Wolf spotting in France

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13 May 2017
£ 680
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27 May 2017
£ 680
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03 Jun 2017
£ 680
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08 Jul 2017
£ 680
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12 Jul 2017
£ 415
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21 Aug 2017
£ 415
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Wolf spotting in France

Environment

Food air miles are limited here as fresh organic produce, fruit and veg, milk, cheese and honey (and now from our own bees!!) are available within walking distance. Our water comes straight from the hill. We also grow our own vegetables, which we are happy to share with our guests.

Although we are 5km from the nearest town, we do try to encourage guests to use the €1.50 Alpes-Maritimes bus, and limit our road miles as much as possible using our minibus.

We recycle as much as possible, have a super "green" heat pump, and have another five years to work on other development plans for this lovely house.

Information is provided to our guests to enable them to enjoy the Park to the maximum while showing the utmost respect for the environment. We only use local, qualified guides who are passionate about the area that they live in. They are paid a living wage for their excellent services.

We are 100% focused on creating awareness of this magical corner of South East France. Your walking leader is a partner of the Mercantour National Park, which has a continual training program for its leaders, to keep them abreast of developments and issues, and to enrich their local knowledge. Visitors can enjoy an unspoilt mountain environment and appreciate a traditional rural way of life. As permanent residents we are fully integrated into the community in the Vésubie valley.

Our base
As we await permission to fulfill our vision for our centuries old farm house and land, we are keen to implement as many environmentally sympathetic measures as possible. We encourage the preservation of our pure water which comes straight off the mountain and use our splendid climate for laundry drying outside.

As much waste as possible is re-cycled, including pony manure which goes straight onto our vegetable patch. We aim to be as self sufficient as possible from your own garden. Guests are welcome to help themselves to fruit and vegetables.

When meals are provided they are prepared with local produce only, often solely from the Vésubie valley. Vegetarians are willingly catered for. Energy efficient bulbs are used throughout the house. We try to minimise the use of paper in our office. Guests are encouraged to shop locally and of course to respect the integrity of the National Park.

Working relationships
We only work with qualified guides for all activities. These passionate locals create a genuine and rich experience for our visitors. They are paid the appropriate rate for professional guides. Our local accommodation partners are chosen for their warm welcome and a willingness to share their love for the region.

Business development
In the longer term we will use abundant natural resources (wood and sunshine) for heat and light as well as providing alternative accommodation on our land. We work closely with other like minded partners here in the Mercantour, and can offer other eco accommodation, plus those adapted for the less mobile. We have have our own horses who are available for riding and taking out as a companion on day walks.

Community

We have lived here in the Mercantour for 12 years and are proud to be part of the community. The area, despite its proximity to the French Riviera, is quite poor, but inhabited by people who are passionate about the area, so we are delighted to be able to make an impact on the local economy. Our guests can take advantage of our local knowledge for walks and other activities, and recommendations for fun places to eat and drink. Therefore guests don't waste a Euro or a day being disappointed, and our local suppliers who merit support, get it.

We support the active community in Roquebilliere with its local weekly market, and buy as much as possible from local producers. We are also keen to contribute to cultural events which keep the "patrimoine" of the area buoyant - these include dancing in the village square in July and August, a summer program of music and drama, an art gallery showcasing local talent, and a cost free system for bartering goods and services between inhabitants.

When using other accommodation we try to ensure that a night could be spent with a local farmer or craftsmen, providing valuable income to our hosts and also giving guests an appreciation of a typical rural life here.

Reviews of Wolf spotting in France

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 01 Sep 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The company (and cooking of the hosts). Mel and Liz were fantastic. Both had to accommodate our needs in different ways and did so wonderfully.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Consider hiring a car and stay in the mountains after the package with Mel and Liz, exploring villages and scenary.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, I feel we have a better understanding of wildlife in Mercantour now and we shopped locally whilst in the mountains.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Holiday was wonderful, Liz is an amazing cook and Liz and Mel are brilliant hosts. Unfortunately I had been unwell before we travelled which made our trekking capacity more limited but Mel adjusted everything to make the trip one which was manageable and enjoyable.

Reviewed on 15 Sep 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Without doubt the trekking to Mollieres! Walking with an experienced guide, in a spectacular wilderness we caught fleeting sights of golden eagles, chamois, vultures, marmots, wild strawberries, and found signs of wolf activity. Arriving in the remote village we found a genuinely warm welcome in a mountain refuge; dinner by candlelight and an open fire. This rates as one of the most enjoyable and inspiring adventures our family has enjoyed together.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Follow the equipment list exactly. We needed everything on the list, and felt well prepared. Sun hats to winter woollies; all came in use!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definately. We learnt so much about the protected environment, cultural traditions, and beasts of the Mercantour National Park; especially the wolf! In addition our guide gave us every opportunity to learn about local cheese and meat producers in the context of this wilderness. Visiting a small vacherie to buy cheese was a lovely way to engage in the local economy and conservation of traditional farming.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was an outstanding opportunity to walk in an imposing place, and experience something completely different as a family. We were extremely well catered for in every way, from the expertise of our guide to the fantastic and plentiful food, and the location and quality of our accommodation. Not many holiday experiences could come close. Wonderful!

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Difficult to choose any particular part as it was all memorable. All of the walks were extremely enjoyable, for the scenery, the knowledge of local geology and wildlife of Mel (our guide), and the company of the other people walking.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for some challenging walks - not so much the distances as the ascents and descents. Nothing too extreme, and Mel is very good at setting a pace that suits everybody in the group, but it's more than a stroll in the park!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Liz and Mel source as much as they can locally, and use local suppliers of services wherever possible, so I do feel local people benefited.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was an extremely enjoyable week. Liz and Mel were great hosts - good company, and could not have been kinder or more happy to help. The accommodation is great, the food super and the location stunning.

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