Did you know you can find flamingos in France? These 6 French regional parks are home to some of the most incredible landscapes in the world.
Experience France's natural regional parks
While national parks are meant to preserve nature in its most pristine state, France's regional parks serve a slightly different purpose. In addition to maintaining the regions' natural beauty, these protected areas are meant to showcase cultural heritage and historic importance. These six parks across the country are home to unimaginable wonders from wild flamingos to dramatic mountain peaks.
1. Parc Naturel Régional d'Armorique. Brittany
With 425,000 acres of land, this was the second park of its kind in France, and it's Brittany's only regional park. Islands, mountains and cliffs cover the sprawling Armorique Regional Natural Park, which stretches inland all the way to the coast. Seals, salmon, otters, and beavers all make their homes in and along the water, and the distinct biodiversity continues inland with a variety of bird species spread out across the dunes, marshes and peat bogs. Mysterious megaliths and standing stones also dot the park, dating back to prehistoric times.
2. Parc Naturel Régional du Camargue, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Flamingoes, horses, rice fields, and salt lagoons: Camargue Regional Natural Park is an absolute dream. Located at the delta where the Rhone River meets the Mediterranean Sea, the marshy landscape of Camargue has supported humans and wildlife for thousands of years. Sample some of France's famous fleur de sel and Camargue red rice, or get a glimpse of the Camargue horse in action. This ancient breed of white horses has traditionally been used to herd the region's black bulls. Flashy pink flamingos can also be found in the park all year round.
3. Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne, Auvergne
Did you know that France has volcanoes? Located in the Massif Central mountains, Auvergne des Volcans Natural Regional Park is full of dormant volcanoes, glacial valleys and stony plateaus. Thermal baths dating back to Roman times are the perfect way to relax after a long day, and it's the ideal place to sample St-Nectaire and Salers cheese. This park is a haven for lovers of the great outdoors, with hiking, biking and even skiing in winter.
4. Parc Naturel Régional du Verdon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
The incredible glacial gorges found in Verdon Natural Regional Park are filled with turquoise water turned milky blue by rock flour. Located in central Provence, this is Provence like you've never seen it before! Ranging in topography from lush green hillsides to barren limestone plateaus, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and kayaking amid the resplendent scenery.