Our favourite hiking trails in France with AllTrails

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
➰ Loop
⏱ 2 hours

Drone view from the Emerald Coast, near Cancale, in Brittany
Drone view from the Emerald Coast, near Cancale, in Brittany

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
➰ Loop
⏱ 1 hour

Hiking in Gorges de Franchard, Fontainebleau forest

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

Estom lake, a hike from Cauterets
Estom lake, a hike from Cauterets

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
➰ Loop
⏱ 2,5 hours

View over the Dune of Pilat from the Banc d’Arguin
View over the Dune of Pilat from the Banc d’Arguin

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
➰ Loop
⏱ 2 hours

  • Reply
    Carina | bucketlist2life
    May 18, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    These are some great hiking trails. Especially the Dune of Pilat looks interesting.

  • Reply
    Lisa at Following the Rivera
    May 18, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    I think my favourite trail is Arcachon Bay. The views are wonderful and it’s a hike I could manage.

    • Reply
      Peggy Zipperer
      May 20, 2021 at 12:30 am

      Beautiful hikes! That first drone shot is spectacular and Estom Lake is gorgeous as well!

  • Reply
    Chalk and Cheese Travels
    May 19, 2021 at 3:52 am

    Sounds like some great hikes haven’t been to France in years, must change that soon. Thanks for sharing these looks some stunning scenery

  • Reply
    Wendy | Perthtravelers
    May 19, 2021 at 5:19 am

    What great options for hiking in France. The views of Estom lake look stunning. Hopefully we will get to do one of these in the future when we can travel again.

  • Reply
    amongstromans1
    May 19, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    This makes me realize that I need to explore more of France! These are some gorgeous hikes

  • Reply
    wattwherehow
    May 20, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    The water looks so inviting on that first shot, then the lake shot too. Lovely.

  • Reply
    Hannah
    May 23, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Wow, what beautiful hikes! I’ve been to Fontainebleau several times but never thought to go hiking. On my next climbing day off I know what I can try this time!

  • Reply
    Jane
    May 24, 2021 at 2:27 pm

    Some fabulous hikes here and as this is what we do when travelling, I shall be sure to check them out. T.hank you for noting where dogs are not allowed too. Don’t want our pup to get into trouble!

  • Reply
    Carpediemeire
    May 30, 2021 at 8:07 am

    Good round up. I might avoid the one in Brittany, sounds quite Irish with the weather. Though so does the Pyrenees, and that would be my fave of these. Love those mountain paradises.

  • Reply
    Kritika Panase
    May 31, 2021 at 9:52 am

    Some great hiking trails to keep the adrenaline pumping! So glad to comes across this post… loved all the hiking spots… Thanks for the all the information shared as well. The view from Estom Lake is breath taking! Nevertheless meeting aggressive cows and lizards on the way seems a little scarry though!

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