France gite accommodation, Mercantour, sleeps 6

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Gite accommodation available year round (ideal base for both summer & winter activities).
Accessible overview:
We are based in an old house in an Alpine region for most of our holidays and our capacity is limited; however, as we request any limitations are declared at the time of booking, we can quickly assess our clients’ needs and will do our best to accommodate whenever we can.
Limited mobility:
Guests who have restricted walking capacity are very welcome to come and enjoy our Mercantour self catering accommodation.
We also have access to a house with easy access and mountain leader colleagues who are able to assist with accessing the mountain in the summer months with their “special trikes”.
We must also bear the seasons in mind however, so please note that away from our ‘home base’, or for treks, and in the winter season it can be difficult to cater for guests with limited mobility.
Wheelchair accessible:
We have access to a house with widened doors and easy access, plus mountain leader colleagues who are able to offer summer mountain access in special “trikes”.
Blind or limited vision:
Guests with visual impairment are very welcome to join us with a sighted companion. We don’t have access to braille facilities but would be happy to investigate options in the more tourist orientated French Riviera for potential guests.
Deaf or limited hearing:
Guests with aural impairment are very welcome to join us with a companion. We don’t have access to facilities but would be happy to investigate options in the more tourist orientated French Riviera for potential guests.
Cognitive conditions:
Guests with cognitive issues are very welcome to join us with a companion.
'Free from' food:
For holidays based in Berthemont, your cook is a 40+ year standing vegetarian, very capable of creating eclectic, balanced, home cooked and locally sourced meals for all comers – no challenge failed to date. For self catering accommodation, occasional meals can be reserved.
Please note that when away from our home bases, dietary needs will be specified to other hotels/refuges in advance.
LGBT:
We welcome people of every creed, culture and sexuality with the greatest of pleasure – we succeed in planning a happy mix to ensure a great holiday for everyone. Should guests wish to organise a tailor made holiday for either accommodation only, or a “package” for their own interest group, we are of course very happy to discuss.
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Responsible tourism

France gite accommodation, Mercantour, sleeps 6

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

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 and have now have a super "green" heat pump to supply hot water and the central heating.

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 programme 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 horse who is available for riding and taking out as a companion on day walks.

Community

We have lived here in the Mercantour for 14 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 programme 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.

7 Reviews of France gite accommodation, Mercantour, sleeps 6

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 04 Sep 2017 by

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


We loved the stunning location and tranquility of the area. Although the roads were a bit "white knuckle" at times the rewards of the views dotted with towns hanging from the cliff sides were amazing. A real treat for any photographer. Providing access to Nice, just over an hour away or heading further into the mountains the location provides the option of dipping into nature or culture.

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


I would recommend having the ability to be able to speak a little French to get you by. Be aware if you're veggie as it doesn't seem to be understood completely. Take time to appreciate the views on your journey and pull over when you can and enjoy. Appreciate that the area is very uncommercialised.

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


Yes by supporting local businesses, being pro-active with recycling and participating in local life and developing an appreciation of life in more challenging environments.

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


If you are in need of a holiday to recharge your batteries this is perfect.

Reviewed on 30 May 2013 by

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


The walking in the beautiful mountains in the Mercantour with snow,sun,isolation and good companions.Why did I reach 67 before finding this most beautiful place?
We stayed with Tim and Liz in their ideally situated gite in Berthemont-Les-Bains and they were excellent hosts with the local knowledge to make our holiday very special.

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


Shop at the Carrefour down the road for the week and then you can spend all your time in exploration of these beautiful valleys. The walking is well waymarked, especially GR routes, so little danger of getting lost. go find your favourite places but don't miss Le Boreon or Madonna Les Fenestres for some beautiful starts for long or short walks.

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


We did shop locally after arrival rather than on the journey up and our hosts follow a very environmentally friendly lifestyle and their whole lives are lived in this way.

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


It is the best holiday we’ve had in France and that's from a perspective of over 40 years holidaying in France. Haute Savoie is hard to better but this has done it for us.

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2012 by

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


We were delighted with our accommodation and the beautiful location at La Zourciere, Berthemont-les-Bains. The Gite can be found on their website: space-between.co.uk We received a warm welcome from our hosts Liz and Mel and will recommend La Zouciere to our friends.

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


Just over an hour drive from Nice, La Zouciere is a good base to tour the Alpes-Maritimes or a hiking holiday.

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


Our accommodation was self-catering and we bought most of our food and meals in the local villages as well as the ones we drove through.

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


The Alpes-Maritimes and Mercantour National Park is a fantastic area to visit and we would consider this to be one of our best holidays.

Reviewed on 06 Nov 2012 by

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


We loved the autumn walking in the Parc du Mercantour, in fact our walk to the Lac de Negre was probably the prettiest walk we have ever done - brilliant reds and yellows in the bilberries, rowans and larches were framed against a brilliantly blue sky. Very few other walkers and a pleasant, sunny, 22 degrees made us feel hugely privileged.

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


Staying with Mel and Liz at Berthemont-les-Bains was great. They were great hosts, ever willing to give detailed tips on walks and other local attractions, and the position was very central. We were able to explore several lovely passes, many with views to Mont Blanc and Italy, with just a short drive to the start of the walk.

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


We patronised local shops, restaurants and the wolf sanctuary nearby, and tried to be as considerate and friendly with the local people as we could be. We also tried to minimise our impact on the environment in sticking to walking tracks, not littering and so on while we were out, and recycling as much rubbish as we could.

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


Excellent.

Reviewed on 03 Nov 2011 by

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


Stunning scenery, walks and views, quiet location, no other English tourists! Warm welcome from Mel and Liz.

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


Although it's good to support local shops, they are quite limited and you might want to stock up on supplies on the way from Nice. Take advantage of Liz and Mel's extensive knowledge of the area.

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


Sort of as we shopped entirely in small local supermarkets and boulangeries etc. Travelling around by car is essential and whilst this is not great for the environment, we did only use half a tank of petrol in our week as we did not drive far.

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


Excellent, a really relaxing break in this beautiful area of France.

Reviewed on 30 Jun 2011 by

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


Meeting such delightful people.

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


Don't expect riviera weather – changeable.

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


Certainly Liz and Mel seem to know everyone in the area and to be at the centre of very imaginative ventures.

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


Really good value.

Reviewed on 08 May 2011 by

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


We stayed for three relaxing nights at the Gîte la Zourcière with Mel and Liz, and then two nights at la Madone D’Utelle. Some of the most memorable parts of our stay were: stunning views from our veranda over breakfast and dinner, looking down the valley; walks through the pine forest near Belvédère and (especially) the cool spruce forests around Le Boréon; panoramic views from la Madone D’Utelle, where we saw a Short-toed Eagle from our breakfast table; and, of course, simply wandering around the market at Roquebillière, and in Saint Martin Vésubie and Utelle.

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


If you are looking to hire a car, make it a small one - not just to save on fuel costs and emissions, but also to help negotiate the narrow mountain roads and village streets. And if you don’t normally drive on the right, a smallish vehicle is also probably slightly easier to get used to.

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


Yes, in as much as it injected a small amount of cash into the local economy, through accommodation costs and (more directly) through food shopping in the local markets, etc. Although we relied entirely on our hire car (a Fiat Panda) for getting around the Vésubie, we found that it was amazingly light on fuel
consumption.

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


Excellent - we hadn't imagined that there would be such stunning scenery and good wildlife habitats within just an hour-or-so of Nice. Everything went smoothly, and the gîte provided a perfect, tranquil base.

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