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The Grand Sites of France are an exceptional selection of natural highlights

Canigou Abbey in the Pyrenees

The label 'Grand Site de France' has been granted to 33 locations in mainland France, which belong to the organisation known as the RGSF (Réseau des Grands Sites de France - network of Grand Sites of France).

All are listed sites, in attractive locations that attract large numbers of visitors each year. They each share the common challenges of meeting the conflicting needs of local residents, the environment, and exceptionally large numbers of visitors.

Of these Grand Sites, six are authorised to use the 'Grand Site of France' logo having met the stringent requirements, principally being required to demonstrate that the site is being developed and sustained in harmony with the local environment. These are indicated below.

Aven d'Orgnac

Aven d'OrgnacAven d'Orgnac, cave system in the Ardeche department of the Rhone-Alpes near the Gorges de l'Ardeche

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Pointe de Raz

Pointe du RazPointe du Raz, at the western tip of the Brittany peninsula

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Montagne Sainte-Victoire

Sainte-VictoireSainte-Victoire mountain near Aix-en-Provence

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Pont du Gard

Pont du GardPont du Gard, Roman aquaduct in Languedoc-Roussillon.

See Pont-du-Gard for details.

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Puy de Dome

Puy de DomePuy-de-Dome, volcanic site in Auvergne with a Roman temple at the summit.

See Puy-de-Dome for details.

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Bibracte

BibracteBibracte, in the Morvan region of Burgundy, and once home to an extensive Celtic population

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Beauport Abbey

Beaufort abbeyBeauport Abbey, Brittany: 13th century abbey and starting point for pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela

 

Alesia

AlesiaAlésia in Burgundy is the site of an important Roman battle between the gauls (under Vercingetorix) and the Romans (under Julius Caesar) in 52 BC - and now the site of a museum and recreated settlements to commemorate the event.

 

Bay of the Somme

Somme BayBay of the Somme is an important natural environment in northern France, best known for its birdlife.

See Somme for details.

 

Mont Saint Michel

Mont Saint MichelMont-Saint-Michel bay: abbey and island, south-west Normandy.

See Mont-Saint-Michel for details.

 

Camargue

Camargue, marshland, scrubland and wild horses form a unique Languedoc landscape.

See Camargue for details.

 

Cap d'Erquy at Cap Fréhel

Cap Frehel, BrittanyCap d'Erquy, next to better known Cap Fréhel, is an exceptional unspoiled coastal landscape in Brittany

 

Cirque de Gavarnie

Cirque de gavarnieThe Cirque de Gavarnie is in the heart of the High-Pyrenees, a great natural amphitheatre surrounded by circular cliffs and a waterfall.

See Gavarnie for details.

 

Cirque de Navacelles

Cirque de NavacellesCirque de Navacelles is an impressive natural cirque in Languedoc-Roussillon

 

Cirque de Sixt Fer à Cheval

Sixt Fer a ChevalThe Cirque de Sixt Fer à Cheval is a place of great beauty in the Rhone-Alps, with the local village also forming part of the site

 

Carcassonne

CarcassonneMedieval city of Carcassonne.

See Carcassonne for details.

 

Domaine du Rayol

Domaine du Rayol, Cote d'AzurDomaine du Rayol is an extensive botanic gardens on the coast in the Cote d'Azur.

 

Dune du Pilat

Dune du Pilat, Europe's largest sand dune, south of Arcachon

See Arcachon for details

 

Gorges du Gardon

Gorges du GardonPicturesque setting for the Gorges du Gardon, north of Nimes, and with various interesting natural features

 

Gorges du Tarn

Gorges du TarnGorges du Tarn, dramatic scenery in the Lozere department (northern Languedoc).

See Gorges du Tarn for details.

 

Gorges du Verdon

Gorges du verdonGorges du Verdon is often referred to as the 'Grand Canyon' of France. Found in Provence.

See Gorges du Verdon for details.

 

Iles Sanguinaires

Iles sanguinaires, CorsicaThe beauty spot of the Iles Sanguinaires is off the coast of Corsica.

See Corsica scenery for details.

 

Cap-Blanc-Nez and Cap-Gris-Nez

Cap Blanc Nez, BrittanyTwo coastal sites in Pas-de-Calais: Cap-Blanc-Nez and Cap-Gris-Hez

 

Brouage

Brouage rampartsBrouage, town with ramparts/ defenses and marshes.

See Brouage for details.

 

Marais Poitevin

Marais PoitevinMarais Poitevin, marshes of Poitou-Charentes.

See Marais-Poitevin for details.

 

Mont Canigou

Mont canigouMont Canigou, Pyreneean mountain of spiritual importance.

See Mont-Canigou for details.

 

Gâvres-Quiberon

Massif dunaire de Gâvres-Quiberon - protected coastal environment between Gavres and Quiberon in Brittany

 

Puy Mary

Puy Mary, Auvergne mountainPuy-Mary, Auvergne mountain (altitude 1783 metres) in the Parc des Volcans with far reaching views - largest volcano of its type in Europe

 

Rocamadour

RocamadourRocamadour, pilgrimage destination on Lot / Dordogne borders.

See Rocamadour for details.

 

Mont Ventoux

Mont VentouxMont-Ventoux is a famous barren and exposed mountain that often features in the Tour de France, and is in the Provence region.

 

Solutre-Pouilly

Solutre-PouillySolutre-Pouilly: dramatic cliff/rock high above a village, in Burgundy

 

Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert

Saint-Guilhem-le-DesertSaint-Guilhem-le-Desert and nearby Herault Gorges.

See Saint-Guilhem-le-Desert for details.

 

Vallee de la Clarée

View to valley de la clareeVallee de la Clarée, site of great beauty in the Hautes-Alpes department of Provence, near Briancon

 

Map showing positions of the Grand Sites of France

If you have a better photo of any of these grand sites of France please send it along so we can do them justice!

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