Ride around Le Morel waterfalls
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Ride around Le Morel waterfalls
AIGUEBLANCHE

Ride around Le Morel waterfalls

Architecture
Flora
History
Lake and glacier
Viewpoint
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This route takes you on a discovery of water in all its forms: waterfall, stream, river and thermal springs…
This route takes you on a discovery of water in all its forms: waterfall, stream, river and thermal springs...It also alternates between woodland and traditional villages as you'll pass through Chaniet Wood and the pretty village of Saint Oyen. The next stretch takes you towards Le Morel waterfall and its interpretation trail. A very fine view then awaits up by St Nicolas' Chapel. The highlight of your outing will be the hydroelectric power plant at La Coche, which you'll reach through age-old orchards and meadows.

9 points of interest
Water

Aquacalida exhibition centre

The Léchère waters are used for all sorts of purposes that you'll be able to learn about on a fun visit to this exhibition centre. Four thematic areas have been laid out to give you an insight into the history of La Léchère, balneology, geothermal energy and the energy issues through stories, animated movies, games and more!
Open for visits at your leisure, no admission fee.
Guided tours possible from October to April.
Tel: +33 (0)4 79 22 33 29
http://aquacalida.fr

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Water

La Léchère Les Bains thermal baths

In 1897, a solicitor from Albertville founded the first baths in La Léchère after discovering the springs in 1869. It was a gamble that paid off as today, this resort located at an altitude of 440m has become an acclaimed spa complex.
Water type: hyperthermal, sulfated, calcic and magnesic with pain-relieving, sedative and soothing properties. 3 therapeutic focuses: rheumatology, phlebology and gynaecology.
https://www.thermes-la-lechere.fr/

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Flora

Connected sports-fitness-nature trail in Chaniet Wood

This is a great forest park to come for a wander or workout amidst beautiful scenery!
Just next to the thermal baths, the trail, specially laid out by the National Forestry Office (ONF) is a lovely way of exploring the forest park in Chaniet Wood whilst keeping fit on the bespoke facilities approved for outdoor fitness use. Chaniet Wood extends from Hôtel Radiana across East-facing slopes at an altitude of between 430m and 530m. Make your way through refreshing parts in the shade and dry grasslands before reaching a stunning viewpoint over the Vanoise glaciers. This is an ideal route for enjoying a group outing as it climbs very gradually. For a guided fitness session, why not opt for a spot of sports coaching with the free FORETsport® LaLechere app for smartphones! 7 individual programmes to encourage exercise and monitor progress - whether you're just looking to get back into shape or you're an experienced athlete!

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Small heritage

Old village of Saint Oyen

The pretty village of Saint-Oyen nestles on the left sloping banks of the Morel, a tributary of the River Isère, at an altitude of 586m. It is named after its patron saint Eugendus (Oyend in French); this applies for the three villages of Saint-Oyen in the Aosta Valley, Saint-Oyens in the canton of Vaud and Saint-Oyen in the Tarentaise area. It overlooks Aigueblanche basin. Steeped in a rich past and a longstanding tradition in these Alpine valleys, the village boasts two chapels, Saint-Roch and Notre-Dame-du-Puits, and a Baroque-style church (17th century).
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History

Morel interpretation trail

Within easy reach of your route is an enjoyable trail telling you a bit about the history of the Morel, which wasn't always the tranquil stream you see today! Find out how our ancestors excelled in ingenuity in their efforts to protect their communities from this once turbulent and raging watercourse of the Aigueblanche Valleys! A comprehensive factsheet on "Le torrent du Morel" is on sale in the tourist offices of Valmorel and Doucy (€5).
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Flora

Historical meadows and orchards

The meadow-orchard’s main feature is the tree-shaded grassland that provides fodder and pasture. Trees and grass each have their own part to play, growing alongside each other and interacting. Beneath the trees, protected from winter frosts, the grass grows more quickly; in summer, it is less subject to evaporation and has a quality all its own (not as coarse as in the open fields, where it contains more cellulose). It only needed to be cut twice to produce enough hay. Cattle were seldom allowed to graze in them in case they damaged the soil or choked on the fruit (when cows had to be driven across or alongside an orchard, they were muzzled). They were given access more readily in the autumn, after the apples had been picked.
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Small heritage

