Explore the valley of marvels

The "Chef de Tribu" in the Valley of the Marvels in the Mercantour National Park

In a nutshell

  • Flying visit to the Mercantour’s major “draw”, &  the exceptional Tende Museum
  • Summer departure a delight for flora, autumn for glorious  mellow Nature
  • Step back in time to the mystery of Bronze Age man
  • Duration : 5 days, 4 nights
  • Also available as a week long package

What's it all about?

Find out what makes this place so marvellous and why on earth did Bronze Age man create over 35,000 carvings on the rocks here?

This short break walking holiday allows guests to have an intense few days in stunning countryside, including a whistle stop tour of the Merveilles Valley rock carvings, to take in some of the Mercantour's elusive fauna in the shape of the wolf - their prey, and some Alpine lakes to swim in, for the hardy.


  • Day 1 - Arrive Nice.  Pick up from airport late afternoon/early evening. Overnight  in Berthemont.
  • Day 2 - Early start, and drive to the Gordolasque valley to start at the Pont de Countet at 1,692m. Climb out of the valley and up to the Pas de l'Arpette at 2,500m ( about 2 hours), where we get our first magnificent view of the Merveilles Valley. From here we descend down into the valley to meet the GR52, and then climb up this path for about a 100m eleveation, where we can see these mysterious engravings. Re-descend the GR52 as far as the Refuge des Merveilles, and then continue up to the not very much frequented Pas du Trem at 2,400m. This is our hidden route back down into the Gordolasque via a little visited valley, where there is a good chance of seeing large herds of chamois, marmot and possibly ibex. Ascent 1200m, 9 to 11 hours walking.
  • Day 3 - Relax... Visit Alpha the wolf sanctuary in le Boréon. Following yesterday's exertions, this is a good opportunity to see three wolf packs in their natural environment.
  • Day 4 - A super circuit that starts again in le Boréon, and climbs steadily up the Cougourde valley to Lac Trecolpas, a glacial lake in a stunning setting. We then descend via the Cougourde refuge (coffee or beer!!), and then back down the opposite side of the valley to return to le Boréon.
  • Day 5 - Drop off at Nice airport mid morning – day at leisure in Nice, or fly directly back.

What's included

  • Pick up/drop off Nice airport
  • Guided walking day 2 and 4
  • Alpha entrance day 3
  • 4 nights accommodation gîte based at Berthemont les Bains. Includes all meals up to breakfast on day 5

Dates :

2020 : Sep 26

Grade :

Walking - Moderate + - note : strenuous first day. Suitable for adults and children of age 16 or over

See our grades explained here

Pricing :

Gîte based : €665 pp