Nature: walks in the 4 seasons in France

Nature: walks in the 4 seasons in France

     Summer     Autumn     Winter     Spring

 

Landscape and atmosphere offer an infinite variety throughout the year, under the influence of a remarkably varied climate: ocean, continental, Mediterranean and mountain. A multitude of unique and original characteristics add up to an eclectic environment, full of promise and surprises... at all times!

One of France's main riches is the extent and diversity of its landscapes.From north to south and from east to west, rural landscape covers 80% of the country. Full of contrast, it is simply an invitation to explore.

In SummerFavourable everywhere where nature rules supreme, summer is the perfect opportunity for visiting the rural areas in the North and East, or the coastline in the Manche, department, where the green fields with their hedgerows are criss-crossed with quiet little roads. Rural life bustles with a thousand and one activities, from the harvests in July to the village fêtes which are a wonderful way to discover the local produce and traditional dishes.In the forests (the largest in Europe) there are wonderful opportunities for escapades in the undergrowth, where the temperatures are cooler.The high leafy forests in the northern half of the country or the dense undergrowth of the mountain pine forests are more favourable and rich in biodiversity. A summer heat wave, pleasant enough at the seaside but less easy to bear, or even dangerous, further inland, restricts access to the dense Mediterranean garrigues and the bright pine forests of the southwest. But there are plenty of other opportunities to see them!The mountain regions are perfect for hiking of all kinds, from exquisite valleys to prestigious mountain peaks. A multitude of lakes, in the heart of the massifs or in the plains, add a touch of freshness here and there. And the period of the grape harvest animates many regions in September, when the weather is often still fine.

In AutumnThe onset of cold weather in autumn is no obstacle to the "connoisseurs" who love the brilliant colours of the leaves which transform the month of October into an impressionist's palette. By contrast, the southern regions retain the unique monochrome of the pine forests which cover most of the area. The stag's bell in the Val de Loire or elsewhere and the rutting combats of the beautiful chamois that live in all the mountains can be observed (discreetly), if accompanied by a forest warden or nature reserve keeper. Picking mushrooms or wild berries (blueberries and blackberries) is also one of the delights of an autumn walk. Hikers are eventually replaced by hunters. The nearby islands, from the contours of Brittany to the Provencal coastline or Corsica, benefit from their own microclimate which prolongs the mild weather and beautiful colours of autumn. In WinterAlthough relatively mild, its geographical would suggest, all mountain regions France often covered with a lovely white mantel snow. This provides plenty winter holiday destinations which are greatly appreciated their ice sports activities, well as giving ideas for excursions recharge your batteries, especially on snow shoes, from Alps to Pyrenees the Vosges. Even when frozen and sleeping, nature is full of attractions.Even the harsh wind (or winds, as each mountain range and each hidden corner has its own type of wind with its own particular name!) can create an atmosphere of adventure and charm for enthusiasts of "untamed nature", in the Massif Central or the Jura for example. And of course, there is plenty of scope for local gastronomy too.

In SpringThe signs of Spring come early to the Riviera with its profusion of mimosa and to the heart of Provence, where the almond and cherry trees, followed by other fruit trees, produce an exquisite show of bright colours beginning in early March. Later on, in June, the neat rows of blue lavender fields paint the Mediterranean hillsides. All these décors should be enjoyed early in the year.The numerous marshlands are home to flocks of migratory birds from April onwards. These are all valuable ecosystems that must be treated with respect as you go on your observation walks. And the rivers never fail to attract fishing enthusiasts, while fresh water sailors enjoy the canals during the fine weekends in May. They days are getting longer and promise plenty of leisure and nature activities, to be enjoyed at your own pace. Everywhere, the well-preserved wide-open spaces and the cosier sites offer unparalleled diversity, which is always ready to start a new cycle...

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