Five micro-adventures for maximum escape


Escape without going far, get some fresh air and seek thrills: the micro-adventure is a new way of travelling. Our selection of five destinations is taken from the guide Experiences and micro-adventures in France (Hachette, “Routard”, 348 pages, 24.95 euros).

Touching the sky at Mount Tabor

The Etroite Valley and Mount Thabor, seen from Nevache, in the Hautes-Alpes.

It’s a symbolic bar: having exceeded 3,000 meters of altitude once in your life leaves memories forever.

No need to be a great mountaineer or even an experienced hiker to climb to the top of Mount Thabor, in Maurienne, which rises to 3,178 meters high. The landscapes of the Cerces massif, between Savoy and Italy, which you can admire while walking, are splendid.

The path is marked, without difficulty but quite long: it takes between five and six hours of walking to reach the summit from Modane, and twenty-three kilometers of hiking in all. To spare your strength, you can spend a night at the refuge of Mont Thabor, at 2,474 meters, after the Col de la Vallée Etroite. Be careful, rain, wind and snow residue can increase the difficulty, but also spice up the adventure. Mont Thabor refuge: 04-79-20-32-13.

Live the inner adventure in Calvados

Meditation pool with a view of the massage hut, at Le Coq enchanté, in Cambremer (Calvados).

“Yoga in the land of calendos” : such is the spirit of the Enchanted Coq, estate and guest house specializing in well-being stays in Cambremer (Calvados). Since inner adventure is a great adventure, you can isolate yourself in this beautiful Normandy countryside for a few sessions or a yoga course.

A real challenge for the uninitiated or an attempt to go further for practitioners, this Zen part of the stay benefits from a unique setting: a Feng Shui-inspired garden, with spaces dedicated, here, to vitality and, there in meditation.

To take advantage of this serenity, nothing like a few escapes. Houlgate beach is thirty minutes away. The camembert route is a stone’s throw away, around Vimoutiers, and you come back unbeatable on bloomy rind cheese.

Hike to eat better in the Aldudes

The Aldudes valley (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), seen from Urrixka.

The Aldudes valley, nestled in the Pyrenees chain, is as splendid as it is discreet. You can hike there without difficulty from Urepel or the village of Les Aldudes.

A gourmet stop is always welcome, especially if it allows you to meet exceptional producers. This is the case of the Goïcoechea family, which raises Banka trout: this fish farm, with its small museum and aquariums, is an amazing destination. The Urepel cheese dairy and its delicious products made with the raw milk of the Tête Rousse sheep is another example of an unmissable address.

For dining, in Les Aldules, the Menta farm-inn serves tasty suckling lamb and Basque pork. The greediest will go to the Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port farmers’ market on Monday to bring back food from the mountains of Lower Navarre: black cherry jam, Espelette pepper or Basque cake.

Train to Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), then 70 km by car.

Count the 1,000 ponds of the Vosges

Floating bog of the Boffy pond (Haute-Saône), on the plateau of 1000 ponds.

It takes five days to walk all around the plateau of 1,000 ponds, not far from Lure (Haute-Saône). But one can simply discover the beauty of this unique landscape on a summer afternoon. It’s hard to say if there are really 1,000 of them, but there are so many ponds that this plateau in the southern Vosges is nicknamed “little Finland”. Do not miss the Esmoulières plateau, so bucolic, or the vast Pellevin pond.

Carpets of ferns, birch woods, cabins on stilts: the decor is splendid. But there is nothing natural about it: the marshes and peat bogs resulting from the Quaternary glaciers were transformed into ponds by monks from the Middle Ages who raised carp there. There’s nothing like a hot air balloon flight to admire it all: that’s what Ballooning Adventures offers, in Bavilliers (Territoire de Belfort).

Ride to the beach in Corsica

The village of Tizzano, near Sartène, in Corsica, on May 24, 2022.

It is on the road that leads to Tizzano, between Sartène and the sea, that the equestrian farm Cavadda di Santu Pultru displays its air of an American ranch. This is the starting point for a fantastic horseback ride to the waves. After the paths of the maquis, the Mediterranean appears. At the Plage d’Argent, it is customary to say that the sea is golden.

It is therefore at a gallop that you go for a swim with your mount. You must first unsaddle then enter the water gently, going up bareback! A beautiful experience of communion with the horse. Remember that the presence in Corsica of a breed of small wild horses has been attested since prehistoric times. Recognized since 2012, the Corsican horse breed is now saved: wild herds live freely on the Coscione plateau, 80 km north of Sartène.

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Five micro-adventures for maximum escape

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