lundi 25 juillet 2016

Sports to try when visiting France

Visiting France for foreigners has a feel of "Yes, I've been there!!!" However, if some places are huge touristic areas (say: Paris city, Alsace, Côte d'Azur, Provence, Vallée de la Loire, the island of Corse, etc), the possibilities for enjoying my lovely country are far more diverse.

As the Olympic Games will start next month, let see which sports you can try while touring France. [Post from the MKB series during the 2016 Olympic Games]

Hiking in the mountains

A definitly easy (or not) sport to do! France has several mountain ranges, some high (Alpes, Pyrénées) and others more medium (Vosges, Massif Central). Ask the tourist office in the city or village of your choice, and they will explain you all the hiking roads and paths in the area!

Hiking in the mountains was part of my childhood experiences. Living at the foot of the Pyrénées (in Céret, Pyrénées-Orientales), each year my scholls organized a pic-nic in the mountains. We even crossed a couple of time the border between France and Spain... and if the teachers hadn't tell us, we would have never known! Because a pathway on the top of a mountain looks the same in both countries. ;-)

Lac des Bouillouses, Pyrénées-Orientales, France. Photo: Office de tourisme des PO

Canoeing on the rivers

Ok, it's not everywhere you can go canoeing, but do it if you are near gorges (= canyon): gorges du Tarn, gorges de l'Ardèche, gorges de l'Hérault, gorges du Verdon... The list is open!

My mother is not really of the adventurous type, so I never tried canoeing. I hope I will be able to do it with my kids when they will be a bit older.

image: North of the Dordogne.


Nothing is like pétanque when in holidays. That's the friendly yet competitive, slow yet precise, sport you can enjoy with your family, friends or people you know nothing about. It's a custom in the South of France, and you can play it in the whole country (we even have some pétanque sand pit in my town in Germany!!!) Be careful not to lose the cochonnet, and don't walk in the middle of game: you would be in serious danger of "verbal abuse" from the players you have disturbed. Pétanque is not a child game, it's serious matter!

Crédit photo: wikipedia

Horse riding

If you like horseriding, France has many opportunities for you to both discover the landscape and have a good time with a horse. Riding in woods, in the countryside or on the beaches, pick what you prefer!

Crédit: farandride

Rock Climbing

I tried it once in my childhood, but I'm not as balanced as needed for this sport. On this website, you have a list of all the good rock climbing places in France. You can't say you didn't know where to go!

Rock climbing in Bourgogne

Char à voile

The website of the French federation lists all the clubs where you can do some char à voile. My son has seen a video of that sport and now he can't wait to be big enough to try it! (Have I told you how adventurous he is?)

Credit: Ouest-France

Motor sports

You like to go fast or drive through the mountains? Check the website of the French Federation of Motor Sports for all the dates of the future rallyes, where you can train, etc. (website in French only). It's not my cup of tea, but I know people who love to discover a region that way.

Grand circuit du Roussillon

Skiing and everything "winter sports"

This is it! You're coming to France in winter, and you would be eager to mix touring and winter sports? Haha! We have everything you want (and more) in France! It's not for nothing that the Winter Olympic Games have been held 3 times in my country (in the Alpes)! If you go to Chamonix, Grenoble or Albertville, you will be able to play many winter sports. But you have also wonderful ski pists in the Pyrénées.


Now, you have been warned. France is a sportive country!


Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together. Today, you can find more about other travel posts about various countries thanks to our participating bloggers:

Explore Wild Nature in Latvia - Multicultural Kid Blogs
Sports to Try When Visiting France - La Cité des Vents
A Journey in South Africa - Globe Trottin' Kids
Sports to Try When Visiting France - La Cité des Vents
Traveling to Chile - La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Tomar, Portugal: the Last Templar Town - the piri-piri lexicon
7 Places to Explore in the Netherlands - Expat Life with a Double Buggy
Explore Buenos Aires, Argentina - Hispanic Mama
Kid-Friendly Vacation in Puerto Rico - Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes

Don't forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.

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