Stay 3 : Natural stay in France around the lakes and parks

Stay 3 : Natural stay in France around the lakes and parks.

Occidental Route

Stage 3/35 - 252 kms

0 km Villard de Lans

51 kms Le Sappey

14 kms St Pierre de Chartreuse

34 kms La Féclaz

22 kms Bellecombe en Bauges

23 kms Annecy

34 kms Thonon les Bains

10 kms Evian

carte Villard de Lans a Evian

A natural stay in Villard de Lans : Memories heritage for this town

Voyage spirituel à Villard de lans France

Villard de lans France
© dan talson -

Villard de Lans is a cantonal capital of the historic centre of Vercors. The city cascades on the slopes of the Great Flycatcher Mountain’s foothills. The farmers of Villard de Lans and Corrençon en Vercors are both proud of their memories heritage and wish to maintain a traditional mountain-agriculture approach. Maybe this is why they so pleased to offer visitors a foretaste of their traditional cuisine. Savour the local specialities made of goat cheese and the famous “Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage” which has been produced locally for 600 years. You will have the opportunity to taste all this on a farm itself.

Le Sappey : Sustainable tourism, come and explore its natural landscape

Séjours nature à Le Sappey France

Le Sappey France
© Pierre-Jean DURIEU -

Le Sappey-en-Chartreuse is a French commune located in the Isère department, in south-eastern France. Enjoying a beautiful location in the mountains, winter sports such as downhill and cross-country skiing are the main activities. Hiking and biking are also an excellent way to explore the commune and enjoy an unspoilt natural landscape.

St Pierre de Chartreuse : More than a drink, the Carthusian’s story

Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse is a French commune located in the Isère department, in south-eastern France. It lies in the Chartreuse Mountains, to the north of the city of Grenoble. Historical monuments to visit in the commune are the Grande Chartreuse and the head monastery of the Carthusian Order located in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse.

The Chartreuse Regional Nature Park

The Chartreuse mountain range became a regional nature park in 1995. This new status recognises the region’s high quality natural and cultural heritage. The park is a mosaic of landscapes in which open pastures, mountain forests and tall cliffs define the land. The nature reserve is home to fauna and flora that include countless different species, including the Tengmalm owl, an extremely rare species. This park promotes development of economic activities that respect the environment and preserve the valuable traditional and agricultural know-how.

Our Lady of Myans

Near Chambéry, in a small village called Myans, lies a small simple church overlooking the valley.   Inside is the Ebony Virgin who performed miracles. The most resounding miracles by “Our Lady of Myans” occurred in the 13th century, on 24 November 1248, in the Myans valley. According to the story, it was about eight in the evening, the weather was calm and the moon was shining in the sky. But suddenly, part of The Granier, a high mountain standing on the valley collapsed.

According to the geologists, almost 150 millions of meters of rock came off the mountain and came rolling down towards the town of Saint-André and sixteen villages. The catastrophe claimed more than 5000 lives. However, the sanctuary of Myans, which should have been crushed under the avalanche of boulders, remained undamaged. When the catastrophe occurred, monks who came from Apremont were inside the sanctuary since the morning. They were praying the Ebony Virgin at that precise moment when the massive landslide occurred. All the monks survived. Even today, worshippers come on pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Myans sanctuary.

Col du Granier : Renowned by the Tour de France cycle race

Col du Granier is a mountain pass in the Alps in the department of Savoie, in France, which crosses the Chartreuse Mountains to connect the villages of Entremont-le-Vieux  in the south, Apremont in the north and Chapareillan in the east. It has been crossed several times by the Tour de France cycle race. It is located between Mont Granier in the south-east and Mont Joigny in the north-west.

La Féclaz : A Dynamic ski resort

Séjours nature à La féclaz France

La féclaz France

The ski resort of La Feclaz is located in the Bauges Mountains and has about 660 inhabitants. La Feclaz is part of the Déserts commune in the eastern part of the Savoie department. The nearest large city is Chambéry. La Feclaz boasts a great reputation for its winter sport facilities. The difficulty level of its eleven runs varies from green, for easy, to black for difficult. Cross-country skiing, dog sledging and snowshoeing are also available. The runs can easily be accessed by four lifts. During summer, horseback riding, hiking and climbing are activities that tourists enjoy the most.

