Varaita Valley

The forest of Alevè

The enchanted forest of Monviso

The forest of Alevè, in the upper Varaita Valley, hides a large part of the south west slope of Monviso.

It is the most extensive stone pine (umbrella pine) forest in the Alps, covering around 825 hectares which rise up to a height of between 1500 to 2500 metres above sea level.  The toponym is derived from elvo in Occitan, meaning stone pine.  The oldest stone pine of the Alevè forest is more than six hundred years old but there are other examples which are more than five hundred years old.

It is a very ancient forest and is especially interesting for the numerous species of animals and plants which populate it.  For this reason, since 2000 it has been included in the list of Sites of Community Interest of the European Union.  Since 2014, it has been part of the MAB zone of UNESCO.  At the centre of the forest, at a height of 2017 metres, stands the Bagnour mountain hut.


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