Isère Tourism

Responsible travel

Isère is beautiful, but fragile. As a responsible visitor, we ask you to help look after our landscape and wildlife by following some of the guidelines and sticking to rules in natural environments. The following eco-gestures will help reduce your personal impact on the environment. Here are a few of our top tips for travelling greener.

Respect our natural environment

  • Reduce - conserve energy by reducing the use of electrical items and switching off lights and electrics when you leave. Where possible use the stairs, as even lifts and escalators use energy. Go easy with water by not leaving the taps running. Leave your car at home and whenever possible walk, cycle, or travel by public transport or any other environmentally friendly form of soft transport.
  • Reuse - for a zero-waste holiday, pack reusable items including a water bottle, shopping bag, and maybe even coffee cup, cutlery and straws. In accommodation, pick up towels and encourage the use of bedding for more than one night. Think about using solid shampoos and soaps. If flying, packing light also helps reduce fuel use on the plane. If possible, use mobile passes and avoid printing out paper documents, 
  • Recycle – when buying goods in the EU, avoid single-use plastics and look for the mark showing their environmental impact. Recycle as much as possible, and pick up your rubbish as you go, sorting it into the relevant recycling bins.
  • Respect - respect the rules, and avoid wandering off the beaten path. Whether summer or winter, keeping to the marked routes maintains the natural environment for wildlife and protects their natural habitats. Check the local bylaws and avoid using motorised transport in areas on land and in the water where it is not permitted.


Green Travel: cut your carbon footprint

Travel out of season & avoid overtourism

To give the ecosystems a break, where possible, travel outside of peak seasons (July-August, Christmas, February half term and Easter). By doing so, you’ll also help fund a year-round economy and contribute to local employment in the long-term. You’ll meet fewer crowds, allowing you to soak up the beautiful mountain environments in more solitude, and ultimately save on your pocket too as rates tend to be lower.

In summer especially, Isère is the perfect spot to visit out of season. For example, in late May/early June, alpine meadows come into bloom with wildflowers, with the snow-sprinkled mountains making a picturesque backdrop. 

Getting to Isère

Almost 70% of greenhouse gas emissions from tourism are linked to transport (source: UNWTO) so consider how you get to Isère. 

By car: While Isère encourages use of public transport, if you do travel by car, check your carbon footprint by using an online calculator, such as Greentripper, where you can also choose to offset any greenhouse gas emissions by contributing to global projects. If you’re heading to Alpe d’Huez, consider parking at Allevard. Designed to reduce car journeys up the mountain by enabling drivers to leave their vehicles in the valley, the advanced technology Eau d'Olle Express valley lift (the first valley lift in France) shaves 10km off the journey from Allevard up to Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine via pedestrianised Oz-en-Oisans. The 8-minute journey helps reduce CO2 emissions by more than 230 tons a year. 

By train & bus: To travel to Isère by train, take the TGV to Grenoble. Grenoble TGV station is 7.5 hours from London, 3 hours from Paris. Using operators such as Snowcarbon ( helps contribute to reducing carbon emissions. For example, a journey by plane from London and then a shared taxi from a ski resort can create 103.43 kg of CO2 per person; but travelling by Eurostar Ski Train from London, and then a taxi only creates 18.47 kg of CO2 per person.

Bus connections are timed to coincide with train arrivals in winter and leave from Grenoble bus station next to the train station. You can take the bus to 16 resorts with Transaltitude ( The fleet of Transaltitude vehicles meets the latest EURO6 environmental standards, with an average emission of 76.1 g of CO²/ Each bus replaces an average of 40 cars and saves 60 litres of fuel. Transaltitude also uses top-of-the-range fuels and trains drivers in eco-driving to help optimise the consumption/performance ratio and reduce emissions. 

By plane & bus: If you do decide to fly, one way to help reduce carbon emissions is to pack less. Every extra kilo in your bag means more CO2. Consider hiring all your equipment in resort for example. Once you’ve arrived at the airport, Ben’s buses take you from Grenoble and Lyon airports direct to Alpe d’Huez, Bourg d’Oisans, Chamrousse and Les 2 Alpes, and with links to Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Vaujany and Villard-Reculas. 

Getting around Isère

Walk, cycle or use public transport

You can easily travel around Isère by bike, on foot, by bus, tourist train (such as The Little Train of La Mure) or even on horseback. As well as being more eco-friendly, these alternative forms of transport provide the perfect way to experience Isère’s mesmerising landscapes. Once you’re in Isère, we ask you to limit your impact and avoid using your car. 

On foot: In some areas such as the Haute Belledonne Natural Park, the only way you can visit is on foot. Follow the paths marked and try to avoid going off the beaten track in case of wildlife habitats. Areas such as the Vercors in winter harbour the rare black grouse - or tetras lyre. Stick to the snowshoe routes and avoid the sections marked where black grouse burrow and hibernate. 

By bike: To explore Isère, cyclists have access to a 1,000-km road network that criss-crosses the entire area with 21 signposted cycle-touring itineraries such as the V63 Veloroute, the ViaVercors and the Oisans Greenway. 

Anyone can now tackle the high mountain passes with more e-biking routes and facilities such as charging stations dotted throughout the land and see places that may have once been inaccessible.  Isère also provides extensive facilities for cyclists from cycle paths to hire shops and bike-friendly accommodation that display either the Oisans or Accueil Vélo labels.

