Do you want to rediscover France and its natural wonders? Don’t wait any longer to visit the 14 most beautiful natural parks in France!
Sometimes it is unnecessary to go to the other side of the world to be disoriented and discover breathtaking landscapes! France has a diverse and spectacular nature that never ceases to amaze people!
France has many preserved natural areas with no less than 10 national parks, 54 regional parks, and 9 marine natural parks.
Stunning walks are promised to curious visitors. Each park has its unique character and natural beauty.
Here is a little overview of the most beautiful of them. From the Verdon Gorges to the volcanoes of Auvergne via the Calanques, discover our selection of the most beautiful natural parks to visit in France.
The 14 Most Beautiful Natural Parks In France – Natural Paradise Of France
1. Verdon Regional Natural Park
It is difficult to start the selection of the most beautiful natural parks in France without beginning with the best known and rightly among one of the most beautiful.
The Verdon Regional Natural Park is located in the Var hinterland. It is home to the deepest canyon in Europe, whose depth reaches 700 meters.
This park is also home to the Verdon River, whose turquoise blue color recalls the color of the Caribbean Sea. It is the perfect place to swim or go canyoning. Rent a kayak to paddle up the Gorges du Verdon!
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2. Vanoise National Park
Created in 1963, the Vanoise National Park is located in Savoie’s heart of five nature reserves. The park includes 28 municipalities. Its area is more than 145,000 hectares.
It has 14 kilometers in common with the Italian Gran Paradiso National Park, with which it has been twinned since 1972. Its mountains culminate at nearly 3850 meters above sea level.
The park offers great floral biodiversity with more than 1200 plant species listed, including 200 remarkable or endemic. Vanoise Park offers hikers 107 lakes and twenty glaciers.
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3. Regional Natural Park of Corsica
The second-largest regional natural park in France, the Corsican Natural Park covers more than 350,000 hectares. It covers almost 40% of the area of the island of beauty.
You can admire landscapes and natural places of singular beauty. You will discover the Fango Valley, which UNESCO classifies as a biosphere reserve.
You can also afford a boat ride off the coast of the Scandola Marine Nature Reserve. You can also hike in the Agriates desert and reach uncrowded paradisiacal beaches.
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4. Mercantour National Park
The Mercantour National Park is one of the eleven national parks in France. It is located just an hour from the French Riviera, between the Alpes-Maritimes and the Alpes de Haute-Provence.
Created in 1979, it is renowned for its landscapes with Mediterranean and Alpine influences. Its extraordinary location between sea and mountains gives it a unique character.
The park is one of the most biologically diverse natural areas in the metropolis due to its location.
Beyond its unspoiled nature, you can admire rock carvings in the Valley of Wonders and practice many activities adapted to each season.
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5. Armorique Regional Natural Park
Created in 1969, the Armorique Regional Natural Park is the second oldest regional natural park in France. It is home to both mountainous and maritime areas.
It offers a natural diversity of landscapes that will reconcile both mountain and sea lovers. At the top of Mont d’Arrée, which rises to 385 meters, you can observe moors with an Irish country feel.
A few kilometers away is the Crozon peninsula with its beautiful beaches with turquoise blue water. If you are passing through Brittany, a stop in the Armorique Regional Natural Park is mandatory.
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6. Camargue Regional Natural Park
Nestled between the arms of the Rhône, this wetland of more than 150,000 hectares is undoubtedly one of the most scenic natural parks in France.
It is a natural sanctuary for birds, including the famous pink flamingo. The Camargue Regional Natural Park is also recognized as a botanical and zoological reserve. You can admire the typical horses of the region.
Visitors can also discover diverse landscapes: salt marshes, rice fields, and golden sandy beaches.
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7. Regional Natural Park of the Orient Forest
Let’s go now to the Grand-Est region. Take a breath of fresh air in the Forêt d’Orient Regional Natural Park. Located 220 km southeast of Paris, in the Aube department, this park was created in 1970.
