Autumn is a perfect season for long outdoor walks. You can still enjoy mild temperatures and beautiful sunny days, and what a joy it is to admire the leaves of the trees adorning themselves in their most beautiful colours, on the branches or forming a carpet on the ground that you could contemplate for hours. Everywhere in France there is a place close to home that autumn always manages to sublimate in its own way. A vineyard, a park, a garden, the shores of a lake, a historical monument or a national park, here are 10 of the most beautiful places to visit in France during an autumn getaway
1- The vineyards of Burgundy
Autumn gives the vineyards of Burgundy golden reflections and offers a patchwork of colours that are pleasant to contemplate when hiking. The warm light of the meadows and hills can also be seen in the distance. While the smell of the fresh harvest still permeates the atmosphere, many winegrowers open their doors and offer tastings, to the delight of wine tourism enthusiasts. Walking, cycling or hot-air balloon flights over the vineyards of the Côte de Beaune, there are many ways to marvel at these fascinating landscapes
2- The Parc de la Tête d'Or in Lyon
The Parc de la Tête d'Or is a superb and imposing English garden, a real green lung for the inhabitants of the capital of the Gauls. Whether it is for cycling, walking or jogging, it is recommended to visit it when the park is at its most beautiful autumn colours. Luckily, on the mildest days, you can also sit with a book at the foot of a tree or share a meal on the lawns. With its exceptional plant life, every occasion is a good opportunity to take in the sights, before strolling by the water or visiting the zoo.
3- Lake Annecy
While the weather is often still mild in the area, a stroll on the shores of LakeAnnecy in autumn looks like a lost paradise. You can see the shades of red, yellow, orange and green of the surrounding woods, and the sun's rays make the lake sparkle, giving it a fairy-tale feel. In addition, this is a great time for intimate walks, with crowds becoming rarer between the water activities in summer and mountain sports in winter. After picking mushrooms in the woods and criss-crossing the lake at sunset, what could be more pleasant than to return to the old town of Annecy to enjoy a good meal?
4- The castles of the Loire Valley
If they are majestic in all seasons, the castles of the Loire Valley are perhaps even more so when the parks and gardens display their most beautiful autumn colours. Combining the pleasure of the stones with that of nature is what a trip to some of the most beautiful castles in France has in store for you. Chambord and its impressive estate come to mind first and foremost, of course. But Cheverny, Chenonceau, Villandry and its magnificent French gardens are all places where monuments are sublimated by the autumn colours. Architecture, culture, nature, the castles of the Loire Valley have decidedly everything to seduce.
5- The Ardennes
A stay in the Ardennes in the autumn has something memorable about it. This is the time for long walks in the forest, in search of mushrooms and the scents of this season. Whether you reach the heights of a citadel or a ridge, you always take a considerable amount of time to contemplate the shimmering colours that mingle with the morning fogs escaping from the bed of the Meuse. You then set off to discover the Mont d'Haurs, a privileged place to enjoy the nature reserve, between dry lawns, forests and moors. The colours of autumn are also conducive to a moment around the exceptional Vieilles Forges lake, which with its thick forest adorned with gold and orange, resembles the great Canadian lakes.
6- Auvergne and its volcanoes
The volcanoes of Auvergne are one of those places in France where hiking offers fabulous shows! And in the mild autumn, it is good to take paths to reach the summits and enjoy breathtaking panoramas. By bike on the Sancy roads, on mountain bikes or on horseback on the Cantal mountains, sporting activities take on another dimension when they take place in the heart of the Volcans d'Auvergne Regional Nature Park. On foot, we cross the forests with their warm colours, before regaining our strength when freshness sets in around a dish cooked with mushrooms and chestnuts
7- The 4 lakes region, Jura
Another place reminiscent of the great lakes of North America, the 4 Lakes region offers breathtaking landscapes in the fall. Panoramic views that undoubtedly compete with Canada's wide open spaces. It is at the very north of the Parc national du Haut-Jura that there are four crystal-clear lakes: Grand Maclu, Petit, Narlay and Ilay. Bordered by thick forests where fir trees rub shoulders with other deciduous trees, we like to spend hours contemplating the wide ochre expanses, which contrast with the blue of the water bodies. Taking the hiking trails that lead to the Pic de l'Aigle or the Belvédère des 4 Lacs in the fall is a great way to recharge your batteries in a preserved natural setting that is exceptional in more ways than one
8- The Mercantour National Park
It is one of the most frequented French national parks, the Mercantour National Park is magnificent in all seasons, but also has that little extra soul in autumn. In particular, because on a hike close to nature, one has the opportunity to come across larch trees, the only conifer to lose its needles in autumn. The larch is then adorned with a superb golden coat and the camera is de rigueur, as the show is simply sublime! The occasion is also too beautiful not to take the time to go and see the lake ofAllos, whose surrounding peaks are beginning to receive their first snowfall.
9- The parks and gardens of Paris
Who said city dwellers couldn't appreciate the beauty of autumn? In the city, too, a multitude of places can enchant lovers of the time of year when the trees change from green to ochre. In Paris, the orange colour that invades the surroundings of the Fontaine de Médicis and the leaves that rub shoulders with the chairs of the Luxembourg Gardens offer an enchanting and soothing setting. In Montsouris Park, the colours surrounding the lake where ducks, birds and other swans come to rest never disappoint the walkers. And how not to mention the Tuileries garden, with its lawns and alleys punctuated with statues, which only autumn has the power to make even more beautiful?
10- The Canal du Midi
When autumn sets in on the Canal du Midi, it's hard not to feel like going out and enjoying it again and again. Whether you are in Toulouse, or in the other parts of France where Riquet's work passes through, the spectacle on offer is just as striking. The leaves of the plane trees are then decked out in yellow, orange and red, and what could be more beautiful than watching their reflection in the canal waters? If the Canal du Midi is a delight for river cruising enthusiasts in summer, it should be noted that autumn is also a season for contemplation and bicycle rides, all in a unique setting