Nestled in the heart of the Aravis mountains, the charming village of Manigod is full of surprises in autumn!
Close to the medieval town of Annecy (35 minutes by car), it’s a welcoming, family-friendly destination that has held on to its Savoyard authenticity.
The walks in and around Manigod are many and varied, with wonderful panoramic views at every turn.
Come and discover this friendly village in autumn and enjoy the many activities on offer in Manigod.
Manigod in autumn: in and around the village
Manigod is an ideal destination for hiking, whether you’re looking for an energetic route or a family stroll. Discover the three areas that make up Manigod: the valley and village, the Croix Fry pass and the Merdassier pass…
The valley and the village
You can marvel at one of the Alps’ most spectacular views when you stay in a traditional mountain chalet in Manigod and enjoy walks enhanced by the soft autumn colours of the leaves.
In the village itself, you can stop off at the small local shops to find original Savoyard souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones.
During your walk, you might pass the Atelier Polkadot, where Laurence André will show you around her pottery workshop (by appointment). Her colourful decorated pottery is inspired by her memories, travels and passions, and you’ll find her workshop in Manigod’s former fruit factory.
If you need to stop for a refreshing drink after your walk, why not pop into Lo Garâjo? This family-friendly concept café offers delicious coffees, teas and aperitifs, as well as a wide range of gifts and items such as handmade jewellery, crafts, foods and wines. You could spend a couple of hours there playing solitaire or Mikado over a cup of coffee – it’s a place not to miss!
Book your dream chalet in Manigod
The Col de la Croix Fry
Situated at a height of 1,477m, the Col de la Croix Fry is definitely worth a visit. The views are superb, particularly towards Mont Blanc. Whether you’re in a car or on a bike, motorbike or on foot, the road to the Col de la Croix Fry is a sight to behold!
You’ll arrive on the vast Beauregard plateau, where you’ll find a wealth of traditional mountain chalets. The views of the Aravis mountains, Etale, Charvin, Sulens, the Glières and Tournette are all the more beautiful with the autumn colours. It’s the starting point for a great range of hiking trails.
If you’re on your bike, you might want to tackle the climb to the Col de la Croix Fry. This pass features regularly in the Tour de France and is pretty challenging, with its 13km of ascent and a gradient of up to 9.2%.
There are several restaurants at the Col, as well as sports shops, the ESF ski school, ski lifts and an information point.
Fancy a break? The restaurant at Les Sapins is open until October 22. The menu offers elegant dishes such as cream of mushrooms with ceps, a trio of duck or a seared fillet of sea bass with risotto. The Manigod raclette is worth a try too, as well as the delicious tartiflette!
The Col de Merdassier
Visit this charming location in the heart of mountain pastures at a height of 1,500m. Enjoy walking or biking around the woods and the mountain pastures, or Take the Tour de la Tête de Cabeau trail – a 7.3km hike with a climb of 318m. You’ll be rewarded with a panorama of autumn colours over the entire Manigod valley.
Ready to eat? La Vieille Ferme in Col de Merdassier is open until October 20 and offers a menu that is excellent value for money. Try some of the local specialities, such as raclette, fondue and homemade tartiflette. Dessert could be homemade apple pie or blueberry pancakes.
Experience the animals coming down from the mountains
The transhumance starts in autumn in Manigod. Flocks of cows, goats and sheep will have spent five summer months enjoying the mountain pastures, so it’s time to bring them back down to the village for the winter.
It’s quite an event – with nothing staying in the mountains, neither the animals nor any of the equipment. The cows will walk 7km before they get to their stable (we don’t call them cowsheds in Haute Savoie).
They are dressed up in their most beautiful bells to parade through the village, where they and their owners are welcomed by villagers. It’s a celebration for residents and visitors of all ages!
Cheese: the Paccard maturing cellars in Manigod
Make time for a visit to the Paccard cheese maturing cellars to discover how the cheese is made and matured. Visits are by appointment only, so make sure to book ahead.
After watching an explanatory video, you will discover all the secrets of the maturing cellars for Reblochon, Tomme de Savoie and Abondance cheeses.
You’ll also be able to taste the produce and buy some in the shop, which also sells wine, fruit juice, honey, jam and chocolate. Don’t forget to buy plenty to take home with you!
Near Manigod: some unmissable destinations
It takes just 35 minutes to drive to the medieval town of Annecy, where you’ll find plenty to keep you busy. Between the lake and the mountains, it’s a great day out. Have a look at some of our articles on Annecy:
- 8 ideas for romantic activities in Annecy
- The best walks in and around Annecy
- All you need to know about paragliding in Annecy
Just 10 minutes away by car, Thônes is often referred to as the capital of the Aravis – and of Reblochon! There are also some wonderful walks.
From the Glières plateau to the Beauregard plateau via La Tournette, Mont Charvin lake and the Parmelan cliffs, Thônes will introduce you to some magnificent places.
Relax in Manigod…
In a family chalet
Chalets Nougat and Caramel are the ideal choices for a large family, with a total capacity between them of up to 28 guests.
These two chalets side by side are just a few minutes walk from the charming village of Manigod, and offer a good variety of facilities, including:
- A home cinema room which can be transformed into a dance floor (with a sound and light system!)
- A climbing wall in the family suite.
- Table football, pool and a games area.
- A wonderful indoor swimming pool, ideal for autumn when the temperatures start to drop.
A luxury chalet
The five-star Lodge La Source is located in Les Clefs, a small village near Manigod. You’ll find plenty of extras at this spacious, luxury chalet, including:
- A magnificent indoor pool with massage jets and views of the mountains.
- A sports room with an elliptical bike.
- A treadmill.
- Two aqua bikes.
- A TV room.
- Table football.
- A roof terrace which is ideal for admiring the views and enjoying the peace and quiet of the area.
A chalet for a group of friends
The two attached chalets Pralor Le Peille and Pralor Le Nova are the perfect place to enjoy an autumn holiday with friends.
With a total capacity of 16 guests, there’s plenty of room for larger groups. All of the beds can be arranged as kingsize doubles or twin beds, making them suitable for couples or singles.
There’s a good range of facilities too, including a steam room, hot tub and games area.
Smaller groups can book one of the chalets, whereas larger groups can book both together.
Manigod is a dream destination in the autumn, especially for nature lovers, sports fans, walkers and cyclists. Plus, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to discover a warm and traditional setting in the heart of the Alps.
The spectacular scenery of the Alpine pastures and traditional chalets is sure to appeal and the surrounding mountains have plenty of wonderful walking trails. A visit to Manigod is exhilarating and could become addictive!
And if you have enjoyed this glimpse of Manigod in the autumn, why not continue the journey by reading the following articles: