Lac du Lauzanier © Ubaye Tourisme
Lac du Lauzanier © Ubaye Tourisme

Mercantour national Park

Immerse yourself in unspoilt and protected nature

What is a National Park?

It is a natural area where the landscapes, biodiversity, geology and cultural wealth are recognised as being exceptional.

This remarkable feature means it should be protected and managed in order to guarantee its sustainability for today and for future generations.

An exceptional area of territory, the Mercantour is one of France's 11 national parks. This special site has been protected since 1979.

logo du Parc national du Mercantour

One territory, two zones

The heart of the Park and the membership areas

The membership area (where there are no specific restrictions) includes the communes of Barcelonnette, Uvernet-Fours, Val d'Oronaye and Jausiers.

The heart of the National Park, however, is a protected area with specific regulations. For example, it is forbidden to walk with pets, to pick flowers, to camp... Compliance with the rules ensures the preservation of the wealth of this exceptional territory. The heart of the park is delimited by green hexagonal markings.

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5 good reasons to discover the Park

1) Its incomparable wealth of wildlife and flora.

2) The picture postcard landscapes.

3) It is somewhere that young and old alike, sportspeople and those in search of a space for contemplation will all find a walk or hike that is perfect for them.

4) To develop your knowledge of nature through ecotourism.

5) Because it's free!

Une marmotte dans le Parc national du Mercantour © UT-Brendan Le Peru

Exceptional biodiversity

Mercantour National Park stretches for 1,801 km. There are more than 2,000 plant species and nearly 9,000 animal species.

The emblematic wildlife of the Mercantour National Park includes, among others, the Alpine ibex, the marmot, the bearded vulture, the golden eagle, the grey wolf, the black grouse, etc.

This level of biodiversity is down to the work the Park does in the heart of the park. Protection of the various species extends to the entire Ubaye Serre-Ponçon Valley, which makes sense since it allows the emblematic mountain wildlife to be discovered throughout the valley.


Marmotte au Lauzanier- Parc national du Mercantour © UT-Brendan Le Peru
Gypaète barbu en vol © Parc national du Mercantour
Deux chamois sur un rocher- Parc national du Mercantour © UT-Claude Gouron
Bouquetins - Parc national du Mercantour © Ubaye Tourisme
Randonnée dans le Mercantour © Ubaye Tourisme


Walking in the Mercantour is a special experience. By taking your time, you can enjoy discovering the Park.

This where you can switch off and reconnect with a wild and preserved natural area in which animal and plant life abounds.

Hiding between forests, lakes and exceptional viewpoints, discover an incredible wealth of wildlife: ibexes, marmots, chamois, bearded vultures, and more.

Heading out from one of the communes in the Park's membership area, it's easy to set off on one of the many signposted day trip routes, which are suitable for all levels.

Good to know!

While you are hiking, you will traverse sensitive natural areas located in the heart of the Mercantour National Park. Please always ensure you follow the regulations, and play an active role in preserving these remarkable spaces.

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Our favourite

Lake Lauzanier

Set in an exceptional natural area within the heart of the Mercantour National Park, come and discover marmots and herds of sheep.

As the Ubayette meanders, uncover some wildlife gems before coming across the majestic lake and admiring its turquoise waters.

Practical info

In summer, take a free shuttle bus from Barcelonnette to the start point for the hike!

Lac du Lauzanier - Val d'Oronaye Parc du Mercantour © Ubaye Tourisme

Be aware of your surroundings

The Mercantour National Park offers a window on wildlife and a wealth of animals that is unique within France.

Take your time. This is all about being present in the moment and enjoying it... and you never know when an animal will show up!

Don't forget to follow the park's rules: admire items rather than pick them, observe quietly without causing a disturbance.

Our +

With their knowledge of the mountain environment, the mountain guides will help you to view the wildlife without disturbing it. With them to help you, you will maximise your chances of being in the right place at the right time!

Visiting with a pro

Randonnée dans le Mercantour © Ubaye Tourisme

The "Grande Traversée du Mercantour"

Are you tempted by an itinerant hiking trip? Why not embark upon the GR®GTM long distance footpath? The Grande Traversée du Mercantour is a 17-day hike through some of the most beautiful Alpine and Mediterranean scenery. Set off from the mountain village of Barcelonnette and arrive at the waterfront in Menton! Embark upon a major journey and enjoy a unique adventure through exceptional landscapes

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Mercantour national Park visitor center

A public information point to help you discover the Mercantour National Park: exhibition on biodiversity, information about mountains and contact information for "Esprit Park" certified partners (guides, accommodation, local producers etc.), open access wildlife workshops held every Wednesday during school holidays.

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International Dark Sky Reserve

Take time to look up and of the planet's most beautiful starry skies. The Ubaye alley is a designated "International Dark Sky Reserve," an area recognized for its exceptional  quality of starry nights. It's the 14th IDSR site in the world and the 3rd in France. Six of the valley's villages  have also been awarded the "Villes et Villages étoilés" (Starry Towns and Villages) label, in recognition of the measures they've taken towards improving  the night sky quality and nocturnal environment.


Ciel nocturne en Ubaye © Ubaye Tourisme
Logo Esprit Parc National Mercantour

"Esprit Parc national"

A brand inspired by nature

Commitment, authenticity, respect, sharing, vitality – guided by these values that they have followed for more than 50 years, the national parks have created the Esprit Parc National (National Park Spirit) brand.

Esprit Parc National allows you to travel and consume differently by discovering accommodation, restaurants, leisure activities and local products imagined and created by locals who are committed to the preservation of this exceptional region and to the transmission of their knowledge.

Esprit Parc national Labelled providers