• At a glance
  • Locality & Walks
  • Accommodation & Meals
  • Travel options
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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance


   
Independent Walking Holiday
  • Grand Tour of the Ubaye: Hidden Alps

Dates for 2017
  • 17 June - 9 September (subject to availability)
Price 6 nights
  • £645/€695 (inc bag transfer) (single supplement £125/€135 as part of a party of 2 or more)
  • £465/€500 (without bag transfer)
Price 8 nights
  • £780/€840 (inc bag transfer) (single supplement on request)
  • £540/€585 (without bag transfer)
Price 9 nights
  • £885/€955 (inc bag transfer) (single supplement on request)
  • £605/€655 (without bag transfer)
Grade
  • challenging walking holiday alps
Profile
  • 6, 8 or 9 nights, 6, 8 or 9 days walking between gites and refuges
Highlights
  • Wild alpine landscapes in a quiet part of the French Alps with accessible summits
  • A great trek taking in parts of the Verdon, Mercantour National Park and several nature reserves
  • Beautiful mountains, serene alpine lakes, remote traditional hamlets & impressive fortifications
  • A trek which can be varied in length according to your wishes with the option of having your bags transported for you
Accommodation and Meals
  • Half board accommodation in gites and refuges (in a mixture of rooms for 2 and dormitories.)
What's included
  1. 6, 8 or 9 nights half board accommodation.
  2. Transfer on day 2 and at the end of the last walking day for the 6 and 9 day treks.
  3. Transfer of bags (if chosen) except on days 3 and 7. Detailed walking notes and walking maps
What's not included
  1. Travel to Gite de Meolans, Ubaye
  2. Lunches (which can be ordered from the accommodation), drinks, any visits,
  3. Travel insurance
 
  1. Other self-guided walking holidays in Alps: Tour of Queyras Tour of Vanoise Marvels of Mercantour
  2. Return to full list of independent walking holidays
Walks

Ubaye & Walks

Discover the wonderful Grand Tour of the Ubaye, a circular walking trail through a hidden corner of the French Alps. This alpine trek following the GR56 trail takes you through wild and picturesque mountain scenery. During your walk you’ll visit the Upper Verdon Valley (where you may well see Cayolle Ibex), the Mercantour National Park and the famous Allos Lake, as well as the Nature Reserve of Lauzanier. This off the beaten track itinerary will take you through some magnificent landscapes with beautiful alpine summits, serene mountain lakes and remote and traditional alpine hamlets. Despite the high altitude, parts of the walk have a distinctly southern feel. The full tour includes 9 walking days but there is the possibility to do smaller tours covering 6 or 8 walking days. You can decide whether you wish to carry your own gear or have your bags transported for you.

Walking Profile

Average of 6-7hrs walking per day (not including lunch stop) and between 600m and 1200m of ascent & descent. The first 6 days are harder than the last 3 and are more mountainous in character. The walks take place on well maintained and marked paths, although they are mountainous in nature with some steeper and rocky passages. You can choose a couple of less well trodden trails. You should have a reasonable level of fitness and be comfortable with walking several days in a row on mountain paths. You should also be sure-footed on mountain paths. You can choose whether to carry your own bags or have them transported for you (except two days where it’s not possible).

ubaye location France French Alps

Day 1 Arrival

Welcome at Gite de Meolans.

Day 2: Abbaye du Laverq (1600m) - Col d’Allos (2247m)

Transfer between your gite and Abbey du Laverq. After a pleasant start in the Laverq Valley you’ll reach the heights to walk between the Ubaye and Verdon Valleys. Follow panoramic ridges to reach Refuge du Col d’Allos. 6hrs 45, +1070m, -420m

Day 3: Col d’Allos (2247m) - Refuge de la Cayolle (2266m)

2 possible trails on this long day, either via the valley before climbing to the col & lakes or a quiet trail at altitude in remote mountain country. 7hrs, +1055m, -1010m

Day 4: Refuge de la Cayolle (2266m) - Bousieyas (1983m)

Progress through the Mercantour National Park and discover the remains of the fortifications on the Maginot line. Admire the mountain scenery from Crete de la Blanche before reaching your gite. (No bag transfer on this stage.) 7hrs 30, +945m, -1335m

Day 5: Bousieyas (1983m) - Larche (1670m)

For a couple of days you’ll follow the GR5, which traverses the French Alps. Cross two passes, the Col des Fourches & Pas de la Cavale to return to the Ubaye & the Nature Reserve in the Lauzanier Valley, ‘home of the marmots’. 6hrs 30, +985m, -1200m.

