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Mountains in France – A Travel Proposition of the Adventurous Kind

7 mins. read

For more than two decades, France has been the world's most popular tourist destination, attracting over 82 million international visitors each year. The country’s rich culture, delicious cuisine, great wines, charming chateaux, and stunning scenery entice visitors from all over the world, and feature on pretty much every bucket list. It is often said that if you haven't been to France, you haven't lived. Exaggerated or wise words? Maybe an actual trip will put it to bed.

France is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the world and has so much to offer. From seeing the glitz and glamour on the streets to the stunning nightlife and the highest point in France, it houses some of the most spectacular mountains and terrains in Europe. With more than 12,000 mountains, France dominates the eastern, south-central and south-western regions, forming varied landforms. If adventure is what you seek, then here is a list of the French mountains that you must bookmark: -

1. The French Alps

Lying on the border of Switzerland and Italy and the east side of the country, the French Alps are known to be the highest and most extensive mountains in France. They are commonly referred to as the French mountains and cover an area of approximately 1,200 kilos. One of the most interesting facts about the Alps is that these mountains were formed over 10 million years ago when the tectonic plates of Africa and Eurasia collided. Mont Blanc is the highest peak in the Alps, France. At 4810 metres, it is the highest peak in Europe. Unless and until you are an expert t who holds experience in climbing, reaching the summit isn’t exactly an easy affair. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in France that requires up to 2 weeks to complete the full circuit, that too for the experts.

2. The Pyrenees

Stretching from the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts in the South of France, the Pyrenean mountain ranges in France is 230 km long and, at its widest point, 129 km wide. It is home to legendary sights and numerous spa resorts, and the chain comprises of several colourful regions. The flora of the eastern side of the Pyrenees is more Mediterranean in nature, whereas the western side of the mountains is quite similar to that of central Europe. The biodiversity in the Pyrenees includes endangered brown bears as well as the rare Pyrenean desman and Pyrenean brook salamander. There are various blind insects in the Ariége caverns as well as the very endangered raptor, the lammergeier.

3. The Jura

Had there been a pop quiz asking ‘name two mountains in France’, a native is very likely to answer it with the Pyrenees and the Jura are which is a natural comma appearing along the French-Swiss border. The mountain range is made mostly of fossil-bearing limestone. Explorers, scientists, and geographers have named it the Jura Limestone; and from this originated the term ‘Jurassic era’ that refers to rocks created at the same time, 200 to 145 million years ago. Because of the limestone soil, the Jura region is suitable for vineyards and wine-tasting is quite popular among visitors here.

4. The Vosges

Unlike the Alps and Pyrenees, the Vosges mountains are associated with gentleness because of the rounded shape of their peaks, known as "ballons". The massive forest occupies 60 percent of the mountain range's surface area and is largely made up of conifers (firs, pines, and spruces) and beech trees. Nonetheless, this mountainous mass offers a diverse range of scenery, including glacial lakes, moist and high-altitude meadows, deep valleys, waterfalls, cliffs and rocks.

5. Corsica

Corsica, located around 170 kilometres from the French mainland, is largely rugged with mountain ranges encompassing two-thirds of the island. Among the main mountains in France, the Greeks refer to it as both the "Island of Beauty" and the "Mountain in the Sea". The island is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula. Corsica's vegetation differs somewhat from that of France's mainland. The natural vegetation has adapted to life here even though the island has dry heat in the summer, strong winds throughout the year, and lower temperatures on the mountain peaks. Maquis, a resistant kind of shrub, is thickly wooded on the island. Wild blueberries and strawberries can also be found at elevations of up to 600 metres.

6. Burgundy's Morvan Massif

One of the smallest mountains in France, the Morvan is constantly included in the list of the main mountains in France. The Morvan has many sites for tourists, like the huge woods filled with market routes, large lakes, and rivers, which are suitable for outdoor activities. It is one of the popular destinations for all sports enthusiasts, and it should definitely fit perfectly well into your France tour itinerary. It is a high massif in Burgundy, directly west of the Côte d'Or area which is famous for its wines and wine tourism. The granite and basalt range is essentially a northwest extension of the Central Massif.

7. The Massif Central and the Auvergne Mountains

In the greatest highland region of France, the Massif Central covers an area of 85,000 sq. km. It is well-known for its wonderful natural environment, including rivers, woods, lakes, and animals. It is one of the most famous places for hikers and ramblers because of its 100-km-long defined route between the Massif Central and the Auvergne Mountains.

Important Phrases to Know When in France

  • Hello - Bonjour
  • Good afternoon - Bon après-midi
  • Good evening - Bonne soirée
  • Goodbye - Au revoir
  • Please - S’il vous plaît
  • Thank you - Merci
  • Do you speak English? - Parlez-vous anglais?
  • I am lost! - Je suis perdu!

Getting Around

Travelling by car offers you independence, flexibility, and a ticket to rural France. Drivers use the right side of the road and pay to use highway autoroutes (motorways). The best form of local conveyance is by bicycle. But nothing beats manpower - see the cities and towns of France is on foot; the great Metro underground train system is always there to make travelling around easier.

When discussing mountains in France, one is always reminded of the Alps, and more particularly, Mont Blanc, which is the tallest mountain in France. So, if you're considering a trip to France, have a look at our well-planned France tour packages online which are reasonably priced and cater to a variety of travel demands.

November 26, 2021

Author

Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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