Haut Var

The Estenc Plateau

Departure from the Lodge of the Municipality of Cantonnière to Estenc, City of Entraunes

Place of departure:
Estenc, at 125 km from Nice.

Type of handicap:
ear mental eye joelette

Characteristics of the route (A/R):
Distance: 4,5 km
Vertical drop: 100 m
Walking time: 3 h

The route begins from the lodge of Cantonnière along the celebrated “Route des Grandes Alpes”, which connects Lake Leman to the Mediterranean. It was built in the early twentieth century, at the initiative of the French Touring Club, by Italian workers for whom the imposing Cantonnière home was built. Restored by the Mercantour National Park, it is now home to refuge. At the northern end of the department, the source of the Var, the Estenc plateau is among one of the most pleasant and bucolic sites in the valley. This circuit provides a striking contrast between the imposing and austere grandeur of the mountains and the charm of a fairy-tale walk through meadows and undergrowth, all to the musical singing of many species of birds.

Itinerary description

1 From the Cantonnière refuge, go down the road for 50 meters until sign 41. Follow the trail lined with prairies, still being reaped, to the small artificial lake, sign B40a. There are many different varieties of flowers in the spring – the playground of a colony of marmots that are sure to blow their whistle in your path.

2 The small lake is fed by the springs of the Var and the stream of the Sanguinière. Some migratory birds, such as the large and small waders, ducks, herons and others, make stops in this site which also houses the shrike and yellowhammer, observable in the surroundings of the lake. Follow the left path along the flowing stream of the Sanguinière, which then leads to a beautiful forest of larch trees.

3 At the junction of two tracks, continue on the path to the left and cross two bridges. At the second intersection, continue to rise on the right path until you each a clearing dotted with bright moss-covered rocks. As you can see, the larch tree is undemanding, with pale shadows allowing plants and other species to develop. In this area of rich undergrowth are also colourful, fluttering and singing small birds, such as the robin, the Wryneck, the alpine tit, the great spotted woodpecker, the green woodpecker, and the jay.

4 At the next intersection, continue to climb up the left path and cross a wide boardwalk. Come to the road on the right and go back down on the left, back to the refuge.


More information
Company of independent stays in Entraunes Tel. 00 33 (0)4 93 05 51 26 www.valdentraunes.fr
House of the Mercantour National Park in Valberg
Information point for the Entraunes Park (July-August) Tel. 00 33 (0)4 93 02 58 23 www.mercantour.eu
Regional Committee for Tourism on the Côte d’Azur Riviera Tel. 00 33 (0)4 93 37 78 78 www.tourisme-cotedazur.com
Departmental Committee of Hiking 06 Tel. 00 33 (0)4 93 20 74 73 www.cdrp06.org

Free rental of the “joëlette”:
Cantonnière Refuge - Estenc - 06470 Entraunes Tel. 00 33 (0)4 93 05 51 36
Structures and Equipped Accommodation:
Cantonnière Refuge - Estenc - 06470 Entraunes Tel. 00 33 (0)4 93 05 51 36 www.refuge-cantonniere.fr info@refuge-cantonniere.fr Reserved parking, equipped rooms and bathrooms.

Accessible sites:
The patrimony circuit of the village of Entraunes Company of autonomous Stays in Entraunes
Tel. 00 33 (0)4 93 05 51 26 www.valdentraunes.fr

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