France's mountain ranges

  • View of Mont Blanc

    View of Mont Blanc

    © Atout France/Franck Charel

France's mountain ranges

The Alps  

The Alps can be divided into two distinct areas. The Northern Alps are synonymous with the high mountains, including the emblematic peak, Mont Blanc, and offer visitors a whole host of activities, including family hikes around mountain lakes, and downhill and Nordic skiing. The Southern Alps enjoy 300 days of sunshine per year and offer the option of numerous activities within the national parks located in the region, which acts as a transition between Northern and Southern France. Gradually, pine trees give way to larch, and footpaths bear the evocative scent of lavender and thyme the closer you get to Provence and its olive groves. 

The Pyrenees

Separating France from Spain, this mountain range creates an imposing and continuous barrier between the Mediterranean and Atlantic across a distance of 430km. The Pyrenean chain is made up of regions full of colour and home to legendary sights such as the Cirque de Gavarnie, the Pic du Midi and numerous spa resorts.

The Jura

Appearing as a natural comma along the French-Swiss border, the Jura offer visitors gentle mountain landscapes far from the madding tourist crowds. The range is a paradise for ski touring and cross-country skiing enthusiasts in family resorts such as Métabief, Monts Jura and Les Rousses.

The Vosges

60% of the Vosges is covered with forest, with its mountains extending across 7 départements.The Vosges offer visitors a veritable open-air spectacle with a choice of activities (sports, leisure pursuits, touring, wellbeing etc) adapted to the requirements of visitors.

The Massif Central

The Massif Central is first and foremost a region dedicated to nature, and its chain of volcanoes, Mont-Dore, Super Besse and dozens of lakes bear witness to its wild character. Boasting no fewer than 11 nature reserves (the largest concentration in Europe), it is made up of a mosaic of famous areas, such as Aubrac, the Cévennes etc.

Corsica

The “Island of Beauty” enchants visitors with its astonishing landscapes, extraordinary colours, scents of the maquis, constant sunshine and preserved traditions. Corsica is a land of contrasts between the sea and the mountains, where hiking is the main activity par excellence.

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