Depending on the season, the northeastern corner of Provence can be two different worlds. In winter, the sheep and shepherds find warmer pastures, leaving the snowy heights to horned mouflons, chamois and the perfectly camouflaged ermine. The villages where shepherds came to summer markets are battened down for the long, cold haul, while modern conglomerations of Swiss-style chalet houses, sports shops and nightclubs come to life around the ski lifts. The seasonal dichotomy is especially evident in towns like Colmars-les-Alpes and Barcelonnette.

The Alpes-Maritimes make up much of northeastern Provence, encompassing much of the magnificent Parc National du Mercantour, which runs south of Barcelonnette to the Italian border villages of Tende, Breil-sur-Roya and Sospel.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Why you should go back to Paris in 2017

Why you should go back to Paris in 2017

There’s nowhere else quite like Paris. No other city can match the allure of its rooftop vistas, café-lined boulevards and striking monuments. Paris’s abil…

11 May 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Video: a 1 minute guide to France

Video: a 1 minute guide to France

There's little wonder that the land of châteaux, Champagne and croissants regularly tops lists of the world's most visited countries. France beguiles travell…

28 Apr 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month