© Département06 - Musée Des Merveilles

Vallée des Merveilles (The Valley of Wonders)

An open-air museum

A cosmic observatory for some, a voyage of discovery for others, the “Vallée des Merveilles” (The Valley of Wonders) is truly captivating with over 40,000 mystical rock engravings to discover. Taking us back 5,000 years to the Bronze Age, the site acts as an open-air museum covering prehistoric times, as well as being a wonderful location for hiking. Travel back thousands of years to discover the first men who, in the shadow of Mont Bégo, chose to settle in this place situated between the earth and the skies…

Vallee Des MerveillesVallee Des MerveillesVallee Des Merveilles

Mont Bégo

and its surrounding archaeological area

Mont Bégo rises to 2,872 metres. As the mountain was often identified as a way of reaching the gods, it is likely that, at that time, Mont Bégo would have been considered as ‘sacred’. Prehistoric Man would have engraved the rocks along the mountainside to mark the place as a holy sanctuary. Listed as a Monument Historique since 1989, the archaeological area of Mont Bégo’s rock engravings, which straddles the “Vallée des Merveilles” (The Valley of Wonders) and Fontanalba, is therefore likely to be a significant testimony to an ancient cult.

I WRITE THEREFORE I AM?

Since time immemorial and on every continent, humans have always used engraving techniques. A truly universal and symbolic language, the motifs and scenes depicted are often linked to everyday life or to the gods.

Roya Valley Access

As you probably know, Storm Alex hit our area hard on 2nd October in 2020. Please note that access to some Roya Valley towns and villages has been seriously affected. To ensure you have a great time, whether at mid or high altitude, we strongly recommend contacting the Tende Tourist Information service prior to your visit: +33 4 83 93 98 82 or tende-tourisme@menton-riviera-merveilles.fr.
Some useful links about footpath access:

Thank you for your attention and we hope you enjoy your time with us.

Hiking

in the “Vallée des Merveilles” (The Valley of Wonders)

Hiking is only allowed along the designated paths in the conservation area of the engravings, where some engraved images can be viewed, together with information panels. But there is nothing like a comprehensive tour of the site led by a Mercantour National Park-approved guide, who will take you literally off the beaten track. You’ll get to see some of the most significant engravings, as well as learning about the archaeological theories behind their meaning.

Plan a stop off at

the Musée des Merveilles

The Musée des Merveilles in Tende makes for the perfect complement when visiting the archaeological site and engravings. An exciting innovative and entertaining display will help everyone to fully appreciate all the different aspects of this period of history. Contributing to the conservation and development of this unique archaeological heritage, the museum presents a vivid reconstruction of the life of the valley’s first inhabitants. Not to be missed.

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