For hassle-free travel from one itinerary to the next, some of the Transisère buses allow cyclists to take their bikes on board for example between ​​Villard-de-Lans - Méaudre-Autrans - Lans-en-Vercors, Alpe-d'Huez - Bourg-d'Oisans, Chamrousse to Grenoble. 

By bus: Transisère ( is a network of buses with more than 3,000 stops throughout Isère. They also run a number of natural gas buses from Grenoble to Gresivaudan. Several areas run free shuttle buses between resorts, such as from Bourg d’Oisans to Vaujany, and free buses run on Saturdays and Sundays between Grenoble and resorts including Vaujany to encourage weekend visitors to leave their cars at home. 


What you can do: choose a destination that values sustainability

Discover local food & wine

Trying out food is one of the most enjoyable parts of holidaying in France. Food that has travelled fewer miles is good for the environment but also tastes better and is fresher. Look out for restaurants that display the "Fait maison" logo. This guarantees fresh ingredients and seasonal produce in their cookery. 

When visiting restaurants and cafes, try out dishes made with some of our local ingredients. Discover Isère’s local products, such as walnuts, Saint-Marcellin and Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheeses, dishes such as vercouline, ravioles, Chartreuse and Salette herbal liqueurs, and Rhône valley and Portes de la Savoie wines while learning about the region’s rich food culture and traditions.

Today, these products are complemented by 1,000 products bearing the ISHERE label, the agricultural brand of the Isère Department. It’s the first brand in France to guarantee both the territorial origin of local quality products and the fair remuneration of producers. The beneficiaries of the ISHERE brand - farmers, craftsmen and food companies - commit to using ingredients such as fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, milk or honey from Isère farms for their farmhouse or craft products.

Today, nearly 1,000 products are ISHERE approved, reflecting the variety of agriculture and artisanal know-how in the region: fruit and vegetables, meat and charcuterie, honey, fish, cheese, dairy products, bread. The products are for sale in Isère supermarkets that promote local products directly from the producers as well as a new boutique in The Village outlet at Villefontaine.

Shop at Isère’s markets

Help the local community by shopping locally. Markets are the perfect place to explore and try out in-season fruit, veg, saucissons, cheeses, jams, bread and patisseries from regional producers. Isère’s artisans and craftmakers also set out stalls with handmade wares, linens, woven shopping baskets and soap bars, making a good French market the ideal spot for buying environmentally friendly gifts. Perhaps think ahead and get your Christmas list sorted early. 

Some of the best markets in the department are at Crémieu (Weds), Fontanil-Cornillon (Sun), Morestel (Sun), Voiron (Weds & Sun), and also in Grenoble and Vienne (Tues-Sun). 

Stay with the local community

By choosing and staying in locally owned hotels, you will be contributing to the local economy. One simple way to make sure 100% of your tourist pounds go to the accommodation provider is to avoid using booking engines and reserve direct.

To focus even more on sustainability, select places to stay that have recognised labels. For example, choose establishments with the Green Key (Clef Verte), Ecogîte®, Gite Panda WWF, Inspiration Vercors Partner or EU Ecolabel.

For a selection of green accommodation in Isere see Green Accommodation

Slow down & be at one with nature

Isère’s natural environment is protected and most sports in Isère are human-powered and so this makes Isère an ideal destination for responsible travel. Slowing down and spending quality time in places helps cut down your carbon footprint. During your stay, opt for sustainable and eco-friendly activities and use gentle forms of non-mechanised transport. Take time to get to know where you’re staying and build a deeper connection with the local culture and people. Don’t rush and just check off sights on your list simply to post the latest images on social media. 

In winter: Skiing is mostly a low-carbon holiday as most of the time you’re using human power to hurtle down ski slopes. such as going on a snowshoeing trip into the forests discovering wildlife, or sitting back and mushing on a dog sledding excursion. To truly experience the stillness of the snow-covered mountains, try out ski touring (ski de randonnée) and ski off-the-beaten paths in the backcountry, snowshoeing, dog sledding and more. For more see Top 10 Winter Snowsports

In summer: Cycling, hiking and mountain sports take precedence. Isère’s extraordinary outdoor playground has an exceptional range of leisure activities accessible on foot or by bike: 9,000 km of trails including the Great Crossings, more than 330 km of cycle routes and greenways with e-bike charging stations such as the ViaVercors and the ViaRhôna meeting artisans and buying fresh produce from farms, seven large lakes for watersports, fishing and sailing, not to mention outdoor activities such as trail running (with five trail-running resorts: Belledonne, Chartreuse, Oisans, Taillefer, Vercors), and adrenalin sports including climbing, caving, wild water swimming, canyoning, whitewater rafting, SUP, bungee jumping, via-ferrata, mountaineering, paragliding or eco-swimming in the organic outdoor pool at River’Alp. 

Book with local guides 

Seek out local experiences and book with guides. If you want to slow down and see more of the natural environment, consider taking a guide and heading off into the wilderness with other eco-friendly activities. This is a perfect way to get to know Isère’s vast natural heritage, learn about mountain flora and fauna, try out local traditions and cook with foraged foods, or simply be at one with nature.