WALKING AND HIKING IN SOUTH WEST OF FRANCE
From family rambles to long-distance treks, the countless waymarked trails in the South of France enable you to:
1. Enjoy lovely day walks on:
The PR (Promenade et Randonnée) footpaths for rambles and walks: there are nearly 600 PR footpaths in the region, from very easy to difficult and involving from 1 to 7 hours' walking.
2. Head off for one or more days on:
The GR (Grande Randonnée) long-distance footpaths: there are more than 20 GR footpaths in Midi-Pyrénées, including the 3 St James's Way pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela and the GR10 which runs the entire length of the Pyrenees.The shallow valleys of the Gers and the Aveyron Gorge, the ridges of the Pyrenees and ancient vineyards: the walks pass through ever changing landscapes that make even a two-hour ramble packed with variety. Most of the routes are designed for their environmental (flora, fauna, panoramas) or historical interest (heritage, legends, traditions). The paths are well maintained and avoid busy roads, running mostly over natural surfaces (earth, sand, grass and stone).
Midi-Pyrénées has witnessed the development of a firmly rooted footpath culture, with the active support of the Comité Régional de la Randonnée Pédestre at regional level and the thirteen Comités Départementaux in the different départements. These departmental committees bring together some 250 associations of walking enthusiasts, including Les Randonneurs Gascons, Les Montappates Lotois, Les Défoulés Tarnais and Les Baroudeurs Aveyronnais.
High-profile initiatives such as the interpretation trails created in the 6 Regional Nature Parks in south of France and the footpaths in the Sensitive Nature Areas of the Lot département help make Occitania a major walking region.