As winter loosens its grip, La Giettaz emerges from its chilly slumber, offering a fresh perspective for outdoor enthusiasts. In this post, we’ll guide you through a curated selection of trails that capture the essence of the season.
From leisurely strolls along flower-lined paths to more challenging routes revealing panoramic mountain vistas, these hikes showcase the natural beauty that blossoms around this idyllic alpine location during the spring months. Plus, the region is home to some great gentle hikes which are ideal for families of novice hikers. So lace up your hiking boots and join us as we navigate through the rejuvenating landscapes of La Giettaz!
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The top spring hikes around La Giettaz
1. The Cascade of the Dard
Difficulty: Very easy
Embark on a delightful and leisurely 2km stroll, perfect for a tranquil spring day. This easy trail, estimated to take around 45 minutes, begins at the Tourism Office of La Giettaz, conveniently situated at Church Square and offering on-site parking facilities.
Setting off from the Tourist Office, the route descends along a small road, guiding you across to the picturesque Pont du Poète. On the right bank of the meandering Arrondine, the path gently descends, leading to the charming Chapelle des Glières. To reach the Cascade du Dard, follow the road and cross the bridge spanning the torrent of the Arrondine. Exercise caution as you ascend, crossing the departmental road, and then return along the same scenic route.
A noteworthy highlight of this journey is the enchanting waterfall known as the Cascade du Dard. This waterfall, fed by the Nant du Dard, creates a mesmerising sight often poetically referred to as “the veil of the bride” or “Stappet’s waterfall.”
2. Petétruy chalets and the wild combes of the Aravis massif
Distance: 9.5 km
Duration: 3h 45m
Difficulty: Very easy
Head out on this picturesque journey starting from Plan, where the route unfolds with a brief road traverse to La Juste, followed by a path leading to L’Etarpaz. Continuing the adventure towards Petetruy, the trail seamlessly transitions into a scenic pathway meandering through lush pastures. Upon reaching the Route des Chalets, a left turn introduces hikers to an alpine trail gracefully positioned beneath the Aravis ridge. Along this captivating route, notable points of interest include La Rualle and La Balmaz, enhancing the overall experience.
Navigating the crossroad at Route de Plan Bourgeois, turn left and the trail leads to Megevan, where another left turn is taken, guiding hikers through La Mouille and La Côte before rejoining Plan. Throughout this trail, hikers are treated to a panoramic view of the majestic Aravis peaks, plus, pets are welcome!
3. La Vierge des Alpages
Head out on a scenic hike from La Giettaz to the picturesque pastures nestled at the base of the Aravis mountains, offering breathtaking views of the surroundings. Begin your journey near the Tourist Office in La Giettaz, setting a course towards La Vierge des Alpages. Along the way, pass through notable landmarks including the Abbaye, La Chapelle des Nants, Pont Noir, Les Puginières, and Pétaz, eventually reaching Au Bois du Fouestarle.
Continue your exploration along the stony track, passing through La Croix de Ptiouta, Le Mégevan, Route de Plan Bourgeois, and Plan Bourgeois. As you ascend, take in the natural beauty of the landscape. Upon reaching La Vierge des Alpages, exercise caution at the summit and maintain a safe distance from the cliff edge to ensure a secure experience.
This pet-friendly hike invites outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the Aravis mountains, offering not only a physical adventure but also a glimpse into the historical significance of the alpine pastures in local communities.
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4. The Col du Jaillet
Duration: 3h 45m
Departing from The Plan, parking on the left after the chapel, this journey unfolds through a carefully planned route. Initially, travellers traverse the road briefly, passing through La Crépiniere to reach the Pont du Moulin. Upon reaching the intersection of the Iles, a left turn towards Planet leads the way to the Tourbiere du Jaillet, a mountain trail marked by its challenging terrain with numerous roots. Along this path, a short detour to the Col du Jaillet offers a captivating view of the Mont Blanc massif.
Descending towards Au Plan, the descent follows Le Char, the Alpage of Ramadieu, and the Crépiniere. This part of the journey promises beautiful vantage points, providing panoramic views of the valley amidst the mountain pastures.
