The landscapes in the Mercantour are a harmonious blend of seeming contradictions. Mediterranean olive groves and small glaciers, relics of the ice age, deep forests and alpine meadows exposed to high winds from the summits, glacial lakes nestling at the foot of craggy peaks, prairies scattered with lilies and columbines, waterfalls and steep gorges…
all to be found within a few kilometres of each other. The relief has been sculpted by glaciers, then by snow and ice in winter, and by sun and drought in summer, all of which has had a significant influence on the landscape and vegetation.
Here, like elsewhere in the Alps, this beauty and diversity is not just a result of natural elements alone, but also of their age-old alliance with man, present in these mountains for thousands of years. Man has made his mark on the landscape, building terraces and canals, planting larch forests and encouraging mountain pastures.
Surrounded by this landscape, villages, churches and fortifications combine Ligurian, Provençal and Alpine cultural influences, creating a highly valued landscape that attracts many visitors.