lieux marche nordique

The top 10 locations for Nordic walking in France

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Whether it is in the countryside, at the seaside or in the mountains, Nordic walking gives prominence to nature lovers. But make no mistake: Nordic walking can be practised anywhere, even in town, giving everyone the opportunity to explore their favourite spot for practising the sport. Let's have a look at our selection of routes for making the most of the benefits of the sport!

Signposted Nordic walking routes

Advantage: you start and finish in the same place and benefit from a high-quality, signposted itinerary with information boards presenting the location as well as warm-up, stretching and other exercises.

  1.  Olhain nature reserve (Pas-de-Calais) is the first (2012) to have laid down two initiation circuits covering a distance of 4 and 6 km respectively. They give you a superb view of the Château of Olhain and the Artois hills. Another advantage: sessions are regularly organised there, led by coaches, and you can hire poles at the entrance to the itinerary, which is very practical if you still don't have any!
  2. You will also find signposted routes in the Dordogne, particularly in the north of the département with 5 signposted paths in the Nordic Park of Trélissac. A park where beginners learn on a flat 5 km route and the more battle-hardened can try out more challenging routes covering more than 15 km.
  3. Discover the Côte d’Opale starting from Audinghen on the Deux-Caps site. There are 3 routes of varying level of difficulty (green, blue and red) tailored to your level of ability. They will lead you to the Cap Gris-Nez, the forest of Harringzelle or on a walk through the dunes. A site with a great variety landscapes and circuits to choose from!

 

  1. At Saint-Julien-en-Genevois in Haute-Savoie, between Annecy and Geneva, there are 2 easy circuits (3.8 km and 6.1 km) with Nordic walking signs that are open all year round. These walks, which involve a few uphill and downhill sections, have some fantastic views of Lake Geneva and the surrounding region. Perfect for getting you motivated to walk!

Nordic walking surrounded by nature, beside the sea or in the mountains

Nordic walking in the countryside is guaranteed to be really refreshing and has the added physical challenge of walking in sand, on mountainsides or snow-covered terrain. Here are some essential locations that are really worth the visit if you are unfamiliar with the region.

  1. In the Gironde region, the itinerary of La Laurence offers a selection of 3 circuits: 26 km (blue), 36 km (red) or 46 km (black). This route can be reached from various locations: Salleboeuf (Place Carnot), Pompignac (football stadium), Saint-Sulpice (Chalet La Laurence) and Cameyrac (Lamothe stadium).

Please note: these routes that are on rural trails and private footpaths are not used exclusively for Nordic walking and are closed during the hunting season.

  1. The essential route for seasoned walkers is undoubtedly Villars-de-Lans! Known as the venue for the Euro Nordic Walk, the Vercors offers some majestic and challenging routes. From 7 to 25 km, with climbs ranging from 250 to 1350 m, these hiking routes are not exclusively used for Nordic walking, although they are perfectly suited to it!
  2. As you return to the Nord region, there is the regional nature reserve of the Avesnois, which offers several circuits, including the circuit of the 4 churches: 17.4 km starting from Ferrière-la-Petite or Ferrière-la-Grande.
  3. And if you prefer the seaside, the Ile de Ré is sure to impress! Go on a 15.5 km Nordic walk from Ars-en-Ré along the salt pans, the Martray embankment, through the forest of La Combe à l’Eau and return via Le Fier to finish up at the port. The scenery is magical…

Living in a city?

Although you don't get the pure air and wide open spaces of the countryside, towns can be a very entertaining walking location. A large number of urban routes pass through parks, along footpaths on riverbanks or offer unusual locations to break up your training exercises.

  1. Combine sports and culture with the Paris Crossing, from the Bois de Boulogne (Porte Maillot) to the Bois de Vincennes (Porte Dorée). You get 19 km of Nordic walking right in the centre of the capital while enjoying some of the most beautiful monuments it has to offer.
  2.  From Paris to Massy along the Coulée Verte, 15 km and not a single car! Leave from Châtillon (Châtillon-Montrouge station on line 13) where you start your walk between the apartment blocks, before passing through the Parc de Sceaux (where you can have a picnic when the weather is fine). On arrival at Massy, the return trip to Paris is easily done on the RER B or C.         
    In town, watch out for manhole covers in which your Nordic walking poles can get stuck.

Are you looking for new routes where you can practise your favourite sport?

On Wikiloc, you will find a list of more than 700 Nordic walking routes ready for you to enjoy. Wikiloc is a platform (and a free application) for discovering and sharing the best Nordic walking sites. Whatever the circuit or one-way route, the distance or level of difficulty, you can choose, view, add a rating wherever you happen to be!

And if you want to find out where and with whom you can start out, contact one of the 700 Nordic walking clubs of the FFA. You will be part of a walking group going on outings led by a (professional) health/athletics coach ("Coach Athlé Santé").

 

 

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Nordic walking
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