Towards the middle of the 9th century some Spanish sailors found themselves caught up in a terrible storm off the mouth of the river Var. They pledged that if God spared them, they would build a sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
The storm did abate and they chose this remarkable site above the village of Utelle at 1180m/3871ft above sea level. The Mediterranean is visible and they would be able view the scene of their near disaster while building their chapel. It was rebuilt during the early 19th century and a pilgrimage takes place every August 15 and September 8.
Don’t miss: A few hundred metres from the chapel is an astonishing panorama with a viewing table. From here you can appreciate an amazing view of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Sea.
The Sanctuary even has a refuge and a simple restaurant run by the nuns where you can enjoy a meal or even stay the night (call first to check if open).