Tour from Saccarello to Marguareis - Alta Via del Sale

Tour from Saccarello to Marguareis

THE ITINERARY

The departures of the routes are different; as well as from Mendatica and Triora, they can be carried out by S. Bernardo di Mendatica, Upega (Briga Alta) and Pigna.

THE PATH

1 STAGE
From Triora: Triora (altitudine 720 m) – Passo della Guardia (altitudine 1.488 m) – Passo Garlenda (altitudine 2.016m) – Rifugio S. Remo (altitudine 2.054).
Distance: 15 km. The overall difference in height is 1,480 m, the average journey time is about 8 and a half hours.

2 STAGE
Rifugio Sanremo (altitudine 2.054 m) – Monte Saccarello (altitudine 2.200 m) – P.sso Tanarello (altitudine 2.042 m) – Colla Rossa (altitudine 2.142 m) – Monte Bertrand (altitudine 2.482 m) – Colle Selle Vecchie (altitudine 2.099 m) – Colle dei Signori (Rifugio Don Barbera altitudine 2.070).
Distance: 17 Km. The difference in altitude is about 900 meters, the average journey time is 8 hours.

3 STAGE
Colle dei Signori (Rifugio Don Barbera – altitudine 2.070 m) – Colle Selle Vecchie (altitudine 2.099 m) – Case Nivorina (altitudine 1.606 m) – Upega (altitudine 1.300 m).
Distance: 9 Km. Average travel time is 4 hours.

4 STAGE
Upega (altitudine 1.300 m) – Colletta delle Salse (altitudine 1.623 m) – Margheria Binda (altitudine 1.610 m) – Valcona Soprana (altitudine 1.394 m) – Valcona Sottana (altitudine 1.237 m) – Ponte Tanarello (altitudine 1.041 m) – S. Bernardo di Mendatica (altitudine 1.265 m).
Distance: 17 Km. Average travel time is 8 hours.

5 STAGE
From the historic center of Triora, follow the mule track until you reach the sign indicating the Ponte di Mauta. The route continues on the right, following the indication Loreto, but first it is best to get off for a very short distance (following the CETTA sign) to get to the Mauta Bridge, which offers a fantastic view of the river gorge. Here there is also a picnic area with wooden table and seats. The mule track arrives at the Sanctuary of Loreto. Nearby is the picturesque bridge – among the highest in Europe – and then continue towards the historic village of Cetta, continuing through thick forests of hornbeam and chestnut. When you reach the Colle Langan, the first Scots pines appear and the view becomes amazing, on the Argentina and Nervia Valleys and you finally see the sea.
Continuing it gradually decreases in altitude, until reaching a landscape that changes and becomes maritime, leaving room for dense olive groves, as you get closer to Pigna. The average travel time is about 6 hours and is suitable for a family user.

