Destination Management Company
Paris, Lyon, Burgundy, Alps, Auvergne, Provence, French Riviera
Straddling two departments, Isère and Drôme, the Vercors massif, dominated by the Grand Veymont, is an unexpected haven of peace, both Alpine and Mediterranean, authentic and terribly wild .
Impregnable rock fortress, the Vercors, long isolated, was in history a land of spirituality and resistance.
Having become a ground for outdoor activities, and in particular for hiking, the Vercors remains unknown, especially in its southern part.
The village is recognized as one of the most curious towns in Dauphiné thanks to its houses suspended from the colored facades which dominate the Bourne, its ramparts, the picturesque of its alleys, its bridge. This medieval town owes its charm to the ingenuity of the men who, from the 16th century, built this hilltop village to promote the timber trade. Pont-en-Royans is also the river, its landscaped banks, the Water Museum and fishing. Hanging houses are only visible from the outside.
The site of the suspended houses so appreciated by Stendhal, is registered in 1944 with the titles of historical monuments. It should be admired from the left bank of the Bourne. The visit of the medieval village, through the maze of its alleys, can be pleasantly completed by the pedestrian ascent to the old feudal tower of the "Three Castles" from which one enjoys a wide panorama.
Groups of men arrived about 17,000 years BP in Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans, clans followed one another for 3000 years. At this time, the environment is open and cold: a temperature of 2 to 3 ° C and 200 days of snow on average per year. Gradually, the ice age ends and temperatures increase: the forest appears in Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans. Homo Sapiens, no longer having to follow the migrations of animals, becomes sedentary.
The Grotte de Thaïs illustrates the fabulous work of groundwater with its sculpted rocks and exceptional colorings . In this cave in red and black colors, with astonishing reliefs naturally marked and fractured, immerse yourself in the history of the inhabitants of the village during the last ice age!
This 2087-meter-high stone needle is the result of a break with the cliff of the Grande Moucherolle , to which it was once attached. It is a high place of mountaineering. With its curious silhouette of an overturned pyramid, Mont Aiguille was nicknamed "Mont Inaccessible" in the 12th century. In 1492 the King of France, Charles VIII, ordered his ascent, it was Antoine de Ville who took charge of this delicate mission using ladders... On August 27, 1957, Henri Giraud, aviator, landed his plane there on the summit plateau. Mont Aiguille now has 30 climbing routes, ranging from initiation to experienced climbing.
From an altitude of between 253 m to 1015 m, the Combe Laval is a tourist road in ledge cut in the rock between St-Jean-en-Royans and the Col de la Machine from where you overlook the Orthodox Monastery, point of magnificent view. Famous for its route carved out of the cliff, the road to Combe Laval weaves its way through a grandiose circus, a titanic gash 4 km deep which dominates the Royan region.
Due to its great landscape interest, the Combe Laval circus is protected as a classified site, it tells the story of the men who built these landscapes over time ... We can no longer count the tunnels crossing the rocks, the peaks, the viewpoints and the vertiginous belvederes. Underground, aerial, it took all the talent of the workers to build it: a real work of tightrope walkers!
Originally, it was supposed to facilitate the transport of wood, especially from the superb Lente forest, to Royans, today it is an exceptional tourist route!
The Vercors, a natural fortress imposing its steep walls on the valleys that surround it, witnessed tragic episodes during the Second World War. It appeared as an ideal refuge for the Resistance. The memory of the struggles for freedom remains vivid among those who lived these moments. But they can no longer, on their own, assume the duty of Memory. This is why the National Historic Site of the Resistance project was born, of which the Resistance Memorial is the emblematic place. Inaugurated on July 21, 1994, for the 50th anniversary of the Vercors fighting, the Resistance Memorial invites you to remember, feel and understand the spirit of the fighting for freedom, as close as possible to the Vercors maquis.
The Little Train of La Mure
First electric railway line in the world, for a hundred years, millions of tons of anthracite have traveled over thirty kilometers one of the most beautiful rail routes in Europe. The law of July 17, 1879 (known as the Freycinet plan) establishes the classification of 181 railway lines to be built in the network of railways of general interest. La Mure Railway is thus born on paper.
Among the French tourist railways, the La Mure railroad holds a special position. The large number of second-hand vehicles acquired in Switzerland between 1986 and 1999 make the line from Saint Georges-de-Commiers to La Mure pass for the most “Swiss” of tourist railways. You should know that the La Mure train was originally green. The red color appeared with the tourist development of the line.
Cave of the Luire
The porch de la Luire, like all large porches, has served over the centuries as a refuge against animals, against rain and cold, but also before a human enemy. The most striking episode in its history was during the summer of 1944 the withdrawal of the Saint Martin hospital in front of the cave and the massacre of its wounded 6 days later.
The visit of this cave is a journey through time, it includes several stops and highlights: the porch, the making of your candle, the entry to the lantern, the sound and light, and the slide show on the Luire en flood, great moment of amazement and questioning. This visit takes you into an always extremely active universe where water rules and in the footsteps of its explorers who still today try to unravel its secrets.
The Grotte de Choranche was discovered by the inhabitants of the village of Choranche, probably in 1871. The history of the country says that the drought which hit the region at that time would have invited the villagers to fetch water at its source.
At the foot of the Cirque de Choranche, they discovered a hollow in the cliff from which the water of the river came out and entered this narrow cavity, they finally discovered a huge room with a large entrance lake. The villagers then named this cave the "Fine Neck" cave. The Grotto still bears this name from a geographical, geological and speleological point of view, but it is more commonly called the Grotte de Choranche.
It was in 1897, more than 20 years after the discovery of the Choranche Cave by the villagers, that the first explorations began, led by Oscar Descombaz, one of the pioneers of speleology in France.
Although it has been open to the public for more than 50 years, explorations in the heart of the Grotte de Choranche continue in the undeveloped galleries.
The gorges of the Bourne
Grandiose and vertiginous route, classified 3 stars in the Michelin guide, the Gorges de la Bourne route is the longest of the typical routes of the Vercors. The road carved into the cliff was opened to traffic in 1872 after 11 years of work.
This 24 km road, linking Pont-en-Royans to Villard de Lans, cut into the cliff, was opened to traffic in 1872 after 11 years of titanic work.
As soon as you leave Pont-en-Royans, you reach the gorges of the Bourne, one of the major attractions of the Vercors regional natural park. After the village of Choranche, the road follows a pleasant course, adorned with magnificent views of striking beauty, especially on the Bournillon circus.
You have to go to the Goule Noire bridge, three kilometers upstream from La Balme de Rencurel, to observe the powerful resurgence that testifies to the work of the Vercors groundwater, a remarkable example of which can be admired by visiting the Choranche cave. .
ESCAPADE EN TERRES LYONNAISES
GETAWAY IN LANDS AROUND LYON
4 JOURS / 3 NUITS
4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS
Faites le tour de la région lyonnaise, depuis le Vercors jusqu'au Beaujolais en passant par le Dauphiné et la Dombes.
Take a tour of the Lyon region, from Vercors to Beaujolais via Dauphiné and Dombes.