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Clarée Valley - Undiscovered Alps
In May 2017, former Mountain Kingdoms’ Office Assistant, Megan, travelled to the Clarée Valley to experience first-hand the stunning mountain scenery in this hidden gem of the French Alps. Megan’s trip began with a flight from London to Turin, Italy and then a group transfer across the French-Italian border to the Clarée Valley.As the video shows, Megan was based at the welcoming and picturesque L’Echallion hotel in Névache, which comes complete with everything needed to relax after days spent out on the trail walking and exploring.
The Clarée Valley boasts many highlights, including a wonderful variety of wildflowers, pretty waterfalls, glacial lakes, an assortment of walking and hiking trails and impressive alpine scenery, including rock formations known as the Black Needle, the Hand, Mont Thabor and Point des Cerces.She walked every day during her trip, with the opportunity to explore a different valley on each hike.A typical day started with a buffet style breakfast before heading out into the French Alps with an experienced guide. Each day Megan explored a different valley branching off the Clarée Valley with the walks typically taking around 5 to 6 hours. As Megan explains, many of the days involve uphill walking so the trip is graded as vigorous, however, there is plenty of time to stop on the trail and enjoy the spectacular views.
There is also a day spent doing a more gentle, ‘cultural’ walk that follows the Clarée River into the nearby town of Névache where there are many interesting churches, traditional houses and tempting bakeries and cafés to discover.
Another highlight of Megan’s trip was the abundance of wildflowers combined with the area’s diverse and unusual wildlife. Each day she had the opportunity to see many different types of animals and insects, including butterflies, beetles, marmots and ibex, and there were even donkeys in the local area that really loved having a good stroke from passing trekkers.
As her trip was towards the end of spring, Megan was lucky enough to see the mountains, meadows and valleys carpeted with a medley of beautiful, colourful wildflowers complimenting the glistening azure lakes they surrounded. However, if she’d visited during the autumn months, she would instead have seen the larch trees transformed with a gorgeous display of bright yellow autumn leaves. At this time of year there are also frozen mountain lakes and, although unusual, there may even be a light dusting of snow on the ground.
Reflecting on her trip to this little known region of the French Alps, Megan described the Clarée Valley as ‘one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to… I would love to go back.’
If you would like to experience this stunning part of the world for yourself, find out more about our Clarée Valley – Undiscovered Alps walking holiday, or call the office to discuss your travel plans.