Christmas & New Year in France

Christmas and New Year Walking and Snowshoeing Holiday

In a nutshell

  • Enviro’friendly snow activity in pristine Alpine scenery
  • Enjoy the Mercantour mountains AND stunning views down to the Mediterranean
  • A different festive season – and mulled wine on tap should the heavens open!!!!  It does happen.. but the fallback is fun
  • Duration : 8 days, 7 nights

What's it all about?

Get away from all the Christmas hype and join us here for some super days out in the hills coupled with a warm welcome and great food – if not turkey and stuffing!!!

We offer a fantastic all-inclusive seven day winter walking and snowshoeing holiday over the Christmas and New Year Breathtaking unspoilt Alpine countryside. Join us in off the beaten track walks and snowshoe treks surrounded by majestic peaks rising to over 3000 metres against clear blue skies – see for miles in this stunning corner of South East France, where tranquility is guaranteed, and other humans are a rarity on our days out.

Centered in and around the Vésubie valley, and Valdeblore, the locality offers several destinations for starting circular walks which are just a half an hour drive from your accommodation.

In the valley of La Madone de Fenestre, which lies on the old salt trading route between the French coast and the Piedmont plain, you can snow shoe from the mountain refuge at the Madone Sanctuary over the Baisse de Cinq Lacs and around the impressive bowl of the Lacs des Prals, in the shadow of the Cime de Gélas – the highest peak in the Mercantour.

Trek over the Col de Salèse and visit the village of Mollières – totally cut off from motorised transport during the winter months; or snow shoe over Camp Soubrane to Lac Nègre, spotting various animal tracks in the snow, including those of wolves, now once again flourishing in the area.

Visit the old town of Utelle, with its sanctuary at the Madone d’Utelle, and enjoy its obvious relationship to Templar activity during medieval times.

Walk the GR5 over the Brec d’Utelle with fantastic views of the length and breadth of the Alpes-Maritimes.


  • Day 1 Pick up in Nice, and transfer to Berthemont or Valdeblore.
  • Day 2 A visit to Le Boréon and snow shoe up to Col Salèse, and Les Adus - a day in the heart of the mountains of the Mercantour – where chamois, ibex, deer and even wild wolf tracks are on the cards.
  • Day 3 Madone d'Utelle - a circuit that starts in the medieval village of Utelle, and climbs up to the Sanctuary offering fantastic views of the length and breadth of the Mercantour National Park.
  • Day 4 Snow shoe up to Pic Colmiane, and then follow forest tracks directly back via St Dalmas Valdeblore.
  • Day 5 We visit the Col de Turini, and the old Napoleonic forts at Authion, where we can mix a day walking and snowshoeing. On clear days the mountains of Corsica are visible on the horizon.
  • Day 6 Snow shoe through the forest tracks that lead up to the refuge at Madone de Fenestre, then spend time in this magnificent cirque before descending via a different route.
  • Day 7 We return to Le Boréon, and walk/snowshoe up to the refuge at La Cougourde, and if conditions are good climb up to Lac Trecolpas.
  • Day 8 Depart from Valdeblore or Berthemont for transfer back to Nice airport.

What's included

  • Full board accommodation.
  • Berthemont – Gîte based - provisions and hot pastries provided for breakfast, picnic lunch, home cooked dinners – 2 or 3 of which  enjoyed with your hosts, the balance delivered to your door ready to eat, or together with fellow guests. Wine and beer provided.
  • Valdeblore - Chambre d'hôte full board : All meals, inclusive of packed lunches.  Dinners around communal table. Table wine with meals.
  • Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and Christmas Day festive dinners.
  • Transport : To and from all venues. To and from Nice airport.
  • Activities : Six days guided walking with a qualified International Mountain Leader.
  • Hire of snow shoes, not poles.

Dates :

2020 : Just our "Accommodation Only" available for2020

Grade :

Walking - Moderate - suitable for adults and children age 14 or over

See our grades explained here

Pricing :

Gîte based : €1195 pp

Chambre d'hôte based : Price pp on request

Single supplement : €140 for the week

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