Call us: +44(0)1453 844400Email us: info@mountainkingdoms.com

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • An experienced English-speaking French guide
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (if booking our (flight inclusive option). If you are travelling land only, check with our office for transfer times at the airport.
  • Single timed group transfers to/from Turin airport at the start and end of the holiday
  • Accommodation in a good quality hotel on a twin share, full board basis
  • All breakfasts, evening meals and picnic lunches
  • Carbon offset flights (flight inclusive only)
  • The option to attend one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdom's micro fleece

Clarée Valley - Undiscovered Alps

Walking & Trekking

France | Walking & Trekking

New for 2018
Clarée Valley - Undiscovered Alps
Vigorous

Suitable for enthusiastic hill/mountain walkers.

Find out more...

Grade: Vigorous ? Vigorous
Duration:  8 days from the UK  
Walks on: 6 days

Flight inclusive from £1,600,
Land only from £1,330

Book now or call 01453 844400

Explore wild mountains, alpine meadows and glacial lakes on this week-long walking holiday based in a tranquil French valley.

Highlights

  • Explore stunning Alpine mountain scenery on satisfying, high level daily walks
  • Discover the diverse wildlife of this protected area of the Alps,
  • Immerse yourself in the peace and tranquility of the Clarée valley with its ancient cultural heritage, distinctive local architecture and lack of modern-day development.
  • Stay in a traditional, family run hotel where you will enjoy a warm welcome, delicious regional dishes and comfy rooms.

Reviews          

This was such a wonderful trip and a very special place! The Clarée Valley has got to be one of the most beautiful areas I have been to. It is hiking and photography heaven. Antoine is a brilliant guide, very friendly and a fountain of knowledge. I would love to go back!
Megan McQuilton, Mountain Kingdoms

Hiking in the Clarée Valley was one of the best holidays I has ever had. Constantly surrounded by beautiful flowers and wildlife and rewarded by spectacular views and lakes. Our guide Antoine was fantastic and was able to answer all manner of questions about the area and flora and fauna. I would definitely go back and can’t recommend it enough.
Miss L Eveleigh, Gloucestershire

View All

The beautiful Valley is situated in France near the Italian border; a hidden Alpine gem that has remained remarkably unspoiled. With an abundance of wildflowers, variety of wildlife, traditional Névache architecture and a network of mountain trails, the protected Clarée Valley is a hiker’s paradise.

On this excellent new walking holiday you will discover the full splendour of the Clarée Valley through a comprehensive programme of well-paced day walks in the company of a knowledgeable and highly experienced local guide who will readily identify the many different flowers, animals and birds you encounter. You will explore the varied landscapes, immerse yourself in the spectacular scenery and see several well-known peaks such as the Black Needle, the Hand, Mont Thabor and Point des Cerces.

Visit in summer to see the Clarée Valley carpeted by a dazzling kaleidoscope of wildflowers alongside glittering, blue glacial lakes. Whilst in the autumn months, the larch trees change to a gorgeous bright yellow, the mountain lakes freeze and, although rare, you may even enjoy a sprinkling of snow.

Throughout, your holiday you will stay at the welcoming family-run L’Echaillon hotel in Névache where you will find a well-equipped spa, comfortable accommodation and superb food with a daily menu of delicious local dishes; in fact everything you need to relax and replenish after a good day out on the trail.


At a glance

Grade: Vigorous
Vigorous

Duration:  8 days from the UK  
Walks on: 6 days

Max. Altitude: 2,753m/9,032ft, Gardiole Peak, Day 6

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Turin

Accommodation types: Hotel

Meal arrangements: All breakfasts, picnic lunches and evening meals are included.

Itinerary overview
DayActivity
1
Fly London to Turin. Single group transfer across the border to hotel at Névache.
2
Walk the Muandes Valley and lakes.
3
Hike the Chardonnet Valley to Col du Chardonnet.
4
Gardioles Valley and lakes walk
5
Walk along the Clarée river to Névache. Explore Névache and continue to Les Combes.
6
Hike around the Oule and Cristol valleys. Optional climb of Gardiole Peak.
7
Trek the Cerces Valley to Col des Cerces.
8
Group transfer to Turin airport for flight back to London.
Leader: Local leader, Claree Valley
Local leader, Claree Valley

You will be met on arrival at Turin airport by your French guide, Antoine Allier. Antoine is a fully qualified mountain guide and has been guiding walking groups for over 18 years across France, Spain and Scotland. He lives in Névache with his family throughout the year and is very passionate about exploring the mountains. He is extremely knowledgeable about local history, mountain flora and the wildlife of the valley.


