Self-Guided walking tours in France

Our self-guided walking holidays in France let you travel at your own pace. Plan the day around your own personal agenda, choose when and where to stop for lunch, then set off again whenever you're ready. Whether you want to explore the beautiful Basque countryside or venture along the famous trails of Mont Blanc, it's completely up to you.

Discover the picturesque landscapes of France on our hotel-to-hotel walking holidays or single-centre self-guided tours. Receive comprehensive route notes and detailed maps so you always know where you're going, no matter where you are. For the days you're not walking, take advantage of our regional guides to seek out information on the local area, so you can enjoy a spot of sightseeing... or just spend the day lounging by the pool!

Each of our self-guided walking tours can cater to all abilities. Many people bring children on our easier independent walking holidays and, of course, you can always carry infants in a papoose. Families staying in one place can have more choice over routes and how strenuous or easy-going you want your days to be. Alternatively, you can view our guided walking holidays if you'd like a little more direction.

Begin planning your exciting independent walking tour by browsing our list of holidays below. You'll find plenty of information on the location you'd like to visit, including dates, prices and itineraries.

Where can I go on a self-guided walking holiday in France?

Our self-guided walking holidays allow you to explore idyllic sights and immerse yourself in authentic French culture at your leisure. To help you decide on where to go, we've listed some of our favourite destinations below:

Mont Blanc

The highest mountain in western Europe is one of the oldest treks in the world. With captivating views, years of history and breathtaking beauty, prepare to experience an adventure of a lifetime. Admire the French, Swiss and Italian Alps in all their glory and venture along the 170km trail that crosses all three countries.

Normandy

Discover classic rural landscapes and visit the beaches of the D-Day landings for a poignant look into history. Stroll through glorious fields and peaceful valleys surrounded by orchards and grazing cows. Indulge in the region's famous cuisine of delicious cider and camembert.

Bordeaux

The prestigious vineyards of Bordeaux and Medoc are waiting for you. It's ideal for both wine and history lovers, so take a trip through the exquisite French countryside and spot medieval houses, abbeys and Romanesque churches. Embark on the famous wine tour and satisfy your palette with sweet whites and rich reds.

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Basque Country : From the Mountains to the Ocean
France: The Pyrenees

Basque Country : From the Mountains to the Ocean

Journey from the peaks of the Pyrenees to the shores of the Atlantic encountering the charm of the Basque countryside with every step.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW06BC
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1429per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 5 evening meals
  • Route notes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Normandy Walk from Deauville to Bayeux - Deluxe
France: Normandy

Normandy Walk from Deauville to Bayeux - Deluxe

Facing the sea with feet in the sand, take a breath and experience the authentic Normandy with historical places including D-Day landing beaches, the generous cuisine, orchards and half-timbered houses.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW07NS
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1499per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  

  • 2 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfast
  • Route notes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Chateaux Of The Loire Walk
France: The Loire

Chateaux Of The Loire Walk

This gentle walking trip is a fabulous introduction to the Loire Valley. Your route will lead you from a chateau to another including the most famous ones such as Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, Chenonceau and Amboise. Warm, friendly hotels and great regional cuisine.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW07LO
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1649per person, tour only

  • 7 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 2 evening meals
  • Navigation app provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
North Corsican Wonders Between Coast and Mountains
France: Corsica

North Corsican Wonders Between Coast and Mountains

From Bastia to Calvi, discover the north coast with stunning landscapes, paradise beaches, heritage and rich tradition.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW07CI
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1499per person, tour only

  • 3 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All Breakfasts and 1 picnic lunch
  • Route notes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Coastal Walking in Brittany
France: Brittany

Coastal Walking in Brittany

A walk on the Brittany coastline from St Malo to the World Wonder Mont St Michel. Walk the famous custom's path and enjoy bird watching and exceptional views. This path offers anyone who walks it a large breath of fresh ocean air and stunning sea views.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW06BR
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1579per person, tour only

  • 3 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 2 evening meal
  • Route notes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Landscapes of the Luberon Walk
France: Alsace

Landscapes of the Luberon Walk

Varied walking in the glorious Luberon National Park - inspiration for generations of poets, painters and writers. Wander through vineyards and olive groves to perched medieval villages and stay in delightful hotels, full of character along the way.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW08PL
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1709per person, tour only

  • 37 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 4 evening meals
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Dordogne River Walk
France: The Dordogne

Dordogne River Walk

This walking holiday explores the limestone cliffs, wooded valleys and beautiful medieval villages that are so unique to France's Dordogne region. World famous prehistoric sites and fine local wines add a further dimension to a stay here.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW08DO
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1669per person, tour only

  • 26 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 5 evening meals
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking The Vineyards of Champagne
France: Champagne

