Active Holidays in France
With ever-changing scenery, world-famous cycle routes and revered ski slopes, there really is nothing better than an active holiday in France. Whether you like to challenge your personal best or simply take a different path through picture-perfect landscapes, you’ll find your ideal location in this beautiful country.
And just in case you need another reason to get more active on your next holiday – you can enjoy France’s impeccable wines and fine food guilt-free. So pack your bags (and remember that most sports equipment can be carried on any P&O ferry to France for free) and get away to one of these idyllic spots.
Walking, Hiking and Climbing across France
Wherever you go in France, you’ll find some of Europe’s most striking scenery nearby, making it the perfect destination for either a walking daytrip or a hiking holiday. Starting at Le Tréport, the Alabaster coast lies just an hour and a half’s drive from Calais, and provides 130km of towering cliffs, sandy beaches and green walking routes.
Further south, Languedoc’s rockier terrain is perfect for hiking and sweeping vistas that stretch for miles, its varied landscape pockmarked with suspension bridges and water pools. The Camargue, a ‘Wetland of International Importance’ near Montpelier, is another picturesque spot to explore, where horses roam free across the landscape and brine ponds provide one of Europe’s only natural habitats for greater flamingos.
Cycling the Loire à Vélo
Every cyclist knows that France is the European home of two wheels, with both the Tour and the Cobbled Classics taking place along its winding, hilly streets. But if you don’t yet fancy taking on those routes, the country also offers plenty of stunning locations for both leisurely and more challenging trips.
In days gone by, the Loire Valley was a strategic resting spot between the north and south of France, and feuding one-upmanship left the area with its world-famous plethora of elaborate buildings. Add plenty of level roads, beautiful natural scenery and sprawling vineyards and you have the perfect route for a cycling holiday. The 800km Loire à Vélo trail provides both easy day trips for the sightseer, as well as more testing off-road terrain.
Water Sports along the Coast
From peaceful seas fit for sailing or the perfect break just made for surfing, you’ll find some of Europe’s best water sport destinations in France. The northern Atlantic coast generally makes a calm host for even the novice sailor, with sailing schools in Brittany offering courses in sheltered waters.
But if it’s a more exciting stretch you’re after, the southwest is the spot for you. Home to the Fédération Française de Surf, Biarritz is a top location for steady breaks, and regularly hosts international competitions alongside Hossegor further north. Those who prefer to spend more time underwater rather than over it will find fantastic diving areas in the south eastern waters around the Côte d’Azur.
Snow Sports in the Alps
Crossing eight countries and formed over tens of millions of years, the Alps is a revered spot for snow sport-lovers. Méribel, founded by the British skier Peter Lindsay, provides some of the best slopes in France, as well as easy access to the neighbouring resorts of Courcheval, La Tania and Val Torens. With its highest peak at 3,000m, the area can generally be relied on for plenty of coverage even at the warmer ends of the ski season.
It also provides both beginner and advanced slopes, making it the perfect spot for the whole family to get involved. While skiing is the predominant sport, Méribel is also offers snowboarding, horse-sleigh tours, snowmobiling and hiking.
Taking an active holiday in France? Don’t forget - when you travel with P&O Ferries you can pack most sports equipment, including bicycles, surfboards and skis, for free. Take a look at our crossings today.
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