Winter walking & snowshoeing

Snowshoeing Holiday in the Alpes Maritimes France

In a nutshell

  • Enviro’ friendly snow activity in pristine Alpine scenery
  • Enjoy the Mercantour mountains AND stunning views down to the Mediterranean
  • Friendly accommodation – great home cooked food
  • Duration : 8 days, 7 nights

What's it all about?

Want to escape the winter gloom and get some clean alpine air? Want to mix walking and snowshoeing away from the hoards in the Savoie?

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, 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.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Pick up from Nice airport and transfer to Berthemont les Bains or Valdeblore.
  • Day 2 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 3 Snow shoe up to Pic Colmiane, and then follow forest tracks directly back to le Grand Chalet, via St Dalmas Valdeblore.
  • Day 4 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 enjoying the sight of  chamois, ibex, deer and even wild wolf tracks.
  • Day 5 We visit the Col de Turini, and the old Napoleonic forts at Authion where we can mix a day walking and snowshoeing with some history. 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 Berthemont or Valdeblore with 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 meals 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 : All meals, inclusive of packed lunches.  Dinners around communal table. Table wine with meals.
  • Transport : To and from all venues. To and from Nice airport.
  • Activities : Six days guided walking and snowshoeing with a qualified International Mountain Leader.
  • Hire of snow shoes, not poles.

Dates :

2019 : Jan 26; Feb 02

Grade :

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

See our grades explained here

Pricing :

Gîte based : €830 pp

Chambre d'hôte based : €995 pp

Single supplement : €140 for the week

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