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Long distance footpaths
- the connoisseur's guide to France
across France: the main routes
is a country well equipped with long- distance footpaths or hiking
trails. There are over 100,000 kilometres of walking trails, crossing
the country in all directions; but it is in the areas of "wild
" that the paths are most numerous, and most popular.
The map below shows many of the longest and most popular hiking trails
in France. Further information is given below.
Long-distance footpaths or hiking trails are known in France as "Sentiers
as with main roads, there is a national network, and the 35,000 km of
marked and signposted footpaths that make up the main network are
designated by numbers, preceded by the letters GR. For reasons of
clarity and legibility, the map above shows only the main GRs.
Besides GR paths, there are also PR paths, "Chemins de
randonnée", marked trails that are most suited for local
not necessarily connected to any GR routes. GR
marked (on trees, posts, stones, etc) by a short red
band above a white band. PR
routes are marked with a yellow
band. In addition, many French communes or communities have set up
their own marked footpaths independently of the national network. All
in all, the choice for ramblers, walkers and serious hikers is immense.
Most of the major long-distance trails run through villages where
hikers can find accommodation in bed and breakfasts, "gîtes
(rather like small hostels), campsites
or small hotels.
Before setting out on a long distance trail, it is essential to study
the route carefully on detailed maps, and check the accommodation
long-distance hiking trails in France.
GR2 - From Le Havre, via Paris, to Dijon. Driving
See Driving information pages
for France. Tips and info, rules of the road, motorways, restrictions,
dates to avoid, fuel prices and lots more
- GR3 - The Loire Valley trail - From Guerande near the mouth
of rhe Loire,
to the source of the Loire at mount Gerbier du Jonc, Haute Loire
- GR4 - The Alps-Atlantic trail: from Grasse, in
the Alps, to Royan, on
the Gironde estuary.
- GR5 - From the Luxembourg border to Nice (trail
originating in Holland).
- GR6 - The Aquitaine-Alps trail, from Ste. Foy
la Grande, near Bordeaux,
- GR7 - The Vosges-Pyrenees trail, from southern
Alsace to Andorra.
- GR8 - The south Atlantic coastal trail - from St. Brevin
les Pins to Sare, in
the western Pyrenees.
- GR9 - The Jura and Alpine foothills trail, from
St. Amour to St. Tropez.
- GR10 - The High Pyrenean trail, following the
line of the Spanish
- GR12 - From (Amsterdam) and the Belgian border
- GR 13 - The Morvan trail, from Fontainebleau to
- GR 14 - The Ardennes trail, from Paris to
- GR 21 - The Alabaster coast trail, from
Tréport to le Havre.
- GR 22 - Mont Saint Michel pilgrimage
trail - Paris to Mont
- GR 34 - The Breton coastal footpath, from
- GR 36 - The 1000 kilometre trail, from the
Ouistreham near Caen on the Channel coast to Bourg Madame in the
Pyrenees, on the Spanish
- GR 37 - The central Brittany footpath, from
- GR 39 - The Trans-Brittany trail, from Mont St.
- GR 41 - From Tours to Blesle, via the Massif du
- GR 46 - From near Tours to the Tarn.
- GR 48 - The Vienne valley trail, from Chinon to Aixe
- GR 51 - The Mediterranean Balcony - from
Marseille to Menton
- GR 59 - The Jura and Bugey trail, from the
Vosges to near Grenoble.
- GR 65 - The Santiago de Compostella pilgrimage
route, from Geneva, via Le Puy en
Velay and Conques, to Roncevaux in the Pyrenees.
- GR 223 - The Cotentin and Normandy beaches
- GR 654 - From Moulin-Manteau in Belgium to
Montréal in the Gers, near Toulouse
- GR 700 - Regordane Way - historic pilgrimage
route from Le Puy en Velay
to St. Gilles du Gard.
to information posted on a UK motorcycle site, GR paths are
normally open to motorbikes, quads or other motorised vehicles, except
where hiking trails follow byways or tracks that are designated as
many sections of GR, motorbikes and quads are both unauthorised and
unwelcome. GR routes are for hikers, not bikers. French Environment
ministry circularDGA /SDAJ/BDEDP n°1 of June 2005 states: "the
considers that for a track to be presumed open to motorised traffic, it
must be manifestly usable by a vehicle not specially adapted for
off-road driving" .
Click here for a detailed
map of France
, which you can scroll and zoom on any area.
Click here for a full map and list of national
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