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My road book

Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau

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24 June 2021
At the gates of the Mercantour National Park, at the crossroads of the Vallée des Merveilles, the Boréon and the Gordolasque, Vésubie is a jewel for nature lovers with its flora and fauna . Recently battered by storm Alex (October 2020), this valley awaits your visit and is only waiting to show you its wonders.

You will appreciate particularly in this itinerary :

  • Villages of character
  • Encounter with wildlife
  • The flora, landscapes and colours of summer
  • The valleys and gorges, suitable for white-water activities  
  • Infinite activities

You will discover the communes of Belvédère, Saint-Martin-Vésubie, Roquebillière, Valdeblore La Colmiane, La Bollène Vésubie, Lantosque, Venanson, Utelle, Levens, etc.

 

Attention, following the storm Alex in the valleys of the Nice hinterland, some activities or hiking trails may be inaccessible. Remember to ask our travel advisors in the tourist information offices for information before going out in the mountains.

Did you know?

The Mercantour National Park covers 1,801 km² in the Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes de Haute-Provence. Its proximity to the coast adds a Mediterranean flavour to its magnificent landscapes, which are particularly wild and diverse.

Leaning against the border of Italian Piedmont, with which it shares nearly 33 km of ridges, the Mercantour massif is the last promontory of the Alpine arc to the south. At the summit of the Gélas, the highest peak of the Mercantour at 3,143 m, you are only 50 km from the sea as the crow flies!

The Mercantour National Park is renowned for its magnificent landscapes, mountains, lakes and green valleys but also for its unique biodiversity. Several hundred animal species are present: wolves, chamois, ibexes, mouflons, deer, roe deer, wild boar, marmots, ermines, hares, black grouse, heather roosters, snow partridges, golden eagles, bearded vultures, buzzards, not to mention the many insects, fish, amphibians, bats and reptiles. Keep a low profile and keep your eyes open!

Hikers will be able to enjoy the 600 kilometres of marked trails in the remarkable sites of the 6 valleys of the Park (Vallée de l'Ubaye, Vallée de la Tinée, Vallée de la Vésubie, Vallée du Haut-Var et du Cians, Vallée de la Roya Bévéra and Vallée du Haut-Verdon).

Day 1

We suggest that you spend your first day in the Vésubie at the resort of La Colmiane, in the commune of Valdeblore. This resort offers a whole range of activities for adults but also for children. Your day is bound to be very full.

To start, meet at 10 am at Colmiane Forest.  Tyrolean traverse, monkey bridge, jumping, climbing net... this accrobranche site invites you to take yourself for Tarzan... It offers four courses of increasing difficulty that will allow you to move from tree to tree, safely whatever your age and level (1 children's course and 3 courses reserved for people over 1m45). Enjoy the adventure and don't forget to enjoy the magnificent landscape!

Emotions make you hungry... To satisfy your stomach, the resort offers you its many restaurants. If you wish to go higher and enjoy a panoramic view of the Mercantour and the surrounding valleys, take the Pic chairlift which will take you to the high altitude restaurant Le Chalet du Pic.

Ready to experience more sensations this afternoon? In addition to its tree climbing, the resort of La Colmiane allows you to combine sports and fun experiences: giant zip line, summer toboggan, mini-golf, mountain bike descent, riding centre, paragliding, trampoline, hiking with pack donkeys, relaxation and well-being, visit to the farm, climbing and via ferrata... Which activity will you choose?

Find the testimony of Elodie who tested the summer toboggan.

 

Day 2

@insta_coachingbyastrid

Are you ready for a beautiful day in the fresh air towards the sublime Millefonts lakes? The Millefonts lakes are five glacial lakes located in the commune of Valdeblore. Like jewels set in a mountain setting, they range in altitude from 2229 m for the first lake to 2375 m for the fifth.

