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What to visit in Menton? Enter the Alpes mines

lifestyle & tra…travel

15 June 2023
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he Vallauria mine will open to the public on July 2 This is one of the largest mines in the Alps! Located at 1500 m in a former mining village in the town of Tende, it was exploited from the 18th to the beginning of the 20th century for its silver ore, lead, and later, zinc. Right in the heart of the former mining site, the guided tour of the galleries and extraction chambers invites you on an unusual journey into the past, from the life of the miners to the history of the rock. An exceptional site located in a remarkable green setting, not far from the famous Vallée des Merveilles, and all around numerous hiking trails. To visit (on reservation for a guided tour): a secure underground circuit of 900 m, on the 20 km of existing galleries, in a remarkable state of conservation. To your helmets!

An immersive exhibition in an underground world

An excellent prelude to visiting the mine, the Tende Departmental Museum of Wonders will host the temporary exhibition "Underground Worlds" - Vallauria and the Mercantour mining heritage until October 31, 2023. Thanks to a fascinating and attractive scenography, original documentary content and interactive reconstructions, visitors can thus immerse themselves in the meanders of the Mercantour mines and become familiar with the techniques of extraction and processing of ores over the centuries. Free admission every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Tuesday.

The Neige & Merveilles Hostel

Ideal starting point (or stopover) for hikers, the Neige et Merveilles establishment, located in the center of the mining hamlet of Vallauria, now serves as a stopover gite for the Vallée des Merveilles. In summer, it is possible to stay in rooms for 2, 4 or 6 people, depending on availability, in one of the two imposing stone buildings with atypical architecture which once housed miners and their families. In the "San Sébastiano" building located directly above the track leading to the Vallée des Merveilles or in the "Authion" building, at the edge of the larch forest. On the catering side, it is possible to order packed lunches or to take advantage of the small equipped kitchen. The gîte, which has just reopened for the season, will welcome its visitors until October 15. Simple comfort in a friendly atmosphere! 

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