Having worked as a South of France property surveyor for over three decades, I’ve come to learn all the reasons people fall in love with the region and want to relocate here. Some are attracted to the beaches and endless stretches of beautiful coastline.


Others, the reliable heat and 300 days of sunshine a year. Still more, the exquisite food, the fine wines, or the art, history and culture. These are the things that people naturally call to mind when they think about the South of France – and they’re all here in abundance. In addition, the natural beauty of the region simply cannot be beaten – so let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful National Parks in the South of France.


Stunning National Parks in Southern France 

Mercantour National Park


Just outside of Nice, Mercantour National Park boasts towering alpine peaks, glacial lakes, over 600km of gorgeous hiking trails that wind through forested hills and valleys, and an incredible array of flora and fauna. 2,000 species of plants can be found here with more than a hundred animal species to look out for – including marmots and the rare bearded vulture. Head to the summit of Mont Bégo and you’ll even find ancient rock carvings from the Bronze Age. 


Écrins National Park


Located in the Dauphiné Alps in the south-eastern part of France, Écrins National Park covers over 90,000 hectares and is another favourite destination for nature lovers. Ibex, foxes, golden eagles and marmots all make their home here amidst rushing streams and rolling meadows. Écrins really is one of the prettiest National Parks in the South of France – and contains the magnificent Barre de Écrins, the southernmost alpine mountain in all of Europe. 


Calanques National Park 


Calanques was only awarded National Park status in 2012, making it one of the youngest National Parks in the country. It’s also the first National Park in the whole of Europe to include land, sea and urban areas. Stretching from Marseille to La Ciotat, Calanques National Park is known for its gorgeous limestone cliffs, stunning bays and rich variety of wildlife. 


Cévennes National Park 


A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cévennes National Park’s impressive biodiversity is a must for nature lovers everywhere. Over 2,400 species of animal live here, including rare and endangered birds of prey, such as the golden eagle, eagle owl, griffon vultures and the short-toed snake eagle. With peaks, plains, and an outstanding trio of enormous caves to explore – replete with giant stalagmites – Cévennes National Park is one of the most stunning areas in all of Southern France. 


Port-Cros National Park 


Located on the Mediterranean island of Port-Cros, Port-Cros National Park is a renowned wildlife sanctuary which you can only access by boat from Saint-Pierre Marina in Hyères. It is both a National Park and Marine Park – meaning there are both terrestrial and maritime protection zones – and visitors must follow the rules for swimming and bathing, which is restricted to three beaches only. The island is nothing short of stunning, however – there are no cars, no smoking, and, aside from a very small village, no houses either. Perfect for hiking and day trips. 


Charles Mackintosh South of France Property Surveyor

The National Parks of Southern France must be seen to be believed – there’s nothing quite like them anywhere else in the world. If you’re considering moving to the region permanently, South of France property surveyor Charles Mackintosh is at your service. Get in touch today.


Image Source