MONTS D'AZUR RESERVE ANDONShare
The Monts d'Azur reserve is the ideal place to go and meet wild animals on a walking safari or in a horse-drawn carriage. This unique place in Europe allows you to observe ancestral species of our meadows and forests such as European bison, elk, fallow deer, red deer, przewalski's horses....
You can extend the experience with a lunch in the organic restaurant with a breathtaking view of the reserve. And if you want a total immersion, you can spend an unusual night in ecolodges close to the animals, or in a bioclimatic villa.
Europe's largest animal reserve
700 hectares where animals live in complete freedom. Come and meet more than 500 species of all kinds. A unique experience, where man is invited to meet an exceptional fauna and flora.
The reserve is located in the Monts d'Azur, next to the resort of Gréolière les Neiges and more precisely between Andon and Thorenc. At only 1 hour from Nice and Cannes, the landscapes seem to come from another continent.
Thanks to its proximity to the resort of Gréolière (16 minutes by car), you have the possibility of combining a visit to the reserve with a holiday in the mountains in all seasons.
To meet bison, deer, elk...
A great diversity of species can be found on the site of the Monts d'Azur reserve, including mammals, birds (avifauna), insects (entomofauna), reptiles and amphibians (herpetofauna), as well as flora.
You can see mammals from the Neolithic period such as :
- The European bison: Europe's largest land mammal
- The elk: the largest and most imposing of the deer
- European fallow deer : with a beautiful speckled or grey/black coat depending on the season
- Przewalski's horse: the closest species to the prehistoric horse
- Red deer: whose bellowing sounds from September to October
- Wild boar: the best gardener on the reserve
Birds are diverse on the site, demonstrating the good health of the ecosystems:
- The golden eagle, the griffon vulture, the hobby falcon, the little grebe, the grey heron, the little scops owl, the tawny owl... About a hundred species can be observed on the site throughout the seasons.
The small mammals of the forest are present although more difficult to observe:
- Red fox, badger, pine marten, red squirrel, brown hare, ferret, amphibian vole...
"The challenge of the Monts d'Azur reserve is not only to put majestic and ancient animals on public view, but above all to prove that their actions in the forests and meadows contribute to the maintenance and expansion of biodiversity, both in terms of flora and fauna. "Patrice Longour, veterinarian and founder of the Monts d'Azur reserve
The reintroduction of large mammals, such as the European bison, the elk or Przewalski's horse in these environments is a rewilding of the ecosystems, allowing to restart the European plant and animal dynamics. A single guided tour of the site will convince you of the importance of these animals in the forests.
A safari in any season
The Monts d'Azur reserve, its landscapes and animals, change with the seasons:
- Spring: births,
- Summer: the reproduction of the Bison,
- Autumn: the stag's bellow
- Winter: white coat and animals with their thick fur.
While the landscape of the reserve is dressed in white or green, accompanied by its flora. Several choices of safaris are proposed to observe the animals in their natural habitat according to the seasons.
Guided safari on foot or by horse-drawn carriage
A walking tour accompanied by a guide to discover the species in the reserve. Bring comfortable clothing, water and good walking shoes.
Duration of the safari: 2 hours.
Accessible to children, from 6 years old, and to good walkers.
An immersion in the animals from 15€ for children, 24,50€ for adults.
In a horse-drawn carriage
For the less athletic or for children under 6 years of age, the carriage ride will be perfect. Towed by horses, discover the many species that are hidden in the reserve.
For a 75 minute ride, you can expect to pay from 17€ for children and 27€ for adults. Free for children under 2 years old if they stay on your lap. Remember for your safaris to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before the departure for the call of your group.
Possibility for these two formulas to have lunch outside with the "plancha basket" formula. On the menu from 12,50€ : grilled meat + side dishes + drink.
Read the article: A Day on the Reserve
Snowshoe and sled safari
In winter, explore the Monts d'Azur reserve dressed in its coat of snow. Let yourself be carried away by the magic of winter as a foretaste of Christmas. Winter transforms the reserve's landscape as well as the animals. A visit that will make you discover the reserve from another angle.
A sporty walk close to the animals. Bring warm clothes and adequate shoes.
Children must be at least 6 years old.
Show up 15 minutes before the guide can equip you.
In a sled
This is a quieter ride, pulled by horses, and is open to all. But don't forget to bring your cold weather gear.
Free for children under 2 years old if on their knees.
Also plan to equip your car before undertaking the journey under the snow up to 1200m altitude.
Unusual night close to the animals
Make the pleasure last by offering yourself a night in the heart of the Monts d'Azur reserve. Sleep a few steps away from the animals. A magical night where you can observe the inhabitants of the reserve from the corner of a campfire.
Several formulas are proposed to you as :
- Adventure stay at 130 euros per person adult
Lodging in an ecolodge for 1 night on half board + 1 walking safari of 2 hours
- Wellness stay from 115€ onwards
Lodging in a bioclimatic villa with half board, i.e. dinner, night and breakfast with safari to be booked in supplement
- Authentic stay from 99€ onwards
Lodging in Le Petit Manoir on a half-board basis (1 night + 1 dinner + 1 breakfast)
The proposed accommodations have the lowest possible impact on the environment while respecting the ethics of the place. The accommodations are made of wood, stone, recycled materials, and use renewable energy for their operation.
An eco-responsible reserve
The Monts d'Azur Reserve is a pilot project for ecological tourism. Alena and Patrice Longour, veterinarian and founder of the reserve, put the welfare of the fauna and flora first, applying ethical, responsible and ecological values.
No mass tourism, no commodification of animals, on the contrary, create a reserve with a great biodiversity. To achieve this, everything is controlled so that the visitor's ecological footprint is minimal and does not disturb the reserve's ecosystem.
A visit to the Monts d'Azur reserve means becoming a guest of the wild fauna and flora, in order to observe them in their most intimate state.
Visit the Monts d'Azur reserve, it is an invitation to meet nature
40% of the price of your ticket goes directly to saving wildlife.
The organic restaurant
An organic restaurant will make you discover its tasty dishes. A covered room and a terrace, to welcome you in any season. The terrace offers a breathtaking view of the reserve and the animals. A refined and gourmet cuisine made with good products is to be tasted.
To get to the reserve, you need a car. The parking is free.
The opening hours depend on the school holidays and the seasons.
The Mont d'Azur reserve is open every day during the school year.
Out of school period, visits are possible from Wednesday to Sunday.
Good to know
Picnics are not allowed to preserve the animals (illness, etc.)
Pets are not allowed.