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Going on holiday in France doesn’t necessarily have to be about gorging on gourmet food and fine wine – by going on an active holiday, it is possible to see great sites whilst boosting fitness levels. Whether it’s walking holidays in Burgundy, Cycling Holidays in the Loire Valley or horseback riding holidays near Carcassonne in Bas-Languedoc, there are plenty of healthy ways to get between the chateaux and vineyards.

Active Holidays in France – Walking Holidays in Burgundy

Walking Holidays in Burgundy

There are many regions of France that are good for walking through, but Burgundy is up there amongst the best. The scenery is beautiful, but there are also opportunities to indulge in rewards after putting leather to footpath all day – Burgundy has some of France’s best food and wine.

Waymark Holidays organises a week-long walking holiday in Burgundy, with the break being bases around two centres – the market town of Meursault and medieval village of Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. On the way there are plenty of vineyards, around villages such as Pommard and Volnay, and waterways such as the Canal du Bourgogne.

Active Holidays in France – Cycling Holidays in the Loire Valley

Cycling Holidays in the Loire Valley

The sights of the Loire Valley are beautiful no matter how you get around them, but there’s far more satisfaction doing it by bicycle than bus tour or driving around. The Chain Gang runs cycling expeditions through the Loire Valley in France, which take in the châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau amongst other highlights such as the mushroom caves at Bourré and the only vineyard in the world to make wine from Romarantin grapes. Of course, it’s not all sight-seeing – there’s plenty of pedalling to get the heart going and increase fitness levels, but the scenery makes this a pleasant tour rather than a hard task.

Other great areas for cycling in France include the Alps around Chambery (although the spectacular mountain views are tempered by some steep climbs) and the Lubéron in Provence (which is much flatter).

Active Holidays in France – Horseback riding holidays in France

Horseback riding holidays in France

Carcassonne in Bas Languedoc is best known for its fabulous city walls, but the countryside around this French city is ideal for horse-riding. The four day, three night break in the area, including up to two-and-a-half days riding for those who wish to maximise their time on horseback, is available with Unicorn Trails. Suitable for total novices and experienced riders, who are separated in order to go at the pace they wish, the gentle treks through the countryside lead to picnic spots, forests, thermal baths and mysterious villages. Accommodation is on a farm, with English-speaking owners.

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