Maritime Alps

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.

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
CountriesFrance, Italy and Monaco
Region, RégionPiedmont, Liguria
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Range coordinates44°13.9′N 7°10.6′E
Parent rangeAlps
Borders onLigurian Alps, Cottian Alps, Provence Alps and Prealps and Mediterranean sea
OrogenyAlpine orogeny


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 altar pieces by primitive Niçois painters).


The borders of the Maritime Alps are (anticlockwise):


The main peaks of the Maritime Alps are:

Monte Argentera3,297 m
Monte Stella3,262 m
Cime du Gélas3,135 m
Cima di Nasta3,108 m
Monte Matto3,097 m
Mont Pelat3,053 m
Mont Clapier3,046 m
Mont Ténibre3,032 m
Enciastraia2,955 m
Mont Bégo2,872 m
Mont Mounier2,818 m
Roche de l'Abisse2,755 m

Mountain passes

The chief passes of the Maritime Alps are:

Col de la BonetteTinée Valley to BarcelonnetteRoad (minor loop climbs to 2,802 m)2715
Col de RestefondCol de la Bonette to BarcelonnetteRoad2680
Bassa di DruosTinée Valley to Terme di ValdieriBridle path2630
Colle di CiriegiaSaint-Martin-Vésubie to Terme di ValdieriBridle path2551
Col des Granges CommunesSaint-Étienne-de-Tinée to BarcelonnetteBridle path2512
Col de PourriacTinee Valley to ArgenteraFootpath2506
Colle di GuerciaTinee Valley to VinadioFootpath2451
Col de la LombardeIsola to VinadioRoad2350
Col de la CayolleVar River valley to BarcelonnetteRoad2327
Col du SabionTende to ValdieriBridle path2264
Col d'AllosVerdon River valley to BarcelonnetteRoad2250
Maddalena PassBarcelonnette to CuneoRoad1995
Col de TendeTende to CuneoRoad, road tunnel
Railway tunnel
Col de TuriniVésubie river valley to SospelRoad1607

Nature conservation

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 domain: Coolidge, William Augustus Brevoort (1911). "Alps". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 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)


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