3 itinerant hikes in Valfréjus
Roaming on footA 3000 m summit in 2 days
When you leave the station, you have two options: take the bus to the Valfréjus resort and save yourself 400 m of ascent, or set off directly on foot along the GR5 towards the Thabor refuge (1st day). As you leave the resort, take the Lavoir trail and you're in for a real adventure. The forest gradually gives way to alpine meadows. At the Lavoir, stock up on cheese at the cheese dairy, housed in this former barracks of the Maginot Line of the Alps. You can then tackle the trail up to the refuge. Enjoy the exceptional setting, with the superb Cheval Blanc wall reflected in the Sainte Marguerite lakes.
After spending the night in a refuge (remember to book in advance!), we head for the summit, on the boundary between the northern and southern Alps. The hike is fairly long but very varied. Once past the superb Lac du Peyron, the atmosphere becomes more lunar and mineral. At the summit, at 3178m, you can enjoy a 360° panorama stretching from Viso to La Meije. All that's left to do is make your way back down to Valfréjus or the Modane train station. It's a long hike that's accessible to good walkers with no special equipment (but be warned, there may still be snow at the beginning of July: we're in the high mountains!)
Duration: 2 days, 1 night
23 km and 1,225 D+ from Valfréjus.
Horseback ridingA 3-day horseback tour in the heart of the Alps, between the Valfréjus resort and Italy.
Departure is from the Gîte des Tavernes, 1600 m above sea level in Valfréjus. After getting acquainted with their mounts, riders set off for the mountain pastures and summits to enjoy extraordinary panoramas of the wild Thabor massif.
Stéphane, the guide, has plenty of surprises in store for riders, from a daring swim in a 12° lake, to passages through Italy, which borders the area. On the 1st evening, the riders spend the night in a refuge with a Nordic bath, an aperitif board and a magical sunset with a 360° view over the heights of the Valfréjus resort. After a second day's riding, we spend the night in a tent at over 2000 m, connecting with the stars, nature and horses. Return to the riding center the following day.
Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Prices: from €450 for 3 days and 2 nights. Overnight accommodation in gîtes and tents, supervised by a qualified guide. Contact: Équitation Haute Maurienne Vanoise - Stéphane - 07 60 36 19 69
Mountain bikingModane-Punta Bagna on an electric mountain bike
Pack your 2-day bag, put your electric mountain bike on the train and disembark at Modane (you can also rent your mountain bike on site, just a few hundred meters from the station). Once in the saddle, head for Modane town hall, then the pilgrimage trail that starts just behind the town hall and climbs up to Valfréjus.
You're now on the famous GR5, and it's a steep climb, but you'll have no trouble getting there in turbo mode on your electric assistance. Just before arriving in Valfréjus, stop off at the superb Le Charmaix chapel and discover its mysterious Black Madonna. Then cross the resort and spend the night at the Gite des Tavernes or the Youth Hostel. Just remember to recharge the batteries on your AE mountain bike before you go to bed!
For Day 2, it's your choice: put your mountain bike in the gondola to avoid a sweat on the way up and preserve your batteries, or simply follow the "electric mountain bike" signs down a wide track to the Lavoir. You can then activate the "sport" mode to help you climb to the Col d'Arrondaz (2,500 m altitude) and then to the summit of Punta Bagna. You'll then pedal through the heart of a wild mountain, topped by the Petit Argentier and dotted with remnants of the Maginot Line of the Alps, such as the Pas du Roc barracks. From the summit, the view stretches all the way to Mont Blanc.
Take the gondola back down to the station, or take the more technical "La Valdingue" enduro trail. All that's left to do is return to the Modane station via the original trail, or simply the "14 lacets" of the road. 2 days for 1700m of ascent!
Duration: 2 days, 1 night, 1700 m ascent.
- Monitor the weather before and during your itinerary
- Warn your family and friends
- Respect your own pace and know your limits
- Think about hydration and nutrition
- Beware of insects
- The famous first-aid kit
What equipment do I need?
- Good shoes
- A backpack.
- Weather-appropriate clothing.
- Sun protection: sunglasses, cap, sunscreen.
- Hydration and food supplies.