Join us on this adventurous guided or self-guided tour in Southern France! Combining beautiful hikes and mystical train rides, this 8 day culture trip will allow you to explore unspoiled and widely unknown landscapes just off the famous French Riviera. The historic “Train des Pignes”, one of France's last narrow-gauge railway lines, will take you through lush green valleys and wild canyons, passing sleepy villages, sheep shelters and tall mountains. Experience Provence from a truly unique perspective!
Please note: from September 10, 2018 onwards, until spring (end of February 2019) transfers of people are carried out by a bus because of maintenance works
Day 1: Arrival at Puget-Théniers
From Nice, you drive with the Train des Pignes to Puget-Théniers. You can also drive with your own car directly to Puget-Théniers, and move into your new accommodation.
From the middle of May until the middle of October, you can take the historic train on Sunday mornings from Puget-Théniers to Villar-sur-Var or Annot. If you are interested, feel free to let us know, we will book tickets for you.
Day 2: Entrevaux – Puget-Théniers
Starting from Puget-Théniers, you will board the Train des Pignes early in the morning to reach Entrevaux. The hike begins with the climb to the Entrevaux citadel, perched atop the little village. A “balcony path” looking over the Var valley leads to the abandoned hamlet of Les Lacs. You then proceed to the crest of Aurafort (1,050 m/3,445 ft). A very beautiful path winds between cliffs down to Puget-Théniers and its olive groves.
Duration: 5h – Ascent: 650 m / 2,132 ft – Descent: 750 m / 2,460 ft
Day 3: Puget-Théniers – Guillaumes – Annot
The day begins with a minibus transfer from Puget-Théniers to Léouvé. The hike starts in the Roudoule valley, is followed by the crossing of the Col de Roua (1,284 m/4,212 ft) which makes you discover the amazing landscapes of the red lands of Le Barrot and the gorges of Daluis. The hike ends in Guillaumes. From there, you can take a taxi through the gorges of Daluis to Annot , where you will spend this night and the next one.
Duration: 5h 30 – Ascent: 350 m / 1,148 ft – Descent: 600 m / 1,968 ft
Day 4: Méailles – Annot
In the morning, you will be transfered via the Train des Pignes to the Méailles train station. You will then walk up to the village Méailles, from where a path slopes up and into the sandstone mountains of Annot before reaching the pass of Argenton (1,468 m/4,816 ft). If you want to, you can there take a 2-hours round walk to the hamlet of Argenton. The walk continues down through splendid and wild landscapes back to Annot.
Duration: 5h (or 7h if you hike to Argenton) – Ascent: 600 m / 1,968 ft – Descent: 750 m / 2,460 ft
Day 5: Annot – Peyresq – Verdon Valley
The Train des Pignes brings you today from Annot to _ Peyresq_. The hike leads you to the climb of the lovely village, followed by a walk across pastures and forests to the hamlet of La Colle St Michel and finally a descent in the Verdon valley. You spend the night in Thorame.
Duration: 5h – Ascent: 600 m / 1,968 ft
Day 6: Moriez – St-André-les-Alpes
After the discovery of the very wild mountainous Aup _ridge, the _Train des Pignes drives you from Thorame to Moriez.
Then you climb through very wild terrain up the Grau de Courchons (1,543 m/5,062 ft.) to the abandoned village of Courchons (1,350 m/4,429 ft). Then the walk goes down across pine forests to St André-les-Alpes, where you new accommodation awaits you.
Duration: 6h – Ascent: 800 m / 2,624 ft – Descent: 820 m / 2,690 ft
Day 7: Barrême – Le Poil – Chabrières
The transfer today with the Train des Pignes ends in Barrême. From there, a taxi will drive you to Planet. The hike brings you to St Maime farm over a pass (1,350m/4,429 ft) and by the ruins of the villages Poil and Creisset. You spend the night in Chabrières.
