EXPERIENCES

France

Vanoise National Park

Vanoise National Park is a beautiful nature reserve in Savoie département, Rhône-Alpes région, southeastern France. It is contiguous with the Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy. The park was established in 1963, making it the oldest French national park. It occupies 130,565 acres (52,839 hectares) of French countryside.

The park is dominated by the Massif de la Vanoise, which is bounded by the Isère River to the east and the Arc River to the south. The Pointe de la Grande Casse (12,638 feet [3,852 metres]) is the highest peak in the park; there are 107 others that rise above 9,800 feet (3,000 metres).

Predominantly conifer trees the park consists of larche, fir, spruce, Scots pine, mountain pine, and arolla trees. Zones of quartzite and schist support rock champions, cowberries, wavy hairgrass, blue-spiked champions, and round-leaved restharrow. Typical birds are nutcrackers, black grouse, ptarmigan, ring ouzels, golden eagles, and buzzards. Ibex, chamois, marmots, foxes, and badgers are common. Local farmers are able to let their sheep graze in the park.

More than 350,000 acres (141,640 hectares) adjoining the park have been designated as a peripheral, or buffer, zone, including La Grande Sassière Nature Reserve. This zone is designed to protect against exploitation of the area’s natural resources. Policies have been implemented to promote sustainable development and they work together with the nearby ski resorts to ensure the conservation of the land.

Read what others share about their experience

  • Jean-Marc Leclercq
    a year ago
    Plenty of hikes and local people are friendly and welcoming. If you like nature and enjoy great...
  • Nel e
    a year ago
    Beautiful national park with very impressive views. Many and trekkings are do-able for not so...
  • Yael Shenhav
    11 months ago
    Most beautiful natural parc . Wild flowers and animals breathtaking views, glaciers , lakes . And...
  • Manfred Oswald
    5 years ago
    Great mountains for hiking and climbing, with wildlife and wild flowers, steep rock faces and...
  • Adam Marsh
    4 years ago
    Mainly a ski resort but visited in summer. Amazing place if you have good walking legs. Scenery is...

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