walking & adventure holidays
Enjoy the wealth of the Mercantour's pristine turquoise lakes which mirror the Park's peaks
Rich, varied, and equally as stunning as anywhere else in the whole of the Alpine chain, the area boasts a unique combination. That of rugged soaring peaks and ridges rising to over 3000 metres on the Italian border, from which the valleys drop down and culminate in typical Provençal countryside – witness the change in eco-systems from Alpine to Mediterranean, all within a radius of 30km!
The Mercantour is blessed with more than 100 lakes at high altitude. These glittering lakes are the remnants of glacial activity eons ago. The turquoise colour of the lakes and the reflection of the surrounding mountains are a sight to behold.
In the spring when the high passes are clear of snow you can walk from valley to valley admiring the shimmering water, among carpets of alpine flowers. In the autumn the scenery changes its mantle as the larches turn to brown creating a mini New England in the South of France.
Chamois, and ibex are a regular sight, as are the noisiest creatures in the Park, the marmots, best enjoyed in the spring when they awaken from their winter slumbers. The increasingly rare mouflon can also be seen with a little luck and patience.
In the air golden eagles are regularly seen, and occasionally the magnificent lammergeier vulture.
What we really wanted to do without delay was to say a big "thank you" to you both for all you did to ensure we had a lovely holiday. Being such a slow coach I very much appeciated the deviation from the planned routes and Alan appeciated being able to do something more challenging.As for the Chalet with Christine and Luc just what is there to say! Wonderful -super-great!
Dorothy Scapens - Winter Walking - Feb 2008
LateMarch to endOctober.
Departures to date
2013 : Jun 17 & 28; Aug 24; Sep 14.
Standard weekly package :
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Our grades are explained in "essential info"
Your Accommodation - On all our Mercantour based trips you will either stay in our gîte at La Zourcière, or if you choose our hotel or chambre d'hôte options we are very pleased to work with local establishments the area.
Hotel or Chambre d'Hôte
Le Grand Chalet is a homely chambre d'hôte run by Christine and Luc and is situated overlooking the small village of St Dalmas Valdeblore. A good week of outdoor activity is well fuelled by Christine's great cooking, crafted from home made (mainly organic and local) ingredients. Vegetarians are welcomed.
Hotel Saint Sébastien is situated in just outside the small town of Roquebilliere. Again, family run, with large airy rooms, and has a restaurant and outdoor pool.
Le Chalet or La Bonne Auberge are situated in the town of St Martin Vésubie, a thriving small community that has been the centre of life in the valley since the 12th century. There are plenty of local shops and restaurants to choose from, and the Bonne Auberge has its own restaurant.
Seven nights accommodation.
Gîte Based : Self catering with a twist, with two evening meals cooked for you. We provide you with all your food and wine for the week, all inclusive, you just have to assemble it!
Hotel/Chambre d'Hôte full board : All meals, inclusive of packed lunches. Wine served with each evening meal. Other drinks at own cost.
Transport : To and from all venues. To and from Nice airport. For all guests, if anyone needs to buy any other tit bits, there are plenty of small shops that we can stop off at during your stay.
Activities : Five days guided walking.
- Day 1 Pick up in Nice and transfer to your accommodation, or arrive at the gîte La Zourcière.
- Day 2 La Madone de Fenestre. Cime de l’Agnelliere via Pas de Ladres.
- Day 3 Valdeblore - Lacs des Millefonts - Col du Barn and the Téte des Margés ridge.
- Day 4 Free day. Excursions to Nice can be arranged, or there are short day walks starting at St Martin Vésubie or Berthemont.
- Day 5 Salèse - Téte Sud des Bresses from the Salèse valley, with magnificent views of the Alpes to the North, including, on a clear day, Mont Blanc.
- Day 6 Le Boréon - Lacs Besson and the Haute Boréon. Cime Guilié if conditions allow.
- Day 7 La Gordolasque - Lac Autier, and the Baisse du Basto.
- Day 8 Depart from Berthemont les Bains gite, or drop off in Nice.
Adults and young persons over 14 years.
Your welfare & protection
As a small enterprise, it's very important to us that our guests are professionally looked after during their stay with us.
Your protection : our operational base is in France, and our company in France is registered as a tour operator (habilitation touristique) and holds business failure cover and public liability cover.
Your welfare : all our activities are led by fully qualified local Mountain Guides and International Mountain Leaders (Accompagnateurs), thus ensuring that you receive not only top professional care, but that you will also benefit from their in-depth local knowledge of the regions that we operate in.