First time in Isère? Perhaps you only have a few days to walk? With this in mind, we have compiled a brief list of our famous hikes and magnificient views.
Whether you prefer a relaxing walk or a challenging hike, striding along or strolling around, there is always something worth heading towards on Isère’s 9000 km of safe, marked trails.
The Charmant Som Lookout - Chartreuse
The exceptional lookout point of the Charmant Som is very accessible (climb 200 m to reach it), and is one of the few summits in the Chartreuse mountains that does not have a sharp ridge but rather a rounded mountain top with alpine meadows.
From the Col de Porte, a little tarmac road leads to the Bergerie car park. The inn serves typical mountain food and dairy products. If you cross the meadows, which takes about 30 minutes on foot, you will reach the summit of Charmant Som (1,867 m).
From there you can see the Grande Chartreuse Monastery and the Correrie (group of buildings that house lay brothers) below it, and admire the 360-degree view of the Chartreuse, Vercors, Belledonne, Jura, and Mont Blanc mountain ranges.
Panorama of The Pic Blanc in Alpe d’Huez
Part of the Grandes Rousses massif, with a summit at 3,330 m above sea level, the Pic Blanc offers an outstanding view over one fifth of France’s territory: Mont-Blanc, the Grandes Jorasses, the Gran Paradiso, the Vanoise glaciers, the summits of Maurienne, La Meije, the Barre des Écrins and the Mont-de-Lans glacier... A sea of mountains as far as the eye can see.
Easily accessible by gondola or cable car from Alpe d’Huez or Oz-en-Oisans, a viewpoint indicator allows you to identify all the legendary summits.
Suspended aerial footbridge in Les 2 Alpes
At 3400 metres above sea level, the Écrins Lookout Point, a 7-metre long, narrow metal walkway, offers an unobstructed 360-degree view.
An experience that will make you think and give you goosebumps: beneath your feet is a sheer drop of 1500m followed by the Vallon de la Selle, and all around you are peaks as far as the eye can see.
The Écrins Lookout Point is accessible on skis, or via a five-minute walk from the funicular train station at 3,400 m.
Chamrousse in Belledonne
A historic resort that hosted the 1968 Winter Olympics - where Jean-Claude Killy won three gold medals - Chamrousse has one of the most stunning views over the city of Grenoble, the Vercors, Chartreuse, Trièves and its legendary Mont Aiguille, the Isère valley...
Even if the peaks and valleys are sometimes visited by clouds, there is nothing quite like it to give free reign to your imagination and contemplate the mountains in completely different scenery to the centre of Grenoble just 45 minutes away.
Fort du Saint-Eynard in Chartreuse
Perched on the summit of a limestone cliff that dominates the wide Grésivaudan glacial valley at 1358m above sea level, the fort was built between 1872 and 1880 to protect Grenoble in the event of an enemy advance through the Chartreuse mountains. The fort is built into the cliff and offers a magnificent panoramic view of Grenoble, the Vercors and Belledonne mountains, the meandering river Isère, and Mont Blanc. Looming in the distance is Mont Aiguille, which you can admire from the terrace together with a drink or a meal. Tip: come here in the evening, the view is really incredible! Saint-Eynard is accessible on foot (hike from Grenoble or Le Sappey-en-Chartreuse), by bike or by car via a little road that leads directly to the fort. A trail running along the cliffs allows you to visit the various buildings that make up the fort.www.chartreuse-tourisme.com
Vertige des Cimes footbridge in Vercors
At the top of the lookout point, where the Lans mountains tower over the Grenoble metropolitan area, the Vertige des Cimes walkway, easily accessible all year round, offers a panoramic view of the surrounding mountain ranges and the city of Grenoble.
The 2.1-metre long walkway is attached to a cliff with a sheer drop of 300m. Wifi has been installed to allow hikers to take photos and take home a unique souvenir of this breathtaking view.
Around the mont Aiguille in Trièves
With its curious shape like an upturned pyramid, Mont Aiguille was known as “Mont Inaccessible” in the 12th century. The first ascent in 1492 marked the birth of mountaineering… Today, the tour of Mont Aiguille is one of the “classic” hikes in the department.www.trieves-vercors.fr
La Dent de Crolles in Chartreuse
The Dent de Crolles, one of the legendary peaks of Chartreuse, gives amazing views of the rest of Chartreuse and the Grésivaudan Valley.
You get a 360° view! It is unique for being totally hollow, with an underground network of 55 km and a drop in altitude of over 600m.
The Plateau d’Emparis in Oisans
Like a natural belvedere, the Plateau d’Emparis offers untrammelled views of the high peaks around it: the Meije, the Pic du Mas de La Grave… This wonderful pasture of 2,900 hectares welcomes many herds of sheep and cows on their Transhumance every summer. A unique hike in an amazing setting.www.oisans.com
The footbriges of Monteynard in Matheysine
The Himalayan suspension bridges, in the south of the Isère department, cross the two rivers over Lake Monteynard-Avignonet: the Drac and the Ebron. These dizzying bridges hang 45m to 85m above the lake; They are 180 m long for the Ebron suspension bridge and 220 m long for the Drac suspension bridge. Crossing these bridges is therefore a special and sensational experience, but fully secured! More than 12 km of forest itinerary will make you cross the lake from shore to shore. Get your fill of thrills!www.matheysine-tourisme.com