Walking The Vineyards of Champagne

explore and taste every day what is hidden behind the bubbles that help us toast good news. Pop the cork and let the bubbles speak for themselves.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04CH
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £999per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Route notes provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Mont Blanc Walks – Short Break
France: Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Walks – Short Break

This short break features the famous trails of Mont Blanc where we’ve selected some of the most beautiful sections around this iconic mountain. You’ll be based in the bustling adventure hub of Chamonix, surrounded by mountaineers with an exciting atmosphere.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04MT
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £999per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Chateaux Of The Loire Walk - Short Break
France: The Loire

Chateaux Of The Loire Walk - Short Break

This gentle hotel-to-hotel short break walking holiday is a fabulous introduction to the Loire Valley. Your route will lead you from a chateau to another including the most famous ones such as Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, Chenonceau and Amboise. Warm, friendly hotels and great regional cuisine.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04LO
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1079per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 1 evening meals
  • Navigation app provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace- Short Break
France: Alsace

Villages & Vineyards of Alsace- Short Break

During a short break, discover some of the most beautiful villages in France; Colmar, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, with their brightly-coloured, half-timbered buildings decked with window boxes spilling with geraniums and traditional ornamental features.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04AS
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1089per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 3 evening meals
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking in Burgundy’s Vineyards - Short Break
France: Burgundy

Walking in Burgundy’s Vineyards - Short Break

In Burgundy, enjoying a good meal is more than a tradition this is the culture! Savour Burgundy's 'Art de Vivre' through its great vineyards and the numerous gourmet products that you will taste along your route. Get your taste buds ready to be delighted.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04BN
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1099per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 3 evening meals
  • Route notes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking The Vineyards of Champagne - Deluxe
France: Champagne

Walking The Vineyards of Champagne - Deluxe

explore and taste every day what is hidden behind the bubbles that help us toast good news. Pop the cork and let the bubbles speak for themselves.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04CU
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1189per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Route notes provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Normandy Walk from Deauville to Bayeux
France: Normandy

Normandy Walk from Deauville to Bayeux

Facing the sea with feet in the sand, take a breath and experience the authentic Normandy with historical places including D-Day landing beaches, the generous cuisine, orchards and half-timbered houses.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW07NM
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1289per person, tour only

  • 5 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfast
  • Route notes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Mont Blanc Walks – Short Break Premium
France: Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc Walks – Short Break Premium

This short break features the famous trails of Mont Blanc where we’ve selected some of the most beautiful sections around this iconic mountain. You’ll be based in the bustling adventure hub of Chamonix, surrounded by mountaineers with an exciting atmosphere.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW04MP
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration4 nights, single centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1299per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking in the Vineyards of Bordeaux and Medoc
France: Bordeaux

Walking in the Vineyards of Bordeaux and Medoc

Walk at your own pace and let your feet guide you on a journey that combines lush countryside views and delectable tastings.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW06BO
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1439per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts and 1 evening meal
  • Route notes provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Villages & Vineyards of Alsace
France: Alsace

Villages & Vineyards of Alsace

Discover some of the most beautiful villages in France; Colmar, Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, with their brightly-coloured, half-timbered buildings decked with window boxes spilling with geraniums and traditional ornamental features.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW06AS
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1499per person, tour only

  • 5 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 5 evening meals
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking in Burgundy’s Vineyards
France: Burgundy

Walking in Burgundy’s Vineyards

In Burgundy, enjoying a good meal is more than a tradition this is the culture! Savour Burgundy's 'Art de Vivre' through its great vineyards and the numerous local products that you will taste along your route. Get your taste buds ready to be delighted.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW06BN
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1499per person, tour only

  • 6 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfast and 3 evening meals
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking the Best of the High Pyrenees
France: The Pyrenees

Walking the Best of the High Pyrenees

All the top highlights of the High Pyrenees - turquoise lakes, innumerable waterfalls, and the UNESCO Site of the Cirque du Gavarnie. Great walking on ancient footpaths, regional cuisine, and an unforgettable visit at the Summit Observatory of the Pic du Midi.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW07PR
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration7 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1749per person, tour only
  • NEW FOR 2024  

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts and evening meals
  • Route notes provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking Tour du Mont Blanc
France: Mont Blanc

Walking Tour du Mont Blanc

An immersive adventure along the famous trails of Mont Blanc, we’ve selected the most outstanding sections around this iconic mountain. You’ll stay in the bustling adventure hub of Chamonix before crossing the Italian border into the classic resort of Courmayeur.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW07MT
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration7 nights, twin centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1849per person, tour only
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Walking Tour du Mont Blanc - Premium
France: Mont Blanc

Walking Tour du Mont Blanc - Premium

An immersive adventure along the famous trails of Mont Blanc, we’ve selected the most outstanding sections around this iconic mountain. These historic paths offer dramatic panorama, deep mountain lakes, and spectacular snow-capped summits. You’ll stay in the bustling adventure hub of Chamonix before crossing the Italian border into the classic resort of Courmayeur.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeW07MP
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration7 nights, twin centre
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1999per person, tour only

  • 1 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Dordogne Activities
France: The Dordogne

Dordogne Activities

Combine three of our exciting holidays to experience the ultimate activity holiday in the Dordogne. Two days of safe, leisurely canoeing with a choice of easy walking or cycling on the other days.

