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The Calanques, France's tenth national park

Sites and monuments Provence-Alps-the French Riviera Marseille

The Calanques zone between Marseilles and La Ciotat

Know for its splendid landscapes comprising white cliffs plunging into the sea and small isolated creeks, the Calanques National Park is also remarkable for its biodiversity. © ADD

After the island of Reunion in 2007, the Calanques zone between Marseilles and La Ciotat is now classified as a national park. The challenge: reconcile protection of nature and human activities.

After the Vanoise, Port-Cros, the Ecrins, the Pyrénées, the Cévennes, the Mercantour, Guadeloupe, Guyana and Réunion, France now has a tenth national park.

In preparation for over ten years, the Calanques national park officially saw the light of day on 18 April 2012. The new park extends over seven communes including Marseilles, Cassis and La Ciotat. It is the only national park in Europe that is continental, marine and peri-urban.

A great tourist zone

Know for its splendid landscapes comprising white cliffs plunging into the sea and small isolated creeks, the Calanques National Park is also remarkable for its biodiversity. On land as at sea, the site has numerous protected animal species including Bonelli's eagle, the grouper, the brown meagre and even species of dolphins and marine turtles.

If the classification of this zone as a national park aims to protect the fauna, flora and more generally the natural heritage, the challenge will above all consist of reconciling the protection of nature and human activities. Each year 1.5 to 2 million visitors come to the Calanques National Park.

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