/ Recommendations for climbing and walking in the south of France
The place that springs to mind for me is Ailefroide but we've already been 2 years ago and are looking for a fresh destination. Any ideas?
With those criteria you'd be hard pressed to beat the Ariège. I may be slightly biased ;-) but there are many access points around here which allow you to start your walk from 1500-2000m and take in either pointy or rounded summits or plateaus usually between 2000 and 3000m with sensational views, and as a contrast there are many lower-level and valley walks through forests with ancient chapels and relics en route. Cragging is simply fantastic, with literally dozens of great crags and sectors within 15 minutes drive, on 3 rock types and many of them multi-pitch. Plenty of online topos at http://cafma.free.fr/plan.htm - let me know if I can help with more specific recommendations.
Have you considered the Mercantour, at the back of Nice? Excellent walking, up to 3000m; no glaciers, reasonably quiet(not like Chamonix or even Ailefroide, and some attractive little villages. There are also a few ski resorts that would provide entertainment for youngsters.
I had a few days this summer at a nice little campsite at St Etienne de Tinee: 9 euros per night, only tents, and free access to adjoining (man-made) pool for swimming and kayaking.It is a pretty village itself and is also linked to the ski resort, Auron(that has an artificial outdoor climbing tower in the summer).
There is also sport cragging around but don't know too much about that.
Certainly an area to consider.
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