Mercantour family walking holiday, France

“A firm family favourite, this self-guided holiday takes you not only through the Alps but from one bed to the next, with the help of a donkey to carry your bags.”

Highlights

Mercantour National Park | Villeplane village | Sauze | De la Lare plateau | The postman’s Trail from St Martin to Val Pelens | Entraunes | Glacial lakes | A donkey!

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Map

http://www.itinerance.net/img/imgMontagnes/map.jpeg

Departure information

This trip departs from mid-May to end-September; best time to go is springtime for the flora
Our top tip:
Bring treats to entice young ones up the inclines. And buy proper boots. It can be slippery under foot.
Trip type:
Self-guided. Min. age 5.
Activity level:
Moderate.
Accomm:
Mix of ecolodge, yurt, hotels and mountain inns.
Included:
Accommodation, all meals, donkey to carry luggage.
Solos:
A family trip with family rooms.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Mercantour family walking holiday, France

Environment

For travellers who want more real and authentic holidays that also benefit the environment and local people, we provide direct benefits to the local population. Our walks are a sample of sustainable development project for abandoned rural areas. We support small local accommodations and work exclusively with local partners, helping them to generate the bookings that they need to survive in a depopulating and remote area.

In 1993, the park received the European Year of the Environment label and an award for nature conservation aimed at recognising international conservation efforts. This award was renewed in 1998 by a decision of the ministerial committee of the Council of Europe.

Guests will be encouraged to respect the nature in the national Park, through ecological information. Documents and information are available, for example concerning marked walking trails or the network of mountain refuges, to facilitate the visitor's understanding of the Park territory and conservation policies.

We run guided tours to teach visitors how to interpret the landscape, for example at the Lac d'Allos. This type of activity, particularly suitable for children, contributes to a sense of eco-citizenship.

Community

Our commitments
To maintain the importance of providing an economic contribution directly to the locals of the valley who live here all year round, favouring a network of 'chez l'habitant' hosts and always choosing local products over their industrialised, cheaper versions. This has lead us to create an alternative alimentation; Picnics made up of mixed salads, crops and vegetables from the garden, organic bread, cheeses from the region, etc. With our hosts and clients alike, we are developing an alternative idea of nutrition whereby quality, natural, reasonable price, and specific tastes (especially those of children) are united.
To manage a tourism which we control, and not be tempted to delegate or to grow; To maintain the importance of quality and of improving our services.
A question of quality in response to your demands: This year, we are proposing for your last day, an alternative trek in contrast to the classic one (lac d'allos) in order to satisfy the desires of those of you who are passionate about secret and wild mountains.
To instruct visitors to the region about pastoralism, the roots of our culture, through encounters with shepherds on our guided treks.

Reviews of Mercantour family walking holiday, 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 21 Aug 2015 by

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


The stunning scenery of the mountains. If you love being outdoors and don't mind being away from creature comforts you'll love this holiday.

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


Some breakfasts (not all) can be really basic, just bread and jam. We had nut and protein bars to fill us up before a day's walking. Take plenty of snacks we stopped every hour for snack breaks which the kids looked forward too.
Don't underestimate your kids ours (6 and 8 years) loved it and had no problems walking. They always had plenty of energy left at the end of the day.
A couple of places were in dormitory style shared accommodation (but never any problem) so if you feel you need privacy let them know when you book.

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


Yes. We stayed in some really nice local places where others were in bigger hotels. We had better food and better views.

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


Awesome, it has raised the bar for next year!

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2014 by

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


The whole thing! Our 6 year old and 4 year old leading "Leonidas" our donkey through the French Alps, sleeping in a beautiful yurt in an Alpine meadow, and feeling like we'd done something completely different to the typical "bucket and spade" type of holiday.

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


We expected our young children to grumble about the hiking but in fact they exceeded all expectations and walked 5 steep miles per day for 3 days in a row. It's easy to under-estimate what your kids (and you) can do.

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


Mercantour NP is a protected national park. It is very beautiful and the trip felt like it had low impact on the environment.

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


Excellent. Some aspects could be improved (we were given little for breakfast - some stale bread and butter, but the jam, tea and coffee had all run out). But as long as you are easy going about such things (we'd brought our own supplies, just in case!), you will have a great adventure in beautiful surroundings.

Reviewed on 21 Aug 2011 by

. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The mountains, flora and fauna in an exceptionally beautiful and unspoilt part of the world, within and on the periphery of the Mercantour National Park in the French maritime Alps. Also staying in auberges and gites among friendly people, with excellent breakfasts, picnic lunches and evening meals provided as part of the package.

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


The key thing is to be adaptable. We were lucky with the weather, which was consistently good for the week we were there (mid-August) but it is not always perfect even in summer. However, the tour operator provides a choice of routes in getting from one rest place to another, and this flexibility is a huge advantage.

Don't go if five star accommodation is what you want, but having said that, the level of service at the rest places was generally very good. The contact with like-minded walkers looking for quiet communication with nature, away from large crowds, was also very rewarding.

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


Yes, it was clear that the Itinerance walking holidays were very important to the local economy, yet at the same time organised in a way that was very friendly to the local environment.

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


Excellent.

Reviewed on 31 Jul 2008 by

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


The fantastic alpine flora high in the mountains.

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


Practical advice about getting there, but otherwise just do it - the info we had in advance was thorough and meant there were no real snags to advise people of.

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


Yes, definitely.

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


A great experience for the whole family.

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2006 by

Great holiday - five-star trip. Superb scenery; walks outstanding capped by 10,000-foot climax (Mont Pelat); well organised; easy to follow route; very amenable hosts at night stops; honest mountain fare (and plenty of it); mostly off the tourist trail; good value for money; under our own steam but companionship from other trekkers in eves; accommodation basic but, on the whole, charming; glad to support local economy in lesser visited valley; no Brits (that's a plus!). How do we beat that next year?

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