Nature areas comprise 2,609 km² (1,008 sq. mi), or more than a quarter of the area of the Savoie Mont Blanc region, equal to two times the size of the city of Los Angeles. This includes a national park, two regional nature parks and 14 nature reserves; a number signifying the long-term commitment to conservation, to ensure nature never loses its charms.
The two department's massifs are home to unique wild flora and fauna. Humans learned long ago of the importance of conserving this natural heritage. A pioneer in this respect, Savoie created in 1963 the first French National Park, Vanoise National Park. Two regional nature parks and 14 nature reserves also ensure the land's natural wealth is protected.
Vanoise National Park is located between the Maurienne and Tarentaise Valleys. Established in 1963 to protect the Alpine ibex, it is more than 53,000 ha (130,966 acres) in size, and its highest peak, la Pointe de la Grande Casse, reaches 3,855 metres. It has been combined with the Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy, thus creating the largest protected area in Western Europe.
Chartreuse Regional Nature Park is located between Chambéry and Grenoble. The park comprises a limestone massif, easily recognised by its white cliffs, containing a 280 km (174 mi) network of underground galleries. With an area of 69,000 ha (170,503 acres), it is also notably home to La Grande Chartreuse Monastery.
Massif des Bauges Regional Nature Park, located between Annecy, Albertville and Chambéry, covers 90,000 ha (222,395 acres). It ranges in elevation from 250 m to the 2,217 m Mont Arcalod. This park, located in the Lower Alps and bordered by Lakes Bourget and Annecy, is the habitat of around 4,000 chamois, and has 480 km (299 mi) of trails.
Savoie Mont Blanc's 14 Nature Reserves are spread throughout the territory. These reserves generally protect a more limited area, one that concerns a specific category of flora or fauna, such as forests, natural amphitheatres, Martagon lilies, Alpine ibex, black grouse, migratory birds, etc.
A National Park is established in an area that is generally uninhabited. Its main purpose is to protect and preserve a unique natural area. This area is subject to special regulations that fall under the [French] State's jurisdiction and govern management of the Park.
A regional nature park is an amazing place on many levels - architectural, historical, cultural, botanical, etc. This type of park is created by communes wishing to preserve this natural heritage via a special label given by the State, and by adhering to a charter.
A nature reserve is a part of a territory where conserving the natural environment has particular importance. It's necessary to protect this area from any harmful artificial intervention.
Du lundi au vendredi de 9h à 12h30 et de 13h30 à 17h30