Port-Cros National Park

Port-Cros, an island-shaped National Park on the Var coast

The heart of the National Park covers the islands of Port-Cros and Porquerolles, on land and at sea. Port-Cros, an island of forests, intimate beaches and steep cliffs. Porquerolles, an inhabited island, generous and sincere like the people who have shaped it... and, everywhere, the Mediterranean, a sea of myths and history, a crossroads of differences, exchanges and communication. The National Park also covers the island of Le Levant, with an equally exceptional coastline to discover. Five coastal municipalities have signed up to the National Park charter: Le Pradet, La Garde, Hyères, la Croix-Valmer and Ramatuelle. Their coastlines are remarkable for the diversity of their landscapes and the richness of their flora and fauna.

The Port-Cros National Park is one of the two oldest national parks in France. Created in December 1963, it is Europe's first marine park. The park showcases its natural heritage through its fauna, flora and landscapes, as well as its history and architectural heritage. It offers walking routes, guided tours, events, etc.

Find service providers working with the Park using the "Esprit Parc" label.

Come to the Var to discover this protected natural area, a veritable marine and ornithological reserve.

See the Park website

More information on the Îles d'Hyères

Verdon Regional Nature Park

Straddling the Alpes de Haute Provence and the Var, the Verdon Regional Nature Park covers 46 communes and 180,000 hectares. It includes two jewels within its perimeter: Lake Sainte-Croix and the spectacular Gorges du Verdon, a gigantic gash in the limestone plateaux of Provence where the Verdon river slipped through. Var municipalities in the Regional Nature Park: Aiguines - Aups - Bargème - Bauduen - Brenon - Châteauvieux - Comps-sur-Artuby - Ginasservis - La Bastide - La Martre - La Verdière - Le Bourguet - Les Salles-sur-Verdon - Moissac-Bellevue - Régusse - Saint-Julien-le-Montagnier - Sillans-la-Cascade - Trigance - Vinon-sur-Verdon.

Find service providers working with the Park using the "Valeurs Parc naturel régional" mark.

See the Park website

See our gorges du verdon page

Gorges du Verdon : Randonnée avec vue panoramique

Sainte-Baume Regional Nature Park

The Park covers some 81,000 hectares, straddling the departments of Var and Bouches-du-Rhône. Its main feature is the long limestone cliff of the Sainte-Baume, a veritable mountain dominating a vast massif of spectacular scenery at an altitude of 1,147 metres. The massif benefits from a triple bioclimatic influence that provides it with an abundance of water, a rare and precious element in Lower Provence. A vast network of chasms, sinkholes, caves and underground rivers returns this water to mankind and the natural environment through numerous springs and resurgences that help to sculpt the mountain slopes.

In these ideal ecological conditions, an abundance of natural resources thrive, and certain species find a home here that is unique in the world. The Sainte-Baume massif is a place of spiritual pilgrimage(Basilica of Saint-Maximin: 3rd tomb of Christianity, grotto of Marie Madeleine, Chartreuse of Montrieux, Abbey of Saint Pons etc.), of lovers in search of Nature, leisure or History (Glacières, Museum, Castrums, House of the soil and heritage etc.).

Find service providers working with the Park using the "Regional Natural Park Values" label.

See the Sainte-Baume Regional Nature Park website

See our page on the Sainte-Baume massif

Massif de la Sainte Baume

The Plaine des Maures, National Nature Reserve

A Natura 2000 site classified as a national nature reserve, the Plaine des Maures is a real jewel, an exceptional nature reserve for flora and fauna that we must all protect and respect. 5,200 hectares in the heart of the Var, in the communes of La Garde-Freinet, Le Cannet-des-Maures, Le Luc-en-Provence, Les Mayons and Vidauban.

The great originality of the Plaine des Maures is mainly due to the nature of the soils (siliceous, compact and relatively impermeable), allowing the existence of a very tightly meshed hydrographic network. There are numerous ponds and temporary streams whose specific biological richness is internationally recognised. Around the Lac des Escarcets, in particular, there are many sedentary and migratory birds: harriers, teal and ducks live alongside the European bee-eater, which has come from tropical Africa and is a great consumer of dragonflies, the hoopoe and the oriole; there are no fewer than 30 species of orchid here, as well as dwarf irises, southern tulips, alders and black and white poplars over 15 metres tall.

Find out more about the Plaine des Maures, hiking...

La plaine des Maures

Pelagos Sanctuary

This 87,500 km² maritime area is the subject of an agreement between Italy, Monaco and France for the protection of the marine mammals that frequent it. In France, it begins at the Port-Cros nature park. It is home to a biological capital of high heritage value, with the presence of numerous species of cetaceans, which are particularly numerous in this area during the summer months. It is also an area dedicated to consultation, so that the many human activities already present can develop in harmony with the surrounding natural environment without compromising the survival of the species present and the quality of their habitats.

See the Pelagos Sanctuary website

The Conservatoire du Littoral

It protects around twenty sites on the Var coast and inland as far as the Verdon. It manages natural areas as well as forts and small heritage sites. Its work is part of the same approach as that of the National Parks, Regional Nature Parks and other protection bodies, with the aim of preserving and promoting our heritage. Some of the sites in the Var region: the Giens peninsula, the Hyères salt marshes, the Villepey ponds, the Plage de Pampelonne, the Domaine du Rayol, and many others.

See the Conservatoire du Littoral sites in the Var region

Flamants roses aux salins des Pesquiers Presqu'île de Giens Var F83

Services and activities


See also...

Discover the other natural landscapes of the Var.