Bellecombe en Bauges : A short stage in this town

Bellecombe-en-Bauges is a French town, located in the Savoie department and the Rhône-Alpes region. You will stay for a short stage and will profit. Surrounded by the Motte-en-Bauges, La Chapelle-Saint-Maurice and Leschaux communes, the small town is located 17 km southeast of Seynod, the largest town nearby.

The Massif des Bauges Natural Regional Park

The Massif des Bauges Natural Regional Park has been established since 1995 and covers between 250 and 2217 meters with an area of 856 km². This park is divided in two departments namely Savoie with 46 municipalities and the Haute-Savoie with 18 municipalities. The 64 municipalities in the Park hosts some 70 000 inhabitants and are part of the Rhône-Alpes department. There are six towns, which are also members of the Parks joint union, and a total of 400 000 people live in the park.

Annecy : A charming French historical town

Séjorus nature à Annecy France

Annecy France
© cyril ruchet -

Annecy is a charming  French historical commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France. It lies on the Lake Annecy’s northern tip, 35 kilometres south of Geneva. The Palais de l'Isle is a castle in the centre of the Thiou canal, built in 1132. It was the primary residence of the lord as from the 12th century, and later became the Count of Geneva's administrative headquarters, then alternately a courthouse and finally a jail from the Middle Ages until 1865. The Palais de l'Ile was classified as a Historical Monument in 1900, and today houses a local history museum.

Lake Annecy

Lake Annecy is a perialpine lake in Haute-Savoie in France. The lake was formed about 18,000 years ago, at the time when the large alpine glaciers were melting. It is fed by many small rivers from the surrounding mountains such as Ire, Eau morte, Laudon, Bornette and Biolon and by a powerful underwater lake source, the Boubioz, which is 82 m deep.

The Basilica of the Visitation

The Visitation Order was founded in Annecy by François de Sales and Jeanne de Chantal in 1610. Its construction of the present monastery, located at the edge of the Crêt du Maure forest, began in 1909 and was completed around 1930. The church of the Visitation is perceived as a symbol of Annecy’s domination and of the town’s illustrious religious past.

Thonon-les-Bains : A spa town for tourism

Séjours nature à Thonon les bains France

Thonon les bains France
© Jérôme Challandard -

Thonon-les-Bains is a charming spa town that lies along the edge of Lake Geneva. The city centre overlooks the lake, Europe’s largest one, and its attractive port called Rives. Thonon-les-Bains is the capital of the region known as Chablais.

Evian : A thermal tourist area with reputation

Evian France

Evian France

Évian-les-Bains or Évian is a French thermal tourist area located in the northern part of the Haute-Savoie department and in the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France. An up-market holiday resort and a spa town on Lake Geneva’s shores,  it has been, over two centuries, by royalties such as Kings Edward VII and George V of the United Kingdom and King Farouk of Egypt, and celebrities such as countess Anna de Noailles and Marcel Proust.

Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva (or Lake Léman) is in Switzerland and France. It is one of Western Europe’s largest lakes. Its 59.53% and 345.31 Km2 comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland for the cantons of  Vaud,  Geneva, and Valais, and the 40.47% and 234.71 km2 are under France, in Haute-Savoie. The average surface elevation of 372 m above sea level is controlled by the Seujet Dam, in Geneva. Lake Geneva, formed by a receding glacier, is in the shape of a crescent which narrows around Yvoire on the southern shore.

Practical services

Annecy : Hôtel de Bonlieu

Annecy : Atipik Hotel Alexandra

Annecy : Mercure Annecy Centre

Thonon-les-Bains : Hôtel Savoie Leman

Thonon-les-Bains : INTER-HOTEL Arc en Ciel

Thonon-les-Bains : Camping du Leman Saint Disdille

Evian-les-Bains : Hôtel Royal

Evian-les-Bains : Hotel Le Bourgogne

Evian-les-Bains : Hilton Evian Les Bains

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