Natural Parks .

Discover the incredibly rich plant and wild life, as well as the authentic landscapes. For several decades, locals have fought to preserve the identity of their territory whilst still sharing it with visitors. They want to preserve the nature and the landscapes, but also the cultural heritage, human values, etc. Var is one of the French departments with the most protected spaces with: 1 National Park, 2 Regional Natural Parks and 1 National Nature Reserve. There are several other exceptional natural spaces, such as the Espaces Naturels Sensibles (Sensitive Natural Spaces), protected and managed by local people. In this respect, Var is proud to be the French department with the 2nd most natural spaces!

Port-Cros National Park .

Port-Cros is a national park in the shape of an island
The heart of the national park includes the islands of Port-Cros and Porquerolles (on land and the sea). Port-Cros is covered in forest, and sits between intimate beaches and steep cliffs. Porquerolles is an inhabited island as generous and sincere as the people that made it… Surrounded by the Mediterranean, a sea full of myths and history, where differences intersect and exchanges and communication take place. The National Park includes the Levant Island and has an exceptional coastal fringe, just waiting to be discovered. Five coastal villages have joined the National Park Charter: Le Pradet, La Garde, Hyères, la Croix-Valmer and Ramatuelle. Thanks to the diversity of its landscapes and the richness of the plant and wildlife, their coast is remarkable.

Port-Cros National Park is one of the two oldest National Parks in France. Created in December 1963, it was the first Marine National Park in Europe. The park is home to natural heritage in the form of plant and wildlife and the landscapes, but also a place of history and architectural heritage. There are hiking routes, guided visits and other types of entertainment available.

Identify the service providers involved with the Park thanks to the “Esprit Parc” brand.

Come and explore this marine and ornithological reserve, which is a protected natural space.

Visit the park’s website

For more information about Hyères island


Gorges du Verdon : Randonnée avec vue panoramique

Verdon Regional Natural Park .

In between the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Var, the territory of Verdon’s Natural Regional Park extends across 46 villages and has a total surface area of 180,000 hectares. There are two gems along its perimeter: Sainte-Croix lake and the spectacular gorges of Verdon, massive canyons in Provence’s limestone plateaus, between which you can find Verdon. Var’s villages within the Regional Natural 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.

Identify the service providers involved with the Park thanks to the “Valeurs Parc naturel régional” brand.

Visit the park’s website

Visit our page on the gorges of Verdon

Massif de la Sainte Baume

Sainte-Baume Regional Natural Park .

The park is around 81,000ha wide and straddles the French departments of Var and Bouches-du-Rhône. It mainly revolves around the long limestone cliff of Sainte-Baume, a great mountain that, at 1,147 metres high, dominates the vast massif and spectacular landscapes. The massif has a triple bio-climatic influence which means it has an abundance of water, which is a rare and precious element in lower Provence. An important network of gulfs, sink-holes, caves and underground rivers return this water back to humans and the natural environment, through numerous springs and resurgences that help to sculpt the slopes of the mountain.

Thanks to these ideal environmental conditions, nature can thrive and certain species find a habitat that they cannot get anywhere else in the world. The Sainte-Baume massif is also a place of spiritual pilgrimage (it contains the Saint-Maximin Basilica, which is the 3rd largest Christian tombstone,the Mary Magdalene cave, Montrieux charter house and Saint Pons Abbey, etc.). It is also great for those in search of nature, leisure or history (it has: glaciers, a museum, castra, places to buy local products and experience local heritage, etc.).

Identify the service providers involved with the Park thanks to the “Valeurs Parc naturel régional” brand.

Visit the park’s website

Maures plain and massif

Plaine des Maures, a national nature reserve .

As a Natura 2000 site classified as a national nature reserve, this gem of a site is an exceptional nature reserve that protects and respects plant and wildlife. 5,200ha in the heart of Var, spread across the villages of La Garde-Freinet, Le Cannet-des-Maures, Le Luc-en-Provence, Les Mayons and Vidauban.

Plaine des Maure’s uniqueness is mainly linked to the nature of its soils (siliceous, compact and relatively impermeable), that allows a tightly-linked hydrographic network to exist. There are many ponds and arroyo, whose biodiversity is internationally recognised. Around the Lake of the Escarcets, there are many sedentary and migratory birds: harrier, teals and ducks that mix with European bee-eaters, who came from tropical Africa and consume a lot of dragonflies, the Eurasian hoopoe and the Eurasian golden oriole; there are no less than 30 species of orchids, Crimean iris, southern tulips, alders and black or white poplars that stand over 15 metres tall.

Pelagos Sanctuary .

An 87,500km² maritime area that is the result of an agreement between Italy, Monaco and France, in order to protect the marine mammals that can be found there. In France, it starts at Port-Cros. It accommodates biological capital of high value for the heritage of the land, thanks to the presence of many cetacean species, which are most often found along the perimeter in summer. People within the sanctuary are encouraged to communicate, so that any human activity is carried out in harmony with the natural environment and doesn’t jeopardise the existence of the species there or the quality of their habitats.

Visit the Pelagos Sanctuary website

Flamants roses dans le Var

The coastal conservation area .

It protects around twenty sites along Var’s coast, but also in the inland region, up to Verdon. It preserves natural spaces just as well as forts and the rural heritage. It works towards the same goal as the National Parks, Regional Natural Parks and other protective organisations to preserve, but also showcase, the region’s heritage. A few sites in Var: Giens Peninsula, the Hyères salt marshes, the Villepey ponds, Pampelonne Beach, the Rayol territory and many others.

Visit the coastal conservation sites in Var