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 (www.transdevsavoie.com) runs a limited bus service to villages within the park; check the website for schedules.