Ecotourism in France

Ecotourism is very trendy all over the world. This sustainable tourism is really a growing activity in France. Eco-friendly tourism has been developed a lot in the country for the last 10 years. What about spending your holidays in the nature this year?

What is Ecotourism?

Ecotourism is a kind of tourism, which is more turned towards nature and ecology. This responsible tourism has been developed in France when people realized that tourism did not only have beneficial effects but, on the contrary, caused an important environmental pollution.

Respect is the key attitude to adopt while doing ecotourism: respect towards human beings, environment and the local culture.

Green tourism’s main objectives:

  • Contribution to the growth of local economies. Some natural areas or cultures, which are in jeopardy, can be saved thanks to that responsible tourism.
  • Make people curious of discovering nature areas and respecting those places.
  • Fight against poverty, as well as socio-economic disasters.

Evolution of Ecotourism in France

There have been numerous possibilities to make rural tourism in France for many years, but they have not really been emphasized. Nevertheless, French people working in tourism became aware of the importance of developing green tourism. Nowadays, more and more hotels try to meet special criteria in order to get the green label.

Environment-Friendly Accommodation

Concerning accommodation, natural regions’ hotels have an essential role in the protection of the French environment. “Eco lodges” is the term given to hotels or other accommodation structures, which are located in a natural environment and support this setting as well as local people.

Gîtes de France offer a wide choice of environment-friendly accommodation solutions, including for instance self-catering cottages, chambres et tables d'hôtes (Guest houses), rest houses, leisure chalets or camping sites.

Local people play an important role in the ecologic accommodation areas. Indeed in those new sites, which attract more and more tourists, farmers and rural people are the ones who welcome them, prepare their meals, etc.


Original Ideas

Ready to become an eco-tourist? French regions such as Brittany, Haute-Marne, Burgundy, Pays de la Loire, Franche-Comté, Centre offer numerous options for ecotourists:

  • Canoeing, riding, climbing, hiking, canyoning, potholing, etc.
  • Visiting islands or national parks and discovering rare animals' environment such as bisons, tortoises, pheasants, beavers, herons or kingfish.
  • Developing craft industries, local cultures (habits, food, etc.) and meeting rural population.
  • Sleeping on a houseboat on the canal du Midi (Southern France), on an island near Corsica, in a farmhouse in the Limousin region, in a castle in Centre region or even in a cabin perched in a tree in Brittany!
Click here to access the "rentals" page and see our best offers! You will probably find the perfect option for your environment-friendly holidays.

The most beautiful sightseeing of Normandy region is undoubtedly the Mont St Michel, which is classified in the UNESCO heritage list. If you want to be a perfect ecotourist, we suggest that you rent a pitch in a green camping site in the surroundings and to go to this wonderful rocky tidal island cycling or walking. You will discover beautiful - and unforgettable! -landscapes.

Another suggestion would be to spend some days in a small village and sleep in a cabin perched in the tree! There are more than 60 cabins in the trees in France, especially in western regions! Not only those cabins located in the middle of the nature offer a wonderful setting, but they are also very comfortable.

Charm and authenticity are the words, which best define those green accommodation types. The local hosts will give you a warm welcome and be proud to make you discover their culture. Staying in such places gives the opportunity to escape the reality and dream, but also to meditate on things and enjoy life in the nature!


You can find all these pieces of information in Guides Verts (green guides) about France.

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