Abandonned villages and sunny Alp summits: Discover the beauty of the landscape of the hinterland of Nice. During your hike in the region_Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur_ you will find picturesque vllages such as Peone and Barels, the rock fomation of the Demoiselles coiffées, the small die kleine water mills of Chateauneuf, the hamlet of Villeplane, that stands at the foot of the mountain St. Honorat, an impressive summit, and last but not least, the flowers of Valberg.
Day 1: Starting point- Sauze
The hike begins next to Guillaumes in an isolated hamlet at the end of the mountain road. At 9am, here we go! The first day, you can choose between four roads. Here are 2 examples:
Model 1: For families – Through the small valley of Cante
Today, you will be amazed by the beauty of the valley of the Cante, in the southern Alps. Enjoy the diversity of the landscape, where the typical freshness of the woody northern Ubac meets the provencal heat of the southern Adret.
Duration: 4 h – Distance: 8 km / 5 mi – Ascent: 515m – Descent: 375m
Model 2: For trained walkers – Across Font-Freye
After an abrupt ascent, you are rewarded by the beauty of the mountains and the view on the multiple flowers: There you understand the true meaning of the word “Biodiversity”!
Duration: 6h 30 – Distance: 16 km / 10 mi – Ascent: 925m – Descent: 615m
Day 2: Sauze – Bouchanières
Today, you can chose between three roads. Here is an example:
Across Les Loubières:
This hike is quite copious and makes you leave Sauze northbound. Soon, you enter a dense forest and you have an unobstructed view on the Var valley. At the same time, you can gain insight on the former country life which was affected by the seasons: After the locals spent the all Winter in protected villages, they moved out in Sommer and dispersed in the surroundings. There, there were cultivated farmlands, lush meadows, barns and accommodation, in which they often brought just the mos important effects for the sommer.
Duration: 6h – Distance: 12.5 km / 8 mi – Ascent: 772m – Descent: 653m
Day 3: Bouchanières – Barels – Bouchanières
On this day, you decide to take one of the following itinerary:
-Model 1 – Barels_
During this hike, you will learn things about the valley. There are two ways leading to Barels: The one below is often impassable because of erosion. The other one, on the top, is the one you should take. Barels is a wonderful convenient place, where you can gaze at the aesthetics of the buildings that have been built with rocks from the past. In a hidden cavity, three abandoned hamlets rest: They are the treasure chest of long gone inhabitants' secrets.
Duration: 5h – Distance: 12.5 km / 8 mi (roundtrip) – Ascent: 370m – Descent: 370m
Model 2 – Le tour du Rognoi
This hike is kind of an abbreviated version of the Model 1, that you can take if the weather is bad or if you simply are tired. On a pass with a delightful panorama, you can even take a break to picnic.
Duration: 2h 30 – Distance: 5 km / 3 mi – Ascent: 314m – Descent: 314m
Day 4: Bouchanières – Peone
Today also, you can chose one of the following itinerary:
Model 1 – Across the Baisse de la Valette and the Tête de Méric 2048 m
Summiteer but also families with children that are in a good mood can hike on this road. Without any doubt this road i one of the most interesting of the all week! Despite its relativ small altitude (2048 m), the Tête de Méric stands as a stony king above the communes of Péone and Bouchanières. As if you were standing on a balcony, you have a wonderful point of view on the high valleys of the Var and the Cians.
Duration: 6h30 – Distance: 12.5 km + 2 km to the top / 7.5 mi + 1mi to the top – Ascent: 700m – Descent: 710m
Model 2 – Across the Col de Ségilière (On the tracks of the Grand Route)
This model is also an abbreviated version of the Model 1, that you can take if the weather is bad or if you simply are tired.
Duration: 3h – Distance: 7 km / 4.5 mi – Ascent: 230m – Descent: 240m
Day 5: Peone – Valberg
This small hiking day offers you three possible iitineraries. Thus you have enough time to visit the medieval village of Péone, in order to enjoy its typical regional architecture. If you climb up, you will find a lovely small church, of which the baroque style interior will impress you. You should not leave the village without having found the secrets of the walls and the roofs of Péone.
Model 1 – On the GR 52 A
The way follows the long distance hiking trail GR 52 A and crosses several times the street to the pass. The path of the ascent is in the middle of larch woods and slowly lead you to the northern side. On the laburnum brushes, grapes of yellow flowers shine in Juny.
Duration: 4h – Distance: 9.5 km / 6 mi – Ascent: 590m – Descent: 330m
Model 2 – Above Charvin
This road is the most interessant. However, it is only advisable when there will not be any surprise by the crossing of the Tuébi river, as it may be the case with floodwater after a storm or continuous rainfall.
