Mercantour National Park is a mosaic of natural environments which explains the richness of its fauna (not far from 9000 species, such as marmots, mouflons, golden eagles, grey wolves, amphibians. ) and its flora (2067 plant species including edelweiss, genepi blanc, arnica, gentian...): the immediate proximity of the Mediterranean ensures ideal conditions for their existence.
The Mercantour is also characterized by its historical heritage. Dating from prehistoric times, the Valley of Wonders takes its name from the thousands of engravings on coloured stone slabs, the "ciappe", which decipher scenes of daily life and belief. It is characterized by its mineral and chaotic landscape, at the feet of imposing peaks.
From 440 €Contact us
Departures possible every day from 11 June to 25 September 2023.
Without luggage transport:
440€ per person in classic accommodation.
Single departure supplement (without luggage transport): 45€.
With luggage transport (except days 1 and 3):
680€ per person on a basis of 2 to 3 participants
560€ per person on a basis of 4 to 5 participants
520€ per person on a basis of 6 or more participants
Picnics: 80€ per person (5 picnics)
Does not include:
Meeting at Le Boréon where you can leave your vehicle for the week in one of the many parking lots of this small mountain hamlet.
BOREON - NO TOWN HALL - THE MADONNA OF FENESTRA
After the destructive storm of 2019, this particularly affected village compared to the rest of the Mercantour (no visible traces of damage on the rest of your route) is rebuilt with force... Facing the Alpha Park (interesting to visit if you arrive the day before), you climb in a remarkable conifer forest towards the Pas and the small refuge of Maïris to reach the Cime du Pisset. A panoramic view of the Vésubie opens up to you with, in the background, the famous Gelas, a stone colossus proudly dominating these remote valleys of the Alpes Maritimes. Descent on the hospices of the Madonna de Fenestre where you spend the night.
5h00 walk. 8.5km. Altitude difference +845m/ -400m
LA MADONNE DE FENESTRE - PAS DU MONT COULOMB - SAINT GRATS
Leaving from the Madonna, do not hesitate to stop at the Petite Vacherie, at the edge of the torrent, to buy a piece of tomme for your picnic, it is delicious (open when the herds are in the alpine pasture). You go up the torrent of the Vésubie which takes its source on the foothills of the Gelas (3143 m) and you contemplate during all your ascent, the Pas du Mont Coulomb. The Pas du Mont Coulomb (2548 m) is characterized by a narrow gap forming a "secret passage" between the Vésubie and the Gordolasque. During your rapid descent on the Gordolasque, you are probably watched by herds of ibex or chamois in the surrounding bars! Descent on one of the accommodations of Saint-Grats.
5h walk. 11.5km. Altitude difference -700m/ -1050m
SAINT GRAT- PAS DE L'ARPETTE - REFUGE DES MERVEILLES
Departing directly from Saint-Grat, you climb in a dense forest to reach the remarkable valley of Empuonrame. It is in this mineral universe that you finish the climb to the Pas de l'Arpette (2351 m), under the watchful eyes of the chamois. The Pas de l'Arpette is the entrance to the Mercantour National Park and the famous Vallée des Merveilles. Descent in the middle of many lakes to the refuge des Merveilles. (without luggages)
5h00 walk. 8km. Altitude difference +950m/ -410m
REFUGE DES MERVEILLES - VALLEE DES MERVEILLES - BAISSE BASTO
A long and busy day visiting where you have to leave early! From the Refuge des Merveilles, you go up the famous valley of the same name… In the middle of this mineral landscape sculpted by melting glaciers more than 10,000 years ago, lies an archaeological treasure of about 40,000 rock engravings mostly dated to around 3,300 BC. You join the Baisse de la Valmasque (2552 m), the Basto lake and the Baisse Basto (2693 m), a narrow passage in a scree overlooking the Fous valley. Descent by the famous GR52 to the beautiful restored refuge of Nice where a break on the terrace of Christophe will be well deserved. Another 1h30 of descent in the Gordolasque valley to reach your accommodation
6h30 walk. 15.5 km. Altitude difference +720m/ -1200m
LA BAISSE DE PRALS - BAISSE AUX 5 LACS - LA MADONE
A beautiful and intense morning climb from the valley of the Gordolasque to reach the valley of the Vésubie by the Lowers of Prals (2339 m) from where two variants are possible: or descend on the Madonna live by the "5 lakes", or tour a magnificent circus by 5 ridges, low in altitude, and that will delight lovers of panoramic walking. Go down to the Madonna and spend the night.
5h00 walk. 7.5km. Altitude difference +900m/ -580m
LA MADONNE - LAC ET COL DE LA FENESTRE - LAC DE TRECOLPAS - LE BOREON
A day at altitude with the Finestra border pass (2475 m) from where the neighbouring Italian valley of the Argentera is revealed. The Trecolpas lake is suitable for a picnic break on the edge of its green lawns. Return to Boréon by the Vacherie.
5h30 walk. 14km. Altitude difference +790m/ -1100m
- Overall altitude: between 1500m and 2500 m
- Altitude of accommodation: 1500 m on average
- Duration of the stages: 5 to 6 hours of walking per day
- Average positive altitude difference: 850 m per day
- Maximum altitude difference: 950 m.
- Maximum crossing altitude: 2600 m.
- Nature of the terrain: medium mountain terrain in alpine pastures with many stony areas, the passage of some passes can still be snowed at the beginning of the season.
- Special difficulties: itinerant circuit requiring good physical condition.
Trip made in collaboration with our local partners, concerned like us to concoct an authentic stay
Before departure, we give you a travel file containing:
- IGN map with route trace
- 1 road-book with all the necessary information for the hike
- 1 card holder
- List of accommodation.
Classic lodging: collective room from 4 to 12 people, sheets and towels are not provided, the sanitary are on the landing.
The meals served in the accommodation are balanced and varied. The kitchen is hearty, adapted to the needs of hikers and often from local products. Special arrangements must be specified in the booking so that we can notify the accommodation.
Be able to easily walk 15 km (in plain) in 3 hours maximum.
If this is not the case, within three weeks of departure, 2 to 3 times a week, we advise you to start a good workout: 4 to 5 km of jogging or 3 to 4 hours of hiking or cycling. Your physical preparation will facilitate your stay and allow you to enjoy it all the more.
With the luggage transport option except D3: you only carry your belongings for the day. The rest of your luggage is transported between the accommodations (on day 3, you will carry your personal belongings for one evening, or find your luggage the following day).
Deprture from June 11 to September 25, 2023 and from June 9 to September 23, 2024.
Departure from Le Boréon, commune of Saint Martin Vésubie, where you can leave your luggage at the cottage of Boréon if you have taken the option luggage transport.
From the A8 motorway, exit at Nice Saint Isidore (exit 52), take the RM6202 towards Digne for a distance of 18 km. At the exit of the village of Plan du Var, take on the right the RM 2265, indicating the Vésubie Valley. Then for 32 km, walk through the gorges of Vésubie and cross the villages and hamlets of Cros d'Utelle, St Jean la Rivière, Le Suquet, Lantosque, Roquebillière to reach Saint-Martin-Vésubie.
In order to plan your trip, we advise you to inquire about your route at the different sites: viamichelin.fr mappy.fr
End of the hike in Boréon, your luggage will be at the cottage of Boréon
If you are late, contact the agency at: +33 (0)4 50 79 09 16 or +33 (0)6 42 49 76 07
Bring a comfortable backpack of 30 to 40 litres for your personal belongings for the day (warm clothes, waterproofs, water, plate and cutlery for your picnic, sunscreen and your identity papers) and please keep a little room to carry a picnic and snacks.