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The Vallée de la Clarée Family - Including accommodation before and after Trips - 5 days

    Regular days with
  • 0 - 10 km per day
  • 250 - 500m ascent per day
  • T2 Trails / no difficulty markings
What's Included?
Packing List
How to Book


> Enjoy the French cuisine in cozy huts
> Hike our 3-day Tour du Mont Thabor itinerary together with your children!
> Accommodation in Névache before and after the trek is included

The 3-day Vallée de la Clarée trek is perfect for some family-friendly hiking adventures and a short alternative for the Tour du Mont Thabor and GR57. The Grande Randonnée (GR57) is better known as the Tour du Mont Thabor. This is a loop around the lesser known but still very prominent Mont Thabor, in Vallée de la Clarée in the Hautes-Alpes. Vallée de la Clarée is a sheltered, dead-end valley north of the fortified town of Briancon, on the border between France and Italy and forms part of the unspoilt Massif des Cerces. There are no ski slopes or other large-scale tourism, this valley is there only for hikers, cyclists, and other nature lovers. When doing the full circuit, you can expect a total distance of around 85 kilometers and more than 5,000 meters of elevation gain. You don't have to, though. Tour du Mont Thabor is easily broken up into pieces.

Why book with us?
You can do the Vallée de la Clarée and Tour du Mont Thabor fully independent and self-guided. However, stringing an itinerary including all the accommodation together can be a complicated undertaking. has warm contacts with all the huts on the Tour du Mont Thabor and we can take the load of having to book every hut yourself off your shoulders. Let us help you to make your Tour du Mont Blanc memories stress-free and enjoy free hiking advice from our trekking experts while you're at it. 


What's the Plan?

Arrival in Névache
Bonjour! Welcome to France. Today you arrive in Névache and are expected in a pleasant accommodation in the village. Your overnight stay includes breakfast. 

Etappe 1: From Névache to Refuge Buffère
It's only a short walk from Névache to your first refuge for the night, but it does come with a nice steep climb to get the legs moving. Over a distance of (only) 4 kilometers, you are tackling almost 500 meters of vertical gain. If you started early, you are likely to have the entire afternoon at Refuge Buffère to yourselves. You can use this time to discover the area. If it's a hot day, you can take the kids to Lac du Privé, a tiny mountain lake at 2,300 meters that allows for a quick cold dip and plenty of fun.
Elevation gain: 460 meters
Elevation Loss: 0 meters
Distance: 4.5 kilometers

Etappe 2: Refuge Buffère to Refuge de Ricou
What goes up, must come down. Today you descend via a different trail than yesterday. In the valley you walk parallel to the stream Clarée through a beautiful larch forest. The water of the stream may look tempting, but it can get really cold. On your right, you will find the small hamlet of Fontcouverte. From here, it is a steady uphill walk to Refuge de Ricou at 2,115 meters.
Elevation Gain: 290 meters
Elevation Loss: 270 meters
Distance: 5.5 kilometers
Etappe 3: Refuge de Ricou to Névache
We ascend a little further before we make a gentle and long descent back to Névache. Today, you have two options. Either you go see the Lac Laramon, or you make a few extra steps out to Lac Serpent, further up the slope. Both offer stunning views. It's as if you're at Lac Blanc at Mont Blanc! The way back to Névache offers an undulating descent back to the starting point. What's next?
Elevation Gain: 250 meters
Elevation Loss: 780 meters
Distance: 11 kilometers

Departure Day
After breakfast, you can check out. This is the end of your Tour du Mont Thabor adventure. We hope to see you again soon. Au Revoir!

What's Included?


 Booking the huts
We will take care of arranging accommodation for you. We will also provide you with a detailed itinerary for every stage and instructions on how to get to the trailhead. 

√ Accommodation
We will arrange your accommodation on the Vallée de la Clarée in mountain huts. There are several options to choose from along the trail. We have selected the mountain huts on our trek based on the length of each stage and recommendations from trekkers who have done the Tour du Mont Thabor before us.

√ Accommodation before and after the trek
We will arrange the accommodation for you the nights before and after your Vallée de la Clarée trek. On those two nights, you will sleep in accommodations in Névache. Breakfast is included.