Duration: 4h30 – Distance: 10.5 km / 6.5 mi – Ascent: 670m – Descent: 440m
Day 6: Valberg – Estenc
Today you also have the choice between two models:
Model 1 – Over the bridge of Robert
Mention: This hike is really long but is downwards most of the time. In order for you to portion your energy, we recommend that you start walking in the early morning, at 8h30 am. Thus you will have enough time to hike and especially take long breaks.
The descent lasts approximatey 3h30 to 4h, with a picnic break, that you can have in the valley bottom. There, after you have regained your strength, you can go swimming in the fresh river. But do not forget that you still have to climb for 2h30 before reaching your goal! This is why you should start hiking again at the latest at 3.30 pm. The amazing view that you will have on the red rocks of the gorges, shaped by the Var recompenses all of your efforts. Finally, you arrive on the other side of the river Var from where you can see the deserted village of Amen. You can also gaze upon a cascade.
Duration: 6h30 – Distance: 16.5 km / 10 mi – Ascent: 600m – Descent: 960m
Model 2 – To the point of view Point sublime
On this side trip you will walk on kind of a rock balcony above the gorges of Daluis and enjoy from this point of view a memorable sight on the river Var. Be careful and do not overestimate your strength: This field day is in any case already long!
Duration: 1h30 – Distance: 4.5 km / 3 mi – Extra ascent: 330m – Extra descent: 330m
Tag 7: Day-walking
You have two choices again:
Model 1 – To the Mont St. Honorat (2520 m)
This grandiose high mountain trip is ideal for persevering hikers who still want to climb summits at the end of the week. On the way, you can stop on the back of the mountain that offers an amazing view on the mountain range and summits of the Var valley. The legendary Mont St. Honorat is not just another mountain next to Villeplane, but mostly the first truly high summit in the southern Alps.
Duration: 6h30 – Distance: 12 km / 7.5 mi – Ascent: 1.200m – Descent: 1.200m
Model 2 – Circular track above the ridge at the foot of St. Honorat
This lovely hike is suitable for families with small children. On the mellow way are the holidays soon over. From the ridge, you can admire a 360°C panorama. From there you can see numerous summits and even have a view on the ways you crossed along the week. Next to the Col de Devens you can picnic in a shadowy forest. A small break with water game on the brink of the small torrent Riou will motivate you to finish the hike.
Duration: 2h30 – Distance: 6 km / 4 mi – Ascent: 300m – Descent: 300m
On request from 01 May to 30 September depending on availability
Indicated pricing per adult in double room
€689 per child between 7 to 12 years of age
Dog fee: €75
Please fill out our enquiry form indicating the number of your party and your preferred travel dates.
6 nights in select accommodations, full board (lunch picnic), roadbook and map (1:25,000), info sheet on the Var valley, additional information on your itinerary and technical instructions from a local guide upon arrival
Train or airfares to/from destination, drinks, travel cancellation insurance, dog food.
Additional nights or hiking days can be booked upon request (additional charges apply).
We recommend that you arrive in Villeplane the night before you depart on your trip. This way, you will be well-rested and ready to head out early in the morning. Additional night incl. dinner and breakfast at the donkey farm: €56 per adult and €48 per child (payable on site).
Minimum number of participants: 2 adults
Not accessible to persons with reduced mobility.
Last possibility of cancellation from the tour operator: 21 days before the beginning of the trip.
You spend 1 night in the lovely Auberge , 2 nights in private accommodations, 1 night in an hotel in Peone, 1 night in a Chambre d'hôte and 1 night in a comfortable equipped origonal Kirghiz yurt (With shower and composting toilets) or in the Auberge in twin room of family suite.
Please bring your own sleeping bags and towels.
Suitable for anyone that has already experimented mountain hiking. You can chose easy to more challenging roads.
Steepness adapted to children above 7 provided that the child enjoys walking.
It is recommended to have some sense of map reading and lower mountain hiking.
Depending on your choice, you will have 500m to 700m ascent and descent per day, which means 4h to 6h30 hike a day.
Summits where you can hike (suitable for children above 7): Tête de Méric (2048 m), Mont St. Honorat (2550 m), Mont Mounier (2817 m)
You should prepare yourself for such kind of trip. For the biggest tour, the dog should be trained and healthy but also obedient. If your dog is raised in the city, you should make him used to complex terrain. Occasionally, you will also have to put a leash on him.
It is essential that you bring its required food and equipment, as well as its European pet passport. You should also take an insurance for your dog.
We recommend to come by night with the eco-friendly train from Paris to Nice (9.43 pm- 7.50am). You can then take the bus to Guillaumes at the Nice bus station (Nice-Gare routière) that will cost you 1 euro pro person!
You can also take the plane to Nice. There is a shuttle from the Nice airport to the train station. But keep in mind that air transportation is very polluting! You can compensate for your CO2 emissions through our partner Atmosfair, a remarkable organisation financing development programmes with carbon emission compensation fees!
You can find more information on our detailed info sheet, that we send you gladly on enquiry!