la suite
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Chateau-Chinon - Lac des Settons - PNR du Morvan IGN 2723ET
  • Topographic survey of France at 1:25,000 in IGN`s excellent TOP25 / Série Bleue series. All the maps are GPS compatible, with a 1km UTM grid plus latitude and longitude lines at 5’ intervals. Contours are at 5m intervals except for mountainous areas where the maps have contours at 10m intervals, vividly enhanced by hill shading and graphics for... Lire la suite
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