BAUGES GEOPARK (France)
The Bauges Massif is located in the northwestern part of the Alps in France. The border of the Geopark perfectly fits with the existent Regional Nature Park. It appears as a rocky fortress or preserved natural island with high summits in contrast with the outer crown of lower valleys.
Conservation, Education & Tourism
The Massif des Bauges Geopark spectacular landscape, with conformable and inverted reliefs symbolized by perched synclines, results from tectonic folding during mountain building between 20 and 30 millions years ago. Mesozoic limestone, shales and tertiary sediments were folded and faulted during that period. The territory now appears as a water tower with numerous karstic networks, deep and narrow canyons and waterfalls supplying the two largest natural lakes in France.
The territory is rich in historical monuments from the 1st to the 19th century, such as towers built with local limestones. “Natura 2000 sites” and “Wild Fauna National Reserve” preserve natural heritage such as Potentille du Dauphiné (Potentilla delphinensis), blue thistle (Eryngium alpinum), chamois (Rupicapra Rupicapra), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and lynx (lynx lynx). All this has created a territory with a strong local identity.
Numerous and varied museums and sites of interest welcome visitors interested in the area. In the Bauges Geopark, geotourism concerns not only geology, but also closely linked themes. For example, local wine producers have long been aware that the quality and originality of their wines are due to the area’s soils and exposures. Wines (red and white wines "Vins de Savoie" with 10 vintages) and cheeses ("Tome des Bauges") have a denomination of origin. The essence of the Geopark is well captured by producers that have developed guided tours linking geology and landscape to wine.
The Global Geoparks Network is supported by UNESCO at the request of Member States