Carros Village to Canal de la Gravière


The walk along Canal de la Gravière (about 700 m elev.) above Carros Village (370m) offers great views to Mercantour Summits and the Var River Valley. Local hiking guides call it also Balcon de Carros. We have previously posted hikes in this area: New loop trail above Carros Village and Sommet du Broc.

From Carros Village (370m) we started ascending along the path to Sommet du Broc. The path ends in a forest road; the trail to Sommet du Broc forks left, ascending to Canal de la Gravière where the aqueduct running along the mountain flank became visible. The descending dirt road descends to Le Broc.

This time we wanted to explore the northern part of Canal de la Gravière. A partly ingrown piste followed the aqueduct a few hundred meters after which the water duct dove into rocky and steep terrain, marking our turning point and picnic break.

On the way back, we walked the same way as far as to the crossroads by the forest road. From here we continued along it towards Le Broc. Before Le Broc Village, we reached a wider road and a crossroads showing the direction back to Carros Village, passing the Chapel of St-Sébastien. From the Chapel, the itinerary passed tranquil residential areas, following a paved road.

There were new signposts along the trail. Carros Village is a great starting point for day hikes. By taking advantage of the network of marked itineraries, you can easily tailor make your hike. The image below shows the GPS trail.

Duration: 2h15

Climb: 410 m

Canal de la Gravière trail above Carros

Map: 3642 ET Vallée de l’Estéron Vallée du Loup

View from path to Mercantour summits


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Old-style vegetable soup

Old-style vegetable soup

This vegetable soup recipe is inspired by the French morning TV, Télématin. The presenter first talked about the Sun King Louis XIV, who was very fond of his vegetable garden in Versailles. He was regularly served as a starter vegetable soup made from old-style root vegetables from his garden.

My soup recipe is loosely based on the TV show. The good thing with vegetable soups is that you can easily change the ingredients according to your preferences and seasonal availability.

Serving this soup as a starter is a great way to increase your vegetable intake towards the recommended 3- 5 portions a day. Any leftover soup can be frozen.


2 carrots
2 turnips
2 parsnips
2 Jerusalem artichokes
1 large onion
½ head of cauliflower
3 tbsp. olive oil
 800 ml water
1tsp. curry or Piment d’Espelette
Fresh herbs

Warm the olive oil in a large casserole over medium heat. Peel and chop the vegetables, add to the casserole placing the cauliflower on top. Add the curry and water and bring to the boil.

Cover and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes.

With a handheld mixer purée the vegetables. Serve in bowls decorated with chopped fresh herbs.


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Isola 2000: Mont St-Sauveur 2711 m

Ascending towards Mont Saint-Sauveur

At 2711 m, Mont Saint-Sauveur is the highest peak between the Tinée River Valley and Isola 2000. It offers a great panorama of the surrounding mountains. The view down to the Tinée Valley about 2000 m below is impressive.

The trail from Col de la Valette (2389 m) is alpine, quite stony and in some spots narrow and steep. On the way back, we grew tired of the sharp stones and further down took a parallel ski run/dirt track back to Col de la Valette.

We started from Isola 2000 centre (Front de neige) at signpost #80 well hidden under fir trees. We crossed the valley of Chastillon and walked under a wooden bridge past signpost #81.

The Isola 2000 hiking booklet advises initially to fork left at #81 and to follow Chemin des Italiens, then to climb to signpost #96. We, however, forked right and climbed along ski runs of Pelevos / Mercantour directly to signpost #86 next to the Pelevos Telecabine, saving time and distance. The itinerary then followed easy ski runs as far as to Col de la Valette. From here we continued along a narrow hiking trail that ran in a rocky mountain slope, heading first west, then gradually south.

The summit of Mont St-Sauveur came visible, as well as ruins of old Italian barracks below the summit crest. We reached signpost #89 (2508 m) at the ridge between our goal and Cime de Sistron (2603 m). We forked left and climbed the to the summit. There was a bunker a little below, and another at the mountaintop. High above the Tinée Valley, the mountain had strategic importance as the region used to be Italian territory.

On the way back, we descended a bit more when using the ski runs and dirt tracks, before ascending to Col de la Valette. We therefore recorded about 100 m extra climb (image of GPS track below) .

Vertical gain: 860 m

Duration: About 5 h

Distance: 15 km

Map: IGN 3640 ET Haute Tinée 2 Isola 2000

MtSaint Sauveur trail image


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Sea bass with fennel, orange and lemon

Sea bass with fennel orange and lemon

The Mediterranean sea bass, loup de mer, is nowadays mostly farmed. Wild seabass from Atlantic waters is in France called bar. It takes about 5 years for a wild sea bass to reach the minimum legal length of 42 cm. It then weighs about 900 g and in our supermarket in Nice costs about 33 euros kilo.

For the following simple recipe, I chose a wild line-caught sea bass, bar de ligne. Make sure that the fish is properly descaled and cleaned.

2 servings

1 wild line-caught sea bass, bar de ligne, about 900g
1 fennel
1 organic orange
1 organic lemon
100 ml white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 190° C.

Rinse out the belly cavity of the sea bass and dry with kitchen paper. Rub a pinch of salt in the cavity and fill with thin slices of ½ lemon.

Slice the fennel thinly and place in the bottom of an oven-proof dish which is large enough to hold the fish. Finely grate the zest of the orange and add to the fennel. Add the juice of the orange and ½ lemon. Place the fish on top of the fennel and pour the white wine over it. Sprinkle the olive oil on top of the fish.

Bake for 40- 45 minutes until the fish is done. Take a peek inside the fish or make a deep cut to see if it is opaque. Serve with red quinoa or green lentils and a green side salad.


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