A ride around L'Aiguille Grive, through the highland pastures of Peisey-Nancroix and the bike park of Les Arcs.
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A ride around L'Aiguille Grive, through the highland pastures of Peisey-Nancroix and the bike park of Les Arcs.
PEISEY-NANCROIX

A ride around L'Aiguille Grive, through the highland pastures of Peisey-Nancroix and the bike park of Les Arcs.

Architecture
Fauna
Flora
History
Pastoralism
Viewpoint
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A trail where you can admire the fascinating, distinctive 20th century architecture of the Les Arcs resorts set against beautiful natural scenery.


This trail gives you an insight into the rich religious past of Val d'Isère and its hamlets, through the seven chapels that you'll pass along the way. There used to be more, but many have since disappeared, either owing to the wrath of the mountain (avalanches, floods) or for want of funds to maintain them. Le Manchet hamlet still harbours a few ruins that have survived over the centuries.
Setting off from the resort of Val d'Isère, part of the circular route runs along lovely green sections, between woodland and the Isère riverbanks. Vanoise National Park is just beyond the mountain pastures you'll be riding through. On the final leg, by Le Fornet, you'll cycle over a magnificent bridge straddling the rushing River Isère.


11 points of interest
Flora

Discovery trail

Follow this discovery trail through the Alpine scenery and enjoy a gorgeous view over the Arc Valley. Thematic panels tell you about the mountain fauna and flora.
Remember to bring your binoculars so you can spot them for yourselves!   
This is a family-friendly route.
Free to access at your leisure. Takes 30 mins.

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Viewpoint

Aiguille Rouge

Culminating at 3,226m, the Aiguille Rouge peak overlooks the Arc Valley. Would you like to know what the view's like from the top? Well, take the gondolas and cable car up and see for yourself!  
Once at the top, a breathtaking vista sweeping the full 360° awaits you! A platform has been installed to be able to take in the Italian, French and Swiss Alps.
Prices and times: enquire at the Tourist Offices of Bourg-Saint-Maurice / les Arcs.

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History

Arc 2000

Overlooked by the Aiguille Rouge peak (3,226m), Arc 2000 was designed like a high mountain refuge by its architect Bernard Taillefer. The roofs, which look like ship's sails, mirror the slopes and peaks of Mont Blanc. An idyllic playground for freeriding and extreme sports, during the Albertville Olympics (1992) the resort hosted the speed skiing competitions.
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Flora

Arolles Forest

This forest is named after the Arolla (or Swiss) pine trees (Pinus cembra) that grow there. These are typical of high mountain wooded areas as they thrive at an altitude of between 1,700 and 2,400m. They are hardy during the long, harsh winters, with sometimes extreme temperatures. You can tell them apart from other pine trees by their needles, grouped in bundles of five, and the shape of their large pine cones. Their fragrant softwood has long been used in sculpture, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries to make Baroque altarpieces.
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Viewpoint

Panoramic view over the Mont Blanc mountain range

As you go, don't miss the best view to be had over the Mont Blanc mountain range: right here! You'll be able to glimpse the famous Mont Blanc (4,810m) as well as a few of the the range's other 23 summits culminating at more than 4,000m!
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History

Malgovert Forest

This nature spot along the Isère riverbanks is home to typical mountain vegetation, i.e. mainly pine and spruce trees. But larch trees can also be found at an altitude of 900 to 1,700m. The forest is also a popular place for fishermen who come to catch trout. Back in the Middle Ages, the lords of Val d’Isère (Séez) and Villaraymond De Rochefort (Bourg-Saint-Maurice) couldn't agree over who controlled part of the Haute-Tarentaise territory. One day, they eventually decided to settle the boundary of their two domains in a card game… and had boundary stones bearing their arms placed across the whole forest (you can still see these today).
The name of Malgovert Forest comes from the fact that the place was "mal-governed".

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Architecture

Arc 1600

Inaugurated in 1968, the resort of Les Arcs provided an exciting testing ground for many architects, the likes of Charlotte Perriand, Guy Rey-Millet, Gaston Regairaz and Bernard Taillefer. They have designed buildings in altogether innovative shapes, such as the slanting façades of the Cascade residence. The glulam structure of the Dome, designed by Pierre Faucheux, would be chosen as the logo of the Les Arcs resort. For two decades, Charlotte Perriand shared her brilliant, cutting-edge ideas with the multidisciplinary team (architects, urban planners, landscapers, carpenters and technicians among them) that created Les Arcs out of a pristine area with almost no urbanisation. Still today, this collective achievement inspires a mix of reactions, often admiration, and continues to pay undeniable witness to a time of great freedom when creative and visionary mindsets set the stage for all manner of big and bold designs. The award of the “Heritage in the 20th century” label recognises Les Arcs' unique place on the French architecture scene.

