Mercantour hiking vacation in France

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Departure information

This trip departs from mid-May to end-September; best time to go is springtime for the flora
Vacation type

Traveling with a local operator

This vacation is operated by a company based in the vacation destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your vacation to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

We are a membership organisation who promotes independent walking tours in the Southern French Alps that are run in a way that increases the positive impacts on our montainous and remote valley and on our environment.

Our walks are a sample of sustainable development project for remote rural areas; we are supporting small accommodations and helping them to generate the bookings that they need to live in our area. We are all guides working in partnership with the National Park. We have been awarded this label for the high quality service we provide.

The yurts are run in a way which minimizes their environment impact: composting toilets, solar electricity and providing clients with organic fruit and vegetables from the garden.

To carry lunches we use biodegradable Materbi BioBags made of the material Mater-Bi, the main component of which is cornstarch. The BioBag is 100% biodegradable and compostable.

As a company we aim be involved in pastoralism, the roots of our culture, by meeting shepherds and supporting thei way of life. All our donkeys are bred here in the Mercantour on 250 hectares that they help to keep clear from the scrub. We feel that this low impact lefstyle is essential to ensure the sustainable development of the area.

The Impacts of this Trip

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.


1 Reviews of Mercantour hiking vacation in France

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 22 Aug 2016 by

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

A truly special experience in a little corner of the Mercantour where time seems to have stood still. We went with the flow of life at the pace of an ambling
donkey. Every detail of the trip was well thought out, and the route guidance booklet (which we carried with us all the time) was spot on. The range of
different landscapes we walked through surprised and delighted us. The effectiveness of the route marking was also great. The vacation providers team was hugely welcoming and they treated us as part of the family (and such delicious food), and their outlook was inspirational. Congratulations to them on a superb set up.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't hesitate if you like life in the slow lane and want a real get-away! Plus the donkey and progression up the Var valley gives a sense of purpose and
journey. If you have the time, keep going all the way up the valley. PS Don't forget your towels and sheet sleeping bags!

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

Our stays in a range of different types of accommodation brought us into contact with the lovely hospitality of the local people (including delicious meals) and supported their businesses.

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

Just what we wanted!

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