Meet at the Millefonts car park, in Saint-Dalmas-Valdeblore, at an altitude of some 2,000 metres! You will first take the GR52 to the Veillos pass, then you will climb up a marked path to the upper lakes of Millefonts. You will be able to admire the Lac Petit (the largest of the 5!!), the Lac Rond, the Lac Long, the Lac Gros and the Lac without name...

Depending on your level and your desires at the time, you will have the choice to stop at the edge of one of the five lakes, to climb to the Barn Pass or to climb to the top of Mount Pépoiri, which stands at an altitude of 2,674 metres. On your walk, you will certainly see some trout fishermen and you can take a refreshing dip in one of the five lakes.

If you go up to the Col de Bar, enjoy the beautiful view: the lakes on one side and the Molières valley on the other... Isn't this a good place to be?

This hike is of medium difficulty. If you are a good walker, you can complete it in about 3h30. The path is signposted but remember to take a map and check the weather forecast beforehand. You are in the high mountains, the weather can change quickly.

More information on this sublime hike by clicking here or here.

 

Day 3

For your third day of holiday in the Vésubie region, once again fill up on activities at the Vesubia Mountain Park, in Saint-Martin-Vésubie.

In this huge 3,000 m² sports complex, all the members of your family can try out all the mountain activities in an indoor environment, but not only that... thanks to its different zones:

- A roped-off climbing area with 33 lanes up to 13m high and a bouldering structure without ropes for discovery and warm-up (with landing mat) - From 5 years old
- A canyoning area (1h30 of supervised activity with climbing under waterfalls with abseils and jumps up to 6 metres in heated water). You will have the impression of being in a natural canyon, with rocks, tunnels and tree trunks that are more real than life! From 10 years old - Reservation essential
- A fun area (tree climbing course with 12 high-level workshops - accessible from 8 years old + fun climbing course with 15 challenges and 21 climbing lines - accessible from 5 years old.
- An aquatic area (250 m2 pool, aquabike, group aquagym classes)
- A fitness and well-being area (fitness room, balneo with hammam and sauna, massages)

This site is unique in Europe. Here, there is everything you need to spend an excellent day with your family!

Possibility of opting for a package including several activities:

    Pack 3 activities: canyoning and 2 activities to choose from among playful climbing, rock climbing and the adventure course.
    Pack 4 activities: same as pack 3 activities + aquatic and well-being

Equipment provided (wetsuit, harness, helmet, slippers....) and supervision by qualified instructors.

You can also book this programme for a rainy day. All the activities offered by Vesubia Mountain Park are indoor!

After having had a good time, your "tribe" will be able to take part in a guided tour of the village of Saint-Martin-Vésubie and its medieval streets (tour proposed by the Tourist Information Office, in collaboration with the association Amont, on Thursdays at 4pm from mid-July 2021. 4€ per person - Registration at the Information Office).

To complete the day, you can also opt for an easy 45-minute walk along the Chemin des Colettes. This walk will take you above the village of Saint-Martin-Vésubie, through the forest. From the tourist information office, go past the town hall and then continue along the Allées de Verdun under the arcades; take the first fork in the road to the right along Boulevard Lazare Raiberti. At the crossroads of the four roads, turn left, Avenue Henri Verdeil/Chemin des Colettes. After 100 metres of climbing, the road goes flat and bypasses the meadows of "Roghières", beautiful houses of the Belle Epoque are visible. Go back down to your left, avenue Eugénie Raiberti.

To satisfy your stomachs and debrief with your family about this extraordinary day, you will find many restaurants in the village, such as La Bonne Auberge, La Treille or La Cave. Here again, you are spoilt for choice!

Take the car back to the Ecrins de Belvédère for a night out of time (only a quarter of an hour drive)! Of course, you thought of booking beforehand your unusual accommodation in Lov'nids (cabins perched in the trees, with your head in the stars) or in the Hobbit cabin, with its round windows (a must for fans of the saga)! You and your children will love your cosy nest!

In the morning, you will wake up in a gentle way, in a preserved nature.

