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Sport in France

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Due to the mild climate and plenty of natural attractions, France is a great place for organising active holidays both in the summer and in the winter time. Watersports are especially popular in the seaside resorts, while climbing, hiking and skiing attract numerous tourists to the French mountains. Moreover, there are many modern sport facilities in the larger French cities. So if you want to get back in shape and improve your wellbeing come to Frnace where you can take a moment to excercise and to relax.

Walking 
France has a well-developed system of marked walking routes. The longest are called the sentiers de grande randonnee (GR). There are also regional and local paths called GRPs and PRs, respectively. These routes go along the coast and in the mountains mostly; in regions such as Normandy, Britanny, Provence, Cote d'Azur, Auvergne, Pyrenees and the Alps. However, also the island of Corsica is an interesting destination for hikers. People who are interested in wine-making traditions also visit Alsace, Burgundy, Pays de Loire and Aquitaine. Of course, the walking tours in the most interesting cities and villages are also worth a try.

Cycling 
Cycling is one of the French national sports. As a result, all cyclists are warmly welcomed in this country. There is a wide selection of different routes so that both beginners and professionals can find the one that suits them best. This kind of activity can be combined with sightseeing. Cycling tours are organised by many travel agencies, but you can always find a group of enthusiasts and plan this kind of trip by yourself. The best season for cycling in France is the summer. However, in the southern part of the country the temperatures can get quite high, so cycling in the spring and autumn is also recommended.

Tennis
If you like to play tennis, France is the place to go. You’ll easily find tennis courts and many other facilities in every resort. All tennis fans should pay a visit to the legendary Roland Garros courts, where the French Open tournament is held every year. The main organisation where all of the professional players are registered is called the Fédération Française de Tennis. If you want to find out more about it, please visit its official website at http://www.fft.fr. In addition, every large French city offers a wide selection of tennis courts and other sport facilities.

Golf 
Golfing is not as popular in France as it is in the United Kingdom or the United States. However, picturesque golf courses can be found in various regions all over the country. There are several travel agencies that specialise in organising golf vacations in France. It’s also possible to arrange such a stay on your own. If you’d like to stay in a castle and play golf nearby, consider the Chateaux Golf’s offer, which is available on their website at http://www.chateauxgolf.com. Of course, you can also choose lots of other options. French golf is managed by a professional organisation called the Fédération Française de Golf. More information about this institution can be found on the website http://www.ffgolf.org.

Swimming 
Swimming in France is a pleasant and relaxing experience. The most beautiful beaches are situated in the southern part of the country in Côte d'Azur, Provence and Languedoc. However, you can also find them in Aquitaine. Even if you don't intend to go swimming in the Mediterranean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, you can still visit some interesting aquaparks. Most of them are located in the vicinity of the most popular tourist resorts, and some of them are also close to big cities, for example the Parisian Aquaboulevard, which is 7,000 m² big. It offers a tropical climate, hot water and many other attractions. Moreover, there are seven restaurants, a large gym and a huge cinema complex nearby.

Skiing
France is a great destination for all skiing enthusiasts. The most famous French mountain resort is a small town called Chamonix, which is located at the foot of the highest European mountain, Mont Blanc. Another fine resort is Courchevel. Winter sports fans certainly remember the 1992 Winter Olympic Games, which were held in Albertville. This village is also worth visiting, as well as Val d'Isere, which is situated in the nearby Savoie department. In this region, many tourists choose Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys) area, where such villages as Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Méribel, La Tania and Courchevel are situated. More information on the resort can be found at http://www.les3vallees.com/.

Cruising
As France has a well-developed system of rivers and canals, vacations on barges have become a very popular activity. There are lots of companies that rent barges, and travel agencies also offer captain and tour guide services which are included in the rental price. A professional cook and butler are also at your disposal, so you won't have to worry about preparing meals or steering the boat. The most popular routes are the Canal de Bourgogne, Canal du Midi, Canal du Nivernais, Canal du Rhone a Sete, Canal de Briare, Canal du Loing, Rhone, Seine, Yonne and Marne Rivers.

Active holiday in the city 
Many French cities offer visitors a wide choice of varied sport facilities. For instance, in Paris tourists have about 360 amenities at their disposal. One of the most famous is the large Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy, a venue where many important sport competitions and music concerts are held. In Paris, you’ll also find 185 tennis courts and 24 huge sporting centres. If you like jogging or cycling, visiting the two large parks Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes is a must.


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