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Join a Guided Hike of Grande Traversée du Mercantour

Walking Long Distance in France

The impressive network of GRs (Grandes Randonnées) in France is no secret to keen hikers. Here, in the Alpes-Maritimes (Département 06), walkers from all over the world tackle the long distance trails including GR 5/52/52A among other routes. Here, is a listing of some of the trails (in French).

Grande Traversée du Mercantour spacebetween_walkingholidays_Mercantour

The Mercantour National Park remains relatively unknown to many visitors, despite its proximity to the French Riviera and top-10 ranking by Lonely Planet. The bonus of this Park, aside from stunning beauty, wide open spaces and few crowds is that it straddles the French/Italian border as the Parco Alpi Marittime, creating a huge, tranquil adventure playground.

Grande Traversée du Mercantour

Recently, a new long-distance walk was created – the Grande Traversée du Mercantour. Take a look at the video:

Its a mammoth two-week walk over 220 kilometres, with more than 12,000 metres of ascent, from high up in the Mercantour, right down to the Mediterranean Sea in Menton. Eight gallant trailblazers were the first to take on the trek in July 2016.

The trail encompasses some of the best of the scenery in both France and Italy, plus ensuring decent chunks of safe walking days with a good “billet” at the end of the day is a challenge in itself. So much to see and enjoy!

Starting out high:

Grande Traversée du Mercantour

Chilling on the peaks:

Grande Traversée du Mercantour Break time

Moving toward a gentler country:

Grande Traversée du Mercantour Views

Before hitting the Vésubie valley and south where the journey may continue on horseback with our partners (and four-legged friends) at Horse and Ventures.

Grande Traversée du Mercantour Horses

The trip is amazing, regardless of how many feet you travel on. The stunning terrain dips, through pine forest, then oak, and eventually garrigue, toward the Riviera backcountry, Sospel (photo below) and the coast.

Grande Traversée du Mercantour Cime Argentera

Let us Guide Your Walk

What a great opportunity!  At Spacebetween we offer self-catering accommodation, walking and activity holidays. Based in the Mercantour for 15 years, we were surprised by the initial interest and inquiries for the Grande Traversée du Mercantour adventure and decided to launch our take on this epic walk.

We are working out the final details for tours in July and September 2019. Please get in touch if you are interested in being added to the mailing list. Here, is our e-mail:  contact@space-between.co.uk
Tel UK : +44 (0)870 2430667
Tel FR : +33 (0)4 9303 4857
Mobile FR : +33 (0)6 2689 5683 or +33 (0)6 4594 4811

A two-week trekking circuit of Gran Paradiso in northwest Italy is also one of our long-distance offerings. Rather like the famous “Tour du Mont Blanc” walk without the crowds.

Grande Traversée du Mercantour Record Finish

Before getting too overwhelmed by the thought of completing the walk in two weeks, raise your hat to Stéphane Brogniart, who has just completed the trail in 47 hours and 31 minutes – breaking the record! Supported all the way – of course, he will never forget the challenge, finding the lovely, but boulder-rich Vallée des Merveilles (Valley of the Marvels) section, one of the most tricky days. He certainly deserved his dip in the Mediterranean at the end of his athletic ordeal.

Grande Traversée du Mercantour Near Menton

Other long-distance walks in Europe

Grande Randonnée trails, in France, are always marked with a white and red paint flash.

Grande Randonnée (5) Stretches from Bergen op Zoom through Chamonix to end in Nice.

Grande Randonnée (5A) Walk from Menton past Madone de Fenestre to Vallon de Zouayne.

Cro Magnon (115km trail)

Via Alpina  – discover the Alps on foot with 342 stages that pass through eight (8) countries and cover 5000km.


Photo credits: Spacebetween and Département des Alpes-Maritimes (video)

Département des Alpes-Maritimes

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Liz Lord

Liz Lord

Liz Lord and her husband Mel Jones have been living in the Mercantour National Park for the past 12 years.

Most people would already be saying “where?”, but in fact the Mercantour remains a delightfully unknown area straddling the Franco-Italian border, in the Alpes-Maritimes. Liz and Mel live just an hour North of Nice – so can enjoy the best of best worlds, their life concentrated in their home in Berthemont les Bains, yet being able to enjoy the hubbub on the coast when the need for culture arises.

Choosing to decamp from the UK (and their “normal” corporate lives!) after a chance encounter with their current home in 2001, they now earn their living by renting out their two gites, and offering walking and adventure holidays at Space Between.

With experience of an ex-pat life, setting up a small business in France, house renovation, and land and horse management!, with a keen interest in food and wine and travel, Liz has much to contribute for those interested in a new life in France or with a zest to dip their toe in the water on holiday.

4 Comments

  1. liz lord
    October 17, 2018 at 1:16 am — Reply

    http://www.space-between.co.uk/mercantour-national-park-trekking-traverse.php – thanks for your interest in this great trek – here are current plans for 2019

    • CKAdmin
      October 17, 2018 at 3:55 pm — Reply

      Thanks, Liz this guided hike sounds like an amazing experience, through stunning countryside.

  2. liz lord
    October 24, 2018 at 2:31 am — Reply

    For anyone interested in the holiday for 2019 – please note that the september date is now sold out – 4 places available for end July!

    • CKAdmin
      October 24, 2018 at 5:42 am — Reply

      Great news at Space-Between to hear that your September guided walking holiday through the Traversée du Mercantour is sold out. July would be a lovely time to hike in that area as well. #WalkingHolidays

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