Whether you are looking for a way to travel through France in a more eco-friendly way or simply to find alternative to commute to work with a carbon footprint, this guide covers the different options available to you.
Cycling is quite popular in France and most cities are bicycle friendly with dedicated areas for cyclists (“pistes cyclables”), indicated by green markings on the ground.
If you wish to travel longer distance by bicycle, you can find some really lovely tracks (“voies vertes”) that will allow you to discover French countryside.
Public transports are well developed France, and remote areas even are connected by public buses and local trains (even if those are not always very frequent).
For buses, which are often run by local transport companies, Google Maps may not always be indicating you these local options so you may have to look for local bus companies.
Long distance buses
While not as good as trains in terms of carbon footprint, buses are also a good option to consider instead of an individual car. There are several companies that are offering long distance and overnight bus travel. Check My Bus website helps you compare and find the best ones.
The train network is well developed in France with a mix of high speed and local trains run by SNCF, you can check and book your trip on their website. You also have night trains options. If you want to know more about French night train, you will find here a little guide.
If you work in a French company in an area that is not so well served by public transport, it is worth checking if you have any colleagues living in the same area that would be open to carpooling.
Also, if the nature of your work allows it, ask your manager to do remote work once a week for example. This will not only reduce your carbon emissions on that day but also save you money and time! Remote work is more and more accepted in France, so don’t hesitate to ask once you have build a trustful relationship with your bosses.
Trains can be a bit expensive depending on where you go and some remote areas do not always allow you to take the train, so carpooling is also a good alternative as it increase the occupancy of cars. Carpooling is actually quite popular in France and you can look for a driver on Blablacar website.
You can also simply have a go at hitchhiking which is fairly safe in France. You will find some great advice, although only in French, on how to hitchhike in France and even some tips on where to go to get a good chance to be picked-up.
If you want to discover French islands or travel from one coastal part of France to another, there is also the option of sailing. With Vogavecmoi, in exchange of your help as a crew member and participation in the expenses, you can find a boat to sail on. If you own a boat, you can also find crew members to navigate with.