02 July 2021 by Jessica Boston
Naturally beautiful! Discover the Regional Natural Parks of France…
France has 53 Regional Natural Parks each covering and protecting a unique landscape and it’s habitats, ecosystems, heritage and wildlife. Regional Natural Parks are carefully
managed to create sustainable, ecologically responsible environments where humans and nature can live in harmony. Eco-tourism initiatives encourage visitors to come to these special places to learn more about their importance for the people and nature of the region.
The Regional Natural Park of Finistère
This coastal Natural Park in Brittany covers over 400,000 acres of the region and includes a diverse range of different ecosystems and landscapes. Stretching from the islands and coastline of the Crozon Peninsula through boggy moorlands and into the Arree Mountains, this important protected zone even covers urban areas and towns including Brest, Carhaix and Landerneau. The balance of ecology and economy helps to preserve traditional farming methods, crafts and culture, whilst allowing wildlife to thrive in the unique habitats of the region. Exploring the islands and cliffs of the coast here is a must with breathtaking views of the land, sea and sky that is home to grey seals, dolphins, puffins, otters and beavers.
The Landes de Gascogne Regional Nature Park
This beautiful area in South Gironde is paradise for nature-lovers! Get active whilst you wildlife spot in the unspoilt landscape hiking, cycling, horse riding or taking to one of the many lakes here with a canoe, paddleboard, kayak or pedalo – there are so many ways to explore. Discover white sandy lake beaches, pine forest trails, giant sand dunes and see art fused with nature following unique art trails through the countryside. The Marqueze eco-museum is a great day out for all the family as you travel back in time to 1890 with interactive displays and immersive performances bringing the past to life.
Volcans d’Auvergne Regional Natural Park
This otherworldly landscape created by volcanic activity is well worth a visit; see ancient volcanic cones and crater lakes, snow capped peaks, thermal springs and a whole range of impressive geological phenomena caused by the area’s turbulent history. It’s definitely a great choice for adventurous visitors with hiking, climbing, skiing and mountain biking all offering exhilarating opportunities to explore and enjoy panoramic views over the region.
Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Nature Park
Protecting the fascinating region along the Loire Valley between Angers and Tours, this Regional Natural Park includes ancient cave dwellings, forests, vineyards, villages and, of course, a stretch of the majestic river itself. The Loire river network creates floodplain habitats ideal for wildlife and there are over 50 varieties of dragonfly and over 300 species of butterfly found here as well as plenty of birdlife and wetland animals including beavers. Explore the flora and fauna with a boat trip along the river or take a walk on one of the many signed routes along the water meadows and riverbanks.
The Carmargue Regional Natural Park
Set where the Rhone River meets the Mediterranean Sea the ‘Ile de Camargue’ is a unique landscape shaped by agriculture and nature creating a bio diverse ecosystem with stunning scenery and wildlife. Salt flats, marshlands and lakes make an ideal habitat for over 300 species of birds including flocks of flamingos, and the traditional breeding of black Camargue bulls and white Camargue horses continues here to this day. Ecotourism is a cornerstone of protecting the Camargue and investment in visitor centres, observation towers, marked trails and guided tours make it easy to see the best of this wonderful region.
France is a perfect destination for nature lovers; with so many beautiful natural landscapes to discover the only problem is deciding where to visit first! Plan your next eco-travel adventures with us, we have 1000s of independently owned holiday properties to choose from in all corners of France so you can browse and book today