Stay 34 : A natural stay in France for the national parks

Stay 34 : A natural stay in France for the national parks.

Occidental Route

Stage 34/35 - 257 kms

0 km Aoste

38 kms Valsavarenche

15 kms Introd Vallée D'aosta

50 kms Chamonix

35 kms Megève

32 kms Alberville

43 kms Col de la Madeleine

44 kms St Michel de Maurienne

carte Aoste a St Michel de Maurienne

Aosta : a major Italian region

Aoste - Italy

Aoste - Italy - © Claudio Divizia

The Aosta Valley is an autonomous mountainous region of north-west Italy. It is bordered by France to the west, Switzerland to the north and the Piedmont area to the south and to the east. If you are taking a flight in Turin, Milan and Geneva, these airports are all within 2 hours of the Aosta Valley.

Valsavarenche : Excursions, nature, city paradise for tourists

Valsavarenche - Italy

Valsavarenche - Italy - © chiarafornasari -

Valsavarenche is an Italian commune with a population of 186. It is located in the Aosta Valley. Come to enjoy your holidays in Valsavarenche by visiting many sights in and around the town. Considered for the numerous excursions organized around the chain of the « Big Paradise ». Victor-Emmanuel II and Savoie welcome the tourists liking the walking in the nature. The Park kept and has renovated the royal hunting lodge of « Orveille » to remember king Victor-Emmanuel. To « Dégioz » you can notice rocks of red color, which have deposits of iron salts and which gave the name of « red waters to a small town ». Valsavarenche is a moving plate of the activity.

Introd Aosta Valley : An unforgettable natural stopping place

Introd Aoste valley - Italy

Introd Aoste valley - Italy - © Pecold

It is a special natural place, where every summer the Pope decides to come for a rest. Is it due to the forest? Or to the beautiful meadows? Is it perhaps thanks to the wonderful nature? Come to Introd Aosta Valley and discover for yourself. Let yourself be fascinated by the castle which dominates the village. You will be amazed by the bridge reaching 80 metres above the creek. Spend some time observing the craftsmen who are doing their manual work. Do you feel the fragrance in the air? You are close to the Gran Paradiso National Park.

Gran Paradiso National Park

National Park Grand Paradis - Italy

National Park Grand Paradis - Italy - © beppesensation -

The Gran Paradiso National Park was the first national park established in Italy. It is made up of a vast territory of high mountains, from the 800 meters of the valley bottoms to the 4061 meters of the Gran Paradiso peak. Larches and firs, wide alpine grasslands, rocks and glaciers make up an ideal setting for the rich and varied wildlife and for a visit leading to the discovery of the high mountains’ wonderful world.

John Paul II House Museum

Les Combes Museum is a “sanctuary of memories” related to the pontificate of John Paul II. It is a tribute where everyone, in one way or another, draws their own experiences. The John Paul II House Museum displays a series of objects, documents and photographs of the Holy Father and his pontificate. This collection, on one hand, represents the Holy Father’s worldly apostolic aspect, and on the other, his residence in Val d’Aosta, and the personal objects used during his vacation in Aosta Valley.

Chamonix : An international resort with "Mont-Blanc"  and climbing

Chamonix Village - France

Chamonix Village - France - © Christelle.delforge -

Located in the heart of the Alpes, Chamonix Mont-Blanc is a year-round resort, offering a wide range of outdoor activities, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking and many others. Chamonix is also a Mecca for mountaineering and rock climbing. The Chamonix valley is some 20 kilometres long with the Aiguilles Rouges massif to the north side, and the Mont Blanc massif to the south side, with its peak attaining 4808 metres. Located in Haute-Savoie in the Rhône-Alpes region, it was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.

The Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve

The Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve offers an easy stroll to reach the spectacular views of the Col de Montet. There is an information centre where you can find out about the region’s animals and plants and buy a drink or snack. The nature trail is marked by numbered granite blocks. The whole circuit can be covered within 45 minutes. If you wish to explore the area in winter, you can book a snowshoe hike with one of the local mountain guides.

Megève : a dream destination for tourists and ski lovers

Megève village - France

Megève village - France - © steeves102 -

Megève is a  commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France with a population of over 4,000. The town is well-known due to its popularity as a ski resort of the Mont-Blanc in the French Alpes. Created in the 1920s as a French alternative to Saint-Moritz by the Rothschilds, it was the first resort built for this purpose in the Alps. Originally it was a prime destination for the French Aristocracy. It remains one of the world’s most famous and most exclusive ski resorts.

Albertville : An Olympic town

Albertville - France

Albertville - France - © reivax38000 -

Albertville is a French commune in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region. The town is mainly known for hosting the 1992 Winter Olympics. Albertville lies on the Arly River, close to the confluence with the Isère River. Its altitude is between 345 and 2037 metres. The mountains are home to Belle Étoile, Dent de Cons, Négresse, Roche Pourrie, Mirantin, Pointe de la Grande Journée, and Chaîne du Grand Arc. Nearby mountain ranges include the Bauges, the Beaufortain and the beginning of the Vanoise.

Regional Natural Park of the Massif des Bauges

Bauges massif - France

Bauges massif - France - © savoieleysse -

The "Massif des Bauges" regional natural park, established since 1995, covers between 250 and 2217 metres and stretches on an area of 856 km2. It is divided in the two departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie. The park’s 64 municipalities house 70 000 inhabitants and form part of the Rhône-Alpes region. The forest covers 58% of the park’s area and provides a timber resource that is very important for the local economy. Meadows, 30% in the park area are distributed among the hayfields and pastures.

Col de la Madeleine

Col de la Madeleine - France

Col de la Madeleine - France - © cvincelet -

"Col de la Madeleine" is a high mountain pass in the Alpes, in the Savoie department in France which connects La Chambre in Maurienne with Aigueblanche and Feissons-sur-Isère in Tarentaise. The pass is closed from November to the beginning of June. It has been described as “beautiful, but heartbreaking”.

St. Michel de Maurienne

Saint Michel de Maurienne is located at an altitude of 711 meters and is the main village in the canton. It has a population of 3000 and it is made up of many typical hamlets lying on the sunny side of the Arc River.  Located at the foot of the main alpine passes, close to the region’s ski resorts, and at the door of the Vanoise National Park, Saint Michel lies in the heart of the Maurienne Valley in Savoie.

Vanoise National Park

Vanoise National Park - France

Vanoise National Park - France - © jeanmichel deborde -

The French Vanoise National Park, established in 1963, is located between the Tarentaise and Maurienne valleys in the French Alps. It was the first French national park. It is located in the Savoie department. Small villages like Champagny-le-Haut, Champagny-le-Bas, La Chiserette, La Cuaz, Le Bois, Friburge and Séez are found near this park, as well as several large French ski resorts such as Les Trois-Vallées, Tignes, Val-d'Isère, Les Arcs, La Plagne. On the Italian border, the park is adjacent to the Gran Paradiso National Park. Together, these two parks cover over 1250 km.

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