France has nine stunning national parks known as “monuments to nature.” Collectively, the nine parks attract 7 million national and international visitors annually. Most are located in the south of France, and three are abroad in Guadeloupe, Corsica and Reunion. The Parcs Nationaux de France oversee all of these parks.
Les Ecrins is one the largest and most popular French National Parks. It is situated southeast of Grenoble. It showcases some of the most beautiful scenery of the entire Alpine mountain range. The altitudes range from 800 to 4,102 meters. The 227,000 acres feature glaciers, forests and meadows. The park has paths to walk for taking in
the breathtaking scenery, museums, libraries, exhibitions and off-piste skiing. The park is easily accessible with base parking in the valleys of Romanche, Guisane, Vallouise, Valgaudemar and Vénéon.
The Cevennes National Park is in the south of France in the Languedoc Roussellon region. The region is known for its large amounts of shale and granite. The Cevennes is a series of deep valleys and sloping hills that rise over the plains of the Languedoc and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. The rich and varied heritage of the park is presented through three different tours. The Ecomusee of the mont Lozerre has a permanent exhibition at Le Pont de Montvert that teaches the history of the area. The Ecomusee of the Cevennes presents 15 points of interest related to the Cevenol’s life and heritage. The famous sites of the Ecomusee of the Causse seek to explain the interactions between humans and the gorges and plateaus.
Vanoise National Park lies between the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys in the French Alps. It was the first area in France to be declared a National Park. The park is surrounded by French ski resorts on the French side. On the Italian side, the park joins the Gran Pardiso National Park. Together, these two parks encompasses over 1250 kilometers. Eco-tourists in the form of backpackers are welcome to hike the 600 miles of trails with accommodations scattered along the way.