walking & adventure holidays
The Mercantour - always surprising....
The Mercantour - a mere hour's drive from the hubbub of the French Riviera stretching north along the Franco Italian border - is one of the least known, yet best National Parks in France.
Created in 1979, the protected area covers some 685 square kilometres, consisting of a central zone comprising seven valleys - Roya, Bévéra, Vésubie, Tinée, Haut Var/Cians (in the Alpes Maritimes) plus Verdon and Ubaye (in the Alpes de Haute Provence).
The only village in the central zone is the fascinating Mollières, razed to the ground in front of the Allied advance at the end of WWII, and now being re-inhabited by humans and our lupine friends alike!!
The outer zone of the Park includes 28 villages, many of which are perched, and rich with cultural interest.
A lover of the great outdoors however, can enjoy magnificent peaks over 3000m, including Cime du Gélas at 3143m, and a wealth of flora and fauna, rarely bettered anywhere in the world.
At the heart of the eastern side of the Mercantour is the Vallée des Merveilles. At the foot of the imposing Mont Bégo, visitors can admire some 37,000 rock carvings dating back to the Bronze Age.
It goes without saying that there is the possibility of year round sporting activities..as well as nipping over to Italy to enjoy the hospitality of the Parco Alpi Maritimi!!