Hiking in French Alps, Mercantour National Park
Lago Delle Portette on the Giro del Valasco Hike in Alpi Marittime National Park, Italy

Mercantour National Park

Region in France
Mercantour National Park Map

A trip to Mercantour National park, in the SE corner of France, is a delight for outdoor lovers and history seekers alike. With the towering peaks of the Alps (9843ft+), hundreds of kms of nature trails, plus paintings and petroglyphs dating back to the Bronze Age, Mercantour is sure to delight and amaze.

One of our favourite things to do in Mercantour is to spend a few nights in one (or more) of the mountain refuges. They are an incredible way to extend your time hiking in the park, while the food and hospitality are usually unbeatable.

Outside of the refuges there are little towns and villages dotted throughout Mercantour, and most have lovely places to stay and even better locations to eat. Although, if you are looking for something a little more upscale, you will need to head outside of Mercantour to some of the bigger centers nearby.

A trip to France should always include some history, and if you holiday in Mercantour National Park there is a lot of history to take in! The Valley of Wonders is dotted with paintings and petroglyphs dating back to the Bronze Age and possibly before (3300-1200 BC). It is now a requirement that you remain on the trail through the valley at all times, which somewhat hinders a self-guided tour, but there are options for guided tours at a relatively low cost that take you to more sites. Another significant historical site in the park is L’Authion, which for centuries has been used in various wars as a strategic defense position, due to the natural formation of the high mountain peaks.

If you are planning a holiday to France, looking for a little adventure and a bit of history a trip to Mercantour National Park is the perfect place to get away!

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