Just 90km from Nice and the beaches of the Riviera, many hikes and outdoor sports can be practised in the Mercantour National Park, one of ten National Parks in France.
Exceptionally rich flora: over 2,000 varieties of flowers identified
(out of 4,000 known flower varieties in France), 200 of them are
rare species, 30 are endemic; some of them since the end of the
Ice Age. Forests (larch forest with the oldest larch trees in France
going back some 1,300 years), alpine lawns, meadows, flowers,
waterfalls, lakes, gorges… All this forms an exceptional natural
heritage. The fauna includes chamois, ibex, marmots, eagles and
wolves. Vallée des Merveilles, in the eastern part of the Park, is
accessible from the village of Tende. Mont Bégo, culminating at
2,872m, offers the richest series of open-air rock carvings in
Europe, with over 15km2 on which 40,000 petroglyphs have been
identified dating from 3800 to 1880 BC.
In the heart of the Park, human activity is regulated to preserve the great wealth of this territory and its fragility.
The Mercantour National Park covers 2.000 km2 at an altitude of 490 metres (Gorges de la Bévera) to 3,143 m (Cime du Gélas) above sea level.
It stretches from east to west over 7 valleys and 2 départements, the Alpes-Maritimes and the Alpes- de-Haute-Provence.