Duration: 6h – Ascent: 700 m / 2,296 ft – Descent: 750 m / 2,460 ft
Day 8: Chabrières – prolongation to Digne possible
After breakfast : end of your walking tour.
Prolongation to Digne is also possible .
From Chabrières you will walk up to the Pas de l’Âne (Donkey' foot), follow the the path to the Entrages hamlet before ending the hike with a walk straight down to Digne-les-Bains.
Duration: 6h – Ascent: 700 m / 2,296 ft – Descent: 700 m / 2,296 ft
In Digne-les-Bains, you can spend an extra night in a 2 star hotel. The day after, you have the possibility to go for a small hike on the roman street from the train station of Mezel in the direction of Le Chauffaut-Saint-Jurson (Approx. 3 hours hike). You can also drive directly to Entrevaux or Nice in the morning.
From the 1st of April until the 15th of November 2018.
Quotation indicated for one person by 2 participants in double room occupancy for 8 days and 7 overstays
€849,-/person for 7 days/6 overnights.
€1.035,-/person for 9 days/8 overnights.
The historic steam train between Puget-Théniers and Villar-sur-Var or Annot is operated from the middle of May until the middle of October.
Our hiking programm begins in Puget-Théniers and ends in Chabriéres.
Your organise the arrival and return by yourself and extend your trip on your option.
With your enquiry, please let us know the number of your party and the dates of your holiday.
7 nights in double bedroom, half board except in Digne-les-Bains, carrying of the luggage, transfers according to the programm from and to Puget-Théniers (Train des Pignes or Taxi),visitor taxes, detailed description of the tour, topographic maps in scale 1:25.000 and detailed indications about the cultural sightseeings ( in English).
Travel toPuget-Théniers & from Chabrières, picnics, drinks, dinner at Digne les Bains, insurance in case of cancellation
Picnic packet for 110,- €/person (8 days/7 overnight stays)
Picnic packet for 120,- €/person (9 days/8 overnight stays)
Picnic packet for 99,- €/person (7 days/6 overnight stays)
Minimum 2 participants
Not accessible to persons with reduced mobility.
Last possibility of cancellation from the tour operator: 21 days before the beginning of the trip
Double bedrooms with private bathrooms in comfortable 2-star and 3-star Hotels with regional specialities.
Not suitable for beginners!
Accessible to anyone with previous experience of hiking in the mountains, also for teenagers above 15.
Average duration of the hike: 5 to 6 hours a day on pastures and marked paths in Alpine highlands with an average difference in altitude of 650m/2,132 ft a day.
Maximal altitude: 1,600 m/5,250 ft
Average altitude of the accommodations: 800 m/2,624 ft
Special difficulties: The heat in Summer
The only stage where you should be free from giddiness is the path from Méailles to Annot on the 4th day. You can avoid this stage at any rate.
The most important thing is for you to have good sens of orientation, as the paths you follow are not well indicated.
You will be given additional description of the itinerary as well as maps, advices and an emergency telephone number.
Luggage: You carry only your picnic lunch and your most important belongings (camera, wallet…)
Please, bring one flashlight per person and check that your telephone will work in France.
Train des Pignes
4 times a day, the Train des Pignes (Pine cone train) connects Nice on the French Riviera to the health resort of Dignes-les-Bains in the Alps. A tour with a narrow-gauge railway is a wonderful experience and enables you to discover the amazing landscapes of the Haute-Provence.
The historic steam train
Are you fond of steam trains? This historical steam train is operated thanks to a private initiative on Sundays and sometimes Saturdays from the middle of May until the middle of October between Puget-Théniers and Annot. The beginning is always in the morning at approx. 10 am at the train station of Puget-Théniers. If you are interested, we can book the train tickets for you, or you can book an extra night in a 2 stars hotels with half board in Puget-Théniers including the tour with the historical steam train.
We recommend you an eco-friendly journey with the night train to Nice.
You can find more information on our detailed info sheet that we send you gladly on enquiry!