4x4, off-road adventure holiday in the Maritime Alps, Italy.
This overland journey offers a wonder opportunity to 'escape' the daily routine for a few days and get away to the unspoilt and 'wild' regions of the southern Alps, that are only easily reached by 4x4. Ideal for those with their own 4x4 and are looking for an organised, led off-road tour along some of the most wild and rugged tracks of the southern Alps. If you want adventure, excitement and to feel a strong sense of discovery, this is a chance to get off the beaten track and experience remote and sparsely populated areas of the Alps. Nature at itís best for those who donít mind a bumpy ride.
What's included |> 4x4 support vehicle and guide |> Dirt bike support for 'ride ahead' spotter |> expedition schedule with full route notes |> maps.
Comfort lodging: 5 nights accommodation in mountain refuges, B&Bs and small family run hotels |> 4 evening meals and 5 breakfasts |> Ä595pp for the first 2 adults in a vehicle, then Ä500pp for additional passengers.
S/c Camping: as an alternative to comfort lodging, bring your own equipment and overnight with our self-catered camping option. Ä350pp for the first 2 adults in a vehicle, then Ä200pp for additional passengers (children under the age of 18 cost just Ä100). We can also provide tents and ground mattresses too if required - ask for prices.
What's NOT included - Fuel, wine and other beverages during your evening meals.
RIDE ALONG places available for those without their own vehicle.
Request or email or call +44
(0)845 0944 669
| old military fortresses | high mountain 4x4 traverse of the Maritime Alps | Mercantour national park | 350km / 4-day expedition along old military tracks and ancient trading routes | remote and wild alpine landscapes | drive amongst 3000m peaks | 1-night under the stars at over 2000m, 'comfort' camping in the grounds of a mountain refuge on a remote high altitude rock plateau.
HOLIDAY IMPRESSIONS & DETAILS
| Day 1: Holiday starts just north of Ventimiglia. Day 2: EXPEDITION DAY 1 - CIRCUIT of the GOUTA FORESTS. Day 3: EXPEDITION DAY 2 - CIRCUIT of the Upper ARGENTINA VALLEY. Day 4: EXPEDITION DAY 3 - The OLD SALT ROAD. Day 5: EXPEDITION DAY 4 - MOUNTAIN TRAILS of the ROYA VALLEY. Day 6: DEPARTURE DAY.
We run this 4x4 mountain crossing on the following dates;
- 2nd week in July, 3rd week in August, 2nd week in September.
Day 1: Holiday starts in the Nervia Valley just north of Ventimiglia.
Drive to the Nervia Valley where we will all meet in one of the areas charming villages for the start of the off-road adventure. An evening to meet other expedition members and discuss expedition details over dinner. View video highlights of the incredible day 3 of this great adventure on YouTube. View photos of where you'll be staying on your first night.
Day 2: EXPEDITION DAY 1 - CIRCUIT of the GOUTA FORESTS.
After breakfast, we commence our off-road journey into the Ligurian Alps. Climbing up through the dense deciduous forests to an old mountain refuge, the trees start to thin out, and we are able to pause for a break and to wonder at the views leading back down to the mediterranean sea. Following the old abandoned dirt roads under the peaks bordering France, we reach our overnight accommodation in a mountain refuge.
Our Comment: From medieval villages to the roof of the Ligurian Alps, with spectacular views over the lush valleys down to the coast - you can see Corsica and even Elba on a dry, clear day.
View photos taken during day 1 of this 4 day expedition. View more video highlights of this great adventure on YouTube.
'What you thought': "I enjoyed the holiday immensely; the route, format and guiding style all worked well for me."
Day 3: EXPEDITION DAY 2 - CIRCUIT of the Upper ARGENTINA VALLEY.
Leaving our rustic lodge in the mountain forests, we head up the valley for cappuccino in the 'last town' and to wonder at the old citadels perched high up on the surrounding hills, that are so characteristic of this region. Refreshed, we are ready to begin a foreboding, dramatic yet magnificent ascent up a 2000m pass, full of 'torturous' bends on the way up. Lunch and a walk around one of the highest peaks gives you magnificent views to the west over France and to the east over Italy. Down and onward, we take a break in a remote mountain village built precariously at the top of a 150m rock face, before arriving at our overnight hotel accommodation in a medieval town famed for it's history of witches.
