– La Voie Bleue – Moselle-Saône à Vélo launched in June last year. This national cycle route stretches from Apach, on France’s border with Luxembourg, 700km to Lyon. Crossing France from north to south, it forms a major cycle link between northern Europe and the Mediterranean. The route first meanders gently beside the Moselle River, then follows the Canal des Vosges before running beside the Saône River to Lyon, the great city at the confluence of Saône and Rhône. From Lyon, you can continue along the ViaRhôna (or EuroVelo 17) right down to the Mediterranean.
– La Dolce Via offers cyclists a gentle trip into the heart of the dramatic, unspoilt landscapes of Ardèche. It’s a 90km route connected to the ViaRhôna, with seven different itineraries along a former railway converted into a greenway. Enjoy fruit orchards, old mills and remarkable works of engineering prowess along the way. It’s also connected to Lamastrevia, a steam train on which bikes are permitted.
– ‘Vélo & Fromages, à la Découverte des Départements’. The department of Cantal offers two themed, signposted cycling trails based around its cheese heritage: the Grande Traverséedu Volcan à Vélo (GT2V) and the Cantal section of the Grande Traversée du Massif Central à VTT (GTMC VTT).
– Terra Volcana, Auvergne: listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2018, with 2,000km of hiking trails. From the famous Puy Pariou with the unique Puy des Gouttes to the iconic summit of the Puy de Dôme (1,465m), the exceptional views look across a region that has been marked by a tumultuous geological history. Imagine 80 volcanoes, each one different from the others, lined up over an area 45km long and 3km wide.
– Four-day trek in the Tanargue, Ardèche
Head out from Largentière making for the Chemin des Crêtes, staying at over 1,000m for much of the way. You can hike for 63km in total, through chestnut, beech and pine woods and past peat bogs. The Tanargue boasts countless breathtaking landscapes and makes a lovely getaway, following in the footsteps of local shepherds.
Considered one of the toughest GR routes, this challenging 180km trail runs the length of the Mediterranean island of Corsica, another of France’s top outdoor destinations. Although it takes around 15 days to complete, the route can be divided into two stages: the northern part between Calenzana and Vizzavona, and the southern part between Vizzavona and Conca. Mountain huts along the route offer basic accommodation and food between May and October.
– Zip wire at Monts Jura
The great Monts Jura zip wire at the Col de la Faucille, the steepest of its kind in France, has now begun operating. It’s quite an experience, with a shift in altitude of 312m along its 905m and a 37% slope, your speed reaching 90kph. You’ll get a big shot of adrenaline as you launch from the platform above a great drop, but soon you’ll begin to savour the descent, which ends quite gently at the village of Mijoux.
– Paddleboarding at Bourg-Saint-Andéol, Ardèche
This brand-new activity is available on the Vieux Rhône (Old Rhône), an unspoilt natural setting. David Deux from the Outdoor Academy runs sessions for all abilities, either one to one or in a group on a giant paddleboard made for four to six people. There’s also the Apéropad, a romantic experience for two departing from Bourg-Saint-Andéol.