Snowshoe tours around the foot of the Mézenc massif and Gerbier de Jonc, the sources of the Loire and the Ardèche plateau. The topography, characterized by high plateaux dotted with volcanoes called “sucs”, affords you numerous and spectacular views of the surrounding massifs : the Alps of course, but also the Cantal and the Sancy mountains, Mount Lozère, the Pilat massif and the Forez mountains, in fact nearly all the Massif Central.

The lunch is taken almost every day inside, to rest and to restart fully fit.

At the end of the afternoon, back at the hotel, you can relax in the sauna or in the jacuzzi, bathe in the indoor heated swimming pool, play billiards or table tennis, etc…

We handle all the transfers by minibus to the point of departure of the trekking circuits.

Activité Raquettes

Durée7 jours

Durée des activités5 jours

Difficulté Average

TypeGuided snowshoeing

Day 1 : welcome

Check-in the first day at the hotel La Découverte at Les Estables from 4.00pm. After a day of car or train, relax in our indoor swimming pool.
After the information meeting, dinner !

Day 2 : Jacassy Rock and Loire Sources

Walk from the hotel to the Jacassy Rock.
Lunch at the hotel and driving to Gerbier de Jonc, to walk to the Loire sources.
Back to the hotel : why not a bath in the indoor heated pool, face to the snow ?

Day 3 : Tourte Rock and Saint-Front Lake

In the morning, we’ll walk to the Tourte Rock, from which we’ll have a nice view to the village of Les Estables and the Mont Mézenc. Perhaps we’ll meet dog sledges.
Lunch at the hotel.
After a short transfer by minibus, we’ll walk to the Saint-Front Lake, an old crater lake, to much cooled to melt the snow !
After the walk, try the hotel sauna* or Jacuzzi* before dinner.
*Extra cost.

Day 4 : Carthusian monastery of Bonnefoy and Cuzet Rocks

This morning, we’ll leave for all the day to Bonnefoy forest, where carthusian monks settled in the XIIe century. We'll walk by snowshoe to the old monastery. The monks have gone since the French Revolution and the monastery crumbled.
This day, we'll bring our picnic that we'll enjoy in the ruins of the monastery ; then, always by snowhoes, we’ll walk to the Cuzet Rocks, around the Cirque of Les Boutières, an old volcanoe. Perhaps we’ll see roe deer or fox tracks.
After the dinner, and before going to bed, we’ll offer you a « home-made » slideshow about the Mézenc massif.

Day 5 : Mont Mézenc

With our snowshoes, we’ll walk to the summit of Ardèche and Haute-Loire departments. At the top, 1753 metres, you’ll probably see the French Alps and the Massif Central summits !
Lunch at the hotel.
Free afternoon. Why don’t you ask Virginie a massage (extra cost) ? Would you prefer to do downhill skiing at Les Estables resort ?

Day 6 : tour of Mont Mézenc

We’ll leave the hotel for all the day. By snowshoe, we’ll walk around the mont Mézenc and we’ll have lunch in a typical farm, near a nice fireplace !
When we’ll be back, you’ll be able to ask a collective relaxation session (extra cost).

Day 7 : Mont Alambre southface and Chaulet snowdrifts

In the morning, we’ll cross the spruce forest of Mont Alambre and go to Costebelle plateau to have a last nice view on the Mézenc massif.
After lunch in the hotel, we’ll go to the snowdrifts of the Mont Chaulet for a funny walk !
We’ll be back earlier than usually, so you’ll have more time to buy some cheese or honey in the village, unless you prefer to go in the heated pool.
After the last dinner with your friends, take à glass near the fireplace !

Day 8 : check-out

Check-out after breakfast on the last day.

N.B. : The above programme is only an example; your host chooses the circuits on a daily basis, depending on the group and on weather conditions, on snow cover and on traffic conditions.

Christmas and New Year stays :

According to your dates, you’ll benefit or not from :

  • Thursday 24th December : Christmas Eve : improved menu ;
  • Thursday 31st December : New Year’s Eve : in the evening, after a drink with appetizers, we’ll offer you a special menu. You’ll be able to dance late into the night !


