An ecotourism projectA project that is both fun and educational

Too often, modern tourism involves the need to travel many kilometers by car or plane, even though our own country is rich in landscapes and natural treasures.

In the heart of a preserved nature, the visitors discover a still too little known biodiversity located right under their eyes. Sustainable tourism is a reminder of the importance of Nature in our daily life. This is why we are doing our best to allow the wild life to find its place in a dedicated sanctuary and to make aware young and old, in a fun and educational way, through a multitude of activities.

Because the development of responsible tourism in France involves pioneering projects, the Animal Reservation of the Monts d’Azur is still today one of the spearheads of this movement; which will only strengthen with the awareness of humans towards their environment.

Our natural bathing pondan eco-responsible action

Rejuvenate during your stay by taking advantage of our natural swimming pool to reconnect with well-being in an ecological way!

This natural bathing area has been designed for your pleasure in accordance with the rules of public health and in the spirit of conservation of the Monts d’Azur Reserve. We do not use bactericidal products nor ph correctors. We entrust to a reconstituted nature the care of purifying this water. Set in motion by a very elaborate pumping system, the water flows through a natural biotope before returning to the pool. This water garden does not support trampling and the visitor must enter this plant universe.

The natural pool water is rich in plankton that contributes to the purification process. As a result, any chemical is banned, including sun creams or oils!

Let yourself be seduced by this natural luxury and entrust your comfort to our microscopic collaborators! Back to basics and cure of vitality guaranteed!


Children must be accompanied by an adult

Pilot example of ecotourism and holidaysin a remarkable natural site

Tourism activity may have, in natural areas previously spared, a significant environmental cost due to:

• the creation or development of the necessary transport and accommodation infrastructures;
• seasonal overconsumption of natural resources including water but also natural areas themselves;
• Exceeding the capacity of wastewater treatment or household waste treatment.

On the basis of this observation, the Preserve association, together with the competent departments of the Conseil Général  and the Prefecture, has conducted a study aimed at promoting solutions that significantly reduce the environmental impact of tourism.

Three tracks are currently being explored on the site of the Biological Reservation of the Monts d’Azur :

1. Reduce the impact of existing or new infrastructures:

The Haut Pays is characterized by the presence of many old buildings of agricultural or industrial origin but also houses sometimes imposing, now abandoned (village of Thorenc). An environmental reflection requires a rehabilitation of the existing building rather than new construction, especially as there are now many techniques of bioclimatic renovation some of which have been implemented by the Preserve Association, with the support of Conseil Général  and State.The Haut Pays is also characterized by the beauty and diversity of landscapes still spared. In the next ten years, tourism is expected to develop there. It will then be the responsibility of actors in the sector to take into account the value of landscapes and design accommodation structures, perfectly integrated into the natural environment, space and material saving,  and possibly disassembled. This is the concept of the Ecolodge inaugurated in the summer of 2009 as part of rural excellence centers.

2. Manage natural resources: fauna, flora, water:

Tourism, to be sustainable, must imperatively take into account the scarcity and fragility of natural resources. They are a major strategic issue and must be carefully managed.
Developing  ecotourism and ecological holidays in a fragile territory and save water or manage waste, organizing site visits and preserve or increase biodiversity, developing the Reserve and identifying ecological services are the daily challenges of those responsible of the Monts d’Azur Reserve.

3. Encourage alternative ways of travel:

Tourist development of a fragile territory makes it necessary to favor  transportation which is economically efficient. The wagon hitch is one. Most of the existing tracks can be used provided they have lightweight and perfectly suspended horse-drawn carriages.

Our eco-responsible actions in the ReserveExperimental rehabilitation of a 19th century villa


• Rehabilitate an old villa to create 5 rooms of 2 to 4 beds;
• Test new renovation solutions;
• Develop an autonomous ecological habitat in energy and water.

The rehabilitation was preceded by a bioclimatic analysis of this villa: location, altitude, exposure, snow, rainfall, extreme temperatures, nature of the materials used.


the exteriors

The stone walls, bound by a poor mortar but covered with a very solid plaster, were preserved as well as most of the roof.

Balconies and overhangs

Designed for visitors to the Reserve, this villa has wooden balconies that surround the building as in the traditional architecture of the village of Thorenc. Their function is threefold:
• protection against sunshine in summer (in association with the progress of roofs) on the contrary optimization of solar rays in winter (adapted sizing);
• outdoor pedestrian circulation and optimization of interior spaces;
• wildlife observatories.

Experimental aero sensor

The aerothermal sensor is designed and developed specifically for this project. The sun’s rays warm the air circulating in the translucent box. This preheated air is then blown through mechanical ventilation into all rooms of the building.

This diurnal intake of heat will be stored in the mass elements (floor slab, “Fermacell” walls) to be restored at night. The system operates without additional power consumption, the VMC serving to push air into the air sensor.

This device is completed by a heated floor connected to a geothermal power plant which allows to acquire the additional heat necessary to the Home Page agritourism. This plant starts when the sun becomes insufficient (overcast, very low outside temperature).

At night, because of the energy performance of the building, the double flow ventilation can ensure, alone and in most cases, an air temperature of 15 to 18 ° C (59 to 64.4 F°).

Panneaux d’eau chaude solaires

They have been integrated into the balconies of the facade and allow the production of almost all the hot water consumed. A 600 liter (158.5 gallons) tank , very well insulated, stores the necessary domestic hot water.

External superstructures

Built in natural class 3 Douglas fir pine, it does not require any special treatment.


The same principles of bioclimatic architecture have been implemented, giving priority to:

• solar energy: the majority of the rooms have two south openings (4/5 rooms).
• natural insulation: local wood (drop ceilings) and cellulose wadding for walls and ceilings. This cellulose wadding comes from recycled local newspapers. It combines very high thermal performance (thermal resistance coefficient of 4 for walls, 6 for the ceiling) and lightness.
• storage of indoor heat in partitions made of cellular concrete or gypsum board mixed with cellulose fibers.
• Isothermal joineries in European wood (French laminated pine). All exterior joinery has been changed and is equipped with double glazing 4/16/4. In addition, all the openings were equipped with massive wood shutters.
• the installation of a geothermal heating system with horizontal sensor distributing all the rooms.

A room thermostat has been installed in each room. The heating will be done by a heating circuit imbedded in the screed of a poured floor. This process greatly favors geothermal energy inputs. In addition, this slab of lime favors the bioclimatic performance of the building.

Electricity and lights budget

Indoor and outdoor lighting has been provided in low energy light bulbs. The commons are equipped with presence detectors.


Reduction of water consumption

Showers in preference to bathtubs and water flow savers on each water point.
A gearbox screwed on the end of the tap allows to channel the jet and reduce the flow of water from 15 liters / min( 4 gallons/mn)  (standard flow) to 6 liters / min (1.6 gallons) BE A SAVING OF 60% FOR EQUIVALENT COMFORT.
A regulator installed on a handshower induces a saving of 50% on the consumption of water, reducing the flow of the shower from 20 liters / min to 9 liters / min. (from 5 to 2 gallons/mn)

Gray water recycling

A natural lagoon of 350 m2 (3767 square feet) for a volume of 250 m3 (8829 cubic feet) ensures complete purification of wastewater, which is then used to feed a rich wetland of several hundred species of plants, shrubs and trees of aquatic environments. This area is also a refuge for aquatic birds (grebe, marsh snipe, etc.).

Prepare your stayLive your adventure

How to come to the Reservation
Contact us
The restaurant
The restaurant