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The Mercantour Park extends over two departments of the Southern Alps. Its coverage area includes 7 valleys :
- the Roya
- the Bévéra
- the Vésubie
- the Tinée
- the haut Var
- the haut Verdon
- the Ubaye
The Mercantour National Park covers 1,801 km² (679 of which are in the core area and 1,122 in the area of membership), in the extreme south-east of France. Backing onto the border of Italian Piedmont, with which it shares almost 33 km of ridges, the Mercantour massif is the last promontory of the Alpine arc to the south, before its brutal plunge into the Mediterranean Sea.
On the other side of the Mercantour massif, our Italian neighbors created the Alpi Marittime Natural Park in 1995, resulting from the merger of the Argentera Natural Park, which has existed since 1980, and the Riserva del Bosco. e dei Laghi di Palanfré, created in 1979.
Various climatic influences: Mediterranean, Ligurian, Alpine and Provencal, and the existence of marked mountain peaks near the sea are at the origin of a remarkable diversity of natural environments.
The Mercantour Park contains the Valley of Wonders. This valley is famous for its rock carvings. Nearly 36,000 engravings are revealed in the open air in this magnificent valley, a place of memory that leads us to the origins of humanity.
Mont Bégo, 2872 meters above sea level, which overlooks the Vallée des Merveilles, has mineral characteristics that make thunderstorms and lightning particularly violent.
The top of Gélas straddles the Alpes-Maritimes in France, and Piedmont in Italy. The first ascent was made in 1864 by Count Paolo di Saint-Robert. It is the culmination pic of the Mercantour national park but also of the Alpes-Maritimes department.
This series of photos was taken in argentic film.