.This valley at the foot of Mont Bégo above Tende really does live up to its name!
Surrounded by the dramatic landscape of the Mercantour National Park, well away from any roads, the Vallée-des-Merveilles was formed during the Quaternary Era and is justifiably famous for its fabulous prehistoric rock carvings.
However, you can’t just pitch up in your car and expect to see anything. There are two routes in and both involve a good trek to get there!
Route 1: From St-Dalmas-de-Tende on the N 204 and then take the D 91 to Casterino. There are three footpaths – see schematic diagram here. Allow at least 4-5 hours each way.
Route 2: From Belvédère on the D 171 to beyond St Grat. See schematic diagram here. Allow at least 4-5 hours each way. For a more detailed map of the route from the Relais des Merveilles at St Grat through the Vallée to the the Refuge de Nice, see here.
It is advisable to take the following IGN Top 25 Map: Vallée de la Roya-Vallée des Merveilles OT 3841 Top25 (East side) or the Vallée de la Vésubie OT3741 top 25 (West side).
Note: It is possible to use these routes only between June & September. To see the actual engravings you must be accompanied by one of the duty guides. Always consult locally before attempting either walk unaccompanied. If you are not an experienced walker then consider a fully guided walk or even hiring a 4×4 complete with chauffeur-guide! To check the weather forecast call: (0) 892 68 02 06