√ Half-board
Accommodation at the huts includes dinner and breakfast. We will arrange this for you as well. This allows you to travel lighter and have one less thing to worry about. Bear in mind that lunch is not included, but it can be purchased at the huts.


× Airfare and Visa
You have to make your way to Névache. The total amount does not include flights to France/Italy. 

× Transfers
Once in France, you will have to make your way to the trailhead in Névache. We will provide the instructions and assist you with how to get there. 

× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.

× Lunch
Half-board is included in the price of this trek. Lunch, however, is not. You can get something to eat at the mountain huts along the way.

× Personal expenses
Personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks, and other similar expenses are for your own account.



During your Vallée de la Clarée trek, you will spend your nights in French mountain huts. If you book the Tour du Mont Thabor, the booked accommodations may differ from the below program here and there. A beautiful location and great food are at all times guaranteed.

Refuge Buffère
Located in the valley of Buffère, you will find this cozy Refuge. The owners and their team will make you feel at home in this warm mountain hut. 

Refuge de Ricou
Stay with your family or friends in this great mountain hut in the Hautes-Alpes. The Refuge is located in the hamlet of Ricou, in the commune of Névache in the Haute-Clarée valley, near Briançon in the Hautes-Alpes. 

Packing List

Packing List

It doesn't matter where you are going trekking or for how long. Carrying the right equipment with you is paramount. For the Vallée de la Clarée and Tour du Mont Thabor, you will need, first and foremost, a good backpack and comfortable trekking shoes. The size of your backpack will depend on how many days you will be spending on the mountain, the season, and the clothes you will be taking with you. We have prepared a packing list with some essential clothing that you should include and some extras that you may find useful:


- Walking boots (worn in)
- Walking socks
- Base layer tops – ideally thermal
- Mid-layer tops (eg. fleece)
- Trekking Trousers
- Hat for warmth or shade
- Gloves
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Warm layer. 
- Casual clothes & footwear for evenings. 
- Nightwear and underwear
- Water bottle
- Sunglasses & sun cream
- Toiletries

- Small first aid kit
- Blister Plasters
- Insect repellent
- Electrical socket adapter
- Camera and charger
- Map and compass 
- Whistle
- Book to read
- Energy snacks
- Walking poles
- Buff



Where Are the Tour du Mont Thabor and Vallée de la Clarée?
Mont Thabor is a 3,178 meter high mountain in the Massif des Cerces Range, in the Hautes-Alpes in France. Although beautiful, we are more interested in the trails around this peak, especially the ones starting the picturesque town of Névache. This village can be found in Vallée de la Clarée and is one of the Alps' best-kept secrets. Sure, Chamonix is great, Courmayeur is fantastic, and, Zermatt is perhaps Mecca, but Névache has it all when looking for an unspoiled hiking experience.
Although in France, logistics to Névache from Turin seem easier. The valley can be easily reached from the SS335/E70 main route between French Fourneaux and Italian Turin. Coming from the French side, Névache is basically at the end of the quiet road from Grenoble to Briancon. No wonder, the Tour du Mont Thabor is a bit of a secret. The Tour du Mont Thabor is one of the Grande Randonnées (GR), a name given to long-distance walks in this part of the world, and has been given the number 57. The full GR57 is about 85 kilometers in distance and gives you over 5,000 meters vertical gain.

Is The Vallée de la Clarée For Me/Us?
In Vallée de la Clarée, around Mont Thabor, you can find an array of mountain huts, known as refuges and gites. On a longer version of the tour, these huts can be used for both sleeping and mid-day aid stations. On a shorter tour, the aid stations can become your accommodation for the night. Because there are so many different refuges, the Tour du Mont Thabor can be designed in such a way that not only seasoned mountain goats can get their satisfaction, but the young and aspiring goats will also have a good time.
The route has no technical difficulties and is suitable for anyone with a decent physical condition. This leaves time for long picnic breaks at the mountain lakes, fantastic views from the peaks, and a drink on the terrace of a mountain hut at the end of the day. Is it for you? If you are looking for a challenge but don't want to take it straight to Everest Base Camp, hiking in Vallée de la Clarée could be a good stepping stone. Long story short? Yes, this trek is most likely for you and your family!

