Cultural trail taking in the hamlets of the Versant du Soleil
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Cultural trail taking in the hamlets of the Versant du Soleil
AIME-LA-PLAGNE

Cultural trail taking in the hamlets of the Versant du Soleil

Architecture
Flora
History
Lake and glacier
Pastoralism
Viewpoint
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Immerse yourself in the life of bygone days with an itinerary that take you through vineyards, orchards and picturesque villages, with panoramic view of the Vanoise Massif!
This itinerary immerses you in traditional mountain life and its memories, as it makes its way through vineyards, orchards and picturesque villages – not forgetting the panoramic views of the Vanoise Massif! 

14 points of interest
Small heritage

St Sigismond’s Church

This church particularly pays tribute to St Gratus, who is commonly invoked to help with harvests.
The 17th century building has retained some 15th century features, not least the ogee arches above the side entrance door. The main entrance in grey Villette marble is directly inspired by the principles laid down by F. Cuenot in his 1660 book.
The trompe-l’œil vault paintings by the three Artari brothers at the turn of the 19th century depict the four great prophets of the Old Testament, the evangelists and the four Fathers of the Latin church.
Jean-Baptiste Delponte rebuilt the high altar in 1815 on the basis of elements that escaped destruction during the French Revolution with, in the middle, a Nativity of the Virgin painted by Tosi. Two wreathed columns adorned with vine branches and wild roses frame the main scene, which is flanked by St Peter and St Paul.
The second strip celebrates St Gratus and St Roch, who are often called on to intervene in times of harvest and plague, St James and St Francis-de-Sales.
The six altarpieces of the side aisles are neoclassical restorations. In 1705, Pierre Chanu sculpted the choir stalls and preacher’s pulpit.

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Flora

The vineyards (information panel)

Much of the Versant is taken up by vineyards, laid out up to an altitude of 800 metres. A modern press (2012) on the ground floor of La Côte d'Aime’s presbytery plays its part in the elaboration of a top-quality wine, enabling winegrowers to produce up to 120 hectolitres. The Vignes de Tarentaise association makes the press available to motivated “neo-vignerons” (newcomers to the art of winegrowing) and old hands alike. And there’s also a pasteuriser and pump for locals who produce…fruit juices! A QR Code links you to the “Patrimoine de La Plagne Tarentaise” website on the municipality’s heritage.
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History

Hamlet of Le Villard

Just like all the other villages, Le Villard had its own chapel long before its attachment to the parish of La Côte d’Aime. Dedicated to Saint Blaise and Saint Anne, it is a very old edifice. We don’t know exactly when it was built.
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History

Chef-lieu of La Côte d'Aime

La Côte d’Aime’s church, located on Les Chemins du Baroque (https://www.savoie-mont-blanc.com/Decouvrir/Explorer/Culture-et-patrimoine/Les-Chemins-du-Baroque), was built between 1702 and 1714 and is dedicated to Saint Lawrence. It was previously known as the church and parish of Saint Amédée de la Côte, in honour of the first Patron Saint of La Côte, even though he was never actually canonised. A painting commissioned by the parishioners in his honour adorns the high altar. Very few major changes have been made to the church since it was built, apart from the bell tower, which once had four smaller crosses at each corner. The bells themselves were used to make cannons during the French Revolution. The Notre Dame de Pitié (Our Lady of Mercy) Chapel near the town hall was built in 1821 and is well worth a visit. It stands on the site of a small oratory dedicated to Notre-Dame de Pitié, which existed as far back as 1630. It’s possible that it was built in that year, at the time of the Great Plague, on the spot known as “le creux des morts” (hollow of the dead). In fact, there used to be a cemetery here for plague victims.

Restoration work on the chapel was last carried out in 1967, by the Italian painter Dalessandro. The paintings on its exterior depict Saint Yves and Saint Peter on the left, and Saint Mamert and Saint Paul on the right. Saint Mamert is invoked as protector of harvests.
The former cheese dairy, which closed its doors in the 1970s, now houses a little museum containing exhibits connected with the traditional art of cheesemaking and life as once lived in the mountain pastures and villages. A film gives you some idea about how Beaufort is made. Cheese sold onsite.
The village also boasts a reconstruction of an early 20th-century classroom, containing all the materials and furniture that made up the daily lives of the schoolchildren in those long gone days.