Our Comment: An long and strenuous ascent into the higher Alps and the 'gateway' to the Maritime Alps - very much a drive into the 'wilderness' and a day to remember.
View photos taken during day 2 of this 4 day expedition. View more video highlights of this great adventure on YouTube.
'What you thought': "In our initial planning we were looking for an alternative to the 'camel train' format, which wouldn't have suited us so well. Especially I found that travelling light, without the weight (and expense) of carrying full expedition gear made the driving a pleasure, rather than a chore."
Day 4: EXPEDITION DAY 3 - The OLD SALT ROAD.
Old forts and 2000m high military tracks. An early start and we are soon high up into the mountains again. Today, most of our journey will be above 2000m and the trail is rough and arduous. Up and over a pass and around one of the higher peaks reaching almost 3000m, we stop for lunch and a welcome rest. Straddling the Italian/French border, we follow the high trails to a refuge in one of the more remote areas of the Alps. At an altitude of over 2200m, you can take a walk and admire the late afternoon sun casting shadows around this high alpine wilderness. Heading west, we continue over a few more passes before finally reaching our camp for the night. This location gives you the opportunity to look up into a night sky void of virtually and light pollution - only few places in Europe are quite this.
Our Comment: A drive through a truly magnificent area of wild mountain terrain, traversing a 2000m plateau that is free from snow just 3 months of the year - a photographers' mountain paradise.
View photos taken during day 3 of this 4 day expedition.
View video highlights of day 3 of this amazing alpine crossing on YouTube.
'What you thought': "I liked the way that the routes, views and photo opportunities became progressively more spectacular during the week. We became totally immersed in the adventure and totally forgot which day it was!"
Day 5: EXPEDITION DAY 4 - MOUNTAIN TRAILS of the ROYA VALLEY.
Up early and up over our next pass, overlooked by the ancient fortifications built during the power struggles of a bygone age. Down into France in the valley below, via a trail with more hairpin bends per mile than just about any in the alps, we relax a little with lunch by an alpine river. Returning to the foothills of the southern alps in the afternoon, we end the day in a comfortable hotel in a mountain village where we can all reflect on this epic 4x4 journey..
Our Comment: Few off-road routes take you through such varied terrain, landscapes and vegetation - across one of the few remaining Alpine wildernesses.
View photos taken during day 4 of this 4 day expedition. View more video highlights of this great adventure on YouTube.
'What you thought': "Now back at home I've had to be absolutely ruthless choosing the photos for the albums and editing the video. I've been telling everyone about the holiday, maybe even bragging a bit to my friends back home and would love to hear about any future 4x4 based holidays you can offer."
Day 6: DEPARTURE DAY.
After breakfast, we say our farwells and head off on our own seperate ways.
View the final video highlights of this great adventure on YouTube. For those wishing to do a similar holiday but on foot, visit our hiking expedition pages.
Extend your stay This holiday can be extended by as many days and nights as you wish, giving you more time to relax and explore the area better. Ask us for further details.
 This expedition runs once a month during July, August and September when the old military roads are clear of snow. Since much of this expedition is above 2000m, the trails are pretty much under snow for the rest of the year.
 Itineraries are subject to change depending on local weather and mountain conditions.
 You should be a reasonably experienced off-road driver and be quite comfortable with arduous, full-days of driving in the mountains. Heights and exposed edges are common during the 4-day journey. Due to the nature of the many single track routes, we provide a 'ride ahead' spotter on a dirt bike to ensure oncoming vehicles pull over in suitable passing places. This virtually illiminates the 'horror' scenario of a multiple vehicle reverse gear retreat to a prior passing place.
 Camping equipment including ground mattresses can be provided if you wish to take the s/c camping option and prefer not to bring your own equipment - you should however bring your own sleeping bags.
 This expedition is open to individual bookings of 1 or more persons. We require a minimum total group size of 4 persons for this expedition to go ahead.
 For group bookings of 8 people or more taking the comfort lodging option, you are free to choose specific dates for which we will run this expedition exclusively for that group. A group discount of 5% will also apply.
 For those wishing to take the s/c camping option, we can organise a trip exclusivley for you if you have a group size of 5 or more persons.
 'Ride ahead' spotter on dirt bike provided on tours with 4 or more vehicles booked.
 Endorsed by the Dutch Mountain Rescue Team for whom we provide fully supported winter and summer training camps for their all-terrain remote access recovery units.
Check or email or call +44 (0)845 0944 669
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