For guided tours of the resort, enquire at the Tourist Offices of Bourg St Maurice les Arcs
There is an architectural trail you can follow at your leisure in the resort.

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Pastoralism

Bergerie de Fernand farm

Do stop off at this authentic farm dating back to last century, where you can buy its farmhouse cheeses made from cow's or goat's milk directly. You can watch the cows being milked every day around 4 o'clock in the afternoon and butter being made on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays around 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
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Small heritage

Rent e-bike Arc 1800

You can rent e-bike : 

Arc Mountain Bike
+33 (0)4 79 07 21 70
+33 (0)6 18 02 12 74

Motion
+33 (0) 6 45 13 21 94

Skimium Snowpro Charvet
+33 (0) 9 52 34 57 72

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Architecture

Arc 1800

Inaugurated in December 1974, Arc 1800 comprises four village resorts perched on the edge of the forest overlooking the Haute-Tarentaise Valley below. Its innovative architecture follows the slope to free up space and provide views over the surrounding mountain ranges. In winter, this is where Paradiski, the world's second largest ski area, converges. In the summer it is buzzing with all kinds of outdoor activities including hiking, paragliding, archery and cycling!
For guided tours of the resort, enquire at the Tourist Offices of Bourg-Saint-Maurice / Les Arcs

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History

Route des espagnols (the Spanish Road)

With Italy right on the doorstep of the Haute-Tarentaise, just the other side of the Col du Petit Saint-Bernard mountain pass, the region needed careful surveillance and protection. This is how a series of barriers, defence and observational structures came to be planned and built at the end of the 19th century. But the construction in 1913 of the Courbaton and Les Têtes batteries, to counter the rise in Fascism and Nazism, meant wider access than the lone track running from Montrigon to Courbaton had to be provided. So two strategic roads were opened up, one from Peisey-Nancroix and the other from Hauteville-Gondon, to enable men, provisions and ammunition to reach the batteries… These structures were built by veterans of the Spanish civil war who, on fleeing the advancing pro-Franco troops, crossed the border in early 1939 and were rounded up in Argelès-sur-Mer internment camp. Supervised by army officers based in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, they were used all year round as additional labour for the defence and road construction works. This explains why one of these access roads is still referred to as "the Spanish Road" to this day.
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Description

Setting off from Nancroix, make your way up towards the Col de la Chal (2,465m) along a lovely track meandering between woodland and highland pastures. From the mountain pass, you'll reach the Bike Park of Les Arcs before beginning your descent along a series of enjoyable (single track) paths as far as the Arc 2000 resort. The route then carries on to Arc 1600 via a steady, gentle woodland path with sweeping viewpoints over Beaufortain and Mont-Blanc. After a short uphill climb to Arc 1800, continue on to Peisey along the wonderful Route des Espanols (Spanish Road). From Peisey, make your way down as far as Nancroix, taking care over the last downhill section, which is a little steeper and more technical.

Follow the red waymarks: L'Aiguille Grive
Departure : Peisey-Nancroix, Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Arrival : Peisey-Nancroix, Bourg-Saint-Maurice
Towns crossed : PEISEY-NANCROIX, BOURG-SAINT-MAURICE, VILLAROGER, LANDRY

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.


Transport

To set off from Peisey-Nancroix
Train services run as far as Landry. Find out more at: www.oui.sncf.com
You can then get a coach to Peisey-Vallandry. Connections to Peisey-Nancroix with Line 1. Find out more at: www.altibus.com


To set off from Les Arcs
Train services run as far as Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Find out more at: www.oui.sncf.com
You can then take the funicular railway to Arc 1600. Shuttle buses run from there to Arc 1800 and Arc 2000.
Find out more at: https://www.lesarcs.com/


Access and parking

To set off from Peisey-Nancroix
From Bourg-Saint-Maurice, take the RN90 road then turn on to the D87 towards Landry. Keep going until you reach the hamlet of Nancroix.

Parking:
Pont Baudin car park (Peisey)

To set off from Les Arcs 1800
From Bourg-Saint-Maurice, take the D119 road towards Les Arcs.

Parking:
Arc 1800 car park

Parking :

Pont Baudin car park (Peisey)

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