Maritime Alps

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Maritime Alps / Sea Alps
Maritime Alps i.  e.  S. and foothills of Nice, to SOIUSA

Maritime Alps i. e. S. and foothills of Nice, to SOIUSA

Maritime Alps (Corno Stella on Monte Argentera)

Maritime Alps ( Corno Stella on Monte Argentera)

Highest peak Monte Argentera ( 3297  m slm )
location Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur , France / Region Piedmont , Italy / Monaco
part of Western alps
Classification according to SOIUSA SZ 2, Partizione delle Alpi 1
Coordinates 44 ° 7 '  N , 7 ° 25'  E Coordinates: 44 ° 7 '  N , 7 ° 25'  E

The Maritime Alps or also Meeralpen ( French Alpes Maritimes , Italian Alpi Marittime ) are a mountain group of the southern western Alps .


France with the departments Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Italy with the Piedmont region and the Principality of Monaco have a share in the Maritime Alps . The Cottian Alps join to the north and the Provencal Prealps to the west . In the east they are separated from the Ligurian Alps by the Colle di Tenda . To the south the foothills of the mountains extend to the coast of the Mediterranean . The highest peak is the 3,297  m high Monte Argentera . With Mont Clapier , the Maritime Alps have the southernmost three-thousand-meter peak in the Alps .

Delimitation and division

The core area of ​​the Maritime Alps, the 'Sea Alps in the true sense of the word', in the Alpes-Maritimes department ( Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region ), can also be found under the Italian name Alpi del Var , after the river, they are also central in German Maritime Alps , or French Maritime Alps / Sea Alps . Traditionally, according to the classic French-Italian division ( Partizione delle Alpi ), the Ligurian Alps ( Alpi liguri / Alpes ligures , German also Italian Maritime Alps, Ligurian Sea Alps ) are counted as a subgroup of the Maritime Alps. According to the more modern SOIUSA , these are counted independently, SZ 1 ( Alpi Marittime isa ), and as SZ 2 ( Alpi Marittime e Prealpi di Nizza ). In addition, the Préalpes de Nice , Préalpes Niçoises / Prealpi di Nizza ('Pre-Alps of Nice') are partly treated as well, partly mentioned separately - otherwise they are also treated under the Provencal Pre-Alps .

The boundary follows (counterclockwise, starting from the northeast):

The breakdown is as follows:

according to Partizione delle Alpi :

French masif ' mountain massif '

according to SOIUSA :  

Italian catena ' mountain range '
Vallon de Mollières in the Parc National du Mercantour
Cime de Pal
Gordolasque Valley
'Le Sorcier' engraving in the Vallée des Merveilles
Monte Argentera
Cime du Gélas
One of the Morgon lakes in the Haute Vallée de la Tinée


Significant mountains (Maritime Alps in the real sense) are:

Protected areas

Large parts of the French Maritime Alps belong to the Parc National du Mercantour , created in 1979 , the youngest of the six French national parks (in the metropolitan area). Located between 500 and 3143  m altitude (Cime du Gélas, highest peak), the inner, specially protected and uninhabited zone of the Mercantour extends with 68,500 hectares from the Col d'Allos in the west to almost the Col de Tende in the east. The area of ​​the national park includes large parts of the Vallée de L ' Ubaye , Vallée de la Tinée , Vallée du Var , Vallée du Cians , Vallée de la Vésubie and Vallée de la Roya . The Vallée des Merveilles in the Mont-Bégo region, known for its engravings from the Bronze Age, and Lac d'Allos, the largest natural mountain lake in the Alps, are located in the national park at this altitude ( 2230  m ).

The Parco Naturale delle Alpi Marittime (Maritime Alps Nature Park) has existed since 1995 as a merger of the Argentera Nature Park and the Palanfré reserve. With an area of ​​280 square kilometers, the nature park has a share of the Gesso , Stura di Demonte and Vermenagna valleys .


The alpine ibex was successfully reintroduced from 1921, the bearded vulture successfully released into the wild from 1993 , and the golden eagle is still at home.


Long-distance / long-distance hiking trails

Via Alpina logo The Via Alpina , a new cross-border long-distance hiking trail that crosses the entire Alpine arc from Trieste to Monaco with five paths ; it also runs through the Maritime Alps on two different routes.

The Red Trail of Via Alpina runs with 12 stages from the Cottian Alps coming first north of the Alps through the Italian Alps on historical part pack-mule track and trails that - created in different eras - have military origin, then passed over the Pas de Fenestre the Border with France and continues in the Parc National du Mercantour to the Col de Tende through the French Maritime Alps:

  • Stage R137 from Pontebernardo to Rifugio Zanotti
  • Stage R138 from Rifugio Zanotti to Strepeis
  • Stage R139 from Strepeis to Sant'Anna di Vinadio
  • Stage R140 from Sant'Anna di Vinadio to Rifugio Malinvern
  • Stage R141 from Rifugio Malinvern to Rifugio Questa
  • Stage R142 from Rifugio Questa to Rifugio Morelli-Buzzi
  • Stage R143 from Rifugio Morelli-Buzzi to Rifugio Ellena-Soria
  • Stage R144 from Rifugio Ellena-Soria over the Pas de Fenestre to France to the Refuge de la Madone de Fenestre
  • Stage R145 from Refuge de la Madone de Fenestre through the inner, specially protected zone of the national park to Refuge de Nice
  • Stage R146 from Refuge de Nice to Refuge de Valmasque and thus runs just north of the Vallée des Merveilles, famous for its more than 50,000 pictograms from the Bronze Age
  • Stage R147 from Refuge de Valmasque to Castérino
  • Stage R148 from Castérino over the Col de Tende to Limonetto .

The Via Alpina Blue Path runs for 9 stages through the French part of the Maritime Alps south of the main Alpine ridge:

Further long-distance hiking trails in the Maritime Alps:

Winter sports

Well-known winter sports resorts in the Maritime Alps are Isola 2000 , Auron , Beuil , Valberg , Peira-Cava and Camp d'Argent on the Col de Turini on the French side, Limone Piemonte on the Italian side. The Maritime Alps are also suitable for ski tours . Some of the peaks can also be climbed in winter, and it is also possible to cross the group. The shelters are closed, but have at least partially open winter rooms.


  • Sabine Bade, Wolfram Mikuteit: Piemont . Michael Müller, Erlangen 2010, ISBN 978-3-89953-566-2 .
  • Sabine Bade, Wolfram Mikuteit: On the Via Alpina through the Maritime Alps and Ligurian Alps . 3. Edition. Part 1. From Monaco to Garessio ., Roxheim 2011, ISBN 3-937304-50-9 .
  • Sabine Bade, Wolfram Mikuteit: On the Via Alpina through the Maritime Alps and Ligurian Alps . 2nd Edition. Part 2. From Garessio to Monaco ., Roxheim 2011, ISBN 3-937304-59-2 .
  • Werner Bätzing, Michael Kleid: The Maritime Alps - nature park walks between Piedmont and Côte d'Azur . 2nd Edition. Rotpunkt, Zurich 2010, ISBN 978-3-85869-434-8 .
  • Thomas Rettstatt: Maritime Alps, between southern Piedmont and the Côte d'Azur . Bruckmann, Munich 2002, ISBN 978-3-7654-3652-9 .
  • Reinhard Scholl: Maritime Alps, Alpes-Maritimes: Mercantour - Merveilles . 2nd Edition. Bergverlag Rother, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-7633-4146-7 .

Web links

Commons : Maritime Alps  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. cf. fr: Préalpes de Nice , French Wikipedia
  2. cf. it: Prealpi di Nizza , Italian Wikipedia