Mercantour vacations travel guide

Mercantour vacations travel guide


2 MINUTE SUMMARY

Just an hour from Nice awaits 685km² of Alpine terrain, sandstone gorges, turquoise lakes, ancient shepherds’ trails and a handful of hamlets. Bordering Italy, the Mercantour National Park protects vast swathes of the Alpes-Maritimes and the Alpes de Haute-Provence regions. The highest peak is Cime du Gélas at 3143m, with plenty of cols to conquer, vertiginous valleys to explore, gushing glacial rivers to paddle in and lakes to lull by. All accessible on 600km of waymarked footpaths including some of the famous long distance ‘Grande Randonees’ routes that traverse Europe.

Indeed this is a region to traverse in tranquility, in all four seasons, as it is still virtually unknown by travelers, even though it has been, rightly, earmarked for UNESCO World Heritage status. So, take this tiny trek away from the coast because Nice is nice. But the Mercantour is spectacular. Our Mercantour travel guide reveals why...

Best time to go on a Mercantour vacation


TEMPERATURE & RAINFALL

During the warm summer, honeypots such as Vallée des Merveilles and Saint Martin Vésubie pack out with day trippers, particularly on weekends. But a tour operator can create an itinerary that steers you away from these at peak times. And do beware of lightning storms in the summer months. Autumn is when the trees come alive, with the sumac and larch leaves turning through the glorious gamut. And though it is hard to imagine Alpine slopes in winter that are free of skiers, they do exist here - making for sublime snowshoeing.
Photo credits: [Top box: Itinerance Trekking] [Temperature chart: Rafal Zelazko]
Written by Catherine Mack
Accommodation in the Mercantour, France

Accommodation in the Mercantour, France

Beautifully located gite in the Mercantour, France

From £420 7 days per accommodation per week
Mercantour family hiking vacation, France

Mercantour family hiking vacation, France

Family walking tour with a donkey in Southern French Alps

From £435 7 Days ex flights
Wolf spotting in France

Wolf spotting in France

Wolf vacation - Mercantour National Park - South of France

From £415 5 Days ex flights
Mercantour Park self catering gite, France

Mercantour Park self catering gite, France

Beautifully located accommodation in the Mercantour, France

From £420 per week (sleeps 2)
Mercantour National Park self guided walking, France

Mercantour National Park self guided walking, France

Value centre based self guided walking - Mercantour, France

From £575 8 Days ex flights
Walking holiday in France, Mercantour Reflections

Walking vacation in France, Mercantour Reflections

Magic walking - Mercantour National Park - South of France

From £645 8 Days ex flights
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