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Centro storico di Mendatica
    Arranged on the side of Mount Fronté, from the height of its 778 meters of altitude, the Ligurian Valley of Arroscia, whose most important center is the town of Pieve di Teco. The municipal territory of Mendatica also extends over part of the contiguous Val Tanarello, with the hamlets of San Bernardo, Monesi di Mendatica, Valcona and Le Salse. Some of these villages were frequented during the summer, but almost exclusively by shepherds.
    The territory is part of the Regional Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps. To see the ancient village, the Parish Church of the SS Nazario and Celso, where there is a statue depicting the Madonna, by the famous Ligurian sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano. The Church of S. Margherita, the Sanctuary of the Madonna dei Colombi and the Ethnographic Museum.
  • Centro storico di Triora
    Site inhabited by the Ligurians even before the Roman colonization, is a municipality of considerable size (still the largest of the Province of Imperia): Triora belonged to the Eleventh century to the Marca Aleramica, following the Arduinica and then became a important feud of the Counts of Ventimiglia. The notary deeds of 1261 tell us how the village became part of the Republic of Genoa, whose territory was long a part resisting strenuously to the numerous annexation attempts of which it was object, but thanks to large walls and five fortresses Triora confirmed its reputation as impregnable rock.
    After the sunset of the Republic of Genoa and the Napoleonic adventure, Triora passed to the Kingdom of Sardinia and, in March 1860, to the Kingdom of Italy. Since the 80s, tourism has become its new vocation; first the establishment of the Regional Natural Park of the Ligurian Alps, then the setting up of the Regional Ethnographic and Witchcraft Museum and a careful recovery of the historic center with the restoration of some important buildings and historic houses (Palazzo Borelli, Palazzo Capponi, Palazzo Stella), they favored the influx of Italian and foreign tourists.
    A destination for both a more openly sporting tourism and cultural-folklore routes, the Municipality is now ranked among the most beautiful villages in Italy and has been awarded the Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club and can offer the visitor many possibilities ranging from walks in the woods, trekking to mountain biking along the paths of the Ligurian Alps Park, to visits and walks of great interest in the concentric village of Triora. Among the many possible routes of visit we point out the wonderful Collegiata dell’Assunta, an imposing church of the distant Roman-Gothic origin still preserves the ogival portal inserted in the façade that dominates the square and the Regional Ethnographic and Witchcraft Museum (corso Italia, 1) where, in addition to the tools and objects related to ancient pastoral and peasant customs, visitors will be able to observe and leaf through books, documents and environmental recollections related to witchcraft and the obscure and intricate events related to the famous witch trials of Triora of the years 1587- 1589. To visit also the fortified village with slate portals, arches, narrow passages and fortress houses, the Arma del Grà di Marmo Archaeological Park, the Oratory of S. Giovanni Battista, the church of Santa Caterina, the church of S. Bernardino, the church of S.Agostino, the prehistoric cave of Monte Frontè. Triora is also included among the City of bread, for the traditional production of this product.
  • Centro storico di Pigna
    Pigna is a town in the Province of Imperia located in the extreme west of Liguria; It is located in the mountain part of the upper Val Nervia, Valle crossed by the homonymous torrent and rises at an altitude of 280 meters above sea level.
    The countryside surrounding the village is made of olive groves, which takes over, in altitude, the chestnut grove and, higher still the coniferous wood, up to the slopes of the Toraggio and Pietravecchia mountains.
    Pigna is also known for its thermal waters, already known in Roman times. It was, in fact, a village in the orbit of the Roman Albintimilium, the current Ventimiglia.
    In 1844 the commercial exploitation of these waters was started by the source of the Madonna Assunta, which flows at a temperature of 30 ° and is classified as sulphurous-chlorinated. This water is used for the treatment of circulatory diseases, of the locomotor, respiratory and cutaneous apparatus. In the historic center of Pigna, with houses perched on the slope of the mountain, you can see the Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel, the Church of St. Bernard, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Passoscio, the Parish Church of St. Thomas, the Loggia di Piazza Vecchia, the ethnographic museum “La Terra e la Memoria”. Pigna has been awarded the Orange Flag by the Italian Touring Club.
  • The Saccarello Mount
    Saccarello Mount is the highest point of the Ligurian territory, located on the border with France. The majestic Statue of the Redeemer was erected on its antic.
  • Upega
    Fraction of the Municipality of Briga Alta, at 1,297 m above sea level and with the typical conformation of Alpine towns with stone houses, is one of the main centers of brigasca culture.
    This village of the Alta Valle Tanaro is characterized by its houses leaning against each other almost as if they were like small skyscrapers.
  • Colle dei Signori
    Located on the watershed near the French border with the Roya valley, it is a striking place at 2,111 meters above sea level, the base for numerous treks in the karst area of Marguareis. Administratively, the crossing point is located between the Italian municipality of Briga Alta and the territory of the French municipality of La Brigue while from the hydrographic point of view separates the high valleys of the Tanaro and Roya. Not far from the hill, on the Po valley side, stands the Don Barbera Refuge.
  • Frazione Loreto
    Fraction of Triora near which a reinforced concrete bridge was built, one of the highest in Europe, to connect two banks of the Argentine torrent, only 119 meters apart, but separated by a 112 m deep groove.
    Fraction of Triora near which a reinforced concrete bridge was built, one of the highest in Europe, to connect two banks of the Argentine torrent, only 119 meters apart, but separated by a 112 m deep groove.
  • Frazione Cetta
    Cetta consists of small groups of houses of various names, joined by a narrow road, all lying on a slope where man has worked over the centuries by building hundreds of “fascie” to cultivate them; here a washhouse, a chapel, a wooden cross, a fountain: this is Cetta that together with Bacin, Cetta Sottana, Poggio, Patatee, Fundu, Rieli, Church completes the constellation of the hamlets of Triora.
  • Colle Langan
    The pass connects the valley of the Nervia and the Argentina valley by a tarmac road, steep and rather narrow on the side of the Nervia. From the pass the road goes up to Colla Melosa (altitude 1545 m). Colle Langan is a vantage point from which you can see the sea.

GEOGRAPHICAL AREA INTERESTED

The hiking route develops over the territories of Mendatica and Triora and presents a digression towards the Alta Val Tanaro and another towards Pigna.

Total length: About 83 km, divided into five stages.

Difficulty and distance: The first four stages, although not reserved for expert hikers, have differences in level and significant travel times (three stages require eight hours each and a quarter approximately half) are such as to require a decent preparation for walking in the mountains.
The stage number 5, from Pigna to Mendatica, is a less difficult hiking route, which in addition to connecting Triora (altitude 780 m) and Pigna (altitude 280 m), two inhabited centers of clear medieval structure, allows you to cross natural environments and deeply different landscapes, passing from the suggestive chestnut woods to the typical vegetation of the coast, strewn with olive trees. It is therefore also suitable for less trained users and is immersed in a typically hilly environment.

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