Emblematic landscapes, alive and preserved

The Grands Sites de France are classified sites protected by law, known to all for the beauty of their landscapes. Living territories, they are committed to a demanding approach carried by the inhabitants and local communities: to preserve very attractive fragile sites, while allowing each visitor to take the time to discover and live a sensitive experience of the places.

Sites protected by law

Since 1906, the State has pursued a national protection policy reinforced with the law of May 2, 1930 "organizing the protection of natural sites and monuments of artistic, historical, scientific, legendary or picturesque character". This century-old policy, carried out in the field by the site inspectors of the regional departments of the environment, planning and housing, allows France to take advantage of a landscape heritage of quality and diversity. Remarkable. The law is essential for protection. However, it alone cannot suffice to preserve such frequented sites. A source of economic development, exchange and openness, tourism, if it is intrinsically linked to Major Sites, must however be considered to prevent the risks associated with over-frequentation of tourists, conflicts of use and degradation of landscapes.

The national policy of the Grands Sites de France

The Grands Sites de France is a delicate balance. This is why they require active, local management, provided by local authorities, an essential complement to the regulations. Awareness of the perverse effects of poorly controlled tourism has therefore led communities to engage with the State in the Grand Site de France approach, a sustainable development approach that meets 3 objectives:

  • preserve and restore fragile and attractive landscapes,
  • organize a quality welcome,
  • promote concerted territorial development based on the site's landscape value.


"Landscape portrait", the film from the Grands Sites de France

We are pleased to present to you the teaser for the film "landscape portrait" produced in 2017 by Clément Couturier and the Réseau des Grands Sites de France in order to raise awareness of the process and the Grand Site de France label. They were filmed on 3 Grands Sites de France (the Cirque de Navacelles, the Marais poitevin and Sainte-Victoire).

So make yourself comfortable and ... have a good discovery "Portrait de Paysages"