What Is the Best Season for The Vallée de la Clarée/Tour du Mont Thabor?
The official season is from mid-June to mid-September, but when you hike the Tour du Mont Thabor or anywhere else in Vallée de la Clarée between mid-July and late August the chances for good weather and snow-free trails. It’s peak season, so make sure to book as much in advance as possible. If you decide to go trekking in September, you’re still in for a treat and it’s not as busy on the trail. But this could also mean that some accommodations might be closed for the season already. Also, the days are shorter, the weather is colder and there is a chance of snow.

Before and After the Vallée de la Clarée/Tour du Mont Thabor: Névache Logistics
Because the Tour du Mont Thabor is essentially a circuit, you could technically start your version of the trek from anywhere. However, we like Névache as a starting point and that is why we believe you should start and finish your trek in Névache too. We have already told you that it is not particularly easy or straightforward, getting to Névache and Vallée de la Clarée. Part of the charm and beauty of the valley comes from its remoteness. The journey is part of the adventure and of course well worth it!
By plane:
You can either fly to Turin in Italy, which is about 1.5 hours away from Névache, or you can fly to Marseille or Grenoble on the French side. Both these cities are about 3.5 hours away from Névache. You would then still have to get to the nearest train station (Marseille and Grenoble) and travel to Briançon. This is the closest train station.
By train:
The closest train station is Briançon in France and Bardonnechia and Oulx in Italy. There's a night train from Paris to Briançon, where you can hop on a shuttle bus (Linkbus) to Névache. Also, you can take the TGV train on the Paris-Milan line from Paris to Oulx. From here you can also get a shuttle to Briançon and thus Névache.
By car:
Assuming you come out of the direction of Paris, you will want to drive to Italy first and approach Névache from the Oulx side. From Bardonecchia, you will climb the Echelle Passe (Colle della Scala) towards Vallée de la Clarée.


What to do in Case of an Emergency?

A situation is defined as an emergency whenever human life (yours or someone else's) is endangered and there is nothing you can do to resolve the matter. You should call for help if there has been an accident, if there is somebody trapped, if you got lost or in trouble and are unable to continue because of the time of day or weather conditions, or if you are trapped because of technical climbing challenges that exceed your capabilities.

The most important thing to do in an emergency is to stay calm and survey the situation. Do not panic or take useless risks if the people in trouble are difficult to reach. In an emergency, first and foremost, call for assistance. When calling for help, make sure to provide your location and the number of victims and type of injuries. Then, protect the victim from cold and other environmental threats and administer first aid, if you can.
Useful emergency phone numbers:
France General Emergencies: 112
PGHM de Briançon: +33 4 92 21 58 58



The Corona pandemic has had its grip on us, and mountain huts in the Alpine region have had to take several preventive measures over the past two years. In the meantime, the first relaxations in the Alps are noticeable, yet it is definitely still a factor to take into account. Some Covid restrictions that are worth mentioning:

- Don't go to the huts if you have symptoms!

- Not all mountain huts are allowed to operate at full capacity yet, so make sure you book your stay in advance.

- To be on the safe side, always take a mouth mask with you.

- In some mountain huts it is still compulsory to bring your own sleeping bag, in others a sheet bag and pillowcase are sufficient. Your personal travel guide will tell you which rules apply to your route.

- Bring your own towel

How to Book

How to Book?

On you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking your match? In that case, you can proceed with your booking. At you make a deposit of 30% of the total amount. In the case of this trek, we will check the availability at the respective accommodations for you. There are two possible outcomes:

 There is availability 
We go ahead and make all necessary arrangements for your trip. Once confirmed, we will send you a confirmation and your personal hiking guide. The remaining 70% must be paid at least two (2) weeks before the start of the trekking.

X There is no availability 
If there is no availability, we will look for other starting dates or another trekking in agreement with you. Are there no other options for you? Then your deposit of 30% will be refunded.

Cancellation Policy
If all the accommodations of this trekking are booked and confirmed, you will lose your deposit of 30% at all times. If you cancel within 14 days of your start date, you will lose your full booking amount.

Is it not quite clear yet or do you have questions? Please contact us via We are happy to help you.


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