Living France - - WHERE TO LIVE -

The area has a rich nat­u­ral her­itage, in­clud­ing gorges, canyons, caves, fresh­wa­ter rivers, pretty valleys, lush plateaux prairies and forests ga­lore, plus of course the im­pos­ing cen­tral mas­sif, all of which are home to di­verse flora and fauna and sev­eral rare species of birds and fish. As well as be­ing des­ig­nated a re­gional na­ture park in 1970, the Vercors also con­tains France’s largest na­ture re­serve, which stretches across 17,000 hectares pro­tect­ing a large pine for­est and more than 700 species of flora.

But don’t be fooled by this pic­ture of wilder­ness and con­ser­va­tion. This is no quiet, ru­ral out­back. In fact, the area has a busy an­nual so­cial and cul­tural agenda – and not just for the many tourists who flock there in win­ter and sum­mer. Lo­cals and visi­tors alike can en­joy a var­ied events pro­gramme and an end­less choice of sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. And should they want more, Va­lence and Greno­ble are both just 50 min­utes away by car.

Tilly Cress­well, who has lived in this part of France with her fam­ily since 2000, says it was the lure of the “great out­doors ad­ven­ture” that first brought them to the Vercors.

“My hus­band was a keen climber,” Tilly ex­plains. “He dis­cov­ered the area by chance on a cav­ing hol­i­day and wanted to re­turn for the climb­ing. We fell in love with the area and even­tu­ally fol­lowed our hearts here. It’s ideal for out­door types, though you have to be up for an ad­ven­ture as we get all the sea­sons here, in­clud­ing beau­ti­ful sum­mers but also cold win­ters with lots of snow.”

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