Welcome to our hand-picked Top 10 selection of ecotourism accommodation flying the flag of the “Esprit Parc National” or “Valeur Parc Naturel Régional” label, for a guaranteed fabulous stay in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur! Head out to explore our parks and reserves while enjoying the region’s finest eco-friendly establishments.
A taste of Provencal nights in the Luberon…
Relaxation and bespoke services: the promise of Mas des Grès
Set in the Luberon Regional Nature Reserve, Mas des Grès is a charming three-star hotel and proud bearer of the “Hôtels au Naturel” label. A cross between an auberge and guest house, the establishment’s 14 rooms and suites have been refurbished using traditional materials to preserve the ancient soul of this 200 year-old home. Stroll among the veteran plane trees before stopping off for a refreshment by the pool, or unwind and recharge your batteries at the fitness room or steam room. Feeling peckish? Thierry’s restaurant welcomes you for a delicious lunch or dinner under the stars starring the day’s market fare… Mas des Grès is an ideal base for exploring the Luberon and offers plenty of on-site activities, together with a plethora of hiking and cycling trails.
Pitch your tent against the backdrop of Les Baronnies
Rediscover camping at Les Hauts de Rosans
Les Hauts de Rosans is a gorgeous four-star campsite gazing over the stunning Baronnies Provençales Regional Nature Reserve. Set next to the little village of Rosans, this 17-acre country haven rubs shoulders with the Drôme Provençale area in the Southern Alps. Simply pick your favourite tent, caravan or motorhome pitch, or opt for one of the cosy nests specially designed for nature lovers: Chantal and Henri also offer a truly exceptional choice of rented accommodation, ranging from chalets to mobile homes, eco lodges and even treetop cabins! After a friendly greeting, set down your bags and head to the heated pool set facing the mountains to savour the start of your nature break…
In the heart of the Verdon, near Gorges
Le Moulin du Château, a daring blend of Provencal tastes and fragrances
Le Moulin du Château*** in Saint-Laurent-du-Verdon humbly stands guard over the breathtaking Verdon Nature Reserve. Intimate and brimming with charm, this establishment promises an extra-warm welcome, plus an alluring choice of 10 rooms and suites. Owners Edith and Manon have lovingly preserved the charm of this ancient olive oil mill, still featuring an impressive millstone and presses. Next, head off on the local hiking trails to immerse yourself in the stunning Valensole Plateau or Verdon Canyon… 100% natural, 100% Provence!
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An enchanted foray into Camargue
Generations of cowboys at Le Mas de Peint…
Arles harbours many secrets… Not least of which is this fabulous, 17th-century ranch, offering a cosy cradle for eco-explorers. Set in the heart of the Camargue Regional Nature Reserve, Le Mas de Peint is a five-star establishment spanning 1,235 acres. Its proud owners, the Bon family, have been raising bulls for generations… You can saddle up with the cowboys (“gardians”) or simply step out to meet the horses and bulls that roam in semi-liberty here. Ecology runs in the veins of the ranch’s owners, who pride in sustainable growing and resource management techniques – and get around in an electric vehicle. Chef Grégory Brousse flies the flag of ecology too with his mouth-watering southern flavours and menus inspired by fruit and veggies grown in the garden.
Must-dos in the Alpilles
Mas de l’Oulivié tucked away in Les Baux-de-Provence
Fancy staying in one of France’s official Most Beautiful Villages? Mas de l’Oulivié is a four-star hotel offering 25 rooms and 2 suites. And like its home town, Les Baux-de-Provence, it promises to steal your heart… Working hand-in-hand with numerous local partners to preserve the environment, this beautiful establishment offers never-ending changes of scenery as the sun rises and falls over the Alpilles Regional Nature Reserve. Its pool blending perfectly into the surrounding olive trees promises soothing relaxation. You can prolong the pleasure with a massage or meditation session too… On the food front, the restaurant offers a tempting selection of regional fare.
The Sainte-Baume hills: a dream setting
Preserved countryside and authenticity: welcome to Les Arbousiers!
Thinking about spending a few days roaming the trails of the Sainte-Baume Regional Nature Reserve ? Les Arbousiers in the village of Roquebrussanne offers a tempting choice of gites, cottages, gypsy caravans and guest rooms. Tourism and the environment go hand in hand in this gorgeous setting splashed with colourful thyme and rosemary as far as the eye and steeped in the scents of the South. Welcome to a natural paradise at the gateway to a plethora of holiday experiences… If you want to make the most of the sea, the beaches of Hyères in the Var area are just a half-hour drive away. And if the countryside is more your jive, just slip into your hiking shoes, pack your backpack with a few essentials and step into the big unknown!
Exploring the Mercantour trails
Le Refuge de Bayasse, in the majestic Bachelard valley
Nestled in the gentle relief of Mercantour National Park, Le Refuge de Bayasse is perched at an altitude of 1,800 metres and offers all the comfort of a three-star hotel at the friendly price of a mountain refuge. The delightful owners of this insider’s address, keen mountain-lovers Magali and Damien, are also hotel industry professionals and their 11 “clean and cosy” rooms cater to every need. The two buildings, linked by a glass canopy, offer expansive views over the Mercantour mountains. Magali hosts a range of made-to-measure activities for all the family, while Damien concocts gourmet surprises in the kitchen.
Queyras, the promise of an eco-holiday to remember
On the menu: relaxation and good vibes at L’Équipe Hotel & Spa
Opened in June 1965, L’Équipe forms a dynamic duo with its home town of Molines-en-Queyras. This three-star hotel and spa, tucked away in the Queyras Regional Nature Reserve, sports 22 rooms and a pool/spa area ideal for relaxing after a hard day out on the slopes. Wind up your spa session in style with a Thai or energizing massage… From summer to winter, every season offers a palette of activities for all the family, from hiking to snowshoeing and children’s games. The menu is never short of ideas either: draw up a chair and take your pick of farm-to-table mountain and locavore treats.
Crystal-clear waters and views over Port-Cros Nartional Park!
Pin de Galle, a haven of tranquillity
Set between Hyères and Toulon, the charming village of Le Pradet is home to the Pin de Galle campsite nestling at the water’s edge, a stone’s throw from the gorgeous beach of the same name. Offering 40 tent and caravan pitches, it is an ideal stopover for holidaymakers visiting Port-Cros National Park. The campsite also offers a choice of bungalows with bathrooms and Bengali tents cradled by the sound of chirping cicadas… The pine woods provide plenty of welcome shade and peace for the perfect end to a busy day’s sightseeing. Between two excursions, stop off at Le Pradet’s local market to pick up some Provencal souvenirs to take home.
Charm and authenticity in the Écrins mountains
Hôtel Alliey at the foot of Col du Galibier
Opt for a spot of cocooning at Hôtel Alliey, in the mountain town of Le Monêtier-les-Bains, at the foot of the Serre-Chevalier slopes. Authentic and seamlessly blended into the stunning scenery of Écrins National Park, this hotel, complete with pool and spa, is located just 150 metres from the world-famed Grands Bains du Monêtier spa centre. Pampering, pampering everywhere… Treat yourself to a session in the steam room and massage with essential oils at the Atelier Spa Montagne by Yonka-Paris, before settling down on the terrace to savour the day’s market menu, or tuck up indoors with a selection of gourmet casseroles and verrines in winter. If self-catering is your thing, the Pré des Ours offers complete independence combined with services such as housekeeping and transfers.