At the foot of the French Dolomites
On this route, mother nature is queen. Highlights include the majestic east face of the Vercors, the Hauts-Plateaux nature reserve, an astronomical observatory, and an incredible natural eternal flame.
Col de l’Arzelier
Located in the community of Château-Bernard, the family-oriented Col de l’Arzelier ski area features a cable car with panoramic views. Open in the summer, this lift whisks you to the foot of the splendid cliffs of the eastern Vercors,
also known as the “French Dolomites.” The cliffs are located opposite the mountain ranges of Belledonne, Oisans, and Dévoluy. The cable car also provides access to downhill trails used for mountain biking, all-terrain wheelchair riding, and all-terrain scooters.
Located in the Gresse-en-Vercors community forest, in the woods of Fayolles, the elevated walkways of Odyssée Verte® take you on an unusual adventure through the tree canopy. The experience is educational rather than athletic (no climbing harnesses needed). Open since 2012, Odyssée Verte is set against a backdrop of the majestic east face of the Vercors.
Gresse-en-Vercors is the gateway to the Hauts-Plateaux du Vercors nature reserve. Covering 17,000 hectares, it is the largest reserve in metropolitan France. Gresse-en-Vercors is also the starting point for hikers heading to the top of the highest summit in the range, the Grand Veymont (2,341 m).
Gresse-en-Vercors is home to an astronomical observatory equipped with a large, 350 mm diameter telescope. This equipment makes it possible to observe space beyond our solar system, as far as millions of kilometres away from the earth.
On the outskirts of Miribel-Lanchâtre, in the community of Gua, you’ll want to visit an incredible natural wonder, the fontaine ardente (‘fountain of fl ames’), a natural source of gas that causes fl ames to emerge from the ground. It is one of the seven wonders of the Dauphiné. At one point in time the fl ames actually emerged from the waters of a natural spring, but changes in the surrounding terrain destroyed the natural basin that held the water, so today only the fl ames remain, the product of the burning of gas that seeps from the ground.z.
Flavours from the farm
Owners Nathalie and Dominique welcome you to their farm Le Chemin des Saisons, in Gresse-en-Vercors.
A wide variety of farm products are available for purchase, including eggs, farm-raised lamb, and products from the garden. Highlights include a vast assortment of homemade syrups (nettle, mint, lemon balm, queen-of-the-meadow), jams, herbal teas, aromatic plants and oils (chives, basil, coriander, etc.), and pesto made with wild garlic or chives. In the summer you can purchase vegetables every Saturday from 10:00 to 12:00 noon. Nathalie also teaches cooking classes using wild plants and fl owers. You can even hire the farm’s donkeys, Matchou and Pitchou, for outings of a half an hour or longer. Dominique, a certifi ed trekking guide, offers overnight trips on the high plateaus of the Vercors. And on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, guided farm visits are the perfect way to learn more about mountain agriculture. The farm also has two rural gîtes, for those considering a longer stay in this restful setting.
Le Chemin des Saisons. Le Serre Monet 38650 Gresse-en-Vercors. Tel. +33 (0)4 76 34 93 20. www.lechemindessaisons.com