• At a glance
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At a Glance

Your Holiday at a Glance

Independent Walking Holiday
  • Grand Tour of the Ubaye: 3 Regions Tour

Dates for 2023
  • 19 June - 10 September (subject to availability)
Price 9 nights
  • From £1350/€1495 (inc bag transfer) (single supplement on request)
  • From £920/€1065 (without bag transfer)
  • strenuous walking holiday in vercors
  • 9 nights, 9 days walking between gites and refuges
  • 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
  • "Overall an excellent walk in a beautiful area, with good accommodation, food and trip notes." R. Darke, UK
Accommodation and Meals
  • Half board accommodation in gites and refuges (in a mixture of rooms for 2 and dormitories.)
What's included
  1. 9 nights half board accommodation.
  2. Transfer on day 2
  3. Transfer of bags (if chosen) except on days 4 and 9. 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: 6-day tour of Ubaye Tour of Queyras Tour of Vanoise Marvels of Mercantour
  2. More about the Ubaye
  3. Return to full list of independent walking holidays

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. 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: Meolans - Laverq Abbey (1 600 m)

The first day is a gentle one as you reach the wild Laverq valley. The rather gentle climb on the ubac of the valley allows for an easy start. Arriving at the Col de la Petite Seolane, you'll have a view of the Ubaye rapids. Night in a gite
(+ 1 270 m, - 800 m, 6 h 45)

Day 3: Abbaye du laverq (1 600 m) - Col d'Allos (2 247 m)

After a pleasant start in the Laverq valley, you join the summits to walk on the watershed between the Ubaye and the Verdon massifs, which rises just below the Col de Sestrière. The rest of the walk takes place on a panoramic ridge up to the Col d'Allos refuge.
(+1070 m, -420 m, 6 h 45)

Day 4: Col d'Allos (2 247 m) - refuge de la Cayolle (2 266 m)

On the programme for this long day, two possible routes: a wild high altitude route where you will only come across a few hikers, or a route through the valley before reaching the pass and the lakes, ideal if the weather conditions are bad (no luggage transfer this day).
(+1055m, -1,010m, 7 hours)

Day 5: Refuge de la Cayolle (2 266 m) - Bousieyas (1 983 m)

Here you are in the Mercantour National Park. You will go back in time, along the Maginot Line of the Alps and the remains of the 8th regiment of Tunisian riflemen located in the Moutière valley. You'll have time to admire the landscape along the Crête de la Blanche before reaching your gîte.
(+ 945 m, - 1 335 m, 7 h 30)

Day 6: Bousieyas (1 983 m) - Larche (1 670 m)

Here you are on the GR5 which traverses the Alps all the way to Nice, don't take the wrong direction, otherwise you will end up by the sea! You will first have to cross the Fourches pass and the Pas de la Cavale, to find yourself back in the Ubaye, and the marmots' valley: the Lauzanier valley
(+ 985 m, - 1 200 m, 6 h 35)

Day 7: Larche (1 670 m) - Fouillouse (1 905 m)

A strategic pass allowing easy access to Provence, where you'll again discover the remains of the Maginot line dominating the whole valley. You are now in Haute-Ubaye, not far from the Italian border in a beautiful and wild region.
(+1050 m, -820 m, 5 h 45)

Day 8: Fouillouse (1 905 m) - les Prats (1 693 m)

For this day, we leave the alpine landscapes to join the pine and larch forests. If you have time in St Paul, go and taste the "Sauvage", a beer brewed just above the village... A pleasant balcony path will take you to the "Versailles" of forts: the Tournoux fortification, a real citadel built in the heart of the mountain. A little effort to reach the ridge and then quickly descend into the Parpaillon valley, where you will find your gîte.
(+ 830 m, - 1 030 m, 6 h 45)

Day 9: Les Prats (1 693 m) - refuge de la Pare (1 832 m)

A more relaxing day, today you have the choice between the classic route up the river, or the less frequented route in the heart of a mouflon reserve! In any case, you will have to reach the col de la Pare where your refuge is located. (No luggage transfers on this day).
(+ 950 m , - 810 m , 5 h)

Day 10: Refuge de la Pare (1 832 m) - Méolan (1 070 m)

The day's programme includes a long descent back to where you started. You can stroll and admire the landscape without moderation! You will find some civilisation and pass through a few hamlets, an opportunity to discover the built heritage of the valley. (+ 200 m, - 1 250 m, 5 h)

End of the stay after the hike. Also possible to book extra night at Gite de Meolans.



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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.


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 trek. 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.






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