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These boots were made for walking

Six tips to prepare for a French walking holiday

A walking holiday is a fantastic way to see the countryside or coast at a leisurely pace, allowing you to take the sights, sounds and smells in as you go.

But if you’ve never been on a waling holiday before, what do you need to know, and how do you need to prepare yourself? Read on for our definitive guide to getting yourself geared up to get your walking boots on.

Plan your route.

The good news is that booking a walking holiday with Belle France means that the hard work is done for you. We have pre-prepared walking routes for you to take each day, and we’ve categorised them into varying levels of difficulty. So, for example, our easy walks cover between 6-12 miles a day on flat or gently undulating ground, medium will be up to 14 miles on more rolling terrain with some steep ascents, and our tough routes will be up to 16 miles a day and you’ll likely to be trekking at a height and need to know your way around a map. So you’ll just need to work out which routes will be right for you.

Get yourself some maps

Again, the good news is that Belle France has all this organised. Three weeks before you go on your holiday, depending which holiday you've selected, we'll either send you our newly updated route notes which now include route maps, or for certain holidays we'll send you out fully marked up IGN maps. In either case we’ll mark out the routes you’ll be going on each day. There’s a step-by-step guide to the route, based on our own experience having walked it ourselves, so you’ll know what to look out for and where you can stop along the way for refreshments, for example.

Prepare yourself

If you aren’t used to walking longer distances, then it’s a good idea to get some practice in before you go. You want to ensure you enjoy your holiday, so doing some walking beforehand will help you prepare and lessen the chances of aching muscles at the end of the day!

Get the right gear

You’ll need some good walking boots (again, a good idea to get used to wearing them before you go), a rucksack, waterproofs in case of rain, and other layers of clothing, It’s also a good idea to have a waterproof pouch to keep your maps in, and you might want to take a water bottle which you can keep filled up. A first aid kit is handy, and you might want to consider taking some hiking poles. Don’t worry about carting your luggage around with you each day, your suitcases will be transferred to the next hotel for you, so all you need is to concentrate on taking the day’s essentials

Think about food and drink

We will identify places to stop along the route where you can get something to eat and drink. However, it’s advisable to keep water with you at all times, as well as some snacks in your rucksack in case you need some energy along the way. Again, we’ll let you know if you need to get anything prepared before you head out.

Finally, enjoy yourself!

With all your planning done in advance, there’s nothing left to do but enjoy your holiday!

So whether you’d like to follow our pre-planned routes, or would like to make your own way, please do get in touch and we can advise you. We’ve walked all the routes ourselves, so we can give you a first-hand account of the area. Call us on +44 (0)1580 214 010, or send us an email to find out more.

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