May 28, 2024

France beckons with its unparalleled charm, offering a mosaic of breathtaking landscapes and thrilling adventures. This summer, elevate your travel experiences by indulging in the most exquisite outdoor activities and natural wonders France has to offer. And for those seeking the thrill of global camaraderie and athletic excellence, the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, running from 26 July through 11 August, present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Here’s your guide to a French summer filled with adventure and elegance.

Alpine Escapades

The French Alps are a haven for those who seek adrenaline-pumping activities amidst breathtaking landscapes.

Chamonix-Mont Blanc is a beacon for mountain adventurers and alpinists. Located in southeastern France at the base of Mont Blanc, Western Europe’s highest peak, it was the site of the first Winter Olympics held in 1924. Whether it’s reaching the sky in the L’Aiguille du Midi cable car, exploring the icy depths of Mer de Glace, or walking along the booths at the bustling open-air market in Place du Mont-Blanc, Chamonix promises unforgettable memories high in the mountains bordering Switzerland and Italy.

Les Deux Alpes is a snowy paradise even in summer, boasting the title of the biggest posted glacier area in the Alps. Located at the heart of the Ecrins massif in the Oisans region, just over an hour’s drive southeast of Grenoble, Les Deux Alpes offers activities ranging from snowshoe trekking to tandem paragliding. With amenities like a full-sized ice rink and heated outdoor swimming pool, it’s a haven for those who yearn for winter sports under the summer sun. Take the Jandri Express gondola to the foot of the glacier or catch the tube train to visit the ice caves underneath. 

Coastal Retreats

The Côte d’Azur offers a blend of nature, culture, and glamour. From the luxurious streets of the Sovereignty of Monaco to the rugged trails leading to Plage de la Mala by Saint-Jean Cap-Ferrat, every corner of the French Riviera invites exploration by sail, kayak, or even on foot, promising a rich tapestry of experiences. Travelers can choose to visit the smaller villages or take in the sights and sounds of the larger cities of St. Tropez, Cannes, Marseilles, and Nice.

In Brittany, the allure of Breton ports and bicycle routes beckons. Engage in Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP), boating, or canoeing in Mont St. Michel Bay, or be mesmerised by the stunning views from the Cap d’Erquy and Cap Fréhel headlands. 

The translucent waters and vibrant wildlife, especially in the Sept-Îles National Nature Reserve, make Brittany a sensory feast. And when it’s time to refuel, indulge in mouthwatering seafood dishes and authentic cider.

Countryside Cycling and Hiking Trails

Discover the rustic essence of France by visiting its picturesque countryside. The rolling hills of Provence are amongst the most idyllic landscapes in the world. Rent a charming cottage or farmhouse and immerse yourself in the French way of life, strolling through local markets, savouring homemade delicacies, and admiring historic châteaux. And for a more active getaway, you can try horseback riding, hiking, or biking through the countryside. Itineraries include Avignon, Sault, Bedouin, Gordes, Gigondas, and Beaumes-de-Venise. We can design an active or leisurely bicycle tour according to your needs and preferences.

The Dordogne Valley‘s timeless appeal derives from its natural beauty and wealth of medieval and renaissance towns and villages. The excellent food and local wine are not to be missed. Hills and valleys offer enough challenge but are gently sloped in the main. Villages include Sarlat-la-Canéda, Rocamadour, Périgueux, Brive-la-Gaillarde, and Bergerac with hundreds of hiking route options in between.

Sky-High Adventures in the Loire Valley

Experience the Loire Valley from a hot air balloon or take a helicopter tour over the French Riviera. These aerial adventures offer a unique perspective on France’s iconic châteaux, vineyards, and medieval cities, turning every flight into a breathtaking exploration of the country’s heritage and natural beauty including Château Royal d’Amboise, Chenonceau, Chambord, and Blois. 

The Loire Valley is also known as the Garden of France, and it’s easy to see why the lush greenery, rolling hillsides, and rivers winding through the landscape create a picturesque scene.

Wildlife Encounters

For nature lovers, the Camargue Regional Nature Park and Vanoise National Park offer rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes. From birdwatching in Camargue to horseback riding through the paths of Vanoise, these parks provide intimate encounters with France’s wildlife and natural beauty. 

Camargue Regional Nature Park comprises 86,300 hectares across the communes of Arles and Saintes Maries de la Mer. Known for its alpine flora and fauna, it is home to a fantastic variety of species, including flamingos, white horses, chamois, ibexes, and the famous Camargue bulls.

Vanoise National Park is located in the territory of the Haute Maurienne Vanoise and adjoins the Italian Grand Paradis National Park. The gateway, Le Freney, leads to the valleys of Savoie and onward to “La Barrière de l’Esseillon”. The Chemin du Petit Bonheur is an ancestral trail that runs from village to village through the Haute Maurienne Vanoise area and can be explored on foot, bike, or horseback. 

From the snow-capped peaks of the Alps to the sun-drenched shores of the Riviera, France offers a plethora of adventures for those ready to explore. Add the excitement of the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, and your French summer promises to be an unforgettable tapestry of thrill, luxury, and natural wonders.

Indulge in a bespoke French adventure this summer and create memories that will last a lifetime. Ritzy Experience would love to help you explore the natural wonders of France, and craft a unique luxury experience for you. Get in touch with us to start building your next French adventure.