DEPARTURE MONTHS

JFMAMJJASOND

  • Holiday codeM08DO
  • Holiday typeMulti activity holiday
  • Duration8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From £1719per person, tour only

  • 29 Reviews
  • All accommodation
  • All continental breakfasts and 5 evening meals
  • Bike hire included
  • Headwater navigation provided
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

    Self Guided walking holidays in France

    Overall customer rating, based on 128 reviews

Frequently asked questions

What's the difference between hotel-to-hotel and single-centre self-guided walking holidays?

Our hotel-to-hotel walking holidays allow you to discover your chosen holiday region at your own pace. Each holiday is graded depending on your experience and fitness levels. Here, you'll move between hotels every two days while the local Headwater team transport your bags, so you won't need to worry about carrying your luggage with you.

Our single-centre holidays mean you'll be spending your evenings in one base hotel for the duration of the trip. That way, you can settle in and make yourself at home. You'll be provided with a list of walking routes to follow but you're completely free to walk as and when you wish. This holiday is particularly ideal for those who prefer a less active break.

Is France good for self-guided walking?

France is the perfect place for you to take the reins on a self-guided walking holiday. There are so many places to explore, from coastal towns and medieval villages to iconic mountain ranges and quiet countryside.

Venturing on foot allows you to choose the pace you move. Whether you want to challenge yourself or soak in the atmosphere, you're free to select the walking route that best suits you. When you're ready to settle down at your hotel for the night, your luggage will be ready and waiting for you.

What should I wear for my walking holiday in France?

The weather is usually warm and pleasant in France so it's important to dress for the conditions. Make sure to wear comfortable, breathable clothing and sturdy walking boots, as you'll be spending a lot of time on your feet! If the weather is particularly hot and sunny, don't forget to wear sunglasses, a hat and plenty of high-SPF sunblock.

However, if you're heading to a cooler part of the country, it's important to be prepared for all circumstances. Thermal layers plus waterproof trousers and jacket will keep you warm and dry while on the move.

What is the best month to walk in France?

We have a large selection of self-guided walking tours in France that operate throughout the year. If you're planning on exploring the rural French countryside, make the most of the warmer climate and depart between the spring and summer months. That way, you can wander through the lush meadows, admire the rolling hills and enjoy wine-tasting in the sunshine.

Alternatively, if you're taking on the country's mountainous regions, we advise travelling in late summer (July to September). This is so you can avoid the harsh weather conditions that these areas usually experience throughout winter.

What is the most beautiful part of France?

There are so many stunning areas of France that will truly take your breath away. Mont Blanc boasts enchanting views with its snow-capped summit and mirrored lakes.Step into a real-life fairy tale when you visit the Loire, with its mesmerising chateaux and unspoilt landscapes, or head to the paradise beaches of Corsica and immerse yourself among the idyllic shorelines and azure waters.

How many days do you need for a walking holiday in France?

Our self-guided walking holidays in France typically last between four and eight nights. This is to ensure you get the most out of your holiday and have time to explore your surroundings and enjoy the carefully crafted itinerary that our local experts have put together. They're all designed so that you also have enough time to relax in the excellent accommodation provided.

Why choose a self-guided walking tour in France with Headwater?

With nearly 40 years' experience in the travel industry, you can count on us to make sure your walking holiday is an unforgettable one. We cater to leisurely strollers and adventure-seekers alike, so here's why you should book your next holiday with Headwater:

  • Happy customers: Our 4.6 rating on Feefo is a reflection of our outstanding customer service and holiday offering.

  • Carefully crafted: Our handpicked itineraries are carefully reviewed using our five-step approval process, to be certain we only take our customers to the very best walking destinations.

  • Award-winning holidays: We were voted Best Travel Company to Western Europe by the British Travel Awards 2023.

  • Book with confidence: All our holidays are ABTA- and ATOL-protected. Don't forget to review your key rights before booking with us.

  • Sustainability goals: We're striving to become Nature Net Positive and working hard to reduce the impact our tours have on the environment. You can view our list of goals in our People, Places & Planet plan.

  • Giving back: We hope to support local communities through the Exodus Travels Foundation, supporting disaster relief and social and conservation causes around the world.

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