Hey! I’m Melinda.
I am a keen long-distance walker who enjoys nothing more than spending a week or two wandering through the picturesque villages and glorious countryside of rural France—always finishing the day, of course, with a delicious meal and a verre de rosé. I’m not particularly fit, older than you might think and I want you to experience the joys of long-distance walking too.
So…if you’ll provide the boots, I’ll provide the inspiration and all the practical tips you need to set out safely and confidently on the walk of your dreams!
My love affair with France began in 2006 when I spent one month travelling extensively throughout the country on my own. Motivated primarily by a fear of driving through large cities (and around the Arc de Triomphe in particular), I stayed in smaller towns—Bayeux, Chenonceaux, Vézelay, Pérouges, Annecy and Avignon—and while avoiding the major highways, I discovered that rural France is filled with gorgeous villages and stunning countryside.
And what better way to experience all the delights of rural France than to walk one of the hundreds of well-marked walking paths—all part of a network overseen by the Fédèration Française de la Randonnée Pédestre (FFRP).
Several of my friends also thought this sounded like a mighty fine idea and as I started to do a little more research, I had many questions—
- How far would we need to walk each day? Would there be accommodation at frequent intervals or would we have to walk thirty kilometres (twenty miles) every day?
- Would we always be sharing a room with a dozen snoring strangers?
- If one of us was injured, was there a local taxi we could call?
- Would we need a picnic lunch every day or would we pass a café?
- If it rained or we got distracted by too many historical monuments, could we catch a bus to the next town?
- Did we need to start out with 200 bandaids or could we buy more up along the way?
- What would the countryside be like—lush green hills, vineyards, mountainous terrain?
- What would we need to take?
Maybe you have these questions too? Or if you didn’t already, you do now!
Walking in France is such a fabulous experience that I can’t bear for it to end up in the ‘too hard basket’ so my goal is to make it oh so easy for you to—
Find the walk that captures your imagination—whether that be fairytale castles and tiny villages; wide open spaces or rugged coastlines; or an easy, flat walk (or cycle) along a canal towpath.
Put together a schedule that allows plenty of time to explore those fairytale castles; includes a rest day—or a lazy afternoon—in one of France’s most beautiful villages; and coincides with the local market day.
Whether you set out each morning and walk as far as feels comfortable or you have your luggage transferred and need your accommodation booked in advance, it’s always nice to know where your next bed is and how to contact your host!
You’ll find loads of practical tips here to help you plan the perfect trip.
If there is anything you are still mulling over, send me an email or comment anywhere you see a ‘Share your thoughts …’ box.
Where to find me
I could be anywhere! I know there are many other countries with equally wonderful walking paths and it is my aim to experience them all. I look forward to one day bringing you I Love Walking in Italy, I Love Walking in England, I Love Walking in Wales – it’s an endless list.
Until then, I’ll concentrate on France (maybe I’m there right now!) and hope this blog provides a mixture of inspiration and practical advice. I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will share your thoughts and experiences. All feedback or suggestions for topics are welcome.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are ready to start planning now, grab a guidebook
If not, keeping browsing through the ‘most beautiful villages’ and glorious countryside of rural France.
Let’s go, or as the French would say – Allons-y!