France Adventure Travel Guide
In the west of Europe, France is bordered by three bodies of water: the English Channel to the north, Atlantic Ocean to the west and Mediterranean Sea to the south. There are four main geographical regions in th... (Read more...)
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The north of France has a temperate climate experiencing a moderate temperature range across the seasons. The western side of the country is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and has a much more rain. Inland it is drier, with colder winters and hotter stormier summers. The mountainous regions can have snow for up to six months of the year and thanks to higher altitudes, have lower temperatures
As a developed country France is easy to travel around. The motorways and service stops are well maintained by private companies, making driving your own car straightforward. Travellers can plan their journeys in advance as trains, buses, trams and the underground are efficient and well-linked. The Channel Tunnel links France to the United Kingdom as an alternative to the many ferry crossings scheduled. Flying to and from France is simple, as there are modern airports in all of the major cities.
Paris makes for a seductive and exciting capital in the north. In the east, Lyon’s food and wine draws you in. The coastal city of Marseille is the oldest in France and has plenty of sites keeping you captive for days. Toulouse, Lille and Nantes are also among the largest cities in France and make for ideal landing points along your tour of this energy-filled destination.
The Alps provide a mixed terrain for snowboarding with fantastic off piste and parks. As a popular winter destination you will meet many like-minded people, from complete beginners to expert riders. Some resorts that stand out include Samoens with its eco-vibe. The three valleys region offers an up-market experience. Paradiski (the combined area of La Plagne and Les Arcs) is an excellent mixed-ability group trip. Val D Isere is for those wanting to party and Chamonix is for the experienced. In comparison, Bareges in the Pyrenees provides boarders with quieter pistes and unspoilt scenery.
In spring and summer, a visit to the Alps still involves getting wet. Learn to kayak in still lakes and progress to trying your skills in the river with rapids. For more of a challenge attempt the Ardeche gorge. With its stunning limescale cliff walls, this river this is an all-round thrilling trip. For beginners, the Mediterranean Sea is a warmer and calmer setting in which to embark upon this sport.
With waves from the Atlantic Ocean entering the Bay of Biscay, this western coast of France is perfect for surfers. For beginners, surf school is designed to give you confidence in the water and to introduce you to the skills of surfing. As an expert, you will find one-to-one tuition great for improving problem areas or just to help you advance to the next level. With sandy beaches and plenty of night-life too, it's likely you will enjoy the land time as much as the water.
Wake-boarding is a less traditional way to enjoy the French Riviera, but is by far one of the most exhilarating. This sport uses techniques from water-skiing as well as snow-boarding, although experience in either of these is not essential. Tuition is provided by expert instructors and as your confidence grows so will your capabilities. After lessons you can cruise along the Mediterranean coast trying out your new skills.
Taking climbers along cliff faces, overhangs and through mountainous routes, this experience is much more challenging than a hike. Via Ferretas are routes fashioned from a series of ladders, steps and bridges (iron ways) that link otherwise inaccessible areas. Choose between six grades from easy to extremely difficult and use climbing skills combined with trekking to reach your destination. These routes take you to areas of outstanding beauty as well as to historical tourist spots throughout the Alps. Extreme indeed!
For an outstanding holiday visit the Pyrenees or Alps and learn to ice climb. Traversing mountain ice as well as frozen waterfalls using safety equipment takes hard work and determination. But as a reward for the ascent you can experience breath-taking scenery. Instruction at the mountains can take you from being a complete beginner to a confident climber, or from expert to a leader.
A trip to France would not be complete without a tour of some of the wine regions, such as Champagne or Bordeaux. To enjoy the tasting, take a bike and cycle through the countryside. For a city break it must be Paris with the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and Champs Elysees. The northern coast of Normandy and Brittany is steeped in wartime memories, and the Mont St Michel is a fantastic sight, only accessible at low tide. In the south the Cote D’Azur with beautiful beaches, warm Mediterranean waters and the celebrity hot-spots of St Tropez and Monaco can be enjoyed from a yacht. If more adventures are needed then visit Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak.
Laid-back site-seeing, wonders for the taste buds, extreme sports on water and in mountains, France has adventures for all seasons and all travellers.
In the snow try skiing or snow-shoeing. In the warmer months take a cycle tour through the countryside or along mountain routes. The water (fresh and sea) is ideal in the summer for scuba-diving or wind-surfing. Once the winter snow melts it reveals the French mountains' other side, one that allows for canyoning and white-water rafting.