Protected areas

The Fondurane biotope

The Fondurane biotope is a protected site that is home to a multitude of birds. A protection order makes this place a paradise for fauna and flora. Take advantage of the calm of this area cut off from the cities to marvel as a family.

Preserved natural space

You are entering a remarkable natural area of 43 ha, located in the western part of the Lake of Saint-Cassien.

Classified as a Biotope Protection Order, since 1988, by the Prefect of the Var, to guarantee the conservation of natural environments, the Fondurane Biological Reserve is home to a rich and varied fauna and flora, which must be preserved.

The diversity of the source rocks (limestone and solica) and ancestral activities have conditioned the mosaic of environments. The biotope is home to numerous plant species from both open and forest environments. As time went by, water-sensitive vegetation (poplars, willows, reedbeds, etc.) was established near the shores of the lake. Beyond the upper limit of the water, plant formations have not varied and we can observe original forest formations (hornbeam, suberaies, pine forests, etc.) that concentrate remarkable species. But the specificity of the site is largely carried by the Quercus crenata oak.


To find out more : Quercus Crenata Oak

Formerly called Quercus pseudosuber or Quercus fontanesii, the Quercus Crenata oak is a hybrid of the cork oak and the hairy oak (it is also called the "false oak"). Discovered thanks to a census carried out during the impounding of the Saint-Cassien dam, its shape is very slender and its cork bark very thick. Its name "Crenata" comes from the shape of its serrated leaves. Very rare, it is only found in places where the local climate is favourable. The fresh woods of the Fondurane biotope make it a perfect place for the development of this species, and represents the most beautiful forest in France hosting oaks of this type.

Seasons in the reserve 

The biotope of Fondurane evolves with the seasons, renewing its landscapes and the methods for discovering it. A hike in the Fondurane biotope is always a unique experience, thanks to its ever-changing fauna and flora. Don't hesitate to multiply your hikes in this preserved area, and tell us, as a commentary, in which season you prefer it !


A "spot" open to sinners in autumn

Fishing is a passionate activity that must be practiced within the framework of the regulations. We refer you to the site of the fishing federation to know the opening periods.

See activtiy

Digital trail : discover the reserve with your smartphone.

Use your mobile phone to discover the biotope of Fondurane and get to know the natural environment of this place in an interactive way, thanks to visual and audio content. The digital trail is made up of 12 thematic stations hidden along the walkway allowing you to discover the local fauna and flora: wetlands, aquatic environment, observatory, fish life, oaks...

How do you do it ? 

Download the application “Pistes et Trésors” on your smartphone and launch the circuit "Cap nature à Fondurane".

Available on Apple Store and Google Play

Intagram : Share your photos #Visitesterel !

Post your most beautiful photos with the hashtag #VisitEsterel and follow our account @esterelcotedazur to be reposted !

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