It is one of the first five parks designated as a regional natural park in France. On a total area of 715 km², it is home to forests, nature reserves that host many migratory birds, and three large lakes.
The latter controls the flow of the Seine and acts as a reservoir for the nearby municipalities. The Forêt d’Orient Regional Natural Park is a beautiful place to spend a day with friends or family.
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8. Ecrins National Park
Between the Northern Alps and the Southern Alps, the Ecrins National Park is considered the European High Mountain Park.
With no less than 100 peaks over 3000 meters above sea level, the park is a paradise destination for hikers and high-level climbers. It is home to the summit of the Barre des Ecrins which rises to 4102 meters.
You will be pleasantly surprised by the authenticity of the landscapes: majestic mountain peaks, lush meadows, wild torrents, and lakes that reflect the purity of the glaciers.
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9. Calanques National Park
The Calanques National Park is the 10th national park in France. It was established in 2012. The breathtaking landscape of limestone cliffs plunging into the sea, sometimes turquoise, sometimes marine, has made this place famous around the world.
Also, it is the first national park in Europe that is terrestrial, marine, island, and periurban. The Parc des Calanques is located in the heart of the Aix-Marseille Provence metropolis.
There are coves surrounded by rock formations called creeks that give the place its name. The latter number twenty-six and extend from Marseille to Cassis.
To discover these geological formations, you can choose to take a boat trip, scuba diving, or a kayak ride. These landscapes will not leave you indifferent.
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10. Cévennes National Park
Created in 1970, the Cévennes National Park is one of the ten national parks of France. It is located south of Massif Central. Its territory extends over the Lozère, the Gard, and the Ardèche.
It was designated a Biosphere Reserve in 1985. The Cévennes Park is full of abundant flora, outstanding natural beauty, mountains and highlands, and several preserved traditional villages.
You will come across diverse landscapes on either side of the mountains, more rugged and chiseled in the northern part and more Mediterranean towards the southeast.
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11. Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park
The Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park is the ideal place to escape for a weekend. It covers two regions, the Grand Est region and the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.
The territory includes major cities such as Belfort, Mulhouse, or Colmar. It is, therefore, one of the most populous regional natural parks.
The park is home to many lakes reminiscent of the charm of Canadian lakes and many hiking trails where you can meet a variety of wildlife.
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12. Port-Cros National Park
The Port-Cros National Park is the first land and marine park in Europe. It is a small paradise nestled in the heart of the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean.
Since 1963, the park that engulfs the islands of Port Cros, Porquerolles, and the Levant has maintained its natural heritage and biological richness.
During your visit, you will discover coves with translucent waters, cliffs, and beautiful sandy beaches. You can also observe archaeological remains, shipwrecks, and military forts.
The Port-Cros National Park is full of treasures. There is nothing like a scuba diving trip, a bike ride on the island of Porquerolles, or a hike to discover them.
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13. Regional Natural Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne
The Volcans d’Auvergne Regional Natural Park is the largest regional park in metropolitan France. It covers nearly 3,897 km². It is also the oldest regional park since its creation dates back to 1977.
It is located in the heart of Massif Central. It consists of six different volcanic massifs, including Cantal, the relic of a huge stratovolcano of nearly 4000 meters.
The summit of Puy de Dôme, the Volcano of Lemptegy, the Puy de Sancy, Vulcania, Lake Guéry are some of the places to visit in this beautiful park. You will learn about the Auvergne volcano range and the history of the region.
14. Vercors Regional Natural Park
The Vercors Regional Natural Park is located between the Drôme and the Isère. It is one of the most picturesque natural parks to visit in France.
It is a real natural citadel of limestone. You will discover spectacular cliffs that line narrow gorges and spring rivers and torrents at the bottom.
The Vercors Regional Natural Park is known for being home to some unforgettable natural sites. We can mention the cave of Choranche, the gorges of the Bourne, and the garden of the Petrifying Fountains.
Mountain biking, climbing, and admiring this wild nature are just a few of the activities available in the park throughout the year.