Who are we?


Back in the 80's, a family of four settled down in the tiny village of Estenc, nestling on a sun-drenched plateau (on the Maritime Alps side) on the road to the Cayolle Pass. By dint of hard work and unfailing passion, Fan, Robert and their two children restored an old stone barn and brought a small woodland hamlet back to life : la coquille.


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As a child, Robert, now a keen mountaineer, but also a musician and a singer, used to join summer camps in Estenc. And this is how he fell in love with this unique, magnificent place. Robert loves music and the freedom of the great outdoors.
He is a great teller of tales and an inspired musician, so you must be prepared to dream! You are sure to be captivated and enchanted by his thousand "sounds and tales".

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Fan was also very young when she caught the "climbing bug" from her father.
Since there is no cure, she is keeping the flame burning at Estenc where she stays for the rest of the year, alternating between the art of cooking and ancient Chinese Energetics. In July and August, she moves back to the Refuge La Cayolle .


Ideas and desires

Please do not mistake our intentions and misinterpret our meanings! Of course, our greatest desire is to help you discover and enjoy all the wild and natural beauty around us.
And we, of course, pledge to always welcome you with genuine friendliness as well as prompt, professional and courteous service (with over 30 years of experience, we know how to make every stay a successful one), but not at any cost...

There are rules everyone must follow.

We are blessed with being able to run a refuge - which is a fantastic tool - in the heart of the magnificent Mercantour National Park. As a consequence, we are entitled to express our views and feelings about environmental ethics as well as our deep concern over environmental protection.
We are committed to eco-responsibility and just want to get our message across to make certain that each of our numerous visitors understands the need to protect the natural wonders that surround us.

Meeting those little commitments is no big deal for us:

  • they are just simple things we do on a daily basis in order to preserve our fragile environment.
  • Our approach to tourism is unpretentious, transparent and collaborative.
  • The earth is not our playground and does not belong to us.

We love our natural world and we all need to act more responsibly to protect it for ourselves, for our children and for future generations. We aim to promote an eco-responsible tourism with manageable occupancy rates, which inevitably improves the quality of service we deliver and helps us build more positive customer relationships.

At the refuge :

  • Do not waste water. Every drop is precious!,
  • Properly sort your trash,
  • Carpool whenever possible,
  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room,
  • Avoid overusing plastic bags, soaps, shampoos and detergents...

When hiking trails :

  • Not litter on the site.
  • Do not pick any of the plants or flowers,
  • And finally, please remember that your eco-conscious attitude should not stop once you step outside of the Park boundaries.