Whether you're a seasoned hiker or casual stroller, you'll love walking in France's national parks. France is renowned for its varied countryside and with eight national parks in domestic France you're sure to find a place that you love!
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What are the best national parks in France?
Nearly 10% of French land is covered by national parks, so there's no shortage of opportunities to explore. For tree-lovers, there's the Forêts national park in northeastern France. Meanwhile, the coastal Calanques national park offers beautiful bays, rugged cliffs and secret caves.
The majority of French national parks, however, are in the mountainous Alps and Pyrenees. The Écrins national park has peaks up to 4100 metres as well as beautiful lakes and alpine pastures. Also in the Alps, the Mercantour and Vanoise national parks boast stunning views and wildlife. If you want to see rare creatures like the golden eagle or alpine chamois, these are the places to go.
Hiking in the French national parks
The best way to appreciate these inspiring views is on foot. The Contamines-Montjoie nature reserve for example, situated between the Écrins and Vanoise national parks is a great natural resource. This area encompasses the Mont Blanc massif, offering stunning views of the Beaufortin valley and Girotte lake. Take note though, some of the routes here are tough. If your idea of walking is a trip to the corner shop, maybe try something easier first!
The Giffre massif has over 350 miles of trails covering varied environments and challenges. Stay in the valleys if you prefer, or try some of the vertiginous climbs to show off your hiking prowess!
For those with no head for heights, a walk around Lake Serre-Ponçon is ideal. Situated on the borders of the Écrins, this lake will give you scenery without the challenge.
Can I find hotels near France's national parks?
If this is whetting your appetite for some walking, you'll want to know where to stay. Don't worry, there are lots of comfortable and characterful hotels at The Originals Hotels for you to choose from.
For easy access to the Écrins, The Originals Boutique, Hôtel Le Cap, Gap Sud is perfect. Its 20 rooms, six studios and three duplexes offer you all the comfort you need on your hiking trip.
Chalet-Hotel Neige et Roc, The Originals Relais is situated in the Chablais Geoparc, near the Giffre massif and not far from the Vanoise. And Chalet-Hotel La Marmotte, The Originals Relais is similarly well-suited for trekking in the Vanoise. Its spa has an infinity pool, hydrodistension area, aromatic hammam and other miraculous facilities to relieve your tired body after a day's mountaineering!
Wherever you choose to stay, you can be sure of a friendly welcome and all the comfort you need after your mountain exertions. So why not booking with The Originals Hotels today!
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Samoëns , France
Chalet-Hotel Neige et Roc,
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The Originals Relais
(Hôtel-Chalet de Tradition)
255, Grande Rue Route de Tanninges, 74340 Samoëns
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- Free hotel car park