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Walking/ hiking in France?

I am planning a trip to France in April. My friend and I much prefer not to rent a car. We are looking for a place where we can access trails from the accommodations, either walk out the door and / or via public transportation. We found such a place in Bavaria so we are hopeful that we can in France as well. We are not set on any given region but for April we think Provence or the Côte d’Azur general area could be ideal.

Posted by
38 posts

Chamonix might be a good option. I spent a few days there a few years ago. While I had a car (I was camping), it was absolutely necessary to get to many hiking options. As I recall there was a free bus that covered the valley, that could be used to access some of the cable car lots that you could then take up to higher level hiking trails (if you wanted to get off the valley floor). I had a great book of day hikes in Chamonix (in english) that I found (it's packed away at the moment or I'd give you the name) that could help you plan. And Chamonix itself is accessible by train. I was there in August, it was wonderful!

ps. I also hiked in the Cevennes National park on that trip, basing myself in Florac. Again, I had a car, but there were a few trails out of the village that I could access without a car (and I don't know that Florac had train access). But I'm sure there are larger towns in that area that would have trains/public transport if the Cevennes seemed interesting.

Edit: Just noticed you said you're going in April, so Chamonix, probably won't work. But some lower level stuff in the Cevennes might. Good luck!

Posted by
10 posts

Angella, thanks for the suggestion. I had actually thought about somewhere in the Alps because I had a wonderful trip there a bunch of years ago. But that was in the summer, and I assumed that if it’s like our mountains here, there would likely be too much snow for hiking.
Does anyone here know if I’m right?

Posted by
3794 posts

April doesn't work in most of the Alps, indeed.
Provence is a good call. For example, Cassis or the southern parts of Marseille would give you great access to the Calanques massif, which has excellent hiking for a few days.

Posted by
8385 posts

In addition to the Calanques, there's also Cap Canaille and a lot of other walks. The wild flowers will be in bloom.