Don’t worry about the calories in those buttery croissants or in the cassoulet dish made with goose fat, bacon, and pork! You’re in France.

There’s no need to worry as you can have an amazing “active” holiday in this beautiful country – seeing historical sites and burning a few calories at the same time.

French Alps Refuge du Nant Hike

How about hiking up here? French Alps Refuge du Nant trail

An active holiday in France

More and more boomers are choosing to stay active when they travel, not by “exercising,” per se, but by tying activities into their travels.

Instead of hopping on a bus to see a site, boomers are biking, running, hiking or walking there.

Every major city has walking tours which combine sightseeing with a little history and a few kilometers. In France, it’s so easy to remain active as the country is varied enough to have the seaside, mountains, great surfing locations, trails and numerous running races all over the country.

Kayaking on the River Gardon by the Pont du Gard

Kayaking on the River Gardon by the Pont du Gard

Activity options

Interested in biking? France is host to the “Tour de France” so biking is incredibly popular. You won’t have a problem renting a bike or finding a bicycle tour.

When I did a tour in Burgundy we were out by 9 am, visited a Gothic church, had a picnic lunch, rode along the Canal du Bourgogne, did some wine tasting and got back to our hotel by 4 pm with enough time for a swim and aperitif before dinner. We covered 50 kilometers seeing interesting sites and having numerous experiences all in one day.

20 km de Paris

20 km de Paris

Want to ski? France hosted the winter Olympics in Chamonix, Grenoble and Albertville, so you’ll find excellent winter and summer sports facilities and resorts. I discovered that the hiking routes are well organized in the Alps. On a beautiful July day, I hiked up to 2,080 meters and was rewarded with a delicious traditional French meal at the refuge near the top. The scenery, fresh air, French food and sense of accomplishment couldn’t be beat. It was worth the 2-¼ hour hike.

I’ve remained active when I’ve traveled to France by doing a variety of activities. You might consider trying one of them – and it doesn’t have to be a marathon, although the ones I talk about might encourage you to take up marathon running!

Author Janice Chung at Marathon du Medoc

Author Janice Chung at Marathon du Medoc, enjoying her active holiday in France


What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?

  • Wide variety of experiences that the traveler can choose depending on the fitness level and interest
  • Activities can be done independently or on a tour
  • Historical aspects of the place you are visiting are often tied into your walking or biking tour
  • You can indulge in guilt-free gourmet meals when actively vacationing in France!

Take note

  • Be aware of your fitness level, ability and any limitations (e.g., ability to walk, bike or hike great distances in a day)
  • It’s important to thoroughly research the tour. Some bike tours, for example, have you biking an average of 60 kilometers a day for 7 hours. Not everyone wants to be doing this much biking.

Be sure to get the whole scoop on enjoying an active holiday in France on France Travel Tips!

Active Boomer in France                                                                        

*All photo credits (except lead photo): Janice Chung


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