The Authion hike

Mercantour National Park
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The Authion hike

Distance: 7.9km
Elevation: 356m
Time: 3-4.5h

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This hike is an ideal walk for the history buff in your family. The Authion has been long considered the keystone of the defensive system for the Alpes–Maritimes: from 1388 all the way up to WW2. On your hike you can see an American tank from 1945 on display.

The Authion hike Map

Getting there

If you are leaving from or through Sopsel, head to the Col de Turini, famous for the Monte Carlo Rally, then you’ll continue on the right to the Authion. After 4km you arrive at Cabane de Tueis, where you can park your car.

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When to do

April to end of October

Backcountry Campsites

Yes, on the site, or in Sospel, Moulinet, La Bollene, or Lantosque


Yes, at Gite d'Etape and bar, Col de Turini

Family friendly


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The Authion
Elevation Graph

Route Description for The Authion hike

The paved road is divided into two, and you want to take the road that rises to the left and continues for 2.0km. You can admire the panorama to the South, the Côte d’Azur, and the Provence mountains.

After 2.0km, you will come to a pass where there is a low building. Take a right on the trail that heads into the larches towards the Mille Fourches Fort, which you will reach in less than half an hour.

The Fort, built at the end of the 19th century, was restored in the ‘30s with two reinforced concrete posts. From the fort you can enjoy a wonderful view of the Alpes Maritimes, the Ligurian Alps, and the French Riviera.

Go back towards the low building, and take the military road on your left that, with a gentle slope and long bends, climbs up to Fort La Forca, which is Mille Fourches twin structure. Just below the fort there are the barracks that once hosted garrisons all year long.

From the highest point you can enjoy the view on the Reducte des Trois Communes, the symbol of the Authion fortifications. You can also see the Hautes Alps and the tops of the Valley of Wonders, the Grand Capelet and the Bego.

Continue along the crest and reach a path, with a signalling pole. Continue on the right until you reach the Reducte des Trois Communes, passing by the barracks.

La Redoute was built in 1898; it once housed 50 men and controlled the access from the Roya Valley. In 1945, during the war, it was damaged.
On the South slopes, 100m below, is the Plan Caval defensive system, with trenches and bunkers from the 19th and 20th centuries.

From La Redoute turn back you’ll reach a familiar junction on the pass. Continue straight, to the west on the crest. You’ll reach the parking lot in less than 30 minutes.

Insider Hints

  • If you arrive from Nice, visit the nice village of La Bollene Vesubie. If it’s a hot day their outdoor pool has an amazing backdrop. Not a bad way to escape the heat.

  • If you arrive from Menton visit Sospel. They have a beautiful 800-year-old bridge, and a charming little cinema.

  • Check out Les Trois Vallees or Hotel Les Chamois if you’re looking for a place to stay. Both hotels come highly rated, aren’t overly fancy, and are full of local spirit.


Dima Volk 4 months ago

This hike was relly interesting. Many historic objects

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Annie Smith 4 months ago

Loved The Authion!

8.0 Overall Rating
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M du norte 5 months ago

The Authion was a beautiful hike. So much history around!

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty

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