Stays start on Saturday in the late afternoon and end on the following Saturday after breakfast. Check-in from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm on the day of arrival (with an information meeting at 6.30 pm followed by a welcoming drink).

For the access by car or train, see the section ACCESS at the end of this sheet.

If you come by train, we’ll welcome you at Le Puy en Velay station for the timetable given at the booking (usually 5.20 pm).

In case of problems or late arrival, contact us on (+33)(0)4 71 08 30 08.


Check-out after breakfast on the last day, between 9.00 am and 10.00 pm.

If you come by train, we’ll drive you to Le Puy en Velay station for the timetable given at the booking (usually 10.30 am).



  • Contact us by phone or by e-mail to request an option.
  • We’ll send you a booking form. To confirm the booking, fill in the form and return to the hotel, together with a deposit of 30 % of the total amount, with the optional insurance amount if chosen (payment by secure credit card by phone).
  • The hotel will send you a receipt for the deposit and the confirmation of the booking by post or e-mail.



  • On the web page of the stay, a table give you the availabilities and the rates. You can choose the date and book online.
  • You will confirm directly your booking online by paying with our secure credit card system.
  • If required, you can select the options and the insurance for cancellation and interrupted occupancy.
  • When the payment will be done, you will receive your confirmation booking by mail.


PAYMENT OF BALANCE : at the latest 21 days before beginning of stay. 



  • Our stays sales are governed by our general conditions of sale. These will be automatically applied in case of cancellation, whatever it is.
  • We suggests at the time of booking an insurance contract covering consequences of certain cases of cancellation. Subscription to the contract is optional however really recommended and must intervene at the time of booking.
  • Some credit cards include this insurance. Ask for information from your bank.



  • The customer's signature of the booking form implies acceptance of these general terms of sale.
  • The stay registration implies acceptance of the rates, the technical sheet and the general tems of sale.
  • Your stay registration means that you heard about the program, you are healthy and you have no medical contraindication to the practice of mountain sport.
  • The guiding is provided by professional mountain leaders who have a third party liability insurance. However, you are solely liable for any property damage and / or physical injury caused by you inside and outside the hotel during your stay. So you must have an individual and multi-risks third party insurance covering the activities provided for during your stay.


INTERMEDIATE level : between 300 and 500 m of difference in level every day, that is, 5 to 6 hours' walking.

On the four days when lunch is taken at the hotel, you have the option of walking only half the day. On Tuesday, the walk is on all the day, with the picnic brought. On Thursday, you will have lunch at an inn, and you will need to walk all day long.

Stays are not suitable for children under 12.

The stay is for people who have an occasional or regular physical training.

Yours leaders will adapt the routes and their difficulties to the groups.


You will stay at Hotel La Découverte, in a family, double or single room.

A stone's throw from the village, built to blend into the landscape with its wood-faced façades, La Découverte des Estables, a 3-star hotel, offers quality accommodation specially designed for ramblers and hill-walkers. Its 20 rooms all have the save conveniences (bathroom with a roomy shower, separate toilet*, direct phone line) and all face south onto the valley*. An indoor heated swimming pool, a spa, a tennis table room, a billiards table, a lounge with fireplace and free Internet station, a self-service bar, a restaurant with panoramic view, a garden, a terrace and a private car park are among the facilities at your disposal for a quality stay. Wifi connection in the hotel.

Meals (breakfast and dinners) are served in the hotel at a communal table.

The hotel is a partner of the Regional Natural Park of Ardeche.

* except for the bedroom for PMK (Person Most Knowledgeable) : toilet in the bathroom. Bedroom face east.


Hotel spa

Discover our spa for a relaxing break and a delightful moment, to forget the stresses and strains of daily life ! Thanks to the large windows, you will benefit from the landscape and the view of the high plains. You will find in the spa :

  • an indoor heated swimming pool open in summer and in winter : water temperature between 80° and 82°F (27° and 28°C), size 31ft x 12 ft (9m50 x 3m80), depth 4.6 ft (1m40) ; opening hours : from 7.30am to 8.00pm ;
  • a sauna with hot stones oven ;
  • a multi-jet shower and a bucket shower (of cold water, after the sauna) ;
  • a jacuzzi with 5 seats and 1 lounge seat, with jets ;
  • a massage room (massage performed for non-therapeutic purposes).


To use these accommodations, several solutions :

  • Free access all the day to the pool and the multi-jet shower.
  • Access to the sauna and jacuzzi by session (€ 13 /pers) or unlimited access for the week (€ 58 /pers).
  • Massage sessions : several durations (on reservation) : 30 minutes (€ 55 /pers), 45 minutes (€ 65 /pers) or 1 hour (€ 75 /pers).
  • Collective relaxation sessions of 45 minutes (€ 17 /pers, minimum 3 persons).
  • Spa package for the week at € 120/pers : included the unlimited access to the sauna and jacuzzi, a collective relaxation session of 45 minutes and a 45 minutes re-energising masssage. If there's not enough people for the relaxation session (minimum 3 pers), this session is replaced by 15 mn of massage more.


The village of Les Estables

At the boundary of the Haute-Loire and Ardèche départements, at the foot of mount Mézenc (the giant of the Cévennes rising to 1753 m), the village of Les Estables is the highest commune in the Massif Central, 1340 metres above sea level. From May to October, many activities in addition to trekking are on offer : Mountain biking, tree-climbing, cycling tours, electrically assisted cycling, 4-seasons sledge, hang gliding, orienteering, climbing, fishing. Horse-riding, via ferrata and swimming are also on offer nearby…

From December to March, the snow covers the high plains of Mezenc and Les Estables ski station : you can practise snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, nordic skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding (thanks to the 8 tracks of Les Estables), dog sledding, snowkiting, igloo building, 4-seasons sledge…

The village of Les Estables is in the Regional Nature Park of Ardeche.


Your hosts

Nadine, Gilles and Alexandre will reserve you a warm welcome ; they will help you discover this region and fall under the spell of these immense landscapes.



Christophe, cook chef in the hotel since 2000, prepares meals from many local products. Most of the meals are homemade and you will enjoy traditional dishes. Our meals, in form of a unique menu, are diversified, balanced and adapted to the walkers efforts.

Our prices are studied for a unique menu : if special menus, ONLY ON REQUEST before the beginning of the stay and with a possible extra until € 7 per day.

For information, we don't accept personal beverage and food at the restaurant.


A minibus service is available for guests travelling by train, from Le Puy en Velay station, only subject to booking and on a fixed timetable :

  • from Le Puy en Velay to Les Estables: departure of the shuttle before 5.25 pm,
  • from Les Estables Le Puy en Velay: day 8 for the train departing at 10.30am.

To book this service, please call +33 4 71 08 30 08 at least one week in advance. Limited number of places.

Please enquire for train timetables and numbers.

During your stay, we organize transport by minibus to the starting points of the trekking circuits we offer. We have one 8-seat minibus, one 15-seat minibus and one 19-seat minibus.


No luggage to carry. You only need to carry your personal belongings during the half day or the day.

A 30/40-litre rucksack is adequate in principle.


Wether you are alone, in couple or with friends or with your club, we’ll welcome you and will do 1 or 2 level groups, depending on the number of participants.


During the 5 days of walking, you will be guided by Alexandre and/or Maxime, two local mountain guides.


Each evening, Alexandre will offer you a hiking route, adapted to the forecast and the group level. The routes and landscapes will be varied. The routes will be able to be adapted to the weather and the snow.

Trust us to offer you the best hiking routes !

If there is no snow, you will walk.


Type of snowshoe TSL 225, 205, 206 or 305. Walking poles. No shoes.


Clothes (list for winter, available from December to March)

It should be borne in mind that in the mountains the weather can change quickly. Provide warm clothes and lighter clothes, as well as clothes for rain (not excluded even in winter). Provide also clothes for evening.


