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What to pack?

Don't forget your toothbrush

Our walking and cycling holidays are designed to enable you to enjoy the best of France at a leisurely pace. Most don’t require any specialist equipment, but there are some essentials that we advise you to pack. Full details are sent out in your travel pack.

For all Belle France holidays

  • Passports – Your passport must be valid for 3 months beyond your stay and issued within the past 10 years. Visas are not normally required for British, EU, US, Australian, New Zealand or Canadian nationals dependent upon your length of stay.
  • Your Belle France Travel pack - Including your route notes, maps if applicable and any hotel/travel vouchers. Travel packs are sent out approximately 8 weeks before you are due to travel.
  • Euros – In some rural locations credit cards may not be accepted, though this is becoming rarer. Visa & Mastercard are the most commonly accepted credit cards. We would always recommend taking some cash for those on the road expenses.
  • Travel insurance – Don’t forget to ensure you’re covered for any travel and stop-overs en-route to France. If you’re travelling from the UK, don’t forget your free EHIC card. The EHIC card is not an alternative to travel insurance as it does not cover private medical healthcare or repatriation.
  • Adaptors – France uses type E/C Europlugs, so if you’re travelling from most places outside of Europe you’ll need an adaptor. Supply is between 220 – 240 volts at 50Hz
  • First aid kit – A small 1st aid kit ensures that you are ready for any minor emergency.
  • Waterproofs – Let’s hope you don’t need them, but if you’re caught out in a downpour in the Pyrenees you’ll regret not packing them.
  • Sunblock – The sun can be particularly fierce in the south of France, especially in the summer. Don’t forget a hat too!
  • Sunglasses – These are a virtual necessity, if you are taking one of our cycling holidays, they will also keep grit and bugs out of your eyes.
  • Water bottle – On many of our walks you’re not far away from civilisation, but a cool drink will often make your day more comfortable. Tap water from hotels is almost always 'potable,' but it’s always worth checking with the hotelier.
  • Books – If you prefer paper over ebooks, then there is no need to scrimp on reading material as we transfer your luggage for you. You can see some of our favourite holiday reads on our blog.
  • Swimwear – Municipal pools do not let men bathe in swimming shorts, so ‘Speedos’ or swimming trunks are required. Many pools also require bathers to wear a swimming cap for both men & women.
  • Comfortable clothing – This needs to be suitable for the time of year at which you’re travelling. On our prestige holidays, you will require some smarter evening attire as many of the Michelin starred restaurants would frown upon trainers, jeans or shorts. Smart casual trousers, along with a shirt & shoes are our recommendation.

Walking holiday checklist

  • Comfortable footwear – We suggest well worn-in walking boots, but stout shoes or trainers are fine for many of our walks. A five-day walking holiday in the Auvergne is not the time to discover your new boots give you blisters.
  • Walking poles - You may find walking poles useful on the more challenging walking holidays.
  • Small daysack – We carry your luggage between hotels for you during the day, but you’ll want to carry many of the essentials mentioned above with you during the day.

Cycling holiday checklist

  • Comfortable, flat shoes - Our bikes are not equipped with toe clips or cleats, trainers which you can use for a short stroll if you want to get off the bike to explore are ideal. Should you prefer toe clips, these can be requested on many of our holidays.
  • Cycling shorts - Whilst our bikes are fitted with comfortable padded seats, some of our customers prefer the added comfort and padding provided by a pair of bike shorts.
  • Cycling gloves – A little extra padding on the hands doesn’t go amiss; again gloves are optional as our hybrid bikes already offer a high level of comfort.
  • Helmets - If you wish, you can bring your own helmet, but these can be provided on request as part of your holiday.
  • Small rucksack – 2 canvas panniers are provided with your bike, but a small day pack can be useful and can be strapped to the luggage rack.