What would you say to a snowshoe hike in the rich wildlife of the Mercantour? You will consider yourself privileged with the snow-covered mountains, the Azurean sunshine and panoramic views at an altitude of over 2000 metres…
Young or old, anyone can learn how to use snowshoes. So we are going to reveal our favourite snowshoe hikes that you can do alone or as a family!
1/ The snowshoe hike to the Col de la Lombarde in Isola 2000 (3km /1 hour)
Separating the French border from the Italian border, the Col de la Lombarde is the sixth highest mountain pass in France. In Summer it is a favourite spot for cyclists but when snow-covered in winter it becomes the ideal location for cross-country ski-ing and snowshoe hikes! This hike starts at the ski village in the Isola 2000 resort. There are waymarkers along the route to help you find your way. Once at the summit you will have a panoramic view towards Italy on one side and towards France on the other.
2/ The snowshoe trails in Valberg
Around 1h15 from the Mediterranean coast and at 1700m altitude, Valberg offers a range of ski-ing and other activities. An ideal way of discovering all aspects of the village and its surroundings, you will choose among 36 snowshoe hikes across almost 43km of way-marked trails, open to both athletes and novices alike!
More information: http://www.valberg.com/raquettes-a-neige.html
3/ A circuit along la vallée de la Gordolasque
From the le Countet car park in la vallée de la Gordolasque, we propose a gentle 2-3 hour hike along the Gordolasque river. Along the way you will see mountain goats, as well as stretches of fresh snow. The calm peacefulness of the mountain landscapes will take your breath away.
Route: From Nice take the RM 6202 up the vallée du Var until you reach Plan-du-Var. Upon leaving the village take a right towards la vallée de la Vésubie (RM 2565) until you reach Belvedère (you might want to stop off in this magnificent medieval village which is typical of the South of France). From Belvédère, head towards la vallée de la Gordolasque until the end of the road.
We recommend the Relais des Merveilles should you wish to eat or stay over.
4/ The circuit of the Forêt du Boréon in la vallée de la Vésubie
Upon leaving the information centre in Boréon, take the access track to the Alfa park (Mercantour’s mythical wolf park you should check out later). Then, enter the undergrowth to begin your hike (waymarked track). Along this walk you will be submerged in a natural setting reminiscent of the northern hemisphere, with fresh snow crunching under your feet, pine trees, chalets and cow sheds with their wide roofs.
Getting there by car: From Nice take the RM 6202 up the vallée du Var until you reach Plan-du-Var. Upon leaving the village take a right towards la vallée de la Vésubie (RM 2565) until you reach St-Martin-Vésubie. Continue until you reach the lac du Boréon via the RM 89 and park in the car park of the information centre.
5) Hiking in Saint-Dalmas-le-Selvage – Col d’Anelle
The estate of Saint Dalmas le Sevrage offers more than 50km of trails for your snowshoeing trips! Go in search of the Col d’Anelle! For this hike, count at least 3h30 – 4h of walking, on a path of about 6km
For hikes we recommend the following:
- Insulated hiking boots;
- Hiking poles;
- Medium-sized rucksack;
- Winter clothes including gloves, hat and a spare pair of goggles;
- Hot drinks and high-energy snacks.
- Avalanche transceiver
- Check the weather
Read also > Sea or Mountain? Choose both!