The adventure is enriched by several points of interest along the way. The highlight is the panoramic view of the Mont Blanc massif, a spectacle that adds a touch of grandeur to the journey. Additionally, the landscape unfolds with characteristic features of the territory, including undergrowth, spruces, and small alpine farms. An intriguing historical touch awaits at the Jaillet Pass, where travellers can marvel at one of the few remaining traces of Roman presence. Discovered in 1963, a Roman milestone dating between 125 and 14 BC is marked with the inscription “Fines,” denoting the Latin border.
In total, the route covers 9.6 kilometres, making it a moderate-level trek with an estimated duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes. The trail welcomes dogs, provided they are on a lead.
5. The cross of Ptiouta
Duration: 2h 45m
This satisfying 6km trek with a medium difficulty level, offers an enriching exploration of the picturesque surroundings.
Setting out from the Tourist Office, the trail ascends along the Route des Grandes Alpes, presenting a gradual climb with captivating views. A turn to the right leads towards La Chapelle des Nants, and at Pont Noir, the road is crossed to initiate the ascent towards Les Puginières, Pèaz, and Bois du Fouestarle.
The path then veers right onto the Chalets road, an alpine trail that leads to the scenic La Croix de Ptiouta. Descending from this vantage point, the route continues along La Stapesse before returning to the Petaz balcony. The return journey to La Giettaz retraces the same path taken earlier.
A notable highlight of this trek is the breathtaking panoramic view of the Mont-Blanc massif. Throughout the 2 hours and 45 minutes required for this trek, hikers will be treated to a blend of natural beauty and cultural insights, making it a rewarding outdoor experience.
6. The Virgin of Chatelard
Duration: 2h 45m
This scenic journey unfolds on the heights of La Giettaz, leading to the revered Virgin of Chatelard and its panoramic vista overlooking the charming village.
The trek commences at the village of Giettaz in Aravis, at the Tourist Office, then meanders across the Route des Grandes Alpes, ascending towards La Caillère and eventually connecting with the Pont de Nant Parreux. A rightward turn leads towards the “Mortines, Under the Fires”, and then Créve-Coeur, with a note of caution as the path crosses the Route des Grandes Alpes multiple times.
Crossing the road towards Tunnel des Aravis, the trail turns right, guiding hikers through a scenic route to the Verge du Chatelard. This vantage point offers a breathtaking panorama, with views plunging over La Giettaz. The return journey retraces steps back to Crève-Coeur, followed by a leftward turn towards Les Combes.
Navigating through Bois du Fouestarle, a rightward turn at Pétaz leads through Les Puginières, Pont Noir, ultimately reuniting with La Giettaz.
Enriching the experience are points of interest along the way. The statue of the Virgin of Chatelard, erected in 1936, stands as a testament to the cultural and historical significance of the area. Additionally, the trek offers a spectacular view of the valley of the Arrondine, the Aravis mountain range, and the majestic Mont Blanc. Dogs are welcome but must be on a lead.
7. The Cross of the Frêtes
Duration: 2h 30m
This is an easily accessible 7.5km trek, designed to be completed in a leisurely 2 hours and 30 minutes, ideal for a warm spring day.
Open to all abilities, this journey begins at the picturesque Col des Aravis, (where parking is available), before leading towards the south on a track bound for La Zorette. Following this path, hikers are guided to La Source des Aravis and onward to Planchaux.
The journey continues by traversing the balcony until reaching the scenic Croix des Frêtes. For the return leg of the trek, follow the signposted path of the Croix des Frêtes, making your way back to Col des Aravis via the track, following the directions to Psamo, La Tête, and La Zorette.
A distinctive feature of this trek is the opportunity to encounter numerous alpine farms along the route, providing visitors with the chance to purchase local produce such as cheese and butter. Additionally, the panoramas on display throughout the trek offer stunning views of the village of La Giettaz and the impressive Mont Blanc massif, so don’t forget your camera!