France's Grands Sites

France's Grands Sites

The 40 Grands Sites are places now protected by a French law of 1930 on ‘the protection of natural monuments and sites that have an artistic, historic, legendary or picturesque value.’ They are all very well-known and most earn ‘3 stars’ in tourist guidebooks. Despite their diversity, Grands Sites tend to be confronted by similar challenges:

• The preservation and restoration of attractive yet fragile landscapes

• The intelligent organisation, management, and control of throngs of visitors

• The promotion of values of sustainable development.

The association has created a government-protected ‘Grand Site de France’ label. This label guarantees that the site is managed and preserved with respect for the principles of sustainable development, reconciling preservation of the landscape with the reception of tourists as well as the participation of local inhabitants and other partners in making the Grand Site thrive. Awarded for a six-year period, the Grand Site label may be withdrawn if these commitments are not met.

The establishment of this label represents an important step in the recognition of local and national commitment to long-term management of these sites. In Septembre 2013 there are 40 sites:

  • Alésia
  • Anse de Paulilles
  • Aven d'Orgnac
  • Baie de Somme
  • Baie du Mont-Saint-Michel
  • Bibracte - Mont Beuvray
  • Camargue Gardoise
  • Caps Erquy et Fréhel
  • Cirque de Navacelles
  • Cirque de Sixt Fer à Cheval
  • Cité de Carcassonne
  • Domaine du Rayol
  • Dunes de Flandre
  • Dune du Pilat
  • Estuaire de la Charente – Arsenal de Rochefort
  • Gorges de l'Ardèche
  • Gorges du Gardon
  • Gorges du Tarn et de la Jonte
  • Gorges du Verdon
  • Iles Sanguinaires - Pointe de la Parata
  • Les Deux Caps Blanc-Nez, Gris-Nez
  • Marais et place forte de Brouage
  • Marais Poitevin
  • Massif des Ocres
  • Massif du Canigó
  • Massif dunaire de Gâvres Quiberon
  • Mont Ventoux
  • Pointe des Châteaux
  • Pointe du Raz en Cap Sizun
  • Pont du Gard
  • Presqu’île de Giens, Salins d’Hyères
  • Puy de Dôme
  • Puy Mary Volcan du Cantal
  • Rocamadour
  • Solutré Pouilly Vergisson
  • Saint Guilhem le désert - Gorges de l'Hérault
  • Sainte-Victoire
  • Vallée de la Clarée et Vallée étroite
  • Vallée de la Restonica
  • Vallée du Salagou et Cirque de Mourèze

Visualize the sites on a map

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