Aravis / Sport & Activities

The top 7 unique activities in Le Grand Bornand

Tucked away in the Aravis range, Le Grand-Bornand offers more than just breathtaking mountain views and alpine charm. This hidden gem presents an array of distinctive activities to suit various tastes and preferences. Whether you’re passionate about outdoor adventures, savouring local cuisine, diving into history, or simply seeking unconventional experiences, Le Grand-Bornand has a range of offbeat adventures waiting to be explored.

In this blog article, we’ll uncover lesser-known activities that capture the essence of this locale. From immersive outings to cultural experiences, we share unique activities that make Le Grand-Bornand worth exploring for those with a curious spirit.

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Where is Le Grand Bornand?

Situated amidst Mont Blanc, Lake Annecy, and Switzerland, this village stands out amongst the Savoyard region. It offers an unparalleled view of the Aravis mountains, charming eateries, and chances to explore the mysteries of reblochon cheese at market booths with a history dating back to 1795. Regardless