Lov'Nid
Hobbit cabin

Day 4

Slept well? Are you ready for a new day full of sensations and emotions? Today, we suggest an extraordinary hike in the Vallée des Merveilles (Valley of Wonders), with its evocative name!

From Belvédère, visit the magnificent classified historical site of the Valley of Wonders, the largest site of rock engravings in Europe! Accessible from the Gordolasque valley in a 2.5 hour walk, it takes its name from the 40,500 engravings dating from the Bronze Age that have been discovered there. Centuries-old larch forests, lakes and steep peaks, including the famous Mont Bégo (2,872 m), form a unique mineral landscape. It is advisable to book your visit with a state-qualified mountain guide. Tours are organised from June to September from the Refuge des Merveilles.

Admire and photograph without touching the engravings or the rock in any way. The Merveilles site is regulated and does not allow off-path walking under penalty of a fine.

You can park your vehicle at the Countet car park (the starting point for many hikes). If the car park is full, park in the gaps along the trail, without obstructing the trail to allow the passage of emergency services and road vehicles. Have a good ride!

Further information at the Tourist Information Office in Belvedere.

End your day with a visit to the magnificent mountain village of Belvédère which, at an altitude of 830 m, has retained its old-fashioned charm. Then take a well-deserved "aperitif" stop and more if you like... at the Café des Tilleuls, on the main square (open in the evening until 11pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), at Le Melèze Chez Bion, at Lou Merenda (pizzeria with terrace) or at Les Arcades (restaurant, bar and guest house).

Day 5

How green is my valley! Today's program: nature, sport (but not too much) and history!

Start the day with a nice electric bike ride on the Authion Massif, at an altitude of 2,080 metres. You will start from the mythical Col du Turini and pedal effortlessly, guided by an application on your phone. Magical, isn't it? You will be free to explore this historic site where the remains of the Second World War still exist today. Sérés de Rivière fortification, Maginot line... military interest mixes here with the grandiose landscapes of the high mountains. You will discover this exceptional itinerary on both natural and cultural levels; the loop of the Authion is largely located in the heart of the Mercantour National Park. Duration of the bike ride: 3 hours.

In addition to the historical discovery, if the weather lends itself to it, you will enjoy an extraordinary 360° panorama of the valleys and peaks of the Mercantour. Aren't we happy here?

You can plan a picnic for your lunch today. The site lends itself perfectly to it. And if you're feeling sleepy, why not lie down in the grass for a little nap in the green and fresh air?

Do you want to experience other sensations? Why not try a dizzying descent on a summer toboggan, a Karting or a Trotin'herbe at the Turini Camp d'Argent resort? Laughter guaranteed! The resort welcomes you all summer long from 7 July 2021, every day from 1.30 pm to 6 pm.

The day is far from over and the region is full of resources. We invite you to the open-air swimming pool of La Bollène Vésubie to relax and take a dip. The site has a large swimming pool and a paddling pool as well as a solarium. The view is breathtaking! Open in July and August from 10.30am to 6.30pm. Snack bar on site.

You can also go to the local producers' market which takes place every Saturday at La Bollène Vésubie, from 4pm to 8pm.

For your dinner, we suggest the following establishments:

 

In Lantosque :
 
- Lou Gust : https://www.facebook.com/restaurantlougust/
- Le Bar de la Place : https://www.bardelaplace.fr/
 
In La Bollène Vésubie :
 
- L'Escapade : https://www.facebook.com/Lescapade-Bar-Restaurant-102254204597594/
- Restaurant hôtel Les Chamois : http://www.hotel-les-chamois.com/
 
 
In Utelle  :
 
La Bollène-Vésubie

Day 6

@insta_hannahontheroad_again

We are taking you to Roquebillière today. In the heart of the Vesubian country and at the gateway to the Mercantour National Park, you will find peace and quiet and a friendly atmosphere in this village situated at an altitude of 600m, far from the summer heatwave and the climatic whims of the high mountains. From April to October, on Tuesday mornings, a small rural market will delight your senses and your taste buds!

