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Natura 2000 : Bendola Valley
Natura 2000 : Bendola Valley
Natura 2000 : Bendola Valley

Natura 2000 : Bendola Valley

In the extreme east of the Alpes-Maritimes on the left bank of the Roya, the 1058 ha of the Bendola site present strong contrasts and an important diversity. It extends over the downstream part of the steep canyon with waterfalls and pools of limpid water.
The Bendola site is remarkable for its richness, its exceptional level of endemism, the concentration of remarkable habitats and its good state of conservation. It occupies a pivotal position in both the Alpine and Mediterranean biogeographical regions. There are 16 habitats of community interest, including 6 priority habitats, as well as one species habitat. Among these habitats, the dry grasslands have one of the highest concentrations of orchids on the national territory (around fifty species). The diversity of forest habitats of community interest, with in particular the presence of old forests (Bois noir), and the presence of tuffs in a remarkable functional state should also be highlighted.

The fauna is also in the spotlight, with no less than 8 species of echinocerosed murine in Annex II of the Habitats Directive, including a large population of Strinati's spelunker, a rare amphibian endemic to the extreme south-east of France and north-west Italy. Another important presence is the colonies of the Great Rhinolophus and the Stilt-Eared Bat. These bats occupy built-up roosts on the site.

Human activities are not very developed in the Bendola due to its topography. Livestock farming has practically disappeared from the area for more than twenty years and only subsistence farming remains. For the same reasons, there is no forestry production. Urban planning documents prevent the extension of buildings and therefore limit the pressures.
The most significant impacts come from outdoor activities, particularly canyoning and motorised activities.

Technical information

06540 Saorge
Lat : 43.980943Lng : 7.561695
0 m
209 d

5 Additional information

Sustainable tourism

Walk differently, walk cleanly and gently! Use public transport, which serves all the villages.
By train: TER line Nice-Breil-Fontan/Saorge-La Brigue-Tende, called "Train des Merveilles", the Italian line Ventimiglia-Breil-Fontan/Saorge-La Brigue-Tende-Cuneo).
By bus n°25 of the Menton-Ventimiglia-Breil-Saorge-Tende line, Zest Bus.

The Bendola valley, which is extremely steep, is not easily accessible. However, it is possible to walk through this wild area on the PR hiking trails, marked in yellow (Peiremount terraces, Castou and La Baragne hamlets, Madonina cross-border trail towards the Muratone pass in the direction of the village of Pigna/Nervia valley, etc.), or on the GR 52 A marked in red and white from Breil to Saorge, and from Saorge to La Brigue by the Anan drop.

Be discrete, and open your eyes and ears!


Phone : 04 92 41 26 56

Email :

Website :

Open period

All year round.

Subject to favorable weather.

Updated by

Office de Tourisme Menton, Riviera & Merveilles - 27/08/2022
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