- At a glance
- Locality & Walks
- Accommodation & Meals
- Travel options
Your Holiday at a Glance
|Independent Walking Holidays||
|Dates for 2020||
|Price (with luggage transport)||
|Price (without luggage transport)||
|Accommodation and Meals||
|What's not included||
Alpine Adventure - Briancon to Nice
This is the final stage of a mythical walk which follows the GR 5 long-distance trail from the shores of Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean coast at Nice, following the entire length of the French Alps. We have split the walk into several self-guided walking holidays, although it would be possible to combine them. Our holidays include luggage transfers (if you wish) so that you can enjoy the amazing scenery with only a light day pack.
From the Mercantour National Park your walk passes through wild and isolated valleys and panoramic ridges as you head south. Discover a succession of wonderful perched villages of the Provence in the Maritime Alps. The vegetation changes and becomes more Mediterranean and less Alpine in character with thyme and lavender. Your trek ends by the Mediterranean Sea in the opulent seaside town of Nice. You can also do the section from Briancon to Nice in one 12 day holiday. Following this stage, the final part from Roya to Nice is a 5-day walking break. It is also possible to do an alternative and longer final stage from Roya to Menton following the GR52.
The traverse of the French Alps is a truly unforgettable experience as you head south passing by the majestic summits of the Mont Blanc range before passing through the Vanoise and Mercantour National Parks. Your wonderful trail passes through a variety of landscapes, wildlife habitats and historic sites including the green alpine pastures of the Savoy, rocky deserts in the Queyras, beautiful perched villages of the Roya, snowy peaks of the Mont Blanc and ibex in the Mercantour.
5 days self-guided walking between accommodation. Walking per day amounts to an average of 5 - 8hrs 45walking and 1000m of ascent and descent. Maximum altitude gain: 1330m. The walk follows the GR5 for the most part. The walks take place on paths, although they are mountainous and rocky in nature. The 5-day walking holiday is a strenuous undertaking due to the sustained nature of the walking on the first 3 days. The last 2 days are relatively easy. If you wish a longer and more challenging finish, then you can choose to walk from Roya to Menton. You should have a reasonable level of fitness and be experienced in walking on mountainous terrain with a good head for heights.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive in St Etienne de Tinee
Day 2: Roya (1490m) - Roure (1883m)
Transfer from your accommodation to the village of Roya. You'll cross alpine meadows to reach the mountain pass known as Col de Crousette (2480m). You'll then have a wonderful ridge walk with great views as you head towards Col de Moulines. Descend to reach the narrow valley of Roure and your accommodation. +1330m ; - 940 m; 7hrs
Day 3: Roure (1883m) - Saint Dalmas Valdeblore (1050m)
A gentle descent of the Roure Valley brings you to the pretty hamlet of Roure itself before moving on to discover the village of Saint Sauveur sur Tinee where you'll now be at only 450m in altitude. Climb back up hill to discover the historic perched villages of the region including Rougios, La Bolline and Rimplas. +1070m ; - 1685 m; 7hr 15
Day 4: Saint Dalmas Valdeblore (1050m) - Utelle (850m)
You'll need to start early on this long day. A beautiful climb brings you to Col de Caire Cros. Then a traverse will bring you to the summit of Mont Tournairet at 2086m for wonderful views. A short descent to Granges de la Brasque before a small climb brings you to the next mountain pass at Col d'Andriani. You'll then follow the entire ridgeline of the Utelle mountain which undulates regularly. Tough but great walking. You'll then descend steeply to the beautiful perched village of Utelle. +1000m ; - 1500 m; 8hr 45
It is possible to reduce the length of this day by sleeping at Roquebilliere with ataxi transfer the next morning to regain Utelle.
Day 5: Utelle (850m) - Levens (550m)
A shorter day's walking to recover from yesterday's efforts. There is a variation of the GR trail which goes via the ridgeline and valley of Toasquet which is well worth the detour. Afterwards you have great views over the Vesubie Valley before crossing the valley at Pont du Cros. You'll then climb to reach the beautiful perched village of Levens. +800m ; - 1000 m; 6hr 10
Day 6: Levens (550m) - Nice
A wonderful trail to Sainte Claire before a forest trail brings you to a magnificent view point over the Maritime Alps at the summit of Mont Cima (878m). You'll then descend to the historic village of Aspremont with its alleyways forming concentric circles around its centre, before a small climb brings you to Mont Chauve. Here a longer variation is possible. A last descent brings you to Gairaud and the end of the official GR 5 trail and the end of your Alpine Adventure. A short bus ride will take you to Nice and the Mediterranean Sea for a well-earned rest. +550m ; -1000 m; 5hr 45
Accommodation & Meals
You’ll be staying in a mixture of simple hotels, walkers gites and mountain refuges in private rooms for 2 (except two nights in shared dormitory). Traditional mountain food. Shared bathrooms except on one night. You need to bring a sheet sleeping bag and towel as they are not provided by the accommodation (except one night).
|Refuge de Longon||refuge||Refuge built in 1962 following an avalanche. It is also a Vacherie for the herd and is run by the farmers. Night in dormitory|
Make your own way to St Etienne de Tinee at the start of the holiday.
Bus 740 goes from Nice to St Etienne de Tinee twice daily throughout the summer months, except Friday (term time), Sundays and Bank Holidays. The bus goes via Nice airport and Nice train station. Scheduled times at Nice station are 9.10 & 16.40 and at Nice airport are 9.25 and 16.55.
There are flights from French and UK airports to Nice Cote d'Azur airport. Operators from UK airports include Flybe, Easyjet and British Airways. Aéroport International Nice-Côte d'Azur is located 7km from the city centre. Bus direct to St Etienne de Tinee from airport.
From the UK, changes between the Eurostar and TGV are at Lille or Paris. TGV's run from Paris to Nice direct or via Lyon or Toulon. Bus direct to St Etienne de Tinee from airport.
Please contact us for assistance in organising your travel arrangements