  1. Day 1 - Fly London To Turin

    You will be met at Turin airport by your guide and transferred in a private minibus to your hotel across the border in the south-eastern part of France. This will be a group transfer and takes approximately 2 hours; if you are booking your own flights please contact us to confirm arrangements.

    Once you have passed the French-Italian border you will enter the Névache district and start zigzagging your way down to the base of the valley, passing through short mountain tunnels and getting your first tantalising glimpse of what the week has in store. The Clarée Valley is a glacial valley in the French Alps situated at 1,600m above sea level and entering it is rather like stepping back in time. Indeed, as you drive into the valley you may even find yourself delayed by the local shepherd and his herd of sheep, goats and donkeys.

    Overnight iconOvernight: L’Echaillon Hotel, Névache
  2. Day 2 - Muandes Valley and lakes walk, 2,580m/8,465ft – 700m/2,297ft ascent, 5-6 hours.

    The day begins with a picturesque 20 minute transfer to the end of the valley travelling through several small hamlets that make up the Clarée Valley.

    Your walk starts on a wide gentle track, passing by the Cerces mountain range and La Main de Crepin (the Hand) before starting to climb up the Muandes valley. The ascent is fairly steep to start with and the trail passes fresh water rivers, green-winded orchids and fluorescent lichen covered boulders. Looking back down you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Clarée Valley beneath you. After an hour and a half of steady climbing you will arrive at the first lake of the Muandes series - Lac Long.

    After a short break to enjoy the glorious view and have a small snack, you will continue up to the next lake. A brief section of the trail requires you to scramble over rocks in order to reach Lac Rond where you may start to see glacier buttercups and patches of snow.

    A further hour will take you up to the Lac des Muandes, 2,580m, where you will take a well-earned rest and enjoy your packed lunch. Here the guide will discuss the option to hike a little further up the valley to Lacs de Madeleine, 2,629m, and, together with your group, you will either continue up or start hiking back down on a slightly different trail.

    Overnight iconOvernight: L’Echaillon Hotel, Névache
  3. Day 3 - Trek the Chardonnet valley up to Col du Chardonnet, 2,638m/8,655ft – 900m/2,953ft ascent, 5-6 hours.

    Today's walk is in ibex territory and offers fantastic post-glacial scenery leading to a stunning viewpoint at the Col du Chardonnet. Following a short transfer to the Chardonnet Valley trailhead the path climbs up through pine woodland, bringing you out onto a wild flower meadow with a beautiful view of the Clarée Valley. You will pass by traditional log cabins, frothy waterfalls, the Chardonnet mountain refuge and simple shepherd huts on your way up the valley. The guide will share some fascinating information about the glacier and how it has shaped this valley during your ascent to the Col du Chardonnet. Keep your eyes peeled, and ears open for the infamous 'whistling' marmots!

    After walking for two and a half hours you will reach the Col du Chardonnet. Here you will stop for lunch giving you ample time to take in the exceptional panoramic view of the Roche Robert, Roche Colombe peaks and beyond. Once everyone is well rested, the guide may suggest exploring the col and show you remnants left over from old mine works before heading back down on an alternative path.

    Overnight iconOvernight: L’Echaillon Hotel, Névache
  4. Day 4 - Gardioles Valley and lakes walk, 2,700m/8,858ft – 700m/2,297ft ascent, 5-6 hours.

    Today you will discover the stunning Gardioles Valley and its many lakes; a really classic walk! The day begins with a short transfer to the trailhead before starting your climb up an old rocky trail surrounded by conifer trees and hundreds of wild flowers during the summertime.

    You will see mountain dwellings, ruins and the Ricou refuge on your way up to Lac Laramon - the first lake in the valley. It will take around an hour and a half to get to Lac Laramon and a further 30 minutes of ascent to reach Lac Serpent; a beautiful little green lake with incredible views across the Ecrins range. The final cluster of tiny lakes, known as the Les Gardioles take you high up into the mountains where you can fully appreciate the awe inspiring views. You will then make your way back down the valley with the option of stopping at the refuge for tea and cake - so remember to take some cash with you.

