Mercantour is a national park established in 1979 and has a surface of 685m2 and mountains more than 3500m high.
It’s not far at all from the busy coast, so even possible to do as a day tour.
To Tende, it’s possible to take the train ride but if you want to visit a bit more it’s better to have a car.
To access the park you can take the road along the river Roya to Tende where you find the museum Musee de Merveille (the museum of the wonders) where you can see and learn a lot of interesting things.
For a more genuine mountain experience continue up to Casterino some 1500m above sea level. Very small and quaint – don’t expect a flashy ski resort with after-ski to the sound of clomping ski shoes and disco. No here, it’s nature and peace and quiet. You will find a small hotel that also serve food and it’s possible to arrange a ride with a dog-sleigh in the winter and horse-back riding in the summer.
On the way back down to the coast, you should visit La Brigue, a charming little city with around 700 inhabitants also known for its church – Notre Dame des Fontaines and its mural paintings.