Activity holiday in France

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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

Activity holiday in France

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 now have a "green" heat pump for hot water and 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 horses who are available for riding and taking out as a companion on day walks.

Community

We have lived here in the Mercantour for 16 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.

2 Reviews of Activity holiday in France

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 30 Jul 2015 by

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


Too many parts to single out one! As a family we loved the Aqua Rando canyoning trip, became addicted to the summer luge at La Colmiane and our trek with Mel to the Mountain Refuge was a great way to see some of the mountains and swim in a rather chilly lake at 2000 metres!

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


Take advantage of Liz's delicious home cooking if you are able to book a few meals with her - delivered by Mel to your veranda, where you can dine looking out of beautiful views of the mountains - who needs restaurants.....

Make use of the local outdoor eco pool in Roquebilliere - very good.

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


It certainly benefited local people given the focus on booking activities using local guides

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


We had a great family holiday - Liz and Mel were terrific hosts - very helpful in every way and their gite is in a great spot no more than 30 mins drive to any of the outdoor activities we had booked and nearby to good restaurants too.

Reviewed on 17 Aug 2014 by

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


Lunch on a summit La Cime de Guilie at 2999m with 360 degree views encompassing Italy and France.
Close up views of ibex, chamois, marmots and multiple sightings of eagles and vultures.
Swimming in mountain lakes after a long, hot uphill walk.
Fireflies at night.
Canyoning in the River Vesubie.


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


French drivers take the twisting mountain corners very fast and aren't patient. There are lots of passing places. Pull in and let them past.


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


Yes. We visited the local boulangerie every morning and bought huge numbers of croissants and baguettes. We accepted the offer of gite cleaning half way through the holiday and the fee went directly to the local cleaner. We employed the use of a local guide for mountain touring and canyoning. We recycled plastics and glass. We visited a wonderful local pizza restaurant L'abatoir Ancien in Belvedere.


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


Excellent. Liz and Mel were excellent hosts. Very thoughtful very knowledgeable about local area.

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