Mercantour National Park is made up of a mosaic of natural environments explaining the richness of its fauna (not far from 9000 species, such as marmot, mouflons, golden eagle, grey wolf, 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. Choosing this stay is to discover a massif with extremely varied natural environments.
From 665 €Contact us
Does not include:
The price is all inclusive from the meeting point to the point of dispersion
Personalised tour availableContact us !
HOME TO SAINT VESUBIE - BOREON - CIME DU PISSET - LA MADONE DE FENESTRE
Welcome at 10:30 at the bus station of Saint Martin Vésubie, or 11am directly in Boréon in front of the Alpha Park where we will drop off the luggage for a first stop at the refuge of the Madonna of Fenestre.
Departure from Boréon for a nice climb in the forest where the coniferous species such as spruce, pine, fir or cembro mix until the small plateau of Maïris then the Pas des Roubines (2124m). Beautiful ridge hike through the top of the Pisset (2233m) then the crest of the Agnelière (optional) before the descent to the sanctuary of the Madonna of Fenestre where we spend the night.
Night and dinner in refuge without luggage transport
5h walk. Altitude difference +500m/ -750m
PAS DE MONT COULOMB - LAC DE LA FOUS - SAINT-GRAT
Starting from Our Lady, we ascend the torrent of the Vessubie which takes its source on the foothills of the Gelas (3,143 m) which we will be able to see during our ascent of 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 our rapid descent on the Gordolasque, we can probably observe ibex or chamois in the surrounding bars! Descent on one of the accommodations of Saint Grat.
Night and dinner in a cottage with luggage transport
5.00 am on foot / Altitude difference +700m -1050m
PAS DE L'ARPETTE - REFUGE DES MERVEILLES
From the cottage, we climb in a dense forest to reach the remarkable valley of Empuonrame then the Pas de l'Arpette (2351m). The Pas de l'Arpette is the gateway to Mercantour National Park and the famous Vallée des Merveilles. Descent among many lakes to the Refuge des Merveilles.
Overnight and dinner in refuge, without luggage transport
5.30am walk / Altitude difference: +750m -350m
THE VALLEY OF WONDERS - BASTO DECLINE - LAKE AUTHIER
From the Refuge des Merveilles, we will go up the famous valley of the same name. In this mineral landscape sculpted by the melting glaciers more than 10,000 years ago, you walk in the middle of an archaeological treasure of about 40,000 rock engravings dating mostly to around 3,300 BC. We reach 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. Through a wild passage, off the beaten path, we reach the Authier lake then quickly the valley of the Gordolasque where we find our cottage and our luggage.
Night and dinner in the cottage, with luggage transport
6.30am walk/ altitude difference: +720m -1200m
VALETTA PEAK - PERTUS PEAK - MADONNA
From this valley of the Gordolasque, a morning climb awaits us. We reach the valley of the Vésubie by the Baisse de Prals (2339 m). A magnificent circus with a crested route opens up to us. The view over all the massifs of the Vésubie to the Gelas is exceptional, and even to the Mediterranean in fine weather. Go down to the Madonna and spend the night.
Night and dinner in refuge, without luggage transport
5h walk/ Altitude difference: +900m - 580m
THE MADONNA - LAC ET COL DE LA FENESTRE - LAC DE TRECOLPAS - LE BORÉON
A day in altitude with the border pass of the Finestra (2475 m) from where we see the Italian valley next to the Argentera. Trecolpas Lake is the perfect place to take a last break on the edge of its green lawns where we once again observe the very present and accessible fauna of this Mercantour National Park. Return to Boréon by the Vacherie.
5.30 hours walk/ altitude difference: +790 m -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: 750 m per day
Maximum altitude difference: 850 m
Maximum crossing altitude: 2600 m.
This trip was made in collaboration with our local partners, who like us are committed to creating an authentic stay for you.
Number of participants between 5 and 15 people supervised by a qualified professional (mountain guide).
Hostel, gîte and mountain refuge
Accommodation in collective room from 4 to 6 people, up to 10 people maximum.
For those nights when you don’t have your luggage at the accommodation (you will find it the following night), here are some tips on what to add to your backpack (about 2 kg is enough!):
- a small toilet set
- your sackcloth
- Change of clothes (strictly necessary!)
Breakfasts and dinners are served in the accommodation.
For lunch, your companion prepares a picnic, usually consisting of a variety of salads and regional products.
We do our best to take into account special diets (gluten-free, vegetarian etc.). However, we encourage you to include some complementary products for your own picnics.
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.
From 18 June to 3 September 2023.
Appointment at 10.30 am at the bus station of Saint Martin de Vésubie or at 11 am in front of the park "Alpha les loups du Mercantour" (appointment to be fixed at the reservation).
BY BUS FROM NICE
Lignes d'Azur : BUS line no. 90
Bus Station; 16, Avenue des Diables Bleus; 06300 NICE Tel. +33 (0)4 93 85 62 15
From the A8 motorway, "La Provençale", exit at Nice St 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 SaintMartin-Vésubie.
In order to plan your trip, we advise you to inquire about your route at the various sites: www.viamichelin.fr www.mappy.fr
End of the hike at 16:00 in Boréon. Possibility to take the shuttle from 17:00 to Nice (not included in the price).
TO CONTACT US
If you are late, contact the agency: +33 (0)4 50 79 09 16 or +33 (0)6 42 49 76 07
Shorts (1 swimsuit in case)
Tee-shirts "breathable" or merino wool
Long "breathable" or merino wool shorts
Fleece or sweater
Windbreaker or Goretex jacket
Rain cape + gaiters or trousers type Goretex + a bag cape
A pair of gloves and a light bonnet
Hat or cap
Hiking socks (double layer, looped, 1 pair per day)
Footwear with well-tuned treads and running shoes
1 change of clothes for the evening
Spare shoes for the evening
Towel (quick drying, sold in a specialist shop)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Flask or thermos (1.5 liters minimum)
Knife and cutlery
An airtight plastic box as a plate for your picnics
Small personal pharmacy (analgesic, dressings type compeed...)
Headlamp or flashlight
A sack sheet and pillowcase (the cottages provide blankets)
Two telescopic sticks (highly recommended)
Valid ID card or passport
Pack a comfortable 30-40 litre backpack for your day’s effects (warm clothing, a rain cape, a canteen, a box and cutlery for the picnic, sun protection and ID) and a little room to carry a picnic and snacks.
Your luggage is transported by a logistics vehicle every step of the way, except on days 1, 3 and 5 as the refuge is not accessible by car.
Your spare items must be grouped into 1 flexible bag not exceeding 10kg! We especially insist on the size and weight of your luggage transported: during your tour, it is handled every day by a driver several times (Please think to their back!) to go to shelters that are not always easy to access.
Use one piece of baggage per person, as grouping two people’s belongings into one container usually results in excessive weight. Better two bags of 10kg than one of 20!
Be careful, luggage that is too heavy or too bulky will not be taken care of by drivers!