Stage resort for the first time

Mountain resort in the Alpes-Maritimes (06)

Population: 700 (Isoliens, Isoliennes)

Specialities: Vacherie de Chastillon (cheese and charcuterie), Mercantour cheeses (carline, miche gavotte, tommes). Specialities from Nice. 

Personalities: Mathieu Faivre (double world champion in alpine skiing), Julia Pereira de Sousa Mabileau (silver medallist in snowboarding at the 2018 Olympic Games), Tony Ramoin (bronze medallist in snowboarding at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010), Théo Letitre (alpine skier), Gérald Hanning (town planner, helped create Isola 2000).

Sport: skiing, snowboarding (Back to Back Club d'Isola), cross-country skiing, rafting, canyoning. Events: Labour French Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding Championships, Isolienne Trail Challenge, Enduro VTT d'Isola

Economy: mountain tourism. Skiing, cross-country skiing. Agriculture (livestock farming). Chestnut groves. Aquavallée aquatic complex. Shops and services.

Festivals: Custom Days (motorbike mechanics and music, June) / L'Isola du Jazz (July) / Fête patronale (mid-August) / Chestnut Festival (November).

Signature: Isola, 2000 ways to enjoy yourself.

Label: Terre de Jeux (Land of the Games)

Websites / social networks:


The highest mountain resort in the Southern Alps played host to the Tour de France in 1993 for a stage that saw Tony Rominger raise his arms, having broken away in the finale with Miguel Indurain. The Spaniard consolidated his yellow jersey, graciously leaving the laurels of the day to the Swiss rider. Rominger had nonetheless achieved the feat of winning two Alpine stages in a row, having won the previous day in Serre-Chevalier. But he himself admitted that he could not compete with the Navarrese for the GC. Isola 2000 served as a high-altitude training base for the Arkea-Samsic and Cofidis teams. 


  • Mercantour National Park

Situated between Provence and Italy, in Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, the Mercantour National Park is home to some of the richest biodiversity in France. To the south of the Alps, between Nice and Barcelonnette, the park's mountains and valleys are home to an incredible array of flora: of the 4,200 species found in France, almost half have their roots in the Mercantour, including around forty endemic species. Those in the know will recognise the Allioni speedwell, a magnificent vertical purple flower hidden between the tall grasses. Among the park's attractions, Sospel is well worth a visit. Before hiking in the surrounding area, you should take the time to visit this medieval village. The paths starting from Sospel climb to an altitude of 2,000 metres. In the background, Corsica is revealed alongside the Estérel massif and its sublime red hues. Cap d'Antibes and Mont Pelat, over 3,000 metres high, complete the beauty of this panorama. Ibex, chamois, wolves and birds of prey are among the park's many inhabitants. The Mercantour Park is home to many other jewels, including the famous Vallée des Merveilles, famous for its prehistoric engravings, Lake Allos, Europe's largest natural high-altitude lake, and picturesque hilltop villages such as Saorge.  

  • Isola 2000, an integrated resort

Isola 2000 has been recognised by the French Ministry of Culture as an outstanding example of an "integrated resort". The term refers to the third generation of mountain resorts that began in 1963 with the creation of compact complexes in which housing, services and shops are brought together, as in a cruise liner, linked by an internal circulation of galleries and covered streets. The Isola 2000 development (Snow Front) includes 330 homes (150 studios, 80 T2, 20 T3 and 80 bedrooms), three hotels, numerous shops, bars and restaurants, a shopping mall, a nightclub, a cinema, administrative services, an altiport and two swimming pools.  

  • Romanesque bell tower

Construction: 12th century.

Style: Romanesque.

History: the bell tower is the only remaining part of Saint-Pierre church, which belonged to the chapter of Nice cathedral. It was probably built by a workshop of itinerant masons. Following a flood, the church was abandoned in the 16th century in favour of the church of Saint-Antoine, which was itself replaced by the church of Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens in 1682. Despite the ruin of Saint-Pierre church, the people of Isola wanted to keep the bell tower.

Characteristics: the Romanesque bell tower is very slender, with a square section measuring 3.80 m on each side and 16-m high, with a pyramid-shaped spire. At the top, there are three storeys of semi-circular bays, the last of which are twinned with colonnettes.

Listed as: Historical Monument since 1908  

  • Isola outpost

Construction: 1931 to 1935.

History: Due to territorial claims by Mussolini's Italy, France decided to build a powerful "Maginot Line of the Alps". In 1935, the Isola outpost was completed at Gratuse on the south (right) bank of the Tinée, opposite the village. This structure successfully defended the village of Isola from the Italian declaration of war on 10 June 1940 until the armistice came into effect on the morning of 25 June. 

Characteristics: this outpost consists of four blocks, two casemates, an emergency exit and an observation post. The blocks are linked by an underground gallery cut into the rock.  

  • Mathieu Faivre, the man for big events

The son of a ski instructor brought up on the boards at Isola 2000, Mathieu Faivre has more than lived up to his promise by establishing himself as the man for the French ski team's major events, with two world championship titles in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2021 and a bronze medal in the giant slalom at the Beijing Games in 2022. Although he has never been so consistent in the World Cup, with just two victories in the competition, this peerless giant slalom skier seems to be stimulated by the stakes and pressure. In Cortina, he beat the odds to become the first Frenchman since Jean-Claude Killy to win two world titles at the same championships. Although he subsequently struggled to confirm his success, the man who was also world junior giant champion nonetheless won a bronze medal in Beijing in 2022, proving that big events were what suited him best. Mathieu Faivre also made the headlines for his affair with the greatest skier of all time, Mikaela Shiffrin, between 2017 and 2019. 


  • Mercantour cheeses

Cheese production in the Mercantour is a matter of small-scale producers, who often sell directly from the farm or at local markets. Depending on the season, tommes are produced on the farm or in the mountain pastures. The classic recipe of pressed cheese made from raw milk is available in several variants, depending on the valley and the producer: flavoured with genepi, with a grey rind (Carline) or a blond rind (Miche Gavotte). Two other tommes stand out for their distinctive character: Tomme de la Brigue, still produced today by a small handful of farmers in the Roya region, and Tomme de la Vésubie.

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