Situated in the heart of western Europe, France is the largest country in the European Union and third largest on the continent. It is also one of the most diverse countries in the region, with long stretches of coastline on multiple seas, unique geological formations and mountain ranges, as well as one of the most famous cities in the world. Tourism is one of the driving forces in the country’s economy, with roughly 89 million people visiting the country each year.
Famous Mountains in France
While there are no shortage of mountains to explore and climb running across the south of France – there are seven different mountain ranges in all – the country is most famous for being home to the western portion of Mont Blanc, the tallest peak in the Alps and western Europe.
Each year, about 30,000 people attempt to climb the peak, meaning roughly 200 are on its slopes each day. Due to this high number of climbers and the propensity for avalanche and rockfalls on its slopes, it is also one of the most deadly mountains in the world.
Other popular expeditions in France are:
- Barre des Écrins
- Pic du Midi d'Ossau
- Aiguille d’Entrèves
- La Meije
- The Haute Route
Browse our navigation menu to find many more France expeditions.
Quick Facts about France
- France is widely considered to be the birthplace of mountaineering with the 1786 ascent of Mont Blanc as the first successful modern expedition.
- The French Alps boast 285 different peaks with an elevation of at least 2,000 metres (6,600 feet) or more, of which four are higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 feet).
- Chamonix, France is the starting point for the Haute Route – the famed 12+ day hiking trail commonly taken by mountaineers from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.
How To Get To France
Most trips to the Alps begin with a flight into Geneva International Airport (GVA), in Switzerland. From here, it is easiest to rent a car and make the roughly one hour drive on to Chamonix or another starting point. Trips to the Pyrenees generally begin with a flight into Toulouse–Blagnac Airport (TLS). From here, the mountains are only a couple of hours away by car. Buses and trains are also available, but take longer.
What To Expect in France
Weather: Summers are quite warm in the mountainous regions of France, with average daily temperatures around 20 ºC (70 ºF). These decrease to below freezing as elevation is gained on the highest mountains. The summer is also a fairly wet time of year, with plenty of rain throughout the mountainous regions of the country.
Peak Trekking/Climbing Season: July to September
Currency: Euro (EUR)