The GR5 and GR52 trails
The GR5 starts at the Hook of Holland and traverses France from North to South to the Mediterranean Coast at Nice. We chose to walk most of the section from Lake Geneva southwards where the trail enters the High Alps. The trail passes through a number of well known mountain massifs such as the Chablais, Vanoise, Queyras and Mercantour. During an early section it skirts the lower slopes of the Mont Blanc Massif where it links in to the circular Tour de Mont Blanc track for a while.
From St Dalmas Valdeblore we picked up the more interesting and challenging GR52 trail to take us through the continuation of the Mercantour National Park and the famous Vallée des Merveilles before arriving at Menton. Before setting off we wrote:
" The trek will take us 49 days. We will overnight in refuges and mountain huts. They are well-marked trails with red and white signs. We are expecting to meet lots of tourists but very few people following our route or walking so far. We are under no illusions that this will be another challenging expedition..."