Furry and feathery encounters in the French Southern Alps

Discover the French Southern Alps with all the family and give your tribe an opportunity to test their wildlife observation skills… Here’s our favourite pick of wilderness walks and hikes on the Alpine trails.

Full immersion

Surprising encounters in the Alpes-Maritimes

Located near Nice, the Réserve des Monts d’Azur nature reserve in Thorenc offers a full immersion in our heritage wildlife species including the European bison, Przewalski’s horse, griffon vulture and golden eagle. Spanning 1,700 acres of meadows, woodland and rocky cliffs, the reserve promises a unique expedition in the hands of expert guides. You can even opt for a horse-drawn cart tour, or horse-drawn sleigh ride in winter. The adventure continues at Saint-Martin-Vésubie with the Parc Alpha in the footsteps of the mysterious and fascinating wolf. The park is divided into three zones: the Pas du Loup trail takes you to the famous Pont de Cerise bridge, while Temps des Hommes promises an exciting multimedia, multisensory plunge into history. Last but definitely not least, don’t miss Le Temps du Loup where you can get up close and personal with the park’s three packs of wolves to observe their fascinating behaviour.

The wild valleys of Serre-Ponçon and Champsaur

Set amid the mountains and just a stone’s throw from the famous lake of the same name, the Serre-Ponçon animal park promises an unforgettable family experience, with highlights including birds of prey shows and introductions to feeding and caring for red foxes, wolfdogs and marmots: all you have to do is pick your favourite activity. If you want to get even more up close and personal with the animals of Champsaur valley, Parc du Creuzet invites you to discover the world of our adorable marmots and impressive, long-bearded yaks. You’ll also glimpse chamois, ibex goats and reindeer… If you’re really quiet, you might even be able to sneak right up to say hello!

Back to the roots in the Mercantour

A day making friends with iconic species…

A paradise for butterfly lovers, the landscapes of the Mercantour Haut-Verdon are the favourite playground of butterfly expert Christiane. Her 3-hour Le Monde des Papillons guided walk – distinguished with the Esprit Parc National label – unveils all the secrets of these colourful beauties. Opt for Rando Passion if you’d like to meet the local marmots in their exceptional natural environment. They simply love capering around on the mountain slopes or resting in the sun-drenched grass, so keep your eyes peeled! It’s time for a change of scenery with one of the world’s most infamous predators: the wolf. Wolf specialist Christian Lorenzetti shares a host of fun facts, myths and legends with participants during his mesmerizing mountain forest walks.

Under the moonlight

Follow your passionate guide and nature lover Christiane Ray Anezin to Beauvezer for this Esprit Parc National-certified getaway entitled Histoire de la géologie & de la biodiversité du Mercantour Haut-Verdon (History of geology & biodiversity in the Mercantour Haut-Verdon). You’ll love her fascinating insights into the local soil, flora and fauna. Prolong the pleasure with Cédric Robion’s 3-day tour called Découverte de la faune du Mercantour (Discovering Mercantour fauna), including 3 nights at pretty « Ecogîte » lodgings out in the country. An ecosystems expert, Cédric is a truly fascinating character, constantly scanning the surrounding countryside with his spyglass to help you spot the local wildlife treasures without ever disturbing them

Elusive Alpine animals

Follow the tracks

If you fancy an easy-going foray into the natural riches of Devoluy, Luc Bernard is a genuine fountain of knowledge. Geared up with snowshoes in winter or good walking boots in summer, you’ll enjoy identifying animal tracks and tasting local produce inside a yurt. So if capturing wild ibex goats on camera is your dream, look no more! The Bureau des Guides de Briançon professional guide service promises the very finest observation spots and very best memories to take back home… Last but not least, in Jausiers, Eric leads hiking fans on a wonderful wilderness walk filled with adorable little marmots and ibex goats trotting almost magically across sheer rock faces. Simply savour the moment…