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MINES DE SEL DE BEX

Bex > Route des Mines de Sel 55
Visit for individuals and families Today, a few kilometres of this immense labyrinth can be visited. This itinerary takes us through the most spectacular and most characteristic of the various mining techniques used since the first gallery was excavated in 1684, up to the present times. An audiovisual presentation (in French, German, English and Italian) installed in an ancient reservoir dug out in 1826 as well as an exhibit allow you to relive all stages of the three centuries of history of salt and the mines. Then a small train brings you to the heart of the mine. From there a pedestrian circuit of about one hour allows you to discover the incredible effort put in the underground search for salt springs, or the desalination of rock containing salt, which, at the time, was worth its weight in gold. TrekkMines adventure Be adventurous and discover the old galleries and shafts apart from our standard tours and benefit from the captivating narratives of our experienced guides. Follow the traces of our miners and go back in time to the 17th century to appreciate the impressive accomplishment carried out exclusively by hand by our ancestors 300 years ago.

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La cascade du Pain de Sucre

Surjoux > Le Parc
The "Pain de Sucre", or Sugar Loaf, is an impressive limestone rock, the point of which has been rounded off by the waters of the Vézeronce which have poured over it for centuries and form a natural pool of pure, clear water at its foot.

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CASCADE DU CREUX DE L'OULETTE

La Chaulme > Le Creux de l'Oulette
This waterfall can be found at an altitude of 1,000m, in the middle of the forest. Close by is a panoramic view of the valley.

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Réserve Naturelle du Bout du Lac d'Annecy

Doussard > Bout du Lac Route de la vieille église
Free access all year long

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Gorges de l'Ardèche

Since 1980 the Gorges de l'Ardèche have been declared a National Natural Reserve, preserving over a thousand native plants and animals species among which Bonelli eagles, vultures and peregrine falcons.

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Le Gros Tilleul

Samoëns > Place du Gros Tilleul Chef-Lieu
The "Gros Tilleul" (large lime tree), which symbolises the town of Samoens, was planted in 1438 to celebrate a ruling handed down by Duke Amadeus VIII of Savoy, stating that the inhabitants of Samoens owned the Frétérolle, Chardonnière, Vigny and Cuidex alpine meadows in the neighbouring Manche valley. The "Gros Tilleul" is quite remarkable for its age and its size. This famous landmark has been immortalised by numerous local authors, poets and musicians through the ages.

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Vallée de la Drobie

The valley of La Drobie is in the southern Cévennes, south-west of the Monts d'Ardèche Regional Nature Park of which it forms one of the "reference landscapes".

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Lagorce - Vallée de l'Ibie

Beginning in Villeneuve de Berg, the Ibie Valley stops in Vallon Pont d'Arc, 30 km. after

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Espace Naturel Sensible des Landes de Montagny

A Sensitive Natural Area with high heritage value, boasting a diversity of landscapes and remarkable species (insects, amphibians, plants and birds). It also has waymarked footpaths for different levels of hiking and is close to the old medieval area.

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Les grottes de Montarquis

Don’t forget while you are there to observe the rich variety of flora and fauna in this area. Only potholers may explore these caves.

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Grospierres - Résurgence de la Font Vive

Grospierres > Font Vive
Vauclusian resurgence below the village of Le Chastelas", now ruined. Its clear waters, 9-10m deep, are surrounded by an oasis of greenery. A very peaceful, restful place.

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Cirque de la Roche Fauconnière

Giron >
Follow the circular nature trail with its information panels to discover the geological circus of La Roche Fauconnière (site listed in 1936); limestone rockface more than 150m high and 1km broad dominating the Valserine valley.

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La Pierre à Laya

Les Carroz d'Araches > La Pierre à Laya
Rocks left behind the receding glacier that once filled these areas

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Observatoire du Lac du Bourget

Contact FRAPNA to sign up for guided tours and access to this observatory.

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La rivière du Giffre

Samoëns > village
The Giffre meanders through the bottom of the valley across the rocks and the gravel of the river bed. A mountain torrent swollen by the countless waterfalls in Le Bout du Monde and Le Fer-à-Cheval, the Giffre flows through the deep narrow Tines gorge, before widening out into the Vallon plane further downstream. Here, the banks and stony and sandy beaches are ideally suited to water games, makeshift dams and brisk dips in the cold water. For white water rafting, kayaking and hydrospeed, there's no better spot. But the Giffre does not stop there; it feeds into the two lakes in the leisure park, a vast, tranquil place where you can fish for trout, try out the golf pratice tee over water or discover the challenging aerial assault course.

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Vallée du Chassezac

The Chassezac, whose source is in the Lozère département, crosses the Pays Beaume-Drobie’s limestone plateaux covered with ‘garrigue’ scrub, where it has furrowed gorges bordered with high cliffs.

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Pont d'Arc

Vallon-Pont-d'Arc > 1 place de la Gare B.P. 5
It serves as a majestic gateway to the river canyon, another exceptional piece of landscape. The Pont d'Arc site was classified as a national heritage in 1982, which ensures that it be neither destroyed nor modified, physically or visually, without special permission. Camping and caravanning are prohibited, as is advertising of any kind. The arch has also been listed as a Sensitive Natural Area of the Ardeche Department and in Natura 2000. Legend of the Pont d’Arc A fiendish legend has originated concerning the Pont d’Arc. One day, a lord of Sampzon married an attractive girl from Vallon. His beautiful wife had many admirers. The jealous lord shut her away in a tower on top of the stony plateau before the waters had hollowed out the bridge. The beautiful lady pined away until, one day, an extremely ugly pilgrim begged for shelter from the lord. The latter, suspecting nothing, let him in and agreed to show him the beautiful view from the top of tower adjoining his manor. While his host held forth, the pilgrim slipped away, liberated the young lady and fled towards the Rhone River. From the top of his tower, the lord caught sight of them disappearing behind the combe. The jealous husband fell to his knees and prayed to the God of Husbands for the return of his wife. His wish was granted. There was a terrible noise, the mountain cracked open, and the waters rushed under the rock, carrying the boat and the lovers straight to the husband. As the lord caught his wife in his arms, the pilgrim turned into a hairy, horned devil and vanished, leaving behind a strong odour of sulphur.

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Alpage de Charousse

Haven of peace, the high mountain pasture of Charousse is established of few traditional chalets, in the protected architecture which appears as timeless.

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Rocher de Sampzon

"Le Rocher de Sampzon" rises to 449 meters. This lookout offers excellent views over the entire basin of Vallon Pont d'Arc and Cévennes. You can access it easily. There is also a loop hike around the rock.

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Bois de Païolive

Les Vans > Bois de Païolive
4 km away from Les Vans, this forest of petrified rock and downy oak forms a complex of mazes. The chaos of rocks and vegetation has given rise to strange shapes which resemble natural sculptures (bear and lion, Lot's wife).

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Cirque du Fer à Cheval

Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval > Chef-lieu
Lying at the eastern end of the Giffre Valley, the cirque forms an immense amphitheatre almost 5 km across and bounded by 500- to 700-m high limestone cliffs. In June, dozens of waterfalls cascade down these huge walls. The Fer à Cheval attracts large numbers of visitors and is twinned with the Gavarnie Cirque in the Pyrenees.

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Réserve des Aravis

La Clusaz > Milieu montagnard
Actually, it extends over 3747 ha of which 629 for La Clusaz. During the last counting, we counted in La Clusaz not less than 600 chamois. We can also meet there ibexes, marmots, foxes, badgers, wild boars, roe deers...

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Source Intermittente et Parc Thermal

Vals-les-Bains > Parc du Casino
Intermittent spring which spouts approximately every 6 hours: - in summer: 11.30am - 5h30pm - 11.30pm and 5.30am - in winter: 10.30am - 4.30pm - 10.30pm - 4.30 am

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Les Pertes de la Valserine

Bellegarde-sur-Valserine > Départementale 1084
An easy walk along the river banks from the town centre to the place known as "Les Pertes de la Valserine", where the river plunges into a canyon. Free leaflet available from Bellegarde Tourist Office.

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Observatoire de l'Etang des Aigrettes

This conservation area situated on the southern shores of Bourget lake is a shelter for numerous local flora and fauna species. 2 observatory points have been set to allow the public to safely discover this natural environment – free entrance to the Observatory. Binoculars can be rented from the Bourget Tourist Bureau. Access by bus: « Plage » bus stop (line terminus), then walk towards the beach and minigolf, then access the cycling trail and head for the castle (follow the signs) – cross the bridge over Leysse river. Access by car: from Le Bourget, follow “Le lac” signs and park on the “Chateau de Thomas II” car park. Walk towards the cycling trail and cross the pedestrian bridge over Leysse river.

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Grottes de Balme

Les Carroz d'Araches > Route de Balme
To be seen only with a guide ! From the entrance, great view on the Arve Valley. A door closes the entrance. A lot of marvellous natural sculptures can be discovered: "Salle des Cloches" or "Salle du Voile de la Mariée"...

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Gerbier de Jonc

Saint-Martial > Gerbier de jonc Commune de Saint Martial
The Loire takes its source at the foot of this amazing natural belvedere, at an altitue of 1,551m. It is easy to walk up to and offers unforgettable views of the Alps, the Boutières, the Rhône Valley and the Cévennes.

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Lac de Machilly

Machilly > à coté du practice du lac (golf)
THE FORON PATH AND MACHILLY LAKE The Foron is a waterway which crosses the Annemasse region from end to end. It crosses wet zones, agricultural plains, meadows, villages but also cities. Accessible by bike or foot, some sections are accessible for people with reduced mobility. You will meet a Beautiful wildlife, flora and amazing sites. Map of the Foron’s path available at Annemasse Tourisme.

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Iles et Lônes du Rhône

Access to the island is provided by the bridge in Vernaison.

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Geopark Chablais

Thonon-les-Bains > 2 rue des Allobroges Square Voltaire
The remarkable environment of the Chablais impregnates the life and culture of its people. The strong links between man and the Earth can be seen through its mountain traditions, buildings, natural resources and legends … This unique landscape tells a story which spans 245 million years. Before the mountains there was the Alpine Ocean. The future rocks of the Chablais were laid down as sediments in this ocean. When the Alps were formed, the rocks were moved, uplifted, fractured and folded. Glaciers then sculpted these stunning landscapes. The European and Global Geoparks Networks protect geological diversity and promote natural and cultural heritage. The landscape is at the heart of this work with education, science, culture, craftsmanship and sustainable tourism … leading UNESCO recognition and support of the Geoparks. The Chablais was awarded Geopark status in 2012 and is the 90th Global Geopark, the 50th European Geopark, and the 4th French Geopark.

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Plateau de Solaison

Brizon >
Already in the 19th century, tourists frequented the Solaison site. Every weekend, many of them still come from the valley below to gain a bit of altitude and enjoy the fresh air... There are about 50 alpine chalets dotted around, most of them residential and proof of na alpine grazing tradition. The chalets were once directly linked to Brison's farming life and alpine farmers. There are several information panels describing the flora, geology and pastureland that covers the plateau. The Plateau de Solaison is situated at an altitude of 1500 m, with wide untouched spaces amidst an unspoiled natural environment. Both in winter and summer, Solaison offers a wide range of activities. In the winter, there is cross-country skiing, ski touring, snow-shoeing and sledging. In the summer, hiking, mountain biking, climbing on the adventure trail, paragliding. Enough to satisfy everyone! Solaison also boasts amazing fauna and flora, the colours and smells of which will scent your country walks. From the plateau, you can climb up to the Pointe d'Andey from where you get a magnificent panoramic view over the valley.

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Les Gures

Servoz >
Old celtic camp and belvedere

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Le col de La Loge

La Chamba > Col de la Loge
Hiking trails allow you to discover on foot, horseback, cycling or with donkeys all these landscapes in following amongst others. the GR3. This site is in use all through the year thanks to winter and summer activities: National festival of 14 July, Nordic festival and musical soirées. Discover on site: nature trails, cross-country skiing, snowshoes, dog sledding, mountain biking and amusing

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La Rose "Saint-Galmier"

Saint-Galmier > Etang des Rivières Bois Barou
You will find the beautiful Saint-Galmier rose in the Saint-Galmier rose gardens which stretch over an area of over 7000M². The Saint-Galmier rose was created by André Eve and christened during a major event about roses in 2004. Blooming season: June

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Les Marmites de Géant

The River Semine and the Combet which flows into it have carved out gigantic, cylindrical hollows 2-3m (6-10ft) deep, linked by a succession of waterfalls, an ideal place for trout!

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Les paysages karstiques

Hautecourt-Romanèche > Corveissiat
During centuries, the streaming water infiltrated into the rock by increasing slowly these cracks which gradually form an underground network of galleries and cavities. On surface, they model cracks, sinkholes, losses and abysses.

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Réserve Naturelle Nationale de la Haute Chaîne du Jura

Gex > 135 rue de Genève Communauté de Communes du Pays de Gex
It stretches from the Franco-Swiss border in the north to the Rhône gap in the south, it is 580m to 1720m high, at the “Crêt de la Neige”. By respecting the rules, you allow the protection of the natural environments and their hosts.

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Réserve Naturelle du Luitel

Séchilienne > Route de Chamrousse
This game reserve was created in 1961 and is the oldest of all the 150 French game reserves. From the fresh water of the Luitel lake to the pine forest of the saddle point of the peat bog, the game reserve contains all the different steps of the ecological evolution concerning this kind of peat bog. The Luitel shelters 255 species of plants which among them it is possible to find marsh lycopodes, marsh scheuchzéries, rossolis, utriculaires and cranberries. Peat moss which absorbs a lot of water, is what one can call a floating raft? One can also find in the game reserve, carnivorous plants, which are equipped with traps that can catch small insects and shellfish in order to feed itself, fighting against the shabbiness of the surrounding. One can find approximately fifteen different species of dragonflies in Luitel. The place is remarkable by the presence of nocturnal butterflies, among which one can find three rare species. It is forbidden to pick up samples of species, to ride bikes, to make camp fires and to camp.

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Désert de Platé

Passy >
The Platé Desert is a true mineral fortressl. This limestone plateau is surrounded by the majestic Aiguilles de Warens and the mountain of Platé in a fantastic lunar setting. In the cracks, where a little humus accumulates, develops an original and colourful alpine flora including some rare and protected species. The wildlife present here includes: majestic mountain goats, curious marmots , graceful stoats, hares and ptarmigan. The site covers a vast area of ??1980 hectares, protected since 1998.

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Le massif du Tanargue

“Taranis”, the Celtic god of the sky and thunder appeared in all his violence on “Arga”, the mountain, hence the name Tanargue, the ‘Thunder Mountain’.

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L'Arboretum Robert Ruffier-Lanche

Saint-Martin-d'Hères > 2233 rue de la piscine domaine universitaire
One of the most beautiful arboretums of the Rhone-Alps regions. A pedagogical area destined for students and the public. A planetary path at the heart of the arboretum. Greenhouse projects underway in order to study Alpine plante and laboratory plants year round in controlled conditions.

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Combe de Graydon

Essert-Romand > Graydon
Located at 1340m and rising to 2243m, the Graydon meadows are easily accessible by car in summer from Essert-Romand. Graydon is the starting point for many walks including the Roc d'Enfer tour, a delightful route that winds through Alpine meadows, offering a glimpse of marmottes and deer. This circuit has superb panoramas of the Aravis mountains, the Roc d'Enfer and the Mt Blanc range. Visitors who wish to learn more about the chapel are invited to go in. It dates from the 19th century but was recently restored, providing a place to sit quietly and recharge your batteries. It hosts several services throughout the warmer months. Graydon is also a foodlovers' treat, with fresh cheese available from the farm. Why not try Tomme, Abondance ad goats' cheese made by a true mountain farmer who's been herding his animals to pasture there for the last 25 years...

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Cirque d'Archiane

Treschenu-Creyers > Archiane
It’s an imposing cirque of limestone cliffs marking the South of the Vercors. One marked path makes the round in 2h30 (starting from the village of Arhiane - follow “Les Carnets d’Archiane” and marks yellow and green).

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Site naturel des Charmes

Sermoyer > Les Charmes
Aeolian sand dunes, outstanding fauna and flora. Free access, theme trail 1.5km (¾ mile) in length with panels explaining points of interest, fauna and flora.

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Vallée de La Beaume

The Beaume springs from the Tanargue massif to finish its course in the Ardèche at the foot of the Sampzon Rock and has beautiful sandy, rocky beaches for you to enjoy a swim with the whole family.

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Le Puy de Chavanne - Les Orgues basaltiques

Palogneux > Le Bourg
834m in altitude, this basalt outcrop is a major geological monument. Nowadays information panels help to discover the area; picnic tables provide the opportunity for relaxing moments.

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Etang de Haute Jarrie

Jarrie > Haute Jarrie
The voluntary game reserve of Jarrie came into existence in 1984 and is managed by the local authority with the help of scientists. The rating has allowed the safeguard of the flora, fauna, wildlife and the environment ; offering at the same time an enchanting walking place. The game reserve draws many guests who are invited to understand and respect the richness of the place by many educational notice boards. It is forbidden to introduce or to take a sample of the biological species for instance ; to intrude upon animals and to swim. Among the animals to discover in this real biodiversity, the attentive strollers will be able to identify several species of green frogs, Eurasian coot (Fulica atra / foulque macroule), but also reed bunting(bruant des roseaux), grass snake (Natrix natrix / couleuvre à collier) looking for fish and little grebes (Tachybaptus ruficollis / grèbe castagneux) with brown feathers. A little luck will be necessary to intercept the discreet little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus / butor blogios). This cousin of the grey heron (Ardea cinerea / héron cendré), which is very hard to see is emblematic of the game reserve of Jarrie.

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Les Marmottes du Mézenc

Borée > Mairie
Peaking at 1,754m, this is part of the mountainous, volcanic massif to which it has given its name. It forms a gigantic natural barrier which determines the watershed between the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

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Les Lindarets en hiver

Montriond > Les Lindarets
In winter, despite the deep snow covering the chalets' roofs, Lindarets village remains a fantastic winter playground, especially for skiers and snowboarders. The village, which lies in the path of the Abricotine ski run, one of the longest in the Montriond-Avoriaz sector, is a well-known stop-off point for foodlovers who never pass up an opportunity to enjoy a meal in one of the many fine restaurants. Whether you want to soak up the sun on the many terraces or stay warm and cosy inside when the snowflakes start falling, all you have to do is choose from the many menu choices on offer, with their range of gastronomic and traditional dishes. A nice table after a morning's skiing, authentic meals in a traditional setting, with nothing more noisy than the crackle of logs burning on an ancient fire...that's Lindarets in winter: authentic flavours in a totally charming setting. If your tastebuds are telling you it's time to find out more, the good news is it's easy to get to Lindarets. Just take the cable car to the top station and then head down to the village on skis or snowshoes.

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Bloc de Granite

Cordon > l'Herney
This granite block has been left by the glaciers and is the higher of the "Pays du Mont Blanc"
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