French and Countryside Walks
This course is designed for those who want to strengthen their French but also explore the local countryside with walks from 5 kms to a maximum of 15 kms. Walks are adapted for people with a moderate fitness level, with stops to take pictures and relax.
Côte Roannaise region, Forez region, Pays d’Urfé and Brionnais region are not flat but hilly. Be ready to climb a moderate inclination (maximum 300 m) and to walk between 2 and 3 hours a day. Walks are still held on rainy days except in case of storm.
All the routes are marked-out and go back to the starting point.
Different routes possible if you want to repeat the experience.
Walking appropriate equipment :
- Walking boots or good walking shoes (tennis shoes/sneakers are not adapted)
- Small backpack
- Cap or hat
- Water bottle
- According to the time of the year : sun glasses, sun cream, mosquito spray
Walking poles available at the school.
All classes are taught by professional, native French speaking tutors and group classes have a maximum of 6 per class.
During the afternoon, participants will be taken to different destinations with a staff member to discover the magnificence of the Loire countryside, speaking French as they walk.
Mon-Fri 9:15am-12:15pm (group class) + 4 afternoon countryside walks on Mon, Tue, Thur, Friday
2020 Prices for French and Countryside Walks
|Shared Room on-site||€1.420 (€150) / extra week of General French €1.070|
|Single Room on-site||€1.570 (€150) / extra week of General French €1.220|
|Room off-site||€1.120 (€150) / extra week of General French €990|
Testimonials about French and Countryside Walks
What could be better than French classes in the morning and country walks in the afternoon? This is a great new addition to the programs offered at the Ecole des Trois Ponts. My walk last April was "magnifique", with Valerie, our leader, guiding us in her inimitable warm and energetic style. I actually saw a lamb being born, something I will never forget. I advise you to run, don't walk to book one of the walking/hiking weeks at Trois Ponts.
Joan from Los Angeles, California
A regular visitor to 'Ecole 3 ponts', I have found it brilliant for French learners from beginner to advanced - the learning is pitched at your own personal competency level & the team adapt to each individual. I did the French with hiking week in September 2016. This was a great innovation and after morning lessons, it was a great way to continue the French out in the lovely surrounding countryside in the afternoons with a small group & tutor. The hikes were not too challenging, but you do need to be fit enough to do up to 8 or 9 miles with some moderate uphill sections. Visiting a local bar at the end of the hike was definitely a plus! Then back for a delicious dinner at the school! Great fun & certainly improves your French!
Mark from Manchester, UK
It was a week full of amazing experiences in the countryside - the walks were very well organised, and not very difficult, but nevertheless a challenge. We visited four different areas - it was autumn and there were spectacular 'vues de la Loire', the leaves on the trees were a mass of different colours and shapes, and we saw local flora and fauna.
The friendship in our group was very evident, and everyday was a great way to continue our French conversation. Merci Valérie!
Jan from Victoria, Australia
It was great to supplement classes in the morning with walks in the afternoon – my brain certainly didn’t get to shut down, as all discussions were in French. But the fresh air, gorgeous views, and more informal one-on-one conversations made for a nice contrast with the morning programme. I’m a reasonably fit 60-year-old and was untroubled by the hills and distances (from 5 to 13 km); though in fact our group were all put to shame by our oldest walker, an 80-year-old! We developed a real sense of camaraderie over the week, undampened by the odd shower and fostered by the much anticipated beer (un seize!) on the way home each day.
Simon from New Zeland
This summer marked my return to L’Ecole des Trois Ponts. My first experience, 12 years ago, was life changing. I had never travelled to Europe or to France before. At the school, I met new friends and our friendships continue to this day. I loved every minute of my week learning how to cook French food (in English). I learned how to drink wine and eat cheese. I fell in love with France.
So this year, when I had the opportunity to come back to France, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. I thought I’d learn more French cooking and maybe try to improve my French language skill. Instead, I found that now the school offers more than language and/or cooking. Countryside Walks sounded like a great way to see the country I’d been thinking about ever since I left years ago.
For the premiere marche, we set out on Monday afternoon at a pleasant leisurely pace. The scenery was as beautiful as I’d hoped and the other hikers were interesting. We stopped for coffee afterwards at a café and I almost felt like a local. On Tuesday, the route we took was a little harder and longer but even more fun. Unexpectedly, what we discovered as a group was that a Countryside Walk in France often took us on a path that had become boue. We found ways to go through the boue, to go over the boue, and to go around the boue. Hiking through boue didn’t stop anyone. It did slow me down and despite a few mois of practice before hand, I found myself lagging behind the others. One of the most memorable parts of my week is the absolute encouragement I received from tout le monde. When I caught up and finished, tout le monde hugged me and celebrated my success.
Mary-Lou from Easton, Pennsylvania