Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is the region in France with the most natural, national and regional Parks. Add to that other outstanding natural areas which symbolise wonderfully the diversity of the landscapes and the natural wealth of coastal areas, the hinterland and mountainous areas of our region.
France has nine national Parks; four of these are located, partially or totally, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur: les Calanques, les Ecrins, Port-Cros and le Mercantour. Recognised by the French government for their exceptional character in respect of nature, landscapes and culture, they are subject to specific regulations in order to safeguard the riches they provide. Each park is broken down into two zones: the “Coeur de Parc” (central zone) which is subject to regulations aiming to protect the environment, and the “aire d’adhésion”(on the periphery), whose aim is to unite the surrounding communes in a shared sustainable development plan.
The region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has today 6 regional natural parks, which places it first in the national ranking. From the Camargue to the Queyras, passing through les Alpilles, le Luberon, le Verdon or the Préalpes d’Azur, these lands reflect the diversity of tourism in the region. Recognised for its wealth of natural, historic, cultural, agricultural or architectural heritage, a regional natural park is organised around a sustainable scheme which aims to ensure its protection and economic and social development.
Beyond the national parks and regional natural parks, the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur has other outstanding natural areas, where the reconciliation between preservation and exploration of the environment is a major objective. Great sites, natural, national or regional reserves, these areas remain major tourist attraction sites, which can be explored using responsible behaviour. From the mountain of Saint-Victoire, a favourite of Cézanne, passing through the geological Réserve of Haute-Provence, which has witnessed the changes in these landscapes, these areas symbolise the richness of the region’s biodiversity.