Utelle village and southern French Mediterranean Alps day hike

Join UIMLA-certified mountain guide Fabrice on a hiking day trip in the scenic Mercantour National Park, in the French Cote d’Azur. Fabrice will prepare a tailored program based on your background and preferences.




Trip Duration

1 day

Mountain Range


People per Guide

12 people

Trip Level


Offer Period

May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

Type of Trip

Not specified



    If you are a nature and history enthusiast, and you are staying in Nice, Cannes, Monte Carlo or any other city in the French Riviera (also known as Côte d’Azur), don’t miss this fascinating hiking outing!

    Mercantour National Park (685 km²) is a large mountain area comprising 7 valleys, located in the French Riviera region, in the southern Maritime Alps (3,297m). It is the area where the southern French Alps meet the Mediterranean Sea, offering a great variety of landscapes, including rugged mountains, alpine lakes, fir forests, olive groves, and fig trees.

    The hike will begin and end at the medieval village of Utelle (2,080m), perched on a hill above the beautiful Vésubie Valley, only an hour away (64km) from Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport. Built as a fortress from non-Roman Saracen raiders who invaded the area during the late Middle Ages, Utelle is one of the 16 villages included by the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur commune in the famous “Perched Villages’ Route”.

    The loop trail will take us from Utelle’s old stone streets up into the mountains. We will hike along Mediterranean terraces full of trees and flowering plants, with stunning views to far away 3,000-meter alpine peaks, still covered in snow during springtime. We will reach the Madone d’Utelle sanctuary (1,174m), a chapel that serves as an annual Catholic pilgrimage site, which overlooks Utelle from the southwest, offering beautiful panoramas all around.

    This tour is open for travelers looking for both easy and technical hikes. I can tailor the program to fit your prior hiking experience and preferences.

    Explore the picturesque Mercantour National Park in this fascinating getaway from the French Riviera. Send me your booking request now!

    If you are looking for similar activities in the area, I recommend the Saorge perched village trek and the Calern Plateau hike near Cannes and the French Riviera.

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    Price per person

    Group of 1
    220 EUR

    Group of 2
    115 EUR

    Group of 3
    75 EUR

    Group of 4
    60 EUR

    Group of 5
    50 EUR

    Group of 6
    45 EUR

    Group of 7
    40 EUR

    Group of 8
    30 EUR


    Price includes

    • Guiding fee
     Please note that the price doesn’t include meals. A picnic including fine local products can be provided with an additional €10-charge per person. The program for groups of 10-12 people costs a total of €300/group. For larger groups, please contact me to request conditions and prices.

    Other details

    Skill level required


    Fitness level required

    Open to everyone

    Meeting point

    Utelle village (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, France). It is about an hour drive from Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, taking M6202 (former N202), M2565, and then M32 routes.

    More info

    We can help you arrange transportation from Monte Carlo, Nice or any other city in the French Riviera. If interested, please contact us for more information and rates.

    Required equipment:

    • Light walking boots

    • Breathable jacket

    • Micro fleece and mountain t-shirts (if possible, avoid cotton t-shirts)

    • Cap

    • Water bottle (1 liter per person)

    • Sunscreen and sunglasses


    About the Guide


    I am a hiking guide (International Mountain Leader) who has been working all over France (including Provence and the Alps), Italy and Portugal since 2001. I speak fluent English due to my frequent trips to Taos Ski Valley (in New Mexico, USA where my family runs a great hotel and ski school), and my hiking trips in the American Southwest.

    I live mainly in Nice (French Riviera), but I also move all over the Alps working in different alpine valleys. I often visit Martinique (French Caribbean island), where I enjoy rainforest and tropical hikes.

    When I´m not guiding, I also work as a photographer, and like to climb, ski, play tennis, or kitesurf in my spare time. Additionally, I really enjoy botany and history.

    I can guide you for a half day or for as many days as you like. I´ll take you to discover my favourite French Riviera alpine region, and the wild and large Mercantour National Park (counting 8 different valleys) near Nice, Monte Carlo and Cannes.

    In my region we can enjoy the Mediterranean landscape at sea level. As we move into higher altitudes, we will discover alpine lakes, larch or pine forests, orchids and alpine flowers, open meadows, spectacular medieval perched villages and old baroque chapels and churches, with great historic value.

    We can also discover the hiking hotspots in Provence such as Calanques National Park, Verdon gorges, Sainte Victoire and the Var region, with Saint Tropez a particular highlight.

    I also love to hike in Italy in the very famous world heritage Cinque Terre (the amazing national park of the "Five Lands"), or in Liguria near San Remo.

    And finally, I always enjoy taking my guests to the northern Alps: to Chamonix and Mont Blanc´s amazingly large panoramas or to the great Vanoise National Park, the largest in the heart of French Alps.



      Need help deciding?



    What People are Saying about Fabrice Morel


    The reviewer did not leave a comment
    We had an amazing trip, we wanted to explore the Mercantour region, reconnect with nature, and spend quality time as a couple. Fabrice understood the brief, was clear in his guidelines to prepare the trip, proposed different options, and, ultimately, adapted the hikes on a day to day basis based on the weather. For example, instead of having us hike all day in the mountains in pouring rain on the first day, he adapted the program and took us for a hike all around Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat along the riviera coast. The hikes were stunning, especially at this time of the year (fall) with amazing lights and colors. We highly recommend Fabrice as a guide, he is very knowledgeable on the fauna&flora, local history, on wolves. He also initiated us to some key principles of Nordic walking and mindful walking. Thanks Explore & Share team for connecting us. We definitely will do it again and recommend to friends.
    Read review
    Brice Gouvernel
    The reviewer did not leave a comment
    LAM Jit Sau
    We spent a day hiking with guide Fabrice in Mecantaur Park. It was a great hike with different levels of difficulty. We rested at the lake at around 2000 meters and then made our way to the mountain pass high above. We were rewarded with a lot of wildlife sightings and even a patch of snow in August. Patrice was great and gave us a lot of information about the area and the flora and fauna. He was also great at pointing out historical events that took place in the area in the past.
    Read review



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