Parc National de la Vanoise

Top choice national park in Savoie

More than 100 mountain peaks tower above 3000m in this spectacular preserve. Between June and late September, 400km of walking trails grant access to the 529-sq-km park’s pine forests, meadows and dizzying cliffs. Road-trippers can delight in the park, too – grand fortifications like Fort Victor-Emmanuel and Fort Marie Thérèse are prime picnic territory and great for families to explore.

In winter, villages like Lanslebourg-Mont-Cénis and Termignon make idyllic bases for beginner and intermediate-level skiers.

It's best to have private transport.

The national park's main gateway towns – Termignon, Lanslebourg and Bonneval-sur-Arc – are along the main roads east from Modane (D1006 and D902), which is 100km southeast of Chambéry by road.

Col de l’Iseran (2764m), on the D902 between Bonneval-sur-Arc and Val d'Isère (30km), is only open in summer, as are both mountain passes linking the national park with Italy, the Col du Petit St-Bernard (to the north) and Col du Mont Cénis (to the south).

From Modane, Transdev Savoie ( runs a limited bus service to villages within the park; check the website for schedules.