They are all short-distance loop trails with an acceptable difficulty level, which makes them suitable for short breaks and day hikes, and for any kind of hiker or walker. You can download these GPS trails and waypoints from Google Maps.
Cirque de Gavarnie, near Gavarnie (Midi-Pyrénées)
Distance: 13 km – Uphill: 924 m – Downhill: 924 m – Time: 5:00/6:10 hrs
Located within the Pyrénées National Park, this glacial cirque is approx. 3,000 m wide at the top and features a spectacular natural gap (La Brèche de Roland) and the highest waterfall in mainland France.
Basses de Monars, near Lamanère (Région Languedoc-Roussillon)
Distance: 11 km – Uphill: 811 m – Downhill: 811 m – Time: 4:20/5:20 hrs
This circular route starts from Les Basses de Monars (1,300 m) at the foothills of Mount Comanegra, on the border between Catalonia (Spain) and France.
Tour du Queyras, near Pied du Mélézet (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur)
Distance: 11 km – Uphill: 808 m – Downhill: 808 m – Time: 4:20/5:20 hrs
A smooth ascent to Lac Miroir and Lac St. Anne from Ceillac (Pied du Mélézet), a charming little mountain village located in the Queyras Regional Nature Park.
Puy de Lassolas, near Randanne (Auvergne)
Distance: 12 km – Uphill: 481 m – Downhill: 528 m – Time: 3:40/4:40 hrs
With a surface area of 26,013 sq km, Auvergne is one of the smallest regions in France. It is known for its mountain ranges and dormant volcanoes.
Le Site des 2 Caps, near Le Châtelet (Hauts-de-France)
Distance: 12 km – Uphill: 194 m – Downhill: 172 m – Time: 3:10/3:50 hrs
This department in northern France borders the strait at the narrowest part of the English Channel. Le Site des 2 Caps became a Grand Site de France in 2011.
Best time to go to France: Apr-Jun and Sep-Oct
Backpacker cost per day: 74 USD = 62 EUR
For more inspiration, check out our France Travel Guide.
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