Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)
Col du Sabion
A traditional passageway, Col du Sabion towards Val d'Entraque (Italy) occupies a strategic position on the watershed.While international tensions were growing prior to the Second World War, the col was the subject of engineering work commissioned by the Italian government: dry-stone barracks, semi-buried bunkers, telephone lines and barbed wire fences which today, with hindsight, appears to be a manifestation of hostile behaviour.
The track initially goes through a wood of larches. It then reaches the Alpine pasture of Barchenzane, where you have a splendid view of the Val Castérino: a mixture of prairies, groves and scattered houses on either side of the wide watercourse.
At marker 372, head towards “Col du Sabion”: At 2236m altitude, the path passes three vaulted buildings which are covered in grass: these are former military shelters which date back to the 19th century.
Having crossed the Alpine pasture of Sabion, the path leads to the Col du Sabion, on the boundary between the two Natural Parks (Mercantour and Alpi Marittime). Down below on the Italian side, is the small Lago della Vacca, which is slowly being taken over by sediment. Chamois and ibex can often be seen.
Follow the same itinerary for the return journey.
It is not advisable to visit the bunkers which date from the Second World War (dangerous pits and barbed wire).Vehicle access to Baisse de Peïrefique is via an uneven and at times narrow track which is easier to pass for a vehicle with good ground clearance or a 4X4.
Maison du Parc national du Mercantour - Tende
103 av du 16 septembre 1947, 06430 Tende
04 83 93 98 82
La Maison du Parc se trouve dans les locaux de l'Office de Tourisme Menton, Riviera & Merveilles - Bureau de Tende
01/06, tous les jours de 8h30 à 17h.
Du 01/10 au 31/05.
Fermé le dimanche.
Fermetures exceptionnelles les 1er janvier, Lundi de Pâques, 1er mai, 1er novembre, 11 novembre et 25 décembre.
De 9h à 12h30 et de 14h à 17h.
Access and parking
At Saint-Dalmas de Tende, take the fork onto the RD91 until you reach the hamlet of Castérino then continue for 2km towards vallée de Valmasque.
The track is initially tarmacked then becomes a dirt track, leading to the Potamou gate which is one of the entrances to National Park. Subsequently head right on the track towards La Baisse de Peyrefique.Having travelled 5km from Potamou, park your vehicle at the carpark next to marker 371 and follow directions to "Col du Sabion".
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