Immerse yourself in nature France’s national parks, exceptional areas on land and sea, are protected natural areas that are recognised in mainland France and abroad. They preserve the local flora and fauna and offer visitors guided tours and a range of other activities, making them the perfect place to get in touch with nature.
To reach these national parks, why not do your part to preserve the environment by using a clean mode of transport? Trains are one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel. For each kilometre travelled, a train emits up to 50 times less CO2e than a car and 80 times less than an airplane!
The Mercantour National Park is located just an hour away from Nice and straddles the Alpes-Maritimes and the Alpes de Haute-Provence. This mountain range on the Italian border reaches an elevation of 3143 metres, atop the Cime du Gélas. The park is dotted with lakes and includes eight postcard-worthy valleys: Ubaye, Bévéra, Vésubie, Roya, Tinée, Cians, Var and Verdon. So many different species of plants and animals live here that scientists have not yet been able to identify them all. Spend some relaxing time on the many hiking trails in this paradise for groundhogs, chamois and Alpine ibex.
Did you know? To learn more about the plants and animals in the region, download the Biodiv’Mercantour app, which was created by the park. Getting there Take a train to Nice, then one of the Lignes d’Azur buses that stop in each valley. You can also take the Train des Merveilles (the Nice-Cuneo line) or the Train des Pignes (the Nice-Digne-les-Bains line).
With their idyllic waters beckoning you in for a swim and their dazzlingly white limestone cliffs, the Calanques are like something out of a fairy tale. Carved into the rock, from Marseille to Cassis and La Ciotat, they are home to charming beaches and beautiful cottages surrounded by pine trees and the garrigue. During your visit, you can choose between hiking, climbing, swimming, diving, cruises and kayaking, all under the bright southern sun. To make sure you have all the necessary information close at hand, download the park’s app, “Mes Calanques”.