Walking holidays in France in the Mercantour national Park:
We organise mainly self-guided walking tours of 7 days walking, leading to a different location each night..
We are based in the Mercantour, near the red gorges of Daluis, a beautiful location for trekking. All of our qualified guides are French, and speak English to a good level and all of our literature, information booklets and and detailed itineraries exist in full, in English.
There are two options for the transportation of luggage: either a personal donkey to take on the trek, or we arrange for it to be taken by car each day to the next destination.
Option 1 : Looking for a family friendly option? Trek with a donkey! The easy options throughout this trek enable you to enjoy a week of relaxed walking where the children can be involved; the itinerary has been planned for families with children aged 5 and up. The walking time per day varies between 3 - 6 hours, and the ascent levels between 350 m - 600 m. A donkey is docile and easy to lead.
option 2 : Looking for a more challenging adventure ?
Your luggage transported by car! The Mercantour National Park is ideal for trekking; the number of variants mean there are so many new paths to explore. By opting to have your luggage transported by car, you are free to set off with nothing but yourselves and your picnic. Each day on this circuit consists of alternative routes, which allow you to see more remote features and more rugged and austere scenery. The walking time per day varies between 4 - 8 hours, and the ascent levels between 500 m - 1200 m.
Option 3 : Having an easy holiday: taking things slow. Take the time to relax properly
This package is tailored to those who feel they've earned the right to take it slow during their holidays. It's all about lying down in the mountain pastures and watching the butterflies flutter by.
Come stay in our brand new Ecolodge, painted in a unique and incredible golden-brown lime-based color scheme.
Walk with a donkey :
- Some helpful tips :
Watch out for your picnic! Donkey loves bread which is poking out of a bag.
It is important to be firm : One of you leading your donkey with the rope, the other closing the way behind him, with a little persuasive stick if he starts to play up. (Leave a metre in between you and the donkey's behind, so as not to risk an unwanted kick aimed at an irritating fly.)
Do not let your donkey graze or collect grass whilst walking, or he will think he's boss and stop at every possible opportunity.
A final note from Eeyore
It is important for you to know that all our donkeys work 2 months in the year, and for the rest of the time they are on holiday! Roaming free in 400 hectares, where we pamper them from autumn to summer. The donkey is on the road to disappearance; using a donkey to carry your bags on your trek gives them a role and fights against the extinction of the race. He would much rather be carrying your bags and providing comedy for your children, than be on your dinner plate! A donkey can carry a child aged 5 and above under supervision from the parents and not on precarious mountain trails.
On a perched mountain trail, make sure you always stay on the side of the rock face, keeping your donkey on the side of the void. Hold the rope of your donkey, without wrapping it around your hand or wrist. If he takes fright and jerks off suddenly, you are likely to be dragged along with him! Rather, make a couple of loops in the rope and hold it firmly in your hand, leaving the rope fairly lose so as not to hurt your donkey (unless he has constant hunger pangs in which case a little tightening of the rope won't do any harm). The primary reason for a donkey on a trek is to carry your bags. Healthy children aged 5 and up are allowed on our treks, however, please avoid putting them on the donkey's back. Only if the way is wide and relatively flat, and if your child is tired, is this possible.