Region of Nice Côte d'Azur From Sea to Mountain

From the Mediterranean to the mountains of the Mercantour, the Nice Côte d'Azur region encompasses three distinct territories: the dense and urbanized coastline, which concentrates 84 per cent of the population, generally living in collective housing; the 'Middle Fathers' ('Moyen Pays'), whose active population lives essentially in individual households; and finally the 'Haut Pays', which runs from the Tinée Valley to the Italian border. This area today, has an older population and currently, 6 dwellings on 10 correspond to secondary residences.

In the nineteenth century, when the city of Nice began its urban development and its openness to international tourism, there were numerous villages off the coast that lived in total autarky. The 'Haut Pays' (mountain region) was absolutely not associated with holidays, excursions or tours. The wealthy travelers sought the sun and exoticism of the coast and favored the summer for vacation. It is only after the 1920 years that the search for the stations to escape the summer heat begins little by little. The first visitors seduced by the stations are members of large families in the Nice region. This new charm will progressively transform the landscape around these isolated small towns: close to the villages (whose houses were built around the church with its tower and bell) are spreading through nature, cottages, mansions and hotels.

The hotel development was accompanied by the expansion of skiing and mountaineering practices. The initial target audience being a chic or even aristocratic public, the emergence of large hotels in the mountains, positioned the region as a true competitor of Savoia, Pyrenees and Switzerland. Later on, however, with the introduction of paid annual leave (in 1936), a more popular sports practice in the mountains emerges.

Proximity is the great advantage of our region. Only this department can offer the winter tourist the opportunity to pass (in 2 only hours of car) from mild temperatures of the seaside to a climate that leaves nothing to be desired to the one of the Swiss in the same station.

Some famous stations:

Valberg (1700 m); Isola 2000 (2000 m); Auron (1600m); Thorenc (1200m); Peïra Cava (1500m); Beuil (1500 to 2011m); La Colmiane (1400 to 1800m);

St Dalmas Le Selvage (1500m); Turini (1600m - 1920m) Stenc (1780 - 1850 m)

by Leonora Rumsen

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