Ligurian Alps

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Ligurian Alps
SOIUSA-Alpi Occidentali-sezione01.png
Ligurian Alps

Ligurian Alps

Highest peak Punta Marguareis ( 2651  m slm )
location Regions of Piedmont and Liguria ( Italy ) / Alpes-Maritimes ( France )
part of Western alps
Classification according to SOIUSA SZ 1, Partizione delle Alpi 1a
Coordinates 44 ° 10 ′  N , 8 ° 5 ′  E Coordinates: 44 ° 10 ′  N , 8 ° 5 ′  E

The Ligurian Alps (Italian Alpi liguri / French Alpes ligures , German also Italian Maritime Alps , Ligurian Sea Alps ) are a mountain range over 2600  m high in north-western Italy between the Riviera and Turin. They belong to the Western Alps and continue the Maritime Alps to the east at the French border . According to the classic French-Italian division ( Partizione delle Alpi ), the Ligurian Alps are sometimes counted as a subgroup of the Maritime Alps.

The Ligurian Alps form the end of the Alpine arc that curves eastward on the Italian Riviera towards Liguria and merges into the Ligurian Apennines after a depression west of Genoa .

Location and landscape

Italy has the largest share of the Ligurian Alps with the regions of Piedmont and Liguria . The French Alpes-Maritimes department accounts for 9% of the mountain area.

The highest point is the Punta Marguareis between Piedmont and the Alpes-Maritimes department at 2651  m .

The Ligurian Alps, which run along the Gulf of Genoa , also form the climatic dividing line between the Po Valley and the Italian Riviera . Dominant landscape forms are vertical rock faces and large, karst plateaus. The Ligurian Alps are considered a paradise for botanists . Due to the proximity to the sea, both Mediterranean and Alpine species can be found here.

The most important rivers run north towards the Po Valley - as the main river the Tanaro and its roughly parallel tributaries Pesio and Ellero .

The rivers that drain south - directly to the sea - are naturally shorter. The larger of them are Argentina and Arroscia . Only the Roia on the edge of the Maritime Alps is significantly longer .

Boundary and structure

The Ligurian Alps are bounded in the west by the Col de Tende (1871 m) by the Maritime Alps and extend along the main ridge of the Alps ( main watershed Po - Ligurian Sea ) to the Colle di Cadibona ( 459  m ) in the east, which forms the transition to the Ligurian Apennines - this boundary is a geological fault zone that breaks the closely related Alpine and Apennine rocks in the course.

The group is generally divided into:

Early forms of settlement


Due to the previous constant threat from the sea, strategically located settlements on ridges, passes or peaks, which in France are called " Village perché ", in Italy "Nid d'Aigle", are particularly frequent . These settlements are now particularly threatened by “ spopolamento ” (resettlement and economic collapse) and so the Ligurian hinterland, which is culturally alpine, forms a strong contrast to the Ligurian coast. In addition to the Occitan minority in the Pesio , Ellero, Corsaglia and Tanaro valleys, a little-known minority in the Alps has survived: the Brigaskers . Their places are around Monte Saccarello , an area where large alpine pastures are available, because the economic structure of the Brigasker was based on transhumant cattle farming. The winter pastures were in the Rhone delta and on the Riviera, the summer pastures in the Cottian , Lake and Ligurian Alps. In 1979 the last Brigasker shepherd stopped his work.

natural reserve

In the Piedmontese part of the Ligurian Alps (Marguareis region), the Parco naturale del Marguareis has been designated as a nature reserve since 1978 . On 6,770 hectares, the nature park encompasses extensive karst areas , which are also interesting for cave explorers , and is known for its diversity of plants.



There are the following refuges in the Ligurian Alps :

  • Rifugio Allavena ( CAI , managed)
  • Rifugio Don Barbera (managed)
  • Rifugio Garelli ( CAI , managed)
  • Rifugio Havis de Giorgio ( CAI , managed)
  • Rifugio Mongioie ( CAI , managed)
  • Rifugio San Remo ( CAI )

The managed huts are generally open from mid-June to mid-September each year.

Col di Cadibona , border between the Alps and the Apennines

Long-distance / long-distance hiking trails

Via Alpina logo The Red Path of Via Alpina runs through the Ligurian Alps in 9 stages as follows:

The Alta Via dei Monti Liguri , crosses the group in a west-east direction, partly corresponds to the Via Alpina in the route between Garessio and Colla Melosa .


  • Sabine Bade, Wolfram Mikuteit: Piemont. GPS-mapped routes - practical travel tips. Hiking guide - with 38 tours. Michael Müller-Verlag, Erlangen 2010, ISBN 978-3-89953-566-2 .
  • Sabine Bade, Wolfram Mikuteit: On the Via Alpina through the Maritime Alps and Ligurian Alps. Part 2: From Garessio to Monaco. 2nd Edition., Roxheim 2008, ISBN 978-3-937304-59-5 .
  • Werner Bätzing , Michael dresses : The Ligurian Alps. Nature park hiking between high mountains and the Mediterranean. Rotpunktverlag, Zurich 2011, ISBN 978-3-85869-432-4 .

Web links