Rollerblading has rapidly gained popularity in France where it has been embraced by people of all ages. The top three destination cities for skating enthusiasts in France include Rennes, Paris and Annecy. Among these, Paris leads the pack and it is not uncommon to see in-line skaters weaving between pedestrians and zipping their way through the streets.
Most rollerblading fanatics pick up the activity after seeing others doing it. There are those attracted by the weightless sensation of gliding around on wheels while others enjoy it as an alternative mode of transport. Other than being loads of fun, skating offers a host of positive health benefits.
Numerous medics have pointed out that an hour or more of rolling around on skates can be more beneficial than jogging or walking. Skating provides a calorie-burning workout that helps individuals to stay fit and trim. Additionally, all that balancing aids muscular development and endurance. As an additional benefit, a few minutes or hours spent on rollerblades can result in a huge mood boost.
Rolling around in Paris
For those looking for a novel way to take in the sights Paris has to offer, rollerblading is the way to go. Skates are affordable and easily available in the city and those who rollerblade can buy them everywhere now.
Tourists can join one of the numerous rollerblading tours going round Paris or they can strike out on their own. In spite of the occasional cobblestone pavements, Parisian streets are generally wide and smooth enough to guarantee skaters a hassle-free time.
One of the ideal spots to consider in the rollerblading itinerary is Chantilly. This delightful area to the north of Paris is a skater’s paradise, featuring numerous canalside paths with minimal traffic. A visit to this small town would not be complete without taking in an equestrian show or tasting the world-famous Chantilly cream.
Another lovely rollerblading area lies beside the Marne River, where individuals can skate past beautiful flowers and woods. Alternatively, tourists can head to Versailles, a picturesque suburban area with little traffic and home to the imposing Château of Versailles.
For those who prefer skating in groups, Paris offers two very popular rollerblading city tours. The first runs for three hours every Friday night from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. This tour, organized by Pari Roller starts at Place Raoul Dautry in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, between the Montparnasse office tower and the Paris-Montparnasse train station. The route varies each week and provides a charming view of Paris by night, allowing visitors to appreciate why it is named the City of Lights. This event is geared towards advanced skaters with good maneuvering skills.
The Rollers and Couquillages Skate Club also hosts a separate rollerblading event on Sundays. This tour is ideal for those who are not so confident in their skating, since rollerbladers of all levels participate. The event kicks off on Sundays at the Boulevard Bourdon, close to the Bastille. There is a full police escort on hand to guide participants and stop traffic on busy streets. The route varies weekly and is designed to take skaters past some of the top attractions in Paris.