Les Grès d'Annot

Top choice natural feature in Parc National du Mercantour

For an arresting insight into the forces of nature, a hike up to these massive, fractured stone blocks above the town of Annot is well worth the effort. Caused by volcanic activity around 35 million years ago, they've been sculpted into all kinds of weird and wondrous forms by millennia of erosion. In total, the site covers an area of around 150 hectares criss-crossed by several hiking trails.

Key sights include the Chambre du Roi (King's Chamber), a deep cave inhabited since ancient times, and the Defilé des Garambes, an atmospheric gully shaded by towering holly trees.

The Blue Trail covers 4.4km there-and-back, or you can extend it onto a loop along the Red Path for a total of 6km.