Monthly Archives: September 2011

Wild flowers in Les Carroz August 2011

A walk from Les Feux to Les Molliets in Les Carroz

Wild flowers in Les Carroz August 2011

Wild flowers in Les Carroz August 2011

Another fine day in late August in Les Carroz, as the heat of the day was waning I drove to just outside Les Feux and started a walk to Les Molliets, the time was about 1730. The walk involves a reasonably gentle gradient all the way to Les Moilliets, from an elevation of 1250m to an elevation of 1450m over a distance of 2.5 km.

The walk goes past the Haute Combe refuge just off to one side of the track, through wooded areas and then into an open expanse of fields and farms. I’ve attached some photos of the walk, and on the return leg of the journey I remembered to activate my GPS tracker, so have attached an image of the walk showing the track in Google earth.

Chateau d’ Yvoire on Lake Geneva

A day in Yvoire on Lake Geneva (Lake Leman)

Chateau d’ Yvoire on Lake Geneva

Chateau d’ Yvoire on Lake Geneva

We had not visited Yvoire since 2004, so in August 2011 we decided to drive from Les Carroz dAraches to Yvoire on Lake Geneva. I took the D6 route through Marignier, then the D907 through Bonne. There was very little traffic and was free flowing all the way, some 40 miles took just over an hour of driving. Yvoire is a medieval village, believed to have existed since 1306 and retains many of the fortifications from the 14th century, including ramparts and entry gates. It is also a Village Fleuris and prides itself on displays of flowers, in hanging baskets, pots, window displays, climbing wisteria, climbing roses and other vivid colorful displays seen overhanging balconies in the narrow streets. The unmissable Chateau d’Yvoire, a typical Savoie castle, sits overlooking Lake Geneva and can be seen from just about anywhere in the medieval town. A pity that it is in private hands and not open to public viewing.

There is a small harbour and many cruises regularly depart from here across the lake to Nyon, or various other less frequent round trips to Thonon. Evian, Montreux and Lausanne. Usually one boat per day is on an historic, pre-First World War Belle Époque paddle steamer.

There is also the Garden of the Five Senses (Le Jardin des Cinq Sens), the garden is the former kitchen garden of Chateau d’Yvoire and takes its inspiration from the middle ages, with an abundance of flowers, a maze and quiet spots to sit and relax. Entry is 10  Euro, more detail is available at this link.

If hungry there are plenty of restaurants to chose from, or even snack places where freshly made filled french bread rolls will be prepared as you wait.

I’ve included a selection of photos as we walked around Yvoire, illustrating the sights and features of this beautiful medieval town.


A walk to Refuge de Sales in the Grand Massif French Alps

We were on holiday in Les Carroz d’Araches in the French Alps in late August, with fantastic weather, blue skies and hardly a cloud. I had wanted to walk some of the GR 5 towards Flaine, so I drove to Sixt fer Cheval, and started the walk at Le Lignon at an altitude of 1180m, with an expectation to climb to about 2000m towards either one of the refuges. Near to the waterfall called Cascades de la Sauffaz the path split with the GR 5 heading towards Refuge d’Anterne and the GR 96 trail heading towards the Refuge de Sales.

The route is shown in the photo, taken from a picture board on the walk.

Gr 5 or GR 96 in Sixt fer Cheval

The walk from Le Lignon was quite steep, below is a photo looking North towards the start of the walk.

Gr 5 walk looking North to Sixt


La Sauffaz waterfall near Sixt fer Cheval



The waterfall was quite spectacular even late in the season, when there is no snow melt. I can imagine in spring that this would be a torrent.

Cascades de la Sauffaz near Sixt fer Cheval

Cascades de la Sauffaz near Sixt fer Cheval

I decided to take the Gr 96 and head towards the Refuge de Sales at 1840m. The walk passed some dried out stream beds, past mountain goats or Chamois grazing on the mountain sides, more waterfalls, across plateaus and around some narrow paths with safety ropes.

I was very pleased to capture the wild mountain goats, so close to the path. On all other walks I have spotted them in the distance on high rock ledges but never grazing on the lower mountain slopes.

A few movies showing the path and the view due North are below, with a gallery of the photos following.

I started at Le Lignon at 1000 and reached the Refuge at 1230, which included a couple of breaks to drink and eat sandwiches. The walk back was slightly quicker, taking about 2 hours.

Video of Gr 96 walk towards Refuge de Sales

Video of Gr 96 walk south of Sixt Fer Cheval

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