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France's best kept secret....... and more
Spacebetween has enjoyed eight years of the good life in the stunning Mercantour National Park. Our visitors are always amazed that such stunning unspoilt Alpine scenery exists, just an hour north of Nice
It's true! The Mercantour National Park and the Parci Alpi Maritimi in Italy offers a broad range of landscapes from 600m to 3500m.
The landscape takes in lush alpine meadows, dotted with brilliant blue lakes, pine forests and glacial cirques crossed by crystal clear rivers.
This rich landscape shelters more than 2000 of the 4200 species of plants in France, 40 of which are only found in the Mercantour. A day out is the park is rarely without the pleasure of enjoying the Park's abundant wildlife including chamois and ibex and marmots, and the extraordinary Lammergeier Vulture.
Directions to Berthemont les Bains from Nice airport.
If leaving from either terminal, follow the exit signs and you will pick up signs for DIGNE and GRENOBLE. Keep following these and you will find yourself on the D6202 - this is still the N202 on most maps, it has recently changed from a national route to a departmental route.
The road runs North directly from the airport and parallel to the Var river, which is very broad, on your left and can't be missed. There is now a new road also called the D6202 (bis), which runs parallel to the old road on the left of the river, the signs guide you on to this at the first roundabout that you come to. Don’t take it, it’s still in construction at its top end and causes confusion. Just go straight across the roundabout and stay on the old road.
Follow the D6202 until you get to Plan du Var. Go straight through the village, after which you will cross a concrete bridge. Directly after this bridge there is a turning right to the Vesubie valley.
Take this, the road number is D2565. Follow this road all the way up the valley. You will pass through St Jean la Riviere and Lantosque. About 3 to 4 Km further up from Lantosque you will come to a left turning over a bridge to new Roquebilliere - do not take this - follow the D2656.
You will drive through the old village of Roquebilliere (past another bridge on the left to new Roquebilliere). Follow the road for 2 more Km, where just after crossing a small bridge it turns sharp left - on this corner on the right hand side of the road is a hoarding advertising the thermal baths at Berthemont - after which there is a sharp right hand bend.
Just after this bend is the right turning up to Berthemont les Bains (D72). Take this road, which switches back 4 times before straightening off. Follow the road up the hill, and after about a kilometre you will see a blue bottle bank on the right hand side of a left hand bend. After this, the road straightens out. La Zourciere is the second house on the left about 200 metres up from the bottle bank. It's not easily seen from the road, but has a largish gate entrance to the drive way. If you go as far as the next left handed switch back, you've gone too far.
Not only but also...... thanks to our time spent here in Southern Europe and a myriad of contacts throughout the world we are also very pleased to have found other venues which have the same magic combination of being relatively unknown beautiful areas which are also easy to get to. Close to home are walking holidays in the Riviera Back Country in the Roya Valley and around Sainte Agnès (just inland from Menton). Here the terrain is more rolling, and offers guests superb walking in the hills complete with stunning views of the Med
We′ve also been delighted to explore the area of Provence around Forcalquier and offered a splendid week from a luxury villa, taking in both the Luberon and the Gorges de Verdon. At present, with the current base having been sold, we are looking for another accommodation venue.
In Italy the Gran Paradiso National Park has been a splendid find, as well as the Casentino National Park in the Arezzo region of Tuscany.
We are always pleased to receive suggestions!!