France Outdoors

Adventures in France – 14 Epic Travel Ideas

15/06/2024

Article written by Elisa - Travel Writer & Local in France
This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info.

Adventure Holidays in France

While France is famous for its beautiful cities, museums, and historical sites,  it is also full of wide-open spaces with incredible opportunities for those seeking unique and more active experiences.

With huge mountains, canyons, rock faces, and fast-flowing rivers, the country’s diverse landscape is a playground for adventure holidays in France. Whether you are into fun but tranquil activities like hot air balloon rides or adrenaline-packed activities like rafting and bungee jumping, France has it all!

With so many possible adventures in France, deciding where to go and which activity to do might be overwhelming. So I have selected the best outdoor activities in France to explore some of its most spectacular landscapes.

14 Fun and Adrenaline-Packed Activities in France

If you are looking for adventure travel in France, you are in the right place. Keep reading to discover the best adventure activities in France for a rush you will hardly forget!

1. Aquatic Hike in the Pas de Soucy, Gorges du Tarn

Aquatic Hike Gorges du Tarn

The Gorges du Tarn, in Southwest France, is a spectacular 50 km long canyon hollowed out by the Tarn River. The Gorges du Tarn is one of the best spots in France to try your hand at aquatic hikes.

Follow an expert guide inside the Pas de Soucy Canyon to learn how to read the river safely and have fun during this special hike. During the experience, you will swim, float, and jump from small to medium heights.

The aquatic hike in the Pas de Soucy is among the best adventures in France for the whole family! Click here to book the aquatic hike in the Pas de Soucy

2. Rafting down the Nive River

Rafting Nive River

If you are vacationing in Biarritz, consider taking a small day trip to the Nive River for an adventure! This 79 km long river originates in Spain, crosses the heart of the Basque Country, and ends its course in the Adour in Bayonne.

The Nive River is a fantastic spot for rafting. The experience is thrilling, with refreshing breaststrokes and rock jumps. Find an expert guide to lead you through the rafting techniques and rafting with the rest of the team for unforgettable times! Click here to book the rafting down the Nive River

3. Tandem Paragliding Flight over Lake Annecy

Paragliding Flight Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy is one of the largest lakes in France. Bordering the city of Annecy, in Eastern  France, this lake is beautiful, and there is no better way to admire the pristine lake’s waters and the surrounding landscape than by paragliding flight.

The Col de la Forclaz is a key spot for paragliding as it is protected from the wind, which allows safe tandem-flight experiences. You just need to trust your certified instructor and take flight! From the sky, you will marvel at Lake Annecy and the surrounding mountains, making life-long memories.

Tandem Paragliding Flight over Lake Annecy is, without a doubt, among the top adventure activities in France! Click here to book the tandem paragliding flight over Lake Annecy

4. Surfing in Biarritz

Surfing in Biarritz

Biarritz is one of the most popular beach destinations in France for surfers. The city lies along the Bay of Biscay, and its wavy sea makes it ideal for surfing. Stories tell that Biarritz’s Plage de la Côte des Basques is the first place anyone surfed in Europe!

So why don’t you take the surfing board and hit the waves? The best advice I can give you is to take surfing lessons from one of the many schools offering them as, depending on the seasons and water conditions, you might face strong waves. If you are with a group, there are also fun, collective surf lessons.

GOOD TO KNOW: the best months to surf in Biarritz are September and October.

5. Guided Hiking and Seal observation in Baie de Somme

Guided Hiking - Baie Somme

If you are looking for unique outdoor activities in France for the whole family, the Baie de Somme has you covered. One of the best places to visit in the Hauts-de-France region, in Northern France, the Bay of the Somme is France’s largest estuary, and the area is rich in flora and fauna.

Among the animals living here is a large colony of seals, so why not join a guided walking tour that includes watching these incredible mammals? Hike around the Baie de Somme and admire the grey and calf seals in their natural environment while learning about their behavior Click here to book a guided hike in Baie de Somme

6. Via Ferrata in Pont du Diable, Ardèche

Via Ferrata Pont del Diable - Ardèche

Ardèche is a department in Southeastern France named after the Ardeche River. The River digs 32 km of gorges, and it is a great place for adventure activities in France.

An unmissable experience is walking the so-called Via Ferrata. The name of this activity comes from the Italian language and indicates a climbing route that you need to hike with your hands and feet equipped with metal bars, cables, monkey bridges, and ladders. If you are into fun times, the Via Ferrata is for you.

The Pont du Diable course is ideal for beginners, so if you have never walked a Via Ferrata before, it is a great area to try! Click here to book the Via Ferrate in Pont du Diable

7. Sea Kayak in the Calanques of Cassis

Sea Kayak Calanques de Cassis

The Calanques National Park is a picture-perfect kayaking destination. This natural area, located between the communes of MarseilleCassis, and La Ciotat, includes a series of inlets, forests, and a vast marine area of the Mediterranean Sea, with several islands and one of the richest submarine canyons in the world.

