Major natural sites of France
The 34 Grands Sites de France [Major natural sites of France] are protected sites under the Law of 2 May 1930 on the “protection of natural monuments and artistic, historic, legendary or picturesque sites”.
They are very well known and most are “three-star” destinations in tourist guides.
In their diversity, the Grands Sites face similar challenges:
- The preservation and restoration of fragile, attractive landscapes
- The intelligent organisation of intensive visiting which needs to be managed and controlled
- The promotion of sustainable development values
The Grands Sites de France network has created a Grand Site de France® label, protected by the French State. This label guarantees that the site is preserved and managed according to the principles of sustainable development, reconciling preservation of the landscape and the spirit of the sites, quality of visitors’ welcome, and the involvement of inhabitants and partners in the life of the site. Awarded for six years, the label may be withdrawn where managers fail to meet their commitments.
Its creation is an important step in the recognition of the commitment of local authorities and the State to their long-term management. In 2008, six sites held the label: Bibracte Mont-Beuvray in the Morvan, Puy de Dôme, Aven d’Orgnac in the Ardèche, Sainte-Victoire in Bouches du Rhône, Pointe du Raz in Finistère, and the Pont du Gard.