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The Top 10 Outdoor Activities To Experience In France

Picture of Hristos Fleturis
Updated: 9 February 2017
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There is something to do in every corner of France. Drinking some wine, eating some cheese and other delicious food or enjoying the great weather are just a few options. When you get tired of eating all the delicacies around you, burn those calories with some thrilling outdoor action. Whether it’s in the mountains or by the sea, here are the 10 best outdoor activities you can only experience in France.

Night Rollerblading In Paris

Ever thought about skating at night on the streets where renowned historical figures like Monet or Hemingway once walked? Pari Roller has been offering in Paris since the 1990s. They gather each Friday, except when there is rain or other dangers on the road, and skate at night, Belle Époque style. They meet, talk, have fun and skate.

Cycling On A Glacier

If you are a cycling fanatic, with a passion for mountin biking, then France is the place to be. With the Alps, the Pyrénées and many other amazing places to cycle, you are close to a biking path anytime and anywhere. There are around 60,000 kilometers of cycling paths, véloroutes or voies vertes. Megavalanche takes place in Alpe d’Huez — one of the fanciest mountain resorts in France and home to tens of Tour de France finishes over the years — offering extremely beautiful views. Cyclists, however, decided that riding on the cool trails is not enough. The glaciers are there for a reason, right? That’s how Megavalanche began. Take a look at the video by Claudia Clement, one of the best mtb riders in the ladies’ division.

Horseback riding in the open nature

Horse Riding

Horse riding can be done anywhere, but where else do you have the chance to ride through the vineyards of Provence, enjoy the views of the Atlantic Ocean or pass by the amazing châteaux of the Loire Valley on a horse? Equestrian centers around the country are full of visitors year-round. Whether you love to take care of a horse, want to see the views from a different perspective or want to learn to ride, from Brittany to Normandy, France has an equestrian experience for everyone.

Climbing

There is no better introduction to the outdoors of France than climbing. The Alps are much steeper than the Pyrénées, so you can definitley find several climbing opportunities there. Because the French love hiking and climbing, you will find check points all over the mountains as well as people to help you get around, along with maps, signs and good food as a reward at the end of a gruelling day.

Skydiving in France

Skydive

For a one of a kind adrenaline rush, Skydive Paris has all the details you need, with drop zones in the west and north of Paris. There are other skydiving clubs, of course, that offer diverse landscapes whether it is the Alps, the Pyrénées, or flying over castles and many other jewels that France has to offer.

Skiing

Some of the best ski slopes in the world are found in France, as well as plentiful opportunities for off-piste skiing. It’s impossible to describe all the slopes, resorts, mountains, and hills that you can find in the hexagon, but Candide Thovex can show you a typical ski experience in France – watch her video above.

Surfing

France features some spectacular coastlines. From food to sailing and swimming, there are great spots all over France offering fun adventures. Surfing is a sport that has been growing in popularity. The best waves to be found are in the west, on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. You can choose between the well-known town of Biarritz on the Basque coast and Brittany on the sandy beaches of the westernmost point of France. The currents there are pretty strong, and the world championships usually attract a lot of surfers to the area.

Canyoning

This type of adventure is becoming more and more popular in the canyons of France. You can slide down the caves, follow the rivers hidden inside the mountains and combine it with caving. Here is a list of the best places to go canyoning around France. You can find canyoning clubs everywhere to meet people with whom to go on this adventure.

Canoeing in France

Canoeing

Since canyoning can be a bit too much for some people, try canoeing — it is the perfect alternative. A very popular activity in France, you will find lots of people who know how to navigate a canoe and even have one at home. The fast rivers in the mountains are perfect for the most adventurous people, but more relaxing sites are better suited to beginners. There are wonderful lakes around the country perfect for this, including the Loire Valley where you can see castle upon castle during your adventure.

French wine outdoors

Outdoor Wine Tasting

After all these adventures, why not relax outside with a glass of wine? After all, drinking one glass of wine per day supposedly makes us healthier. Plus, it’s a good treat after a long day of biking through the French vineyards or after any other adventure you choose to have.

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