Mercantour National Park
Head Office: 23 rue d`Italie, BP 1316, 06006 NICE Cedex 1
Tel: (+33) 04.93.16.78.88
Area: 68.500 hectares central area + 136.500 hectares peripheral area
Altitude: 490 m - 3.143 m
Created in 1979
Located in the south-east of France at the border with Piedmont, Mercantour National Park benefits from a privileged geographical position between the sea and the mountains, and features unique characteristics. It boasts a wide variety of rare plant and animal species and natural environments thanks to different climate influences (Mediterranean, alpine and Provencal) and the coexistence of high peaks and the sea.
Mercantour National Park is the only French mountain national park featuring all vegetation layers, from the Mediterranean to the rocky desert. Since 1987, Mercantour National Park and Maritime Alps National Park form a protected area of over 100.000 hectares which got the European Award for the Environment in 1993.
As all French National Parks, Mercantour National Park consists of a central area (coeus) and a peripheral area (aire d`adhésion). The central area is inhabited, all but some small centers seasonally populated, and covers 68.500 hectares; it boasts a wonderful natural heritage preserved by a strict regulation. The peripheral area, covering 136.500 hectares, has 18.000 inhabitants divided into 28 municipalities, 22 of which in the Alpes-Maritimes region.
Mercantour National Park contributes to the area economic development trying to combine human activities and environmental protection.
Mercantour National Park also features a rich historical and archaeological heritage: inside the park, there is the famous Valée des Merveilles with over 40.000 rock carvings dating back to the Bronze Age.
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