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This summer, I’m spending my first night in a refuge!

In the olden days, mountain dwellers never left their summits, spending the night in small buildings in the middle of nowhere. Mercantour now offers you the chance to spend a night in a refuge: prepare yourself for a unique adventure!

What exactly should you expect in a refuge?

While in the 19th century, refuges allowed mountain climbers to rest in shepherds’ huts, the comfort of these locations was spartan to say the least and welcomed allcomers.

Preserved by their guardians, and only accessible by way of a few narrow paths, refuges offer modest dormitory accommodation and bathrooms, and most offer food.

Of course, this is no way comparable to a hotel, but the biggest comfort remains the encounter with nature and its enthusiasts, in a cosy setting that respects the environment.

The paths to get there are all beautiful!

Refuges are worth the detour, but you’ll deserve them all the more, as to get there you’ll need to travel across the mountain.

In the heart of Mercantour National Park, for example, the refuges are reached by the Route des Grandes Alpes, a famous itinerary that offers a succession of extraordinary panoramic views, natural sanctuaries, and steep-sided valleys…

Regardless of the means of transport and the reason for your crossing, hiking up to the refuge that will be your way station is an intense adventure.


Mercantour: some thirty refuges await you!

La Bayasse and La Cayolle in the commune of Uvernet Fours, La Cantonnière in the village of Entraunes, the refuges of Nice, Cougourde, La Madone de Fenestre, and Merveilles

In total, more than thirty refuges open their doors to you in Mercantour National Park and the Protected Alpi Marittime (Maritime Alp) Area.

In a breath-taking environment, rest your feet beside the fire and listen to the guardian’s stories of the mountain…

A magical, timeless moment.

Book your authentic stay quickly and enjoy your first night in a refuge.

A night in a refuge, a unique immersion experience in the heart of protected countryside!

A place for interaction, they assert an authentic soul and character, where overcrowding is not an inconvenience, but a guarantee of friendliness. A night in a refuge is a unique experience to get a taste for the simple things, rediscover the right way to sustainably manage our natural resources (water, energy) and vanish into our environment.

For a stay without a hitch, it is essential to follow a few simple rules for communal living:

  • Book your stay to allow the guardian to best manage stocks and avoid disappointment on arrival;
  • Take your waste back down with you; use water sparingly,
  • Respect your roommates by adopting a rhythm suited to life in the refuge;
  • Don’t seek to recharge your phones or cameras – electricity is a rare commodity at high altitudes!
  • There are no limits on enjoying the Milky Way, or the joys of a relaxed evening beside the fire listening to the guardian’s pithy tales!

Find out more about the refuges in Mercantour!

Refuge guardian: a job and a commitment!
Chroniques du Mercantour - Saison 1 - Episode 10 : Le refuge de la Cantonnière
Chroniques du Mercantour - Saison 1 - Episode 10 : Le refuge de la Cantonnière
Chroniques du Mercantour - Saison 1 - Episode 10 : Le refuge de la Cantonnière