Snowy Mercantour

Madone de Fenestre Travel Blog

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Refuge de Fenestre

The Côte d'Azur is a magnet for tourists. If you have had enough of all the crowds, there's a beautiful alternative to enjoy a great day: drive off the coast to the national park Mercantour, where the Alpes Maritimes overwelm you. It's is a sparsely populated area clenched between the sea and the Italian frontier. On the rocky summits and icy glaciers the chamois rules the world.

The N202 west of Nice follows the river Var to the Gorges de la Vésubie. From here the road climbs in to the mountains passing peaceful trous. In one of those hamlets, La Tour sur Tinée, we had a stop. I guesh there was only one person left in the place, but that was enough to serve us a refreshing drink while sitting beside the sunny square. Outside Saint Martin Vésubie is the start of the steep road to the Madone de Fenestre. We parked the car at the refuge, where the road ends at less than 2 kms from the Italian border. From the refuge you can make some beautiful randonnees in the surrounding area. One of them goes up to the Lac de Fenestre. We had to pass some slippery and steep snow fields, so you'll need good shoes and some (Dutch) courage. We met chamois and marmots but no human beings. We really enjoyed the landscape!

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Refuge de Fenestre
Refuge de Fenestre
Refuge de Fenestre
Refuge de Fenestre
Refuge de Fenestre
Refuge de Fenestre
Walk up the Col de Fenestre
Walk up the Col de Fenestre
Col de Fenestre
Col de Fenestre
Lac de Fenestre
Lac de Fenestre
Col de Fenestre inhabitant
Col de Fenestre inhabitant
Look out for wildlife at col de Fe…
Look out for wildlife at col de F…
Madone de Fenestre
photo by: polvandenwirre