Lac des Mesches

Parc National du Mercantour

From St-Dalmas-de-Tende, the D91 winds 10km west to this alpine lake (1390m), where trails lead into the valley (plan on eight hours' hiking, round-trip). Alternatively, you can cheat and catch a ride with 4x4 Merveilles.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Parc National du Mercantour attractions

1. Maison du Miel et de l’Abeille


This little museum celebrates the craft of local honey-makers. Needless to say, there are plenty of opportunities to taste the goods – this is France,…

2. Musée des Merveilles

3.67 MILES

In Tende, this museum provides useful context if you're visiting the prehistoric carvings of the Vallée des Merveilles. Inside the striking modern…

3. Vallée des Merveilles

4.48 MILES

Wedged between the Vésubie and Roya valleys, this narrow, remote canyon is famous for its amazing Bronze Age petroglyphs – ancient pictures carved into…

4. Monastère de Saorge

6.05 MILES

Situated 9km north of Breil-sur-Roya, the dramatic Gorges de Saorge lead to the fortified village of Saorge (elevation 520m). Perched on sheer cliffs, the…

5. Sanctuaire Notre Dame des Fontaines

6.38 MILES

Dubbed the Sistine Chapel of the Southern Alps, this church is famous for its wall-to-wall 15th-century frescoes, created by Piedmontese painters Jean…

6. La Madone de Fenestres

8.65 MILES

At an altitude of 1904m, this impressively situated hilltop church was supposedly founded on the site where a local villager had a vision of the Virgin…

7. Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime

9.14 MILES

Piedmont's largest park is home to spectacular landscapes, encompassing wildflower-filled grasslands, topaz lakes, shimmering glaciers and jagged mountain…

8. Parco Naturale del Marguareis

10.88 MILES

This 6800-hectare park spreads across two valleys – the Valle Pesio and Valle Tanaro – located in an area south and east of Cuneo. It's a great place for…