Information on opening times from  La Côte d’Aime’s Tourist Office: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
04.79.55.69.25./ 07.66.09.78.94
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History

Hamlet of Préberard

There is very little archive material on this hamlet. Its name is of Germanic or Burgundian origin: Pra / pré (grassland/ pasture) and the name Béraldi evolving into bérardi / bérard. The archives only tell us that an oratory dedicated to Sainte Apollonia existed at the top of the village and there is also mention of “Pré Bérard d’Amont”. Houses were built alongside the road to Les Bergeries, and a few of their walls still stand. They were probably destroyed by fire. Another village, Salignon, of which little trace remains, was built on the approach to the crossroads of the same name, between Pré Bérard and Pré Girod. A few walls remain, visible in the midst of the trees.
A QR Code provides a link to the Patrimoine de La Plagne Tarentaise website on the area’s heritage.
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Flora

Orchards

The Versant is planted with a good many orchards, and apple trees made a significant contribution to its prosperity up until a few decades ago. Members of the Croqueurs de Pomme (Apple Munchers) association are now helping to bring them back to life again. The association was founded in 2004 following growing concern about the abandonment of the Valley’s traditional orchards. Its aims include protection of old fruit varieties and landscape heritage, transmission of knowledge and knowhow, and development of an informal economy based on collection of local apples and manufacture of apple juice and other by-products.
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History

Hamlet of Montméry

The style of its houses and form of its alleyways make Montméry a typical mountain village. Take the time to admire its arched doorways and traditional houses, and to seek out the venerable inscriptions sometimes found on beams supporting their finely-wrought frameworks, along with its well-preserved sundials and “bachals” (water troughs).It has also long been a centre for painters and woodcarvers.
Here too is the house that once belonged to Joannès (A QR Code links you to the Patrimoine de La Plagne Tarentaise website), a bygone inhabitant of the village whose mission it was to breathe new life into the objects that had marked his and his parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a house from days long past where humans and animals lived together in harmony. Everyday objects, furniture, work tools, and more besides… testimonies to the lives of the people who lived there in the early days of the last century. Surroundings that provide a better understanding of how life could be both simple and difficult at the same time, and also make us realise how much life has changed between then and now.
Montméry’s little cheese dairy keeps all its materials on show in a perfect state of preservation, from the fine copper cauldron used in the making of Beaufort cheese to the little notebooks where the weight of milk delivered by each producer was entered.
Montméry has two chapels, the larger being Saint Etienne Chapel, while Saint James Chapel stands like a sentinel over the hamlet, visible from a good distance away.
And last but not least, an orientation table is on hand to help you take in the fine views of the mountain peaks to best advantage.

Guided tour of the hamlet, Joannès’ house and the cheese dairy on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., upon reservation at the Tourist Office.
04.79.55.69.25./ 07.66.09.78.94
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Small heritage

Saint-François-de-Sales Church - Valezan

This church harbours an impressively sized altarpiece in various shades of beige. A gilded timber tabernacle from Italy is given pride of place. Statues of four evangelists as well as St Francis de Sales and St Felix above can be seen in recesses. There are fifteen medallions on the Rosary altarpiece. A decorated rood beam, adorned with cherubs, can be seen at the chancel entrance. There is also an 18th century timber statue on the right-hand pillar.

Open on Wednesdays from 15:30 to 17:30, in July and August.
Free
Tel.: +33 (0)4 79 07 66 41

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History

Village of Valezan

A traditional little mountain village nestling on the slopes of the Versant du Soleil 1,200 metres above sea level, Valezan enjoys full southern exposure and remarkable views. Its way of life has changed little and still largely depends on agriculture. With some 200 inhabitants all year round, it has a small school and an inn that is the centre of community life. The village’s inhabitants also produce Beaufort cheese and Genepy liqueur, and breed livestock.
Notre Dame de Lourdes Chapel is located to the east of the village. It was built in 1881 on the aptly named Chemin des Chapelles. It contains two paintings of Our Lady of La Salette, as well as paintings of Saint Roch and Saint Genevieve in memory of two other chapels now disappeared.
The upper part of the village also contains the Baroque-style Saint Francis of Sales Church, built between 1727 and 1730. Its furnishings testify to the villagers’ religious zeal in the early 18th century, as well as to the village’s prosperity. It is located on Les Chemins du Baroque (https://www.savoie-mont-blanc.com/Decouvrir/Explorer/Culture-et-patrimoine/Les-Chemins-du-Baroque).

Saint Francis de Sales Church: open on Thursday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. A QR Code provides a link to the Patrimoine de La Plagne Tarentaise website
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Small heritage

Hamlet of Picolard

1,250m up, on the Versant du Soleil (sunny side) ledge, this hamlet is a prime viewing spot for looking out over the ski areas of Les Arcs, Montchavin-les-Coches, La Plagne, La Rosière, the Col de la Madeleine and Mont Pourri.
St Antoine's Chapel, dating back to 1702, can be found here. Outside, you can admire the quadrangular pinnacle crowning it. Then step inside to see a Baroque altarpiece featuring typical iconography. The chapel lies along the "Chemins du Baroque" sightseeing trail.

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Architecture

Art Espace Chevrière

Don’t miss out on this highly original art gallery on the Versant du Soleil, located above the Tarentaise Valley facing the Vanoise Massif. Opened in 2017, it exhibits works by three artists: sculptor and painter Bruno Barbieri, sculptor Yannick Chirat and photographer Pierre Bottex.

Open 1 May to 15 December from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (except Sundays) and upon request during the rest of the year.

Contact details:
06 60 72 70 92
contact@art-espace-chevriere.com
Hameau de Chevrière
73700 Les Chapelles
http://www.art-espace-chevriere.com/
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History

Hamlet of Villarivon

This hamlet contains a somewhat unusual red ochre edifice which is actually a former farmhouse dating back to the 19th century and decked out to resemble a château. It was once the property of the Jarre family, one of Le Versant’s biggest landowners. It is now privately owned.
The balcony on its façade opened onto a hay barn. The windows had no frames and were left open to provide ventilation. The ground floor was composed of cellars and spacious stables, and housed the servants' families, who lived with the cows A member of the Jarre family who became an abbé and member of King Victor Emmanuel II’s court spent a few years in Turin and drew inspiration from the city’s palaces when he built the farmhouse.
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History

Village of Bellentre

This village is located on either side of the Isère, with some of its houses on the Versant du Soleil and the rest on the left bank of the Isère, also known as the “Revers”. A priory was built near the Church of Saint Andrew in the 11th century. The parish was one of the richest and most populated in the region and its religious and Baroque heritage is still very much on view in the municipality. The Church of Saint Andrew on Les Chemins du Baroque (https://www.savoie-mont-blanc.com/Decouvrir/Explorer/Culture-et-patrimoine/Les-Chemins-du-Baroque) bears witness to the many changes it has undergone over the centuries, although its exterior makes its Romanesque origins clear enough .The interior is characterised by a mixture of neoclassical architectural features, while the so-called “onion bulb” steeple shows Northern Piedmont influence. The steeple was knocked down in 1797 during the French Revolution and rebuilt in 1816 after Savoie became part of the Sardinian States. The cross in front of the church dates back to 1756. It is made of marble from Villette (near Aime), which is famous for its quality.
Above the pediment, you can see a statue of a cockerel, the municipality of Bellentre’s emblem.
Not far away, Notre Dame de la Compassion Chapel dates back to 1634, but little is known of its history. The stele nearby commemorates the sacrifices made by the village’s “poilus” (infantrymen) in the First World War.

Church of Saint Andrew open on Mondays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., from 1 July to 30 August. A QR Code provides a link to the Patrimoine de La Plagne Tarentaise website
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Water

Les Versants d'Aime Leisure Centre

When you reach the end of your itinerary, take a break at the lake. With its 1.3 hectares set in the midst of a haven of greenery, the site has been awarded the “Pavillon Bleu” (Blue Flag) Label for its excellent environmental quality. You can bathe there in the summer and enjoy a whole range of activities (including petanque, basketball, children’s playground and aquabubbling). There’s also a restaurant onsite with a shaded terrace.
Free admission
Open from 15 May to 1 October
Lifeguard on duty during the summer from 12 noon to 6 p.m.
Tel: 04 79 55 40 27
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Description

The route is ideal for beginners, taking you along little paved rooads and short stretches of dirt road. Just after the village of Bellentre, it follows the greenway, a bike path that takes you to Aime.

Follow the blue waymarks: Les Hameaux du Soleil.

To rent e-bike : 
Bike Surgery
8 Place Joux, 73210 Aime
+33 4 57 37 69 95
Departure : Place de l'Eglise, 73210 Aime
Arrival : Place de l'Eglise, 73210 Aime
Towns crossed : AIME-LA-PLAGNE, LA PLAGNE TARENTAISE, LES CHAPELLES

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

1139 avenue de Tarentaise<br>Aime<br>73210 Aime-la-Plagne,

http://www.laplagne-vallee.com

info.vallee@la-plagne.com

04 79 55 67 00


Find out more

Transport

Rail service to Aime-la-Plagne. Information: www.oui.sncf.com

Access and parking

From Albertville, take the RN90 towards Bourg-Saint-Maurice until you get to Aime.
Parking: Place de l'Eglise and Place de la Basilique

Parking :

Place de l'Eglise, 73210 Aime

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: