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Mirrors of the sky among the rocks

Lakes in the Maritime Alps

The Argentera ridge seen from Fremamorta Lakes (A. Rivelli/PNAM)

The Maritime Alps have the idea of water in their name. From our peaks you can sometimes see the sea on the horizon, it is set off magnificently by the wealth of lakes found in these mountains. Hundreds of lakes, mostly of glacial origin, some set in stone, others surrounded by meadows, are a characteristic feature of the Park's high altitude scenery.

Each has its charm, each has a different shape, size and colour. There are some tiny lost lakes like Valcuca and Maledia, and big, deep ones: the Sella lakes, Portette, Valscura, and Valletta. There are others with a more recent history, the hydroelectric reservoirs created in the 1970s, Piastra and Chiotas.

Rather than the rocky faces of Argentera, Monte Matto and Corno Stella these lakes are an ideal destination for hikers who are not interested in mountaineering or sporting conquests but are looking for the serene and relaxing side of the mountains, a dimension where lakes are a haven to rest and contemplate by, reflecting the verticality of the surrounding peaks and the colours of the sky.

Vei del Bouc

A place for the soul

The legend tells of an old man ("vei" in local dialect) who lived up here alone in this secluded spot with only an old billy goat ("bouc") for company.

Fremamorta lakes

A balcony onto the Argentera ridge

The story goes that these lakes were formed by a river of tears shed by a man who had lost his beloved wife.

The Sella Lakes

At the foot of Monte Matto

With a quick succession of pools and waterfalls Rio Meris falls bubbling to Sant'Anna di Valdieri. It rises from the Lower Sella Lake, a favourite with kings and queens for trout fishing. Surmounting ...


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