In the heart of the village, you will find plenty of food for lunch and dinner, notably at the restaurant Le Provençal or at the RDV Vésubien.

We then invite you to spend the afternoon 7kilometres away, at the Valvital Berthemont-les-Bains spa. Overlooking the Vésubie valley, at an altitude of 960 metres, the resort is the perfect destination for nature lovers, with hikes, observation of the fauna and flora, and unique panoramas...

The chemical composition of its natural waters make Berthemont-les-Bains a choice destination for curists (rheumatological and respiratory treatments) but also for those who enjoy well-being. You can take advantage of the aqua-relaxation area (thermal pools at 30°C, hammam, sauna, jacuzzi, outdoor solarium, cabin treatments, gym and group aqua-gym classes - without reservation, from April to November). A café-restaurant and accommodation nearby invite you to take a break in a privileged environment.

Laura, Travel Counsellor at the Tourist Information Office in Roquebillière has tested the spa for you. Discover below (button "to know more") her advice and her testimony. (Remember to check the dates and opening hours of the resort before going there).

Find out more

Day 7

Let's go back down to the middle country and stop this day in Levens! This pretty village offers a wide range of outdoor activities: climbing, hiking trails, horse riding courses... It is also a well known site for mountain biking (several day or half-day routes - mountain bikes and bikes for hire are available on site. Information at the Tourist Information Office of Levens).

If you are a bit sporty, I advise you the circuit of the tour of the Mont Arpasse which you can do by mountain bike in half a day from the Grand Pré. Very quickly, the itinerary leaves the road and goes on a pleasant track which rises progressively in the middle of hundred-year-old olive trees. Once you reach Mont Arpasse, you will enjoy the magnificent views that stretch from the Alps to the sea. On the way back, you will descend a magnificent mule track to your starting point. More information on this tour can be found here or here.

You prefer to walk! Of course, you can do this same hike (or another one) on foot! More info.

Don't want to do too much sport today? Then a visit to the village is the best option. Bronze arrows have been placed in the alleys at strategic points by the Tourist Office to allow you to discover Levens at your own pace and without missing anything. Don't forget to go to the Tourist Information Office of Levens beforehand to pick up the brochure which accompanies this discovery tour. More information by clicking here. While you are at the Tourist Information Office, take the opportunity to visit the Art Gallery in its premises (from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm, except Sundays and public holidays).

In Levens, there is also an open-air swimming pool, open every day from 10am to 7pm from 28 June to 28 August. Ideal for cooling off after mountain biking or walking!
And of course, Le Grand Pré, an immense green space of 13 hectares, a privileged place for picnics with friends or family, naps and to let off steam with ball games!

To satisfy your hunger, you can opt for L'Endroit, La Voûte, Le Mas Fleuri, Le Masséna or the Restaurant des Tennis.

Levens offers you something to end your stay in style! 

Our accommodation suggestions

- Pure Montagne Resort, Saint-Martin-Vésubie

- Le Moonlight Chalet, Saint-Martin-Vésubie

- La Pierre Bleue, Saint-Martin-Vésubie

- Chambre d'hôtes La Ribambelle, Saint-Martin-Vésubie

- Les Ecrins de Belvédère, Belvédère

Le Relais des Merveilles, Belvédère

Chalet Anduebis, Saint-Dalmas Valdeblore

- Gîte et chambres d'hôtes de la Ferme du Mercantour, Valdeblore

- Camping les Templiers, Roquebillière

 

Pure Montagne Resort
Moonlight Chalet
La Pierre Bleue
Lov'Nid
Le Relais des Merveilles
la Ribambelle
Chalet d'Anduebis
Gîte à la Ferme du Mercantour
Camping Les Templiers

We hope that this itinerary will give you a small glimpse of the jewels of this valley. Heritage, landscapes, fauna, flora, varied leisure activities: everything is here for a tailor-made stay, to meet your expectations. Welcome to Nice Côte d'Azur!

This itinerary is brought to you by Joelle and Marie from the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.