About 2 years ago, we have discovered the app AllTrails, which has helped us to always find the best hikes nearby. As we have been moving around France a lot last summer, we wanted to share our favourite hiking trails in France.
Pointe du Grouin and Pointe du Chatry near Cancale, in Brittany
Our first time in Brittany was 2 years ago, during the heatwave in France, when we decided to escape to a chiller place. The Sentier des douaniers, more than 2000 kilometeres following the Britain coast, offers some magnificent hikes. The one we did from Cancale, was no exception. We were delighted with the beauty of the Emerald coast (Emerald as the color of the sea).
The hike was relatively easy, even if we would not recommend it with young children. Always remember to check the weather, as Brittany is well known for its crazy rain!
🏁 7,2 kilometers
⏱ 2 hours
Gorges de Franchard, in Fontainebleau, 35 minutes from Paris
Less than one hour from Paris, one of our favourite hike in the Fontainbleau forest is Gorges de Franchard. Only few kilometers away from the capitale, you will find a beautiful hike and some stunning point of views! The hike lasts less than 2 hours, is kid friendly and dog friendly. As some areas includes walking on rocks, be careful with snow and rain, as it can be slippery without appropriate hiking shoes.
🏁 4 kilometers
⏱ 1 hour
Estom lake, near Cauterets in Hautes-Pyrénées (South West of France)
Last summer, after lockdown, we decided to go to the Pyrénées mountains, in the South West of France, at Cauterets. It was a brilliant idea, as it was a true paradise for hiking everyday!
Our favourite hike there was most probably Estom lake: gorgeous sceneries, changing landscapes and waterfalls. Perfect for a day out, with a stop on top for lunch. Be careful with the cows, they can be a little aggressive, and keep an eye open for izards, we have seen many during our hike!
There are lots of rock on the trail, so it may be a little difficult for kids and dogs to follow up, especially the last 20 minutes before the lake. Don’t forget your raincoat, the Pyrénées weather is mostly wet, even during summer!
🏁 10,9 kilometers
➰ Out and back
⏱ 4 hours
Dune of Pilat, in Arcachon bay
As we are big fans of Arcachon bay, we could not miss a stunning – even if challenging – hike around the Dune du Pilat, near Arcachon, in the South West of France.
Once on top, you will have a magical view over the bay. However, walking in the sand can be complicated for young kids, and dogs are not allowed on the beach nor the dune.
Be extra careful with the sun, and don’t forget to bring sunscreen and water!
How to make your day absolutely perfect after such a hike ? Stop on the way back at la Co(o)rniche, and have a drink while watching the sunset – we promise you a very beautiful evening!
🏁 7,6 kilometers
⏱ 2,5 hours
Corbès and Grotte de Valaurie, in the National Park of Cévennes
Les Cévennes, one more paradise for hikers!
Not far from Montpellier, les Cévennes offer the perfect summer location, if you are not afraid of heat. Indeed, it can be very hot and dry during summer, so always make sure to stay safe, protected from the sun and hydrated during your hikes there.
The hike Corbès and Grotte de Valaurie will take your to the very heart of the National Park and you will get to see some beautiful nature and point of views over the park.
The trail is dog friendly and kids friendly, with enough shades on the way to get a rest from the burning sun.
🏁 7,2 kilometers
⏱ 2 hours