Mercantour family walking holiday, France
Family rooms of 4/5 beds.Typically French homemade food. Luggage transport : donkey or car available for kids up to 5 years old. Included advice of a local guide in English.
Description of Mercantour family walking holiday, France
Donkey and You:
What is the secret to making unexplored hidden mountains accessible to a family? a Donkey!
These affectionate animals have been part of our family for as long as we can remember. Each one of them has their own individual personality, their own life, their own specific tastes (some are happy with a chunk of bread, whilst others have more acquired tastes, saucisson being a favourite!)
They love the company of humans, especially that of children, who they will encourage to keep on walking without sulking.
Trained masters in the art of comedy, they will suddenly become all downcast and upset, merely for attention and cuddles. They are even capable of faking a limp in an attempt to earn some tabacco (gourmet donkey treat) and after they've got what they want, they will set off, fit as a fiddle, ready to tackle the tricky paths awaiting them!
Warning! You will be dealing with a skilled psychologist, an expert in the complexities of man, ready to take advantage of your weaknesses! Donkey is an experienced drama-queen, quite capable of collapsing Cinderella-style if he sees you are devastated with remorse at the amount of clothing and cereal bars piled on his back, when in truth he's really not too bothered.
The Mercantour Alps: Sunshine and blue skies
Because of the nearby sea, alpine and Mediterranean influences converge to produce a mild and sunny climate, ideal for hiking in the height of summer.
At altitudes ranging from 1200m to 3000m, chamois, marmots, eagles and wolves live undisturbed inside the boundaries of the Mercantour National Park.
Diverse and contrasted landscapes.
Lakes of turquoise nesting in lush alpine meadows scattered with gentian.
Breathtaking passages through a canyon with rocks the colour of red wine.
Woods of stern larch trees and stark mineral peaks.
Don't return home without having met the mountain folk
You will be in an undiscovered land, which remains a little secret for the tourist industry, where you will spend an entire day walking without meeting a single person. The welcome you will receive each evening from the old and new people of the valley will therefore add to the pleasure of trekking, one of the discovery of strong characters and genuine encounters with the inhabitants of our mountains.
Don't come expecting jacuzzi, breakfast in bed & automated toilet seats
The places you will refuel and rest your head at night offer a taste for diversity, from being welcomed as homestay guests and small hotels. Don't come expecting the norms of a cold, sterilised hotel with all your basic needs . If, for a week of alternative vacationing, you are able to adapt and to keep an open spirit, you will share heart-warming moments with real, full-of-life people around a well-garnished table.
8 Reviews of Mercantour family walking holiday, France
Reviewed on 03 Sep 2018 by Janne Thomsen5* Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Aug 2018 by Sarah DorkenwaldI did the hike together with my daughter who is ten years and I think from this travel she could more benefit for her life than from any other materialised consumerism such as buying stuff Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Jun 2018 by Lucy ChadwickIt was fantastic. We loved it (even when it rained). Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Jun 2018 by John TylerTravelling with a Donkey as companion - a delightful character. We were early in the season so it was very quiet . . . . and the Alpine Flowers were wonderful. Read full review
Reviewed on 17 Sep 2017 by Rob BoothOur children would say Kaia, our donkey who they bonded with was the most memorable. For me, the emptiness and the views. Possibly my favourite spot of all was the Chappelle St-Barnabe near Val Pelens where we whiled away a couple of hours in glorious sunshine with spectacular views. Read full review
Reviewed on 21 Aug 2015 by Tony JohnsonAwesome, it has raised the bar for next year! Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Aug 2014 by Alison GodfreyThe whole thing was memorable! 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. Read full review
Reviewed on 21 Aug 2011 by Nick LampertThe 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 were most memorable. Read full review
PlanetFor 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.
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.
You will share heart-warming moments with real, full-of-life people around a well-garnished table.
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