Day 6: Larche (1670m) - Fouillouse (1905m)

You are back close to the Italian border as you climb over Col de Mallemort before descending a beautiful and wild valley. Next climb over Col du Vallonnet dominated by the summit of Brec de Chambeyron (3389m). 5hrs, 45, +1050m, -820m

Day 7: Fouillouse (1905m) - Les Prats(1693m)

Leave the alpine landscapes behind as you enter pine & larch forests. At St Paul, try the local beer, “sauvage,” brewed just above the village. A balcony path leads you to the impressive fortifications of Tournoux. 7hrs, +830m, -1030m. End of 6 day walk

Day 8: Les Prats(1693m) - Refuge de la Pare (1832m)

An easier day with a choice of trails either via the valley or a less well used trail through a Mouflon nature reserve. Pass the Col de la Pare to reach Refuge de la Pare. (No bag transfer on this stage.) 5hrs, +950m, -810m

Day 9: Refuge de la Pare (1832m) - Meolan (1070m)

A long descent to the gite where you arrived. You’ll pass several traditional hamlets, as you discover the local built heritage. 5hrs, +200m, -1250m. End of 8 day walk

Day 10: Meolan (1070m) - Laverq (1070m)

The last stage of the grand tour as you climb to the Col de Seolane which offers magnificent views of Laverq. Descend to reach the abbey and a transfer to Gite de Meolans. 5hrs 30, +1200m, -680m.

Departure:

Your walking holiday finishes after your walk. Also possible to book extra night at Gite de Meolans.


 

st paul sur ubaye alpine village France

self guided walking in Mercantour in French Alps

refuge mountain hut ubaye French alps

ubaye mountains and lakes alps

Lavercq ubaye village southern alps

lavercq valley trekking holiday

lake and mountain in south France independent walking trip

st paul sur ubaye village sun dial

france walking in  french alps wildlife edelweiss flower

For useful advice about independent walking and preparing for your self guided holidays please take a look at the articles in our top-tips section.

Once you have booked on this independent walking or trekking holiday, further information about the walking, the region and what to bring, will be sent to you. We do have a web page dedicated to what clothes and equipment you should bring. In addition, our travel shop has direct access to all the top walking and travel retailers. Please contact us if you need any further information.

Bed

Accommodation & Meals


A mixture of gites and mountain refuges. Depending on availability, you can choose private rooms for 2 people on 4 nights of the 6 and 8 day treks, and for 5 nights on the full tour. The other nights will be in dormitories. Dormitory rooms vary in size from just a few people up to 40. Blankets are provided (so you don't need to bring sleeping bags). Tasty and filling meals are taken in a large dining room where a great atmosphere prevails as walkers share their stories and experiences.

Name Type Details Rating  
Gite Auberge de Lauzanier, Larche Gite Family run gite and auberge situated in the village of Larche.    
Travel Options

Travel Options


By Train

Eurostar and the TGV from London to Lyon Part Dieu or Valence TGV, via Lille or Paris. From there you’ll need to take local train services to Gap. Take local bus service LER30 from Gap towards Barcelonette and alight at Meolans-Martinet

Please contact us before booking to check for practical times.

Flight Options

Flights from the UK to Lyon St Exupery, then bus (Satobus) or tram to Lyon Part Dieu. Train detailed above. Possible to fly to Marseille and take train from Marseille St Charles.

Please visit our travel shop for links to useful sites for reserving airport parking or booking train tickets

Note: Please check concerning the availability of a holiday before booking any flights. If you need further information or would like to discuss any aspect of your travel arrangements, please contact us, we’re here to help you.

 

 

 

Photos

Photos


ubaye valley mountain walking gr56
laverq ubaye French alps trekking tour
walking trail in French Alps south France
st paul sur ubaye french alpine walking
france alps walk ubaye refuge
alpine ibex in southern alps independent walking holiday