With a new home in the southwest of France for the next year or so, Exodus Travels asked me which French bucket list adventures I’d love to check off my list. Eternal planner that I am (when it comes to all things travel, anyway), I already have a list of my must-dos while I call Bordeaux home.
1. Hot Air Ballooning the Loire Valley
You know I can never resist taking to the skies in a balloon, so it should come as no surprise that hot air ballooning over the Loire Valley’s over 800 castles and vineyards is on my list.
Known as the Kings Valley of France because the nobility all constructed their massive châteaux here, there’s no better way to take it all in than from above. With a bottle of renowned Loire Valley wine to sip while drifting over architectural wonders like Amboise, Richelieu and Chinon, of course.
2. Biking Burgundy’s Vineyards
There’s no doubt that Bordeaux is one of France’s premier wine regions, but I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t explore France’s other famous wine regions. Like Burgundy.
Perhaps I’m glutton for punishment combining wine with biking when I’m not the most confident cyclist in the world. But my very own Tour de France, actually Tour de Burgundy, seems like a perfect way to round out my French adventure bucket list. This self-guided cycling tour of Burgundy’s vineyards allows me to bike at my own pace, not have to pack everything I want to carry in a pack since luggage transfer is included and sleep in charming, comfy hotels along the way. Pretty much the perfect Luxe Adventure Traveler adventure.
3. Kayaking the Dordogne
If there’s anything I like more than taking to the skies for a birds-eye view from a hot air balloon, it’s kayaking. Particularly river kayaking.
The Dordogne is a gorgeous area of France practically in my backyard and perfect for adventure seeking nature lovers. Paddling down the Dordogne River below the châteaux-topped cliffs is punctuated by picnics of foie gras, truffles, ceps and chestnuts – just a list of some of my favorite foodie things!
The #Vercors is a spectacular #limestone area just to the SW of #Grenoble with a large diversity of scenery. Beneath its rugged #mountains these huge areas of limestone are host to some of the most dramatic #caving in #France. Take this picture for example we shot in 2012, of a large #underground #lake, in the Grotte de Gournier. #grottedegournier #neverstopexploring #natureaddict #adventure #speleo #ginamoseley #caves @petzl_official @nikon_photography_ @nature @wonderful_places
4. Caving the Grotte de Gournier
Have you ever seen a photo and just had to go to that place? That’s what happened when I found an Instagram of an underground lake the Grotte de Gournier.
This underground lake is part of the Vercors cave system in the southeast of France and, I hear, is one of the most spectacular underground rivers in the Alps. Seeing the cave is no show cave walk along a paved path; it involves abseils (which I just tried out for the first time in Israel’s Negev Desert earlier this year), rope climbs and getting wet and dirty. This is one adventure that will definitely be a challenge, but one I’m up for conquering like I did with climbing Stromboli or hiking the Rheinsteig Trail.
5. Bobsleigh La Plagne
I’ve raced a NASCAR around Daytona International Speedway and a Ferrari around the Modena Autodrome. Why not add hurtling down an Olympic bobsleigh run at 130 kph to my high speed adventures? I’m pretty sure I’ll throw up.
But no matter. A few minutes of nausea sounds totally worth this bucket list Olympic bobsleigh adventure in La Plagne in the French Alps. Built for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, the bobsleigh course is one mile long with 19 turns. It takes just one minute to complete at Olympic speeds. Sounds awesome, right? I’ll let you know!
This post is brought to you by Exodus Travels, who asked me to list my French bucket list adventures. However, Luxe Adventure Traveler maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and enthusiasm for travel are entirely our own.