The parks

The parks

The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation "European Park Alpi Marittime - Mercantour"


At the western end of the Alpine arc, the massif of Argentera - Mercantour - Marguareis constitutes a group of nearly 120 000 hectares of preserved nature.

Spectacular link between the Alps and the Mediterranean, it is also a historical space of exchanges between peoples and culture.

This ensemble is represented by the Mercantour National Park on the French side and by the Alpi Marittime Protected Areas in Italy.

Twinned since 1987, the two areas have the common ambition to develop a territorial continuity that plays on all borders.

This very close collaboration gives them a privileged place as the first European Park.

Mercantour National Park

  • Creation of the Park: 18 August 1979
  • Surface area: 2 147 km²
  • Heart of the Park*: 679 km²
  • Membership Area ** : 938 km²
  • The sectors: 6 geographical sectors = Roya-Bevera, Vésubie, Tinée, Haut-Var/Cians, Verdon, Ubaye.
  • Accommodation in the heart of the Park: 15 mountain refuges
  • Highest point: Gélas at 3 143m
  • Flora: with more than 2,000 plant species, the Mercantour territory holds a national diversity record.
  • Wildlife: 58 mammal species including 6 wild ungulates (ibex, stag, chamois, roe deer, mouflon, wild boar) and wolf. 153 species of birds with encounters unique in the world: on the same territory, the owl of Tengmalm cohabits with the owl little duke.

*The heart of the Park is understood as the area to be protected and therefore subject to special regulations.
**The optimal Membership Area corresponds to all the municipal territories over which the park extends, which represents 28 municipalities.

Alpi Marittime Protected Areas


The Alpi Marittime Protected Areas bring together the Alpi Marittime and Marguareis parks. In 2016, the Piedmont Region merged these two distinct structures into a single entity, to which seven nature reserves, already linked to the two Parks, were also entrusted (Rocca San Giovanni Saben; Grotte del Bandito; Ciciu del Villar; Crava Morozzo; Benevagienna; Sorgenti del Belbo; Grotte di Bossea).

The Alpi Marittime Protected Areas thus offer a large mosaic of natural areas, very different between them, going from the alpine arc to Langhe, while passing by the Po plain. In total, the territory safeguarded extends over 38,290 hectares and includes sixteen communes. However, the Marittime and Marguareis parks, as well as the reserves, have kept their borders and territorial specificities.

Discover in detail the territory : here

Learn more about our parks and reserves

Mercantour National park

Alpi Marittime Protected Areas