France’s 1st National Park
This protected area, much of which stretches across Haute Maurienne Vanoise, was established in 1963, notably thanks to Gilbert André who was mayor of Bonneval sur Arc at the time. The central part, or “heart”, is a space that is protected by regulations in order to encourage biodiversity in terms of the landscape, the habitats and the species that live here, as well as preserving the local culture and alpine heritage.
In a few steps, you are in the heart of France’s first national park. Together with the Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy, they form one of the largest protected areas in the Western Alps. But never mind the superlatives, what matters most is to give you access to this land of unique experiences, a breathtaking landscape of peaks, lakes and deep valleys, an incredible diversity of plant life, and animals that you can observe close up in their natural environment, including marmots, ibex, chamois and bearded vultures.
Real mountain experiences and moments of awe that are made for sharing, like mountaineering, hiking and fishing at altitude. Turn your smartphone into a hiking GPS with the free rando.vanoise.com app, available for download on App Store and Google Play.
The park features twenty or so glaciers, more than 100 peaks exceeding 3,000 metres, 600 km of paths and about forty refuges. With the Gran Paradiso Italian national park (14 km common border), it forms the largest protected space in Europe.