The next day - as an extra - paid for at the hotel, we set off early for a trip to the Vallée des Merveilles where we were led - very well and knowledgeably by Sebastien the son of the hotelier - a photographer and guide. We weren't certain what we were going to see but a spectacular day was much enjoyed with the high mountains, the wildlife - ibex, chamois and marmots, alpine flowers, the Bronze Age carvings and the walks.
you can just see a marmot relaxing with a mountain view in the picture.
The Vallée was around a 30 minute drive from our hotel - a 4x4 being essential - the tour started with walks in the meadows viewing flowers and wildlife then up to the higher area to see the carvings (and lunch) and finally a tricky descent through snow back to the vehicle - it was early in the season hence still some snow. We heard a lot about the history - both of the groups who carved the images and of their discovery and preservation from our guide. We'd recommend the trip! You can see more images of the day if you visit the picture and click the 'Vallée des Merveilles' tag.