Maritime Alps

Coordinates: 44°13.9′N 7°10.6′E / 44.2317°N 7.1767°E / 44.2317; 7.1767
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Maritime Alps
French: Alpes Maritimes
Italian: Alpi Marittime
Maritime Alps
Highest point
PeakMonte Argentera
Elevation3,297 m (10,817 ft)
Coordinates44°10′45″N 7°18′18″E / 44.17917°N 7.30500°E / 44.17917; 7.30500
CountriesFrance, Italy and Monaco
Regions, RégionsPiedmont, Liguria and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
RiversVerdon, Ubaye, Roya, Var and Stura di Demonte
Range coordinates44°13.9′N 7°10.6′E / 44.2317°N 7.1767°E / 44.2317; 7.1767
Parent rangeAlps
Borders onLigurian Alps, Cottian Alps, Provence Alps and Prealps and Mediterranean Sea
OrogenyAlpine orogeny

The Maritime Alps (French: Alpes Maritimes [alp maʁitim]; Italian: Alpi Marittime [ˈalpi maˈrittime]) are a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps. They form the border between the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and the Italian regions of Piedmont and Liguria. They are the southernmost part of the Alps.


Administratively the range is divided between the Italian provinces of Cuneo and Imperia (eastern slopes) and the French department of Alpes-Maritimes (western slopes).

The Maritime Alps are drained by the rivers Roya, Var and Verdon and their tributaries on the French side; by the Stura di Demonte and other tributaries of the Tanaro and Po on the Italian side. There are many attractive perched villages, such as Belvédère at the entrance to the spectacular Gordolasque valley, some concealing unexpected architectural riches (for example in the south there are numerous churches decorated with murals and altarpieces by primitive Niçois painters).


The borders of the Maritime Alps are (anticlockwise):


The main peaks of the Maritime Alps are:

Name Elevation
Monte Argentera 3,297 m
Monte Stella 3,262 m
Cime du Gélas 3,135 m
Cima di Nasta 3,108 m
Monte Matto 3,097 m
Mont Pelat 3,053 m
Mont Clapier 3,046 m
Mont Ténibre 3,032 m
Enciastraia 2,955 m
Mont Bégo 2,872 m
Mont Mounier 2,818 m
Roche de l'Abisse 2,755 m
Monte Grammondo 1,378 m

Mountain passes[edit]

Col d'allos (2,250 m)

The chief passes of the Maritime Alps are:

Name Location Type Elevation
Col de la Bonette Tinée Valley to Barcelonnette Road (minor loop climbs to 2,802 m) 2715
Col de Restefond Col de la Bonette to Barcelonnette Road 2680
Bassa di Druos Tinée Valley to Terme di Valdieri Bridle path 2630
Colle di Ciriegia Saint-Martin-Vésubie to Terme di Valdieri Bridle path 2551
Col des Granges Communes Saint-Étienne-de-Tinée to Barcelonnette Bridle path 2512
Col de Pourriac Tinee Valley to Argentera Footpath 2506
Colle di Guercia Tinee Valley to Vinadio Footpath 2451
Col de la Lombarde Isola to Vinadio Road 2350
Col de la Cayolle Var River valley to Barcelonnette Road 2327
Col du Sabion Tende to Valdieri Bridle path 2264
Col d'Allos Verdon River valley to Barcelonnette Road 2250
Maddalena Pass Barcelonnette to Cuneo Road 1995
Col de Tende Tende to Cuneo Road, road tunnel
Railway tunnel
Col de Turini Vésubie river valley to Sospel Road 1607

Nature conservation[edit]

Mercantour National Park

The French Mercantour National Park (central area:68,500 ha + peripheral area:140,000 ha[1]) is part of the Maritime Alps as well as the Parco naturale delle Alpi Marittime, an Italian regional nature park of 28,455 ha.[2]


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCoolidge, William Augustus Brevoort (1911). "Alps". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 741.
  1. ^ Le Parc national du Mercantour, (accessed on April 2012)
  2. ^ Parco delle Alpi Marittime, web-site of the park on (accessed on April 2012)