Join a guided sea kayaking trip (half-day or full-day excursion) starting from the coastal town of Cassis. The perk of a guided tour is that the expert guide will explain the area’s biodiversity, so we suggest you opt for it.

Between discovering hidden caves, marveling at the towering cliffs, and swimming in magnificent waters (full-day option only), the Calanques of Cassis will leave you with unforgettable memories Click here to book the sea kayak in the Calanques of Cassis

8. Snowshoeing in Chamonix, near Mont Blanc

Snowshoeing - Chamonix

The iconic Mont Blanc, in Eastern France, offers plenty of outdoor activities in France, and an unmissable one is snowshoeing. Mont Blanc (4807m) is Western Europe’s highest mountain peak and is located on the border between Italy and France.

Adventure through different hiking routes in Chamonix with snowshoes to enjoy beautiful views of the majestic Mont Blanc. There are many routes available, so to have the most fun in all safety, you should choose the route according to your level of ability.

The calm atmosphere of the mountains covered in snow is the perfect background for this relaxing activity Click here to book the snowshoeing in Chamonix

9. Micro Flight over Mont Saint-Michel Bay

Micro Flight Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most recognizable buildings in France. This UNESCO site in Normandy is popular for its magnificent abbey, and the best way to discover the breathtaking Mont Saint-Michel and its bay is from the sky! 

Experience the unique sensations of flying on board a hang glider or gyroplane while admiring the panorama.

Microflight activities are not for faint hearts, as their accelerations are pretty fast and resemble those of motorbikes. But if you like some speed action, nothing is better than doing it in the air while admiring the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel! Click here to book a micro flight over Mont Saint-Michel

10. Canyoning in Canyon du Diable, Saint Guilhem le Désert

Canyon du Diable - Saint Guilhem-le-Désert

The Canyon du Diable is located right in the heart of the Gorges de L’ Hérault, on the outskirts of the beautiful village of Saint Guilhem le Désert. It is one of the most scenic spots for canyoning in the Occitanie region and France.

The Canyon du Diable is a great spot for those trying canyoning for the first time. There will be plenty of fun moments, from jumping into natural pools up to 10 meters high to being carried by the river’s current for a great experience.

Sant Guilhem le Désert and Gorges de l’Hérault make an easy day trip from Montpellier. Paddle into crystal-clear waters flowing inside limestone walls to experience one of the best natural sights that Montpellier has to offer Click here to book the canyoning in Canyon du Diable

11. Hot Air Balloon in Chenonceaux, Loire Valley

Hot Air Balloon Chenonceau - Loire Valley

One of the best outdoor activities in France is cruising the sky aboard a colorful hot-air balloon! A very special spot to do this is the Loire Valley, undoubtedly popular for its elegant châteaux.

Château de Chenonceau is one of the most beautiful Loire Valley Castles, and what could be better than admiring it from the sky?

Group your friends and family and make anticipation and excitement grow on you during the balloon inflation, and then jump on the basket and be ready to remain speechless at the sights of the castle and the surrounding landscapes from above Click here to book the hot air balloon in Chenonceaux

12. Bungee Jumping from Artuby Bridge, Gorges du Verdon

Bungee Jumping - Gorges du Verdon

The deep Gorges du Verdon, in the region of Provence, are among the most impressive canyons in Europe, with walls up to 1,500 meters high and the emerald-green waters of the Verdon River.

This spot is where to be for adrenaline-packed adventures in France, particularly bungee jumping. Built on the Gorges du Verdon is the legendary Artuby Bridge, which, with a high of 182 meters, is one of Europe’s highest bungee jumping bridges!

Test your nerves and have an unforgettable adrenaline rush by freefalling from this bridge with a breathtaking backdrop Click here to book a bungee jumping in Gorges du Verdon

13. Bouldering Session in Fontainebleau

Bouldering - Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau is a classy town 68 km from Paris, Usually visited for its Château de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau is surrounded by a lush forest with superb rock-climbing opportunities.

For an active, fun, and beginner-friendly activity, follow a certified instructor in a bouldering session while walking, jumping, climbing, and abseiling on the rocks, in all safety and with very little equipment.

The Forest of Fontainebleau is a true rock-climbing paradise, one of the best places for bouldering in France, so don’t miss it! Click here to book a bouldering session in Fontainebleau

14. Dog Sledding in Avoriaz, French Alps

Dog Sledging in Avoriaz - French Alps

The stunning French Alps is one of the best places for adventure holidays in France. Here, you can do one of the most special outdoor activities in France in winter: dog sledding.

The French Alps boast awe-inspiring mountains and pristine forests. In the ski resort town of Avoriaz, you can learn how to take care of a team of two or three sled dogs with the help of a professional musher.

As soon as everything is set to go, you are off for an unforgettable ride in the snowy landscape of the Alps while bonding with adorable Husky dogs. The memories you will make will last a lifetime, guaranteed! Click here to book a dog sledding session in the French Alps

Back to Homepage