    Overnight iconOvernight: L’Echaillon Hotel, Névache
  5. Day 5 - Walk along the Clarée river to Névache and up to Les Combes, 1,928m/6,325ft - 5-6 hours.

    After breakfast, and a short 10 minute transfer, you will set off from the Laval refuge situated within the Clarée valley itself. This location was where the locals would once bring their cattle to be milked so that the produce could then be processed and shared amongst the community of the valley. You will follow the path along the Clarée river, a trail which has been trodden by the local people for hundreds of years. The route takes you past waterfalls, traditional homes and ancient pastures, and, depending on the time of year, you may see an abundance of currant bushes, butterflies and beetles. The trail brings you into the village of Névache where you have time to explore and enjoy your picnic lunch before beginning the afternoon walk up to Les Combes.

    From the village you follow the path known as the small balcony, rising above the village and across the terraces below the Grand Chalanche to Les Combes. Finally, you make your way down to arrive back at your hotel.

    Overnight iconOvernight: L’Echaillon Hotel, Névache
  6. Day 6 - Trek around the Oule and Cristol Valleys – 900m/2,953ft ascent, 5-6 hours. Optional climb of Gardiole Peak, 2,753m/9,032ft - 2 hours.

    Fortville bridge is the starting point for today's walk, just a short transfer from your hotel. From the bridge you climb up across terraces and through a larch forest which turns a brilliant shade of yellow in the autumn. Initially the climb is steep as the path rises over the main valley shoulder to reach the suspended Cristol Valley, where sparkling lakes and flowers await.

    Once you are at the entrance of the valley (around 2,100m/6,890ft), the path becomes gentler and the forest slowly disappears to make way for alpine meadows where Cristol Lake is settled. You continue your climb up above the lake on a trail that eventually brings you to the Oule Valley and lakes. Oule Lake is easy to spot with its distinctive heart-shape. After enjoying lunch you will make your way down the Oule valley and back to Névache.

    Overnight iconOvernight: L’Echaillon Hotel, Névache
  7. Day 7 - Walk the Cerces Valley to Col des Cerces, 2,574m/8,444ft -700m/2,297ft ascent, 5-6 hours.

    Once again, it is only a short transfer to the end of the valley road from where you will start your walk into the Cerces valley, climbing up to the three lakes that are the source of the Clarée river. On the way you will have superb views of the surrounding mountain ranges and Black Needle, walk pass the Drayeres refuge and an old military outpost carved into the mountain face, and enjoy the vibrant pink rhododendrons and great yellow gentians that carpet the trail in the spring and summer months.
    Your climb continues up to the Col des Cerces, 2,574m/8,444ft, and down to another lake - Lac des Cerces - which is a great place to stop for lunch and look for Ibek that are often seen in this area. Well rested, you head back down the mountain to the Drayeres refuge for a drink and snack if you fancy.

    Overnight iconOvernight: L’Echaillon Hotel, Névache
  8. Day 8 - Transfer to Turin airport. Fly to London.

    After breakfast there will be a group transfer back to Turin airport for your flight to London.


2018

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Sun 10 Jun - Sun 17 Jun 2018Available£1330 Book£1600 Book
Sun 21 Oct - Sun 28 Oct 2018Available£1330 BookContact us

Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

 
Optional supplements
  • Single Room Supplement
    From £200
Insurance
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • An experienced English-speaking French guide
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (if booking our (flight inclusive option). If you are travelling land only, check with our office for transfer times at the airport.
  • Single timed group transfers to/from Turin airport at the start and end of the holiday
  • Accommodation in a good quality hotel on a twin share, full board basis
  • All breakfasts, evening meals and picnic lunches
  • Carbon offset flights (flight inclusive only)
  • The option to attend one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdom's micro fleece

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Bar bills
  • Tips


Review your holiday

Reviews

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 1 reviews)

Clarée Valley Walking Holiday          

This was such a wonderful trip and a very special place! The Clarée Valley has got to be one of the most beautiful areas I have been to. It is hiking and photography heaven. Antoine is a brilliant guide, very friendly and a fountain of knowledge. I would love to go back!


Extend your holiday

There are many ways you can extend your holiday with Mountain Kingdoms: book extra hotel nights, relax at a beautiful beach resort, take a warm-up trek, arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as rafting, birdwatching or a safari.

We're happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 or email info@mountainkingdoms.com and we will be pleased to help.

Back to top link