Mountains around Lac Fourca in Mercantour National Park, France

The mountains around Lac Fourca in the Mercantour National Park, France – photo © SpaceBetween

“The Mercantour? – never heard of it” – don’t tell too many people about it!!!

In a shrinking planet, it is great to have the chance to holiday in an unspoilt national park in France – just an hour north of Nice.

Full on Nature

Such is the draw of the French Riviera that few wish to escape from the hubbub of the coast, just 60 kilometres away to recharge their batteries in full on Nature.

Ibex on a rock in the sun under a blue sky Hard to imagine that there are peaks of over 3000m, and huge diversity of flora and fauna – thanks to the area’s unique location – being sandwich between the Med and the Alps, and Provence and Liguria.

Walking in the Mercantour

And full on, it is! Enjoy exploring the region with the assistance of your hosts – spacebetween – who have been based in the area for over 10 years.

Based in Berthemont les Bains – (really “bains” – the only hot water to come out of the ground in the Alpes-Maritimes!) – situated on a sunny plain above the Vésubie valley – guests can either stay in one of two comfortable gites – or enjoy a guided or self guided holiday.

Voted one of the Top 10 National Parks in the World

Don’t take our word for it – the Mercantour voted one of the Top 10 National Parks in the World!

This is what they (Lonely Planet) said –

The Mercantour is a long and narrow strip of National Park which lies in the North East of the Alpes-Maritimes, along the Italian border. The central zone is peppered with numerous jagged peaks, deep winding gorges, Alpine meadows, lakes, deep forests and a wide variety of flora and fauna. On the Eastern flank of the Park, in terrain carved out by glaciers, the Merveilles and Fontanalbe valleys conceal an extraordinary collection of Bronze Age rock carvings. These form a vast open air museum which is the most important of its kind in Europe. Guided visits are provided by qualified guides.

Landscape with mountains and flowers in the Mercantour National Park

photo by Aliosha Bielenberg (CC BY 2.0)

And the other “lightweight” Parks!

  • Grand Canyon, USA
  • Banff National Park, Canada
  • Khao Sok National Park, Thailand
  • NE Greenland National Park, Denmark
  • Iguaçu National Park, Argentina/Brazil
  • Saba Marine Park, Dutch Antilles
  • Galapagos National Park, Equator
  • Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
  • Mungo National Park, Australia

About Liz and Mel


Liz and Mel have lived in the Alpes-Maritimes for the last 10 years. Delighted to have found this wonderful part of the world, they are based on the boundary of the Mercantour National Park. Mel is an International Mountain Leader and Liz is a lover of the great outdoors.

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