Necessary : Possible :
  • mountain jacket, waterproof windbreaker (like Gore-Tex)
  • comfortable and waterproof trousers but not too warm (jeans discouraged)
  • Tights in case of extreme cold
  • breathable underwear
  • down or polar thin jacket
  • thick jacket
  • many pairs of warm walking socks
  • mandatory : a pair of over-ankle hiking and recent boots : a good ankles support is important ; "snow boots" or low-sided shoes will be refused. Be careful : after many years, even if the boots are rarely used, the soles can remove completely.
  • warm gloves and/or mitts
  • cap and/or hood
  • scarf
  • a change of clothes for the evening
  • a pair of shoes for the evening


  • a rain cape or poncho
  • a pair of gaiters
  • a swimming costume/trunks for the hotel's swimming pool
  • a swimming towel
  • a rucksack (30/40-litre capacity about)
  • a flask of at least 1.5 litres, possibly a vacuum one (especially for the day with the picinc carried)
  • sunglasses (against the reflection of the sun on the snow and against the wind)
  • a personal first aid kit (double thickness sticking plasters for blisters, disinfectant, dressings, etc.). Many products or drugs are only available on prescription (Doliprane, Bétadine, etc.). Your guide will therefore not be able to give you them, unless so instructed by the SAMU (ambulance and emergency service) in an emergency. So you are advised to bring your own.
  • survival blanket (it's light, slightly voluminous, cheap, but it could be very usefull)
  • don't forget in your rucksack : a light wallet with some coins + identity card + social security card.
  • a ski mask (very appreciable in case of bad weather)
  • sun cream
  • a pair of telescopic hiking poles
  • camera
  • binoculars
  • needle and thread (just in case)
  • a small trash bag to bring back your waste (tissues...)
  • a whistle (to report your presence from far if you're lost)


Dates :

  • from Sunday 19th to Sunday 26th, December 2021
  • from Sunday 26th December 2021 to Sunday 2nd, January 2022
  • then each week from Saturday 8th, January to Saturday 19th, January 2022, from Saturday to Saturday.

From 720 euros. The single rate is obligatory for singles, except for people who accept to share their bedroom.

Two-week stay : discount 5% for the two weeks (different program for each week). Not available for the e-booking, contact us directly.

Children over 12 staying in the parents' room: 20% of.

Group prices: please enquire.

Visitor’s tax : 1 €/adult/day in 2021.


Options :

  • Spa package for the week at € 120/pers, included the unlimited access to the sauna and jacuzzi, a collective relaxation session of 45 minutes and a 45 minutes re-energising masssage.
  • Unlimited  access for the week to the sauna and jacuzzi : € 58 /pers.
  • The station to hotel shuttle service : 25 € per people return.
  • Optional insurance : the cancellation and interrupted occupancy : 3,9 % of the total amount of the stay.


  • The full board, from Saturday evening to following Saturday morning (accomodation in double or single room, breakfasts, lunches and dinners) ; our prices are studied for a unique menu : if special menus, ONLY ON REQUEST before the beginning of the stay and with a possible extra until € 7 per day ;
  • the access to the indoor pool and to the multi-jet shower (during opening hours) ;
  • the loan of snowshoeing equipment and sticks,
  • guides on the snowshoe treks,
  • the lunch at the inn,
  • the Christmas Eve dinner (included wine),
  • the New Year's Day dinner (aperitif, wine and animation),
  • the transport during your stay for the organised activities.


  • cancellation and interrupted occupancy insurance ;
  • the station to hotel shuttle service ;
  • the access to the spa (sauna and jacuzzi) ;
  • the massages and relaxation sessions ;
  • drinks at the hotel bar and during meals, extras ;
  • visitor's tax (adults only)


  • Treks guided by local mountain leaders, adapted to the group ;
  • the very open landscapes ;
  • The lunch is almost all the time warm and taken inside ;
  • You won’t need your car : we’ll do the transport with our minibus ;
  • The indoor heated pool in free access, the spa in option (sauna, jacuzzi) ;
  • the station to hotel shuttle service, organised by ourselves. Don’t be afraid to drive on snow !