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The Roya Valley runs through some beautiful scenery from Ventimiglia on the Ligurian coast and some amazing gorges north of Breil to the high mountains of the Col de Tende in the north.

The Mercantour returned

Part of the Upper Roya Valley, along with part of the upper Vésubie valley and the Tinée Valley, did not become part of the France until the Italian Government was forced to hand them over in 1947. When the rest of the County of Nice reverted to France, the King of Sardinia had kept the Mercantour for hunting!

The Upper Roya starts at the Col de Tende and runs down past Tende and Saorge to Breil-sur-Roya. The lower valley starts here and continues into Italy until it reaches the Mediterranean at Ventimiglia. The ancient Route de Sel passes through Tende on this itinerary.

Train des Merveilles

A great way to see the Roya Valley is by rail. The Train des Merveilles runs from Nice via Breil-sur-Roya to Tende finishing up at Cuneo in Italy

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Département: Alpes-Maitimes. Check out my Roya Valley Driving Tour in Nice's Best

Nice Beyond (L'Arrière Pays Niçois)

Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by © Paul Shawcross