Saint Nicolas Chapel

This chapel is secluded on a small hill away from the villages and offers you a nice view. It is classified and dedicated to Saint Nicolas, bishop of Myre.
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Water

La Coche hydroelectric power plant

Commissioned in 1976, this power plant is connected to the La Coche and Aigueblanche reservoirs. It works according to the innovative principle of a Pumped Energy Transfer Station (STEP). The principle is straightforward: to generate electricity, the water from the lake upstream (La Coche) is channelled through turbines then delivered to another lake downstream (Aigueblanche). In low water periods, the water is pumped back up to the reservoir upstream thanks to reversible turbines. Potential energy reserves are thus re-established, which can be harnessed at any time to meet peaks in consumption.
The new power plant, fitted with a Pelton wheel, the most powerful turbine in France, which was inaugurated in 2019, can increase its power by 25%. It has an annual output of about 100 GWh, the equivalent of 265,000 inhabitants' energy consumption (i.e. covering more than 60% of Savoie's population).
There is another E-BIKE route you can head out along as far as La Coche dam.

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Know-how

E-bike rental shop: Sport 2000 Mottet Sport

Aigueblanche - Sport 2000 Mottet Sports
333 rue de la petite prairie - Face Super U
73260 AIGUEBLANCHE
+33 (0)4 79 24 53 17
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Description

From Aigueblanche, the first stretch runs pleasantly along the banks of the River Isère via the former Olympic village and the thermal baths park. You then begin to climb up towards Chaniet Wood where you'll be able to combine sport and relaxation. On leaving the wood, make sure you stay focused as the uphill track gets a little more technical. Ride through the pretty village of Saint Oyen next before heading down a single track path towards Le Morel waterfall: take care on the descent. Enjoy making your way round the Morel interpretation trail then go back up Le Bois for a fun downhill stretch at St Nicolas' Chapel. Stop to admire the view first! On the final stretch, enjoy going back down through age-old orchards and meadows before passing in front of the hydroelectric power plant at La Coche.

Follow the blue waymarks: Les Cascades.

E-bike rental shop:

Aigueblanche - Sport 2000 Mottet Sports
333 rue de la petite prairie - Face Super U
73260 AIGUEBLANCHE
+33 (0)4 79 24 53 17
Departure : Sport 2000 Mottet Sports Car park
Arrival : Sport 2000 Mottet Sports Car park
Towns crossed : AIGUEBLANCHE, LA LECHERE, SAINT-OYEN, LE BOIS

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

Rando Vanoise has been designed to help you pick and choose your outings, but cannot be held liable where they are concerned. The mountain offers up a wide range of routes and trails for cyclists of all levels, but remember, it is a living, unpredictable environment and it is important that you head out suitably equipped. Ask advice from cycle rental operators.
If in doubt, you can take an introductory lesson in how to ride an electric bike with an instructor.

If you see a herd ahead, slow down and go round it. If there is a patou, a guard dog, climb down from your bike and walk, pushing it alongside you. Avoid making any sudden or aggressive gestures towards the dog and move away from the herd slowly and calmly. The dog will only be checking that you do not pose a threat to its herd. Respect the parkland and close gates behind you after you've gone through them.

The mountain is living, please respect it by staying on the paths and tracks.

Information desks

Immeuble les Eaux Claires<br>Station thermale<br>73260 La Léchère-les-Bains,

http://www.lalecherelesbains.fr

info@lalecherelesbains.com

0479225160


Find out more

Bourg Morel<br>73260 Valmorel,

http://www.valmorel.com

info@valmorel.com

04 79 09 85 55


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Transport

Train services run as far as Moûtiers Salins Brides-Les-Bains (TGV high-speed train station) or Notre-Dame-de-Briançon (TER regional express train station), find out more at: www.oui.sncf.com.
You can then get a coach or taxi to Aigueblanche
Find out more at: www.transavoie.com
Have you also thought about car-sharing?

Access and parking

From Moûtiers, take the RN 90 road and come off at junction 38.

Parking :

Sport 2000 Mottet Sports Car park

Report a problem or an error

If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: