6 independent reviews for Walking holiday in France, Mercantour Reflections

Reviews for Walking holiday in France, Mercantour Reflections

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review 19 Jul 2018

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

1. Wonderful walking in the Vesubie valley and Mercantour National Park in stunning mountains with superb views and dazzling lakes. Beautiful wildflowers and countless butterflies, lots of other wildlife to spot chamois, raptors, marmots, snakes, lizzards, black squirrels and fireflies. 2. Exploring some of the fascinating and attractive medieval villages in the area including Saint Martin Vesubie, Utelle and Venansson. 3. Liz and Mels warm and welcoming hospitality and the superb meals prepared by Liz. 4. The comfortable Gites accommodation at Berthemont les Bains with fine views

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

We selected the self-guided walking option and this worked well for us. Mel provided us with a map for each walk and instructions including interesting and useful notes on the history of the area and what birds and animals to watch out. Mel took us to the start point of the walk each day by car and collected us again at an agreed time. Therefore you dont need to bring a car to enjoy this holiday and can just relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Travel to Nice (by plane or train) and then take a low-cost bus up to the Vesubie Valley nearly all of the way to Berthemont les Bains where Mel will arrange to meet you from the bus.

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

It was clear that Liz and Mel are very much part of the local community and their holiday business clearly benefits local people by introducing visitors to the Vesubie Valley and increasing awareness of this as an attractive holiday destination, especially for walkers. A lot of the food prepared provided for us appeared to be either sourced or purchased locally e.g. bread, fruit and cheese. We travelled to Nice from London by train with the significant environmental benefits this has compared to taking a flight (CO2 emissions per passenger for trains estimated up to 90% less compared to taking a flight). As above, we continued our journey by bus and so had no need to hire a car. As all the walks were in the Vesubie Valley or nearby Mercantour National Park this minimized the distance we needed to travel each day by car to the start of the walks.

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

A wonderful holiday. We certainly hope to return one day for another holiday in this beautiful place.

review 23 Jun 2018

From early on in our enquiries about this holiday, we found Responsible Travel very informative and responsive. The Mercantour holiday stood out as particularly interesting, and the pictures and description on the website were impressive and well-presented. The location seemed quite easy to get to and yet sufficiently far away from the main tourist spots, and it was an advantage to have transport to and from the walks included. These were all selling points for us. As we were new to the area, we opted for a combination of self-guided and guided walks, and this worked well for us. The route descriptions and maps provided for the self-guided walks were detailed and comprehensive enough for us to feel confident walking on our own, and Mel would drop us off and show us the start of each walk. Mel has an abundance of local knowledge of the history and wildlife, and shared this with us during the guided walks, pointing out birds and animals along the way. The walks were very well-planned and gave us a really good glimpse of the superb and varied scenery in this corner of the Mercantour. One of the highlights was seeing a pair of golden eagles from outside the gte one evening. Liz and Mel made us extremely welcome and were excellent hosts. We were given delicious meals and snacks every day and Liz went out of her way to cater for dietary needs, which was a real bonus on a holiday like this. The week was well-organised in every way, whilst being relaxed and flexible at the same time. The accommodation was excellent and we felt privileged to be staying in the gte at Liz and Mels home in Berthemont-les-Bains, surrounded by such beautiful scenery. An over-riding impression that we both came away with was the amount of care that Liz and Mel had put into every aspect of the holiday.

review 1 Jul 2017

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

Seeing fantastic landscapes & wildlife

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

Get your 'walking legs' ready

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

Yes

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

Really great

review 17 Oct 2014

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

Our first guided walk to Col de Fenestre was the highlight of the week for me. The route was filled with outstanding mountain views and we saw chamois, ibex, marmot and mouflon during the walk.

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

Book early so you can get a spot!

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

Yes - all of the above.

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

Tres bien! Liz and Mel took good care of us and went above and beyond our expectations to ensure our holiday was great. Good value, too!

review 19 Sep 2012

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

The variety of the walks and scenery - and loads of wildlife. Marmot, chamois, vultures, various birds. Level of challenge was set just right for the needs of the group. Very hospitable and friendly hosts, who did so much for us. Fantastic food cooked for us every night! Lovely, spacious gite in a tranquil location.

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

Make sure you're properly kitted out with good boots, a water bottle you can easily access and comfortable walking gear. Walking pole/s are useful for long ascents/descents when knees start to get tired. Bring a warm layer for the evening (not the sweaty fleece you've been wearing all day...) as it can get a bit chilly.

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

Yes.

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

Great - would do it again! Really good value for money.

review 6 Sep 2012

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

Exploring, mainly on foot, a 'new', relatively unknown but scenically stunning corner of France on the back of excellent, welcoming accommodation and hospitality.

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

You need to be quite fit to fully appreciate walking in high Alpine scenery - but with that proviso, go there! It is far less crowded than most Alpine areas; consequently there are higher chances to observe nature. The walking itineraries are well constructed but adaptable in response to group preferences, capabilities, the weather, etc. Each walk is well-led by a knowledgeable, informative guide.

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

It was self-evident that wherever practical, food is locally sourced, that other local associated businesses are supported, and that there is some employment of local people. During the walks we were conscious of being in a National Park and learnt something about the way in which the French National Park system is constituted and managed; we also increased our awareness of aspects of the local ecosystems, including issues surrounding Chamois over-population and the re-introduction/reappearance in the Mercantour of the Wolf. It was possible to do plenty of walks in this location without the need to travel long distances by car to the start/end points.

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

The arrangements for this tour were impeccable. There was a wonderful combination of fine scenery; abundant wildlife; superb food; comfortable and welcoming accommodation; brilliant hosts/guides; historical, cultural and social dimensions; memorable mountain days. A high quality experience all round.

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