All these hikings can be done within one day (return hike included). There are dozens of them. We had to choose to present you with a short list, not a catalogue. Not easy! This is our opinion only. Use the links on the previous page to find other hikings which will please you.
- The Mount Clapier (3045m)
Lake Niré, refuge of Nice and above, the pyramid of the Mt Clapier. Pict. Parc National du Mercantour - Franck GUIGO
This summit will reward you with an unforgettable view on the Alpine Arc, Northward, as far as Switzerland, if the weather permits and there are no clouds and no mist over the Po valley. That's when you must hike there. The view is great Southward too, on Authion, Mt Bego, Mounier etc....
On your way up to the summit you will cross a large area of stones and rocks but you will never need your hands. You will pass along the Niré lake and the refuge de Nice (Nice shelter) Map: IGN 3741OT Vallee de la Vesubie
- The Mount Mounier (2800m)
Photo Parc National du Mercantour - Robert VALLARCHER
At 2800m, at the center of the Maritime Alps, you see it from everywhere and when you're there you have a breathtaking 360° panorama on the Maritime Alps and beyond (Ecrins...) You can hike there from Valberg (the easiest and the shortest), or from Roya, North, much longer but much more beautiful and wilder. It's hiking only, never hand climbing. Chart : IGN 3640OT HAUT CIANS/VALBERG
- Les lacs de Vens (Lakes of Vens)
Photo Parc National du Mercantour, Anthony TURPAUD
This hiking departs from a parking lot in the high Tinée valley North of St Etienne de Tinée. It will lead you to a wonderful serie of mountains lakes. It is fairly easy, but expect nonetheless 900m of difference in height to the 1st lake.
Photo Parc National du Mercantour Elise MINSSIEUX.
Brave men and women who are willing to go further will see a natural arch. (This is not Arch Canyon, of course, but it is several meters wide.) It's walking only all the way up. Map: IGN 3639OT HAUTE TINEE 1
- The Vallée des Merveilles (valley of wonders)
Photo Guy LOMBART - Parc National du Mercantour
Here you are not only in a wonderful landscape with lakes and mountains but also in an open air museum since the valley houses 40000 rock engravings, more than 3000 years old. You can access this valley from the Roya valley, or from the Gordolasque valley, walking all the way up and down the Arpette pass. Map: IGN 3841OT Roya-Vallée des Merveilles
- The Mount Gélas (3143m)
Le Gélas et son sommet fendu caractéristique. Photo Parc National du Mercantour, Franck GUIGO.
This is the highest summit in the Mercantour mountains in France. The real top is the Argentera, in Italy. It will be just in front of you, North. The final gully is one of the few places where you will have to use your hands in the area. In this gully there are risks of rocks falling, too, especially if other climbers are above you.
If you can't or don't want to make the summit, you can stay on the Gelas Balcony, just under this last gully, more than 3000m high. It offers great views Northward and Southward. The view Westward is blocked by the summit, though. The departure for this hiking is in the Madonne de Fenestre valley. Chart: IGN 3741OT Vallee de la Vesubie