Leo-setä

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Overview

The three valleys — Saint-Bon, Allues and Belleville — originally linked their infrastructure for skiing, but outdoor enthusiasts soon began returning to enjoy it in other seasons. Hiking and mountain climbing, not surprisingly, rank high, but mountain bikers also put the lifts and trails to good use once the snow melts. Mountain hiking in the Savoie is available to all skill and experience levels, with routes ranging from easy local trails to challenging trips with stays in mountain refuges. Serious climbing and canyoning trips can be arranged with experienced, licensed guides. The extensive lift network is available for exploring the ...

The three valleys — Saint-Bon, Allues and Belleville — originally linked their infrastructure for skiing, but outdoor enthusiasts soon began returning to enjoy it in other seasons. Hiking and mountain climbing, not surprisingly, rank high, but mountain bikers also put the lifts and trails to good use once the snow melts. Mountain hiking in the Savoie is available to all skill and experience levels, with routes ranging from easy local trails to challenging trips with stays in mountain refuges. Serious climbing and canyoning trips can be arranged with experienced, licensed guides. The extensive lift network is available for exploring the valleys on foot, bike or just for enjoying the scenery. Tueda Lake is top-rated for fishing, its clear water habitat producing a high density of trout; major fishing events take place here. Horseback riding is popular, with lessons, trail rides and even pony rides for children available. Méribel's 18-hole course is stunningly beautiful, winding along wooded slopes with a vertical drop of nearly 1000 feet, under the landmark Dent de Burgin peak. Not all the area attractions involve sports. Maison Bonnevie at Les Allues is a small museum of local history and traditions, in an old village house. The impressive Montperché fort, above the confluence of the Maurienne valley and the Combe de Savoie, was begun in 1875, at the end of the Franco-Prussian War as part of France’s “Iron Barrier” to defend its borders. The region’s baroque art heritage is seen in two of the most important buildings in St-Martin-de-Belleville — the parish church and the 16th-century Notre-Dame-de-la-Vie sanctuary — and at La Perrière church and the church in Les Allues.

Barbara Rogers
About the Expert

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers has written or coauthored more than 30 guidebooks, including The Portugal Traveler, Drive Around Portugal, City Spots Munich, City Spots Helsinki, City Spots Stockholm, Eating New England, and the Maine section of Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Barbara Rogers for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Les Trois Vallées (The Three Valleys) is a ski region in the Tarentaise Valley, Savoie département of France, to the south of the town of Moûtiers, partly in the Vanoise National Park.
  • Language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring brings alpine wild flowers blooming alongside rushing streams and waterfalls, as snow melts off the elevations. In summer the altitude keeps temperatures pleasant for hiking and active sports, and fall’s crisp days and changing foliage are often highlighted by new-fallen snow on the mountain tops. There are no bad seasons here, although skies can be gray in the spring. Fishing season lasts from June through early October.