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6 days 6 days
Self-guided Self-guided
Without baggage transport Without baggage transport
Accommodation Classic or comfort
Level ** Level **
From 457 € From 457 €

Discover the Pearl of Occitan at your own pace

Nestled on the foothills of the Ubaye, the so-called "Pearl of the Occitan" remains the valley that has never so well worn its nickname. 
The Val Maïra, a very wild valley inhabited by a few hundred inhabitants, is located in the south of Piedmont, between France to the west and the Po Valley, only 45 km long, bordered by two massive mountain ranges and crossed by the Maïra River. This secret valley will enchant you with the authenticity of its architecture, its gastronomy and its inhabitants. 
What we propose to you through this circuit, is to observe this valley from above, to follow in the footsteps of the farmers in the pastures, smugglers on the high passes or even on those of the carabinieri, whose remains of high-altitude barracks testify to a strong presence on these beautiful heights at a time not very distant.
In the evening, comfortably settled in your Locanda Occitane, you enjoy an unusual "Italian-style" welcome. Nestled in small mountain hamlets, you will be charmed by the beauty and tranquility of the villages of Val Maira.

You will like

  • Discovering an authentic country from its passes 
  • A unique architectural and natural heritage
  • Follow in the footsteps of smugglers and carabinieri
  • Warm welcome in hostels
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From 457 €

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Hike details

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Dates & prices


Elective from June 11 to September 25, 2023

- Tour 6 days/ 5 nights:
440€ per person in a 2 bedroom cottage
515€ per person in a 2-room hotel

Options available:

  • 5 picnics: 60€ / person
  • Additional nights half board in mountain cottage: 60€ per person
  • Extra night with half board in Locanda: 100€ per person

Single departure supplement: 65€ in classic accommodation

Information and booking by phone or e-mail.

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  • Half-board from dinner of the 1st day to breakfast of the last day;
  • The road book: description and IGN cards (1 complete road book for 1 to 4 people, additional file for 5 people or more. Additional file: supplement from 10 to 25€);
  • The tourist tax;
  • Organization and booking fees;
  • The transport of luggage

Does not include:

  • Lunch picnics (60€ / person for the stay);
  • Drinks, visits and other personal expenses;
  • Transfers by taxi or bus;
  • Transportation to and from the meeting place;
  • Cancellation assistance insurance (4.2% of the amount of the stay).

L’itinéraire jour après jour...

Day 1

Head to Chiappera, one of the villages nestled at the foot of the border, where you can park your vehicle and leave your luggage in the morning in your evening inn (rooms available from 4.30pm).
Departing from this charming village, you climb up to the bottom of the Maurin valley dominated by the very characteristic Rocca Provençale. The objective of this day of walking, is to reach the Franco-Italian border to find a myriad of wild lakes nestled at more than 2800 m of altitude (you will have to leave early in the morning). A perfect loop that will satisfy hikers in search of wild and unusual spaces.
Diner and night in hostel.
6.30 hours walk. Altitude difference +1050m +1050m

Day 2

Here is one of the most beautiful altitude loops of this small massif… Lakes, passes, the charm of the high plateaus and the green pastures that are hard to imagine during this ascent in an environment where glaciers have shaped landscapes. Trails remarkably “cut” by the military up to high altitude will testify to an era, not so far away where life was quite different in these mountains. The transition to the resurgences of the Maira springs will offer you a refreshing break! 
Night and diner in auberge.
6h30 hours walk. Altitude difference +1030m -1030m

Day 3

The Bivoacco Bonfante is nestled at the foot of one of the pillars of the Val Maira: the Pelvo d'Elva (3061 m). We suggest you to discover it and why not climb the Pelvo for the more experienced. Nestled on the foothills of the Sampeyre pass, border between Val Varaita and Val Maira, with its southern exposure, Elva is a village where it is good to live. The road to climb there is spectacular, the series of small hamlets with adret offer a preserved architecture, typical of the valley. On your return from the Col de Sampeyre, do not hesitate to stop at the church of Santa Maria Assunta, a real jewel of Romanesque art. You can admire 15th century frescoes attributed to Hans Clemer, who was long called «the Master of Elva».
Transfer from your accomodation: 35 minutes transfer with your personal vehicle to Elva. 
Night and dinner in hostel.
4.30 hours walk. Altitude difference +410 -410m

Day 4

The walk of the day takes you to the secret Vallon of Unerzio where the remarkable village of Chialvetta and its oversized bell tower reigns! This deep valley with typical hamlets of Pratorotondo and Vivière, leads you to the wide pass of Gardetta from where we propose to climb the Bric Cassin which proudly dominates the entire plateau of Gardetta and the famous Rocca Meja. Back you can walk in Chialvetta and push the door of the museum «La Maisoun d'en Bot» nestled in an old barn, which preserves many objects of the daily life of Occitane culture.
Transfer from your accomodation: 30 minutes transfer with your vehicle to the valley of Chialvetta
Night and dinner in hostel.
5.30 hours walk. Altitude difference +850m -850m

Day 5

The Preit valley that opens under Mount Oserto and the sculptural Rocca Maja form the backdrop of your formidable loop around the Rocca Meja. It is an enchanting valley, with its peaceful mills in the depths of the torrents and its hamlets that you will find throughout your day, whether to access the start of your hike or along your route. This long but accessible hike will delight hikers in search of diversity of landscape and a unique flora… We have to leave early!
Transfer from your accomodation : 30 minutes transfer with your vehicle to the Preit valley 
Night and dinner in hostel.
7 hours walk. Altitude difference +1200m -1020m

Day 6

Panoramic day with well-opened views of the Val Maira, but also much further towards the Viso, the plain of the Po... An easy but wild ridge day off the beaten track. Starting from your accommodation you cross the rosary of villages to reach the start of your hike at the Col Intersile at more than 2000 m altitude. You reach this succession of small peaks with an evocative name: Punta Tempesta and Punta Piovosaet.
Transfer from your hike: 15 minutes transfer with your vehicle to the start of the hike
Night and dinner in hostel.
5 hours walk. Altitude difference +710m -710m

The trip


Average level
Average positive altitude difference: 900 m per day
Maximum altitude difference: 1100 m
Average duration of stages: 6 hours per day
Altitude of accommodation: 1500 m
Nature of the terrain: on trails and varied easy medium mountain terrain.

This trip was made in collaboration with our local partners, who like us are committed to creating an authentic stay for you.


  • 457 € / person in classic accommodation" Rifugio"
  • 698 € / person in local comfort accommodation** and *** in 2-person rooms


Breakfasts and dinners are provided in each accommodation.
Picnics are not included (60 € / person)
Possibility to refuel in small local shops.


Before departure, we send you a travel folder containing: 
- 2 IGN TOP 25 maps with the route highlighted ;
- 1 road-book containing all the information necessary for the trek ;
- 1 waterproof map holder ;
- Accommodation list.


Transfers are made with your personal vehicle.

Practical information


From the May 11th June to 25th September, 2023.


The start of your trek is in the village of Chiappera, 12021 Acceglio (province of Coni Italy). GPS coordinates: 44.49254N 6.92294E.
You can deposit your luggage in your accommodation, the contact details will be sent to you with the travel file.

Turin station (Italy) or SNCFstation Briançon (France) + car rental

Four main accesses: Fréjus Tunnel, Montgenèvre Pass, Agnel Pass or Larche Pass

Turin Airport (Italy) + car rental

End of the stay in early afternoon in Saint Véran.


If you are late please let us know as soon as possible : +33 (0)4 50 79 09 16 or +33 (0)6 42 49 76 07

Equipment & baggage



  • Walking trousers
  • Shorts (Bikini/swimsuit, just in case!)
  • Breathable or merino wool t-shirts
  • Breathable or merino wool leggings
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Wind stopper or Goretex jacket
  • Waterproof poncho + gaiters or Goretex trousers + waterproof rucksack cover
  • Pair of gloves and a warm hat
  • Sun hat or baseball cap
  • Walking socks (1 pair per day)
  • Sturdy walking boots with a good sole, already broken in
  • 1 change of clothes for the evening
  • A pair of comfortable shoes for the evening

Other Equipment

  • Toilet bag
  • Quick drying towel
  • Sunglasses and sun cream
  • Water bottle or Camelback (1.5 litre minimum)
  • Knife, fork and spoon
  • Plastic lunch box/plate for your picnic lunches
  • Plastic cup for coffee
  • Small First Aid kit (antihistamine, ibuprofen, Compeed type blister pads...)
  • Survival blanket
  • Head torch or hand torch
  • Sleeping bag liner sheet and pillowcase (blankets provided at accommodation)
  • Two adjustable and highly walking poles 
  • Identity card or passport


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.

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