Logo Mercantour National Park

Mercantour National Park

Points of Interest

A Unique Cultural Heritage to Discover

Shaped by different influences, Mercantour boasts an important historical heritage. Crossroads of economic and cultural exchanges between Provence, Nice County, and Italy, Mercantour and its Municipalities preserve architectural and artistic treasures dating back to Roman, medieval, and Baroque times. The 15th and 16th century frescoed chapels deserve a particular mention.
Besides the acknowledged sites and monuments, there are several buildings belonging to the minor and less known national architectural heritage (rural buildings, mills, kilns, calvaries, fountains, etc.) and contributing to shape the identity of Argentera-Mercantour massif.

Valleys and Locations

Rocce rosse del Cian

Vista di Roubion

Haut Var-Cians Valley

Cians and Daluis gorges represent a unique natural setting in Europe.
Violent symphonies of colors and shapes dug into the blood-red pelitic rocks, these gorges have been shaped throughout the centuries by Cians and Var, two streams characterized by violent floods. The color of the rocks is given by the oxidation of the iron they contain.

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Tinée Valley

Tinée is a valley with a double face: deeply Mediterranean in the south and entirely "alpine boreal" in the north. It is a confined valley, whose river crosses steep walls organized in terraces, dominated by forests and summer grazing lands.

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Vésubie Valley

Gordolasque A raging tributary of Var, Vésubie runs in a valley closed by gorges and dug by the glaciers of the Quaternary period.
The olive trees of Lantosque almost immediately give way to alpine landscapes. Turini and Saint Martin Vésubie are surrounded by mountain forests. In the deep valleys of Gordolasque, Madone, and Boréon, large larch forests lead to the lakes of glacial origin set in the alpine meadows and surrounded by the walls of the summits where some snow fields resist also during the summer.
At less than 40 km from the sea, Vésubie valley offers high-mountain landscapes with summits of over 3,000m, like Mt. Gélas (3,143m).

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Roya - Bévéra Valley

Viuzza di Barcelonnette
Notre-Dames-des-Monts, sulle rive del lago d'Allos
The Valley of Wonders, a reference site of Roya Valley, scattered with glacial lakes and dominated by Mt. Bégo, is a real pagan sanctuary dating back to the Bronze Age. It preserves on its rocky slabs over 36,000 outdoor prehistoric engravings and represents one of the biggest sites in the world.

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Ubaye Valley

Ubaye valley, the northernmost valley in Mercantour, lies between Dauphiné, Provence, and Italy.
The river has dug here large terraces, giving origin to variegated habitats favoring the presence of several vegetable and animal species. The contrast of landscapes is clear between the long basin of Barcelonnette and the suspended valleys leading to the highest summits. The several hills have played an important role as ways of communication and for the military history of France: it is still possible to see ruins of fortresses, today useless watchtowers dominating ridges with no enemies, only populated by the covert shades of the bearded vulture, the ibex, the stoat, and the partridge.

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Haut-Verdon Valley

Surrounded by the Mediterranean light, Verdon upper valley is a mix of forests, summits, lakes, and pastures. In these dry mountains, whose meadows are used as pastures for the cattle, the relief is rough and the streams run among the black marls, giving origin to large dug slopes.
This valley combines traditional farmsteads, ski resorts, and fortified towns like Colmars les Alpes.

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