Though not well known outside of Italy, hiking in the Alpi Marittime National Park is truly spectacular. Known in English as the Maritime Alps, this part of the Italian Alps are less visited than many of the other parts in the Alps – which means lower crowds – but it’s no less awesome! The proximity of the Alpi Marittime National Park to the ocean creates a unique climate with snow-capped mountains, dewy pastures and fresh sea air.
As is customary, many hikers here stay in the Rifugios – and with the promise of a hot drink and freshly baked pastry following a long day on the trails, we can totally see why! We love hiking in Italy’s Maritime Alps.
(9.8km, 819m, 4-5.5h)
The Lagarot di Lourousa trail was built at the end of the nineteenth century for King Vittorio Emanuele II to ride horseback while hunting for chamois and ibex. Today, it’s one of our favorite in the Alpi Marittime National Park, bringing you through a lovely larch forest with many switchbacks and nearly imperceptible elevation gain.
(13.8km, 710m, 5-7h)
Located at the foot of the Mount Gelas, the Il Piano del Praiet hike is one of the region’s most popular. Here you can see one of the last glaciers left in the Alpi Marittime, before walking in France from the Colle di Finestra on an old salt smugglers’ trail.
(16.3km, 979m, 5-7.5h)
Any hike that ends at a spectacular mountain lake is good in our books. The Vei del Bouc trail brings you through stunning mountain scenery before ending at the beautiful waters – though too cold to swim, you may want to dip your toes for a refreshing reward.
(22.4km, 1,638m, 9-11h)
We love the journey up to the highest Rifugio – Pagari in the Alpi Marittime. Promising solitude and tranquility, this is the perfect trail for nature lovers looking to reflect and enjoy some quiet moments in the beautiful scenery. It’s long, but totally worth it!