Parc National du Mercantour: An Exceptional Land

Alongside the Italian border, the Parc National du Mercantour is the last stage of the Alps before they spill into the Mediterranean Sea. This exceptional setting between the sea and the mountains offers a diversity of landscapes and wildlife that is well worth the detour.

A Preserved Environment

A Sanctuary for Biodiversity

From olive trees to snow-capped peaks, the Parc National du Mercantour hosts a fauna and flora of a rare wealth and variety, even on a global scale. Since its creation in 1979, the park has been committed to re-introducing rare or endangered species in a natural way. You can watch gypaetes barbus (vultures), have an unforgettable encounter with wolves at Parc Alpha, or admire more than 2,000 species of plants – including 40 species which do not exist anywhere else in the world.

Official site of the Mercantour

A Mosaic of Incredible Landscapes

A Land of Adventure for All

With its summits peaking at more than 3000m and its many glacial lakes, the Parc National du Mercantour offers a palette of breathtaking landscapes. Looking for grandeur? Climb to the Lac d’Allos, the largest natural mountain lake in Europe and take the highest road in Europe, the Col de la Bonette, which connects the Ubaye and Tinée valleys. You can also treat yourself to a full panorama of the Mercantour, with the GR52A hiking trail and a complete change of scene with the American-style canyon of the Gorges de Cians!

A Vast Historic and Cultural Heritage

With Real Architectural Treasures

It was in the Vallée des Merveilles that early men, from the Bronze Age, left their indelible mark: once religiously significant pictograms which now astonish hikers. The Parc National du Mercantour also houses magnificent villages. Take a break in Tende, formerly a market town on the salt road, and let yourself be transported by its Italian-influenced mediaeval architecture. Or enjoy the charm of Saint-Martin-Vésubie, the little capital of the « Switzerland of Nice » with its Alpine houses.

Six Valleys with Distinct Particularities

And a Single National Park Spirit

Marked by various influences, the Parc National du Mercantour serves up scents of the Mediterranean, Provence, the Alps, and Italy along its 6 valleys. Verdon, Haut-Var-Cians, Ubaye, Tinée, Vésubie and Roya-Bevera: each valley reveals its unique character, as well as a shared will to promote responsible tourism through the Esprit Parc National brand.

Our suggestions