National Parks of France
The French national parks draw over seven million visitors every year; there are 10 national parks:
1. Vanoise National Park, Savoie
2. Port-Cros National Park, Var
3. Pyrénées National Park, Hautes-Pyrénées and Pyrénées-Atlantiques
4. Cévennes National Park, Mainly Lozère and Gard, also Ardèche and Aveyron
5. Écrins National Park, Isère and Hautes-Alpes
6. Mercantour National Park, Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
7. Calanques National Park, Bouches-du-Rhône
plus 3 more in overseas territories
Map to show National, Regional and Marine Parks in Mainland France
By historicair 21:46, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Sémhur (talk) – http://www.parcs-naturels-regionaux.tm.fr et http://atlas.parcsnationaux.org
File:France, administrative divisions (departments+regions) (+overseas) – Nmbrs – monochrome.svg, GFDL, Link
Key: National Parks – Red, Regional Parks – Green and Marine Parks – Blue
French Regional Parks
There are 51 (in 2016 – but the figure does change!) Parc Naturel Régional (PNRs) or regional nature parks. They are designated “an inhabited rural area of outstanding beauty” with rich flora and fauna. The parks cover over seven million hectares with more than three million inhabitants.
Marine Parks in France
More information here: http://www.aires-marines.com/
Water Parks in France
Making a big splash are the water parks in France. Great fun for the kids (and the parents enjoy it too – even if they do not admit it). You can splash out on these top French Water Parks. NB. Many camp-sites also have water parks – albeit on a smaller scale!
Aqua Boulevard, Paris
Aqualand Bassin D’Arcachon
Aqualand St Cyprien
Aqualand Cap D´Agde
Aqualand Ste Maxime
Aqualand Port Leucate
AquaPark – Parc Maguide, Biscarrosse
Top 10 Amusement Parks in France
Here is a list of the Top Amusements Park in France as voted by TripAdvisor users
1. Disneyland Park, Marne-la-Vallee
2. Walt Disney Studios Park, Marne-la-Vallee
3. Futuroscope, Chasseneuil-du-Poitou
4. Le PAL, Dompierre-sur-Besbre
5. Nigloland, Dolancourt
6. Fraispertuis City, Epinal
7. Parc de la Coccinelle, Gujan-Mestras
8. Parc Asterix, Plailly
9. Dennlys Parc, Saint-Omer
10. Europark, Vias
Paris Parks, France
There are lots of green areas in the capital – Paris and with the weather sunny and warm this is a great time to explore the Parks in Paris. Alexander Bradley whets your appetite …
Top 10 Paris Parks You Will Fall In Love With
1. Jardin du Luxembourg
Strolling through the Jardin du Luxembourg is a favourite pastime of mine. Joggers flutter past students reading in the gardens and children can be heard playing with boats by the pool in front of the ornate Palais du Luxembourg. The 23 hectare park contains lawns, tree-lined promenades, and some beautiful flowerbeds. The clip clopping of hooves can be heard at the west of the Jardin where one can lose time watching the old folks enjoying a leisurely game of pétanque. Just be careful not to sit on the grass, you’ll get a stern whistle and warning from the park’s guards.
2. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
A popular park with locals, the 25 hectare Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is a hilly, rocky park in the 19th arrondissement, complete with grottos, a suspended bridge and waterfalls. Its unique topography was a result of the park being constructed on the site of an old quarry which gives to the impressive rocky island in the centre of the park surrounded by an artificial lake. Sitting some 50m above the lake is the roman style Temple de la Sibylle. Don’t forget your camera, because the temple provides photogenic views over the city, especially Montmartre and the Sacre Cœur. Many of the exotic and indigenous trees were planted when the park was established in 1867.
3. Cimetière du Père Lachaise
Not your typical park, the Cimetière du Père Lachaise is a beautiful mix between an English park and a shrine. You can visit the final resting place of Édith Piaf, Molière, Chopin, Oscar Wilde or Jim Morrison, amongst thousands of others in the most visited cemetery in the world. Along the east side you will find the Mur des Fédérés (Wall of the Federalists), where after an all night battle, the last of the Communard insurgents from the Paris Commune of 1871 fell. Nearby the wall are many monuments to most modern wars which are nestled within the cherry blossoms and bright flowers to create a very bittersweet contrast to the garden.
4. Parc de Sceaux
5. Bois de Vincennes
6. Place des Vosges
7. Jardin des Tuileries
8. Parc de Belleville
9. Jardin du Palais Royal
10. Jardin des Plantes
Ref: More details here
As you can imagine, there are a vast amount of campsites with lots of different facilities, which you will find are rated with stars in a similar way to that of hotels, so the more stars a site has, the better it will be, although inevitably the more expensive they will be, especially in certain areas of France.
Top 10 Camping Parks in France
Here are the top 10 sites according to the Guardian
- Kon Tiki Riviera Village, Côte d’Azur
- Le Club Farret Vias Plage, near Béziers, Languedoc
- Domaine Les Moulins, Ile de Noirmoutier, Vendée
- Village Camping Les Pêcheurs, Roquebrune sur Argens, Provence
- Camping Le Pin Sec, Naujac-sur-Mer, near Bordeaux
- Camping Le Rompval, Mers-les-Bains, near Dieppe
- L’Anse du Brick, Maupertus-sur-Mer, Normandy
- Panorama du Pyla, Bassin d’Arcachon, Aquitaine
- Camping Les Baleines, Île de Ré, near La Rochelle
- Bot Conan Lodge, Beg Meil, Brittany
A camping site with one star is a basic site and there is no where near as many these days, due to competition from other campsites, whereas a two star camping site is rated for comfort and has some good amenities, then three star and four star campsites are of a very high standard, not only for the amenities and facilities they have to offer, but also for the quality of these facilities. For example, on a four star site you will often find top class restaurants that are even frequented by the locals for their phenomenal French cuisine, but also complete pool complexes and evening entertainment as a regular occurrence.
But apart from the typical camping sites available, you can also find places to pitch such as camping on farms, but lots of these do not have a wide range of facilities available, in fact some are so basic you will need to have all of your own facilities or they may just about have a toilet and hot shower for you to use.
Most places will be able to provide hook ups for electricity from either 6 amps or 10 amps, plus many other facilities. And on a lot of different sites, rather just touring you can even hire out the caravans, chalets or mobile homes, but whatever you decide is best for you, this is a great way of touring through France.
One quick point, please do remember that it is only in authorised locations around France that you are able to camp and not in places such as woods, yet saying that, when travelling through France it can take hours or days, and we have seen many tired travellers putting up their tents on the grassy areas in the service stations alone the toll roads!.
Theme Parks in the south of France
Here are the top theme parks in the south of France – these will be popular in July and August when the French migrate to the south!
Walibi Rhône-Alpes is a French theme park located in the Rhône-Alpes region. The park contains more than 33 rides and it covers an area of 35 hectares.
Walibi Sud-Ouest (Aquitaine) is Amusement park in Roquefort, Lot-et-Garonne, France. Amusement park with activities for all ages, from roller coasters to carousels, plus dining options.
OK Corral is an Amusement park in Cuges-les-Pins, France with family-friendly, Wild West theme park, including adventure rides, plus cowboy & Indian stunt shows.