Mine galleries and hamlet of the Minière de Vallauria

The formerly exploited galleries, as well as most of the constructions of the mining hamlet, are located on the right bank of the Inferno torrent, tributary of the Bieugne river.

Accessibility No

Visitable Yes

The former galena (lead ore) and blende (zinc ore) mine illustrates the evolution of a mountain mine operation between the Middle Ages and the 19th century. The configuration of the various galleries successively opened testifies to each era of exploitation. This very mineral industrial site on a slope covered with mining cuttings contrasts with its alpine and forest environment. Some buildings still have their 19th century stone facades.

The mine has about fifteen kilometers of galleries, including four main galleries: the Saracen Gallery (the oldest), the gallery Ste Barbe (540 m long), the Charles-Emmanuel Gallery (780 m long, Negri Gallery – the most recent of 1,170 m), and four intermediate galleries that do not open to the day.
The different levels of the mine are joined together by a system of interior declining tunnels and chimneys.

Conditions of visit

The hamlet of Minière de Vallauria (1500 m altitude) is located in the valley of the Bieugne, tributary on the right bank of the Roya. It is accessed by vehicle by RD 91 road (9 km), departing Saint-Dalmas de Tende. Parking at Lac des Mesces; following the walk on the trail of the Valley of Wonders (0.8 km).

The final access road, which is very rugged and narrow, is reserved for SUVs. If necessary, parking is possible near the buildings. However, it is preferable to use the Mesces parking and finish on foot.

The internal topography of the site has steep slopes limiting certain routes to valid people.

The completely renovated buildings host a holiday center and educational courses, open to the public upon reservation.

The entrances to the mine are now condemned for the general public. Guided tours of old galleries are sometimes organized.


Additional information


  • FAUTRE William, Magazine « le Haut-Pays » n°1, Article « Un hameau ressuscité : La Minière », Editions du Cabri, Breil-sur-Roya. 1984.
  • MARI Gilbert, « La Minière de Vallauria », Editions Serre, Nice. 1984