Natural parks

Parks close to the ocean

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Brittany’s three natural parks all have close connections with water. The Parc d’Armorique extends across the heart of Brittany, from the Monts d’Arrée, via the Aulne estuary and Crozon Peninsula, to the Molène archipelago. Here, the Parc Marin d’Iroise was the first marine park created off French shores. As to the Brière, down towards the Loire, it’s the second largest marsh in France.

Parc d’Armorique 

Set up in 1969 as the second regional natural park to be created in the country, this gorgeous area not only received specially protected status to preserve its undoubted beauty, but also to sustain traditions and to encourage a well-managed, sustainable rural economy here. For tourists, a scattering of small museums tell local stories well, while the Domaine de Menez Meur focuses on traditional Breton animals.

Parc de Brière 

The marshlands of the Brière regional natural park stretch between the Vilaine and Loire Rivers. Densely covered with reeds, this is the area with the greatest concentration of thatched houses in France. There’s a model village, Kerhinet, where craftspeople display their skills, but also more down-to-earth places where locals take you on punt rides to discover the hidden network of little canals and to introduce you to the wildlife, which is also showcased at the Réserve Ornithologique Pierre Constant.

Parc Marin d’Iroise 

Officially established in 2007, this was the first marine park created off the French coast, in large part to preserve the exceptional underwater environment here and to take into consideration sustainable development. UNESCO has designated it a Réserve de la Biosphère, indicating its importance and uniqueness on a global scale.The Mer d’Iroise in fact conceals the largest algae ‘fields’ in Europe under its waters. A large proportion of France’s sea creatures thrive here.

Did you know?

Experts have identified some 300 different varieties of algae in the Mer d’Iroise.

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