Family Walking Tour

with a donkey in the French Alps

What we do

From Inn to Inn

one week all included

What we do

special family

Mercantour national Park

What we do

wild landscapes

responsible tourism

What we do

Family walking with a donkey in the French Alps

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Girl with Donkey

Setting off from Villeplane village, 100 kms north of Nice, with just a donkey to carry your bags, is a fantastic family odyssey. Because this is a week of walking with, literally, no baggage. Just time to stroll and chat as a family, tuck into delicious picnics overlooking an Alpine valley or snowy peak. Luggage transportation by your own personal donkey. From gîte to gîte is a family favourite and one of the most freeing ways to discover the Mercantour national park. The traditional way, to carry your bags from gîte to gîte is a top way to meander through the Mercantour.There are 100km of waymarked ways with a vast choice of routes.

Holidays in the Mercantour

a donkey and his family resting together
Donkey and his family

Prices for 2019 : 7 days/6 nights

Adult (option family rooms) 660 € Children aged 6 – 12 : 560 €

Included in the price :   Not included in the price, for those who do not come by car:
  • The advice of a local guide who will welcome you in English: On the morning of your arrival, we will assess the various possibilities together, taking into consideration the weather forecast and your physical abilities.
  • Full board accommodation : At guest houses,1 in an hotel or in a mongol yurt and 2 nights in a mountain refuge. Each lodging is comfortable and clean, and will provide your breakfast, picnic lunch and a well-deserved dinner. The rooms consist of family rooms of 4-5, and showers are available throughout.
  • Transportation of luggage: Your own personal donkey to carry your bags.
  • A road book; an IGN map of the paths (25/000); a leafy booklet on the valley, its fauna and flora, and a leaflet published by the Mercantour National Park.
  • The transfer from Estenc-Villeplane at the end of your trek.
  • The air fare
  • The return fare from the airport up to the mountains.
    either by bus Nice-Guillaumes (once daily: 3€ per person return journey.)
    or by the small mountain train Nice-Entrevaux (4/5 times daily: 25€ per person return journey)
  • The transfer from and to the train/bus station at the beginning and end of your journey.
    either Guillaumes: 45 € per group return journey
    or Entrevaux: 85 €/per group return journey.
  • Drinks and personal expenditures


Walk in the Mercantour national Park
Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Villeplane - Villeplane
  Day 2: Villeplane : St Martin d'Entraunes:

Welcome at 8.30 at the farm of Villeplane. Our local guide will assess the various possibilities together, taking into consideration the weather forecast, your physical abilities and how to take care of your donkey.We offer a lovely, relaxing half-day hike, far from everything. The top of the Collet peak offers a 360 degree vista of all the peaks of the valley. A shaded picnic amongst the larch trees and a pit-stop along a mountain stream, which allows for some fun splashing around. Night at the ecolodge of Villeplane.



 This fairly long hike borrows an ancestral path connecting villages between them. It will impregnate you with the wilderness charm of our mountains and their 2500 meter sommets cutting through the blue of the sky, punctuated by small hamlets perched with their walls made of dry stones, shaded forests and amusing halts in the pools of refreshing torrents. To benefit from it fully, it's best to leave before 9:00. You will immediately be plunged in the environment of the northern side of medium sized mountains, surrouned by black pines and other typical moutain tree species.


Day 3: St Martin d'Entraunes-Val-Pelens
  Day 4: By the col des champs ( 2045 m )

A short, peaceful connecting link to your next destination which will allow you  to 'tantalise' the high mountain altitude at your own rhythm. You can then continue with the Extra option below, or, if the children are tired, you could split into two groups, one staying at the auberge and the other climbing the beautiful, mineral summit.
This way with its  evocative name, recalls the time (not so distant than that) when the public service  had to provide good pair of shoes to ensure mail delivery ...


  A remarkable trek towards the vast alpine landscapes of the mountain pass of Champs, meeting marmots along your way and what is more, an open panorama over the hautes vallées. You will be stunned by the power of the dense, vertical waterfalls awaiting you towards the end of your day.
Day 5: Entraunes-Estenc   Day 6: Estenc- Refuge  de la Cayolle
Walking up through the village, you will follow a pretty path along the bed of the impressive Var river, between towering cliffs, and across the footbridges over the torrents of Garréton, Aiglière and the Var, with their impressive vertical falls!   An ascent which progresses in altitude up a beautiful path through a centennial larch tree forest to the timberline (edge of inhospitable climate), where you emerge to find high mountain pastures and the charming mountain range of Sanguinière with its wild scenery, typical of the contrast and diverse southern Alps.
Day 7: col de la Cayolle- Estenc (2676 m )

Your weeks trek rounds off in a climax with an enchanted tour around the glacial lakes of Allos, Garrets and la petite Cayolle. You will lose yourself on this journey through nature, where the blue sky is reflected in the clear waters of the lakes and the endemic flora strewn with alpine pastures: Alonie bluebell, wooly Berardie, Koch gentians, acaulescent catchflies, vanilla orchids, pansies ...In this geological battleground, where the emerging Alps have pushed back the sea, stone glacials and high altitude waters bring your journey to an end amidst the glittering blue expanse of the lake of Allos. 


If you are looking for an adventure for your last two days, you have the option here of leaving your donkey with your hosts and setting off hands free! (your luggage will be transported by car to your destinations). Typically alpine, deep into the Mercantour park, this itinerary combines all the attractive elements of a high mountain environment: Panoramic mountain passes, barren ravines, gnarled larch and prancing chamois.



Donkey and girl in France


Contact Get in touch with us

Itinérance -trekking

Itinérance -trekking
Hameau de Villeplane
F. 06470 Guillaumes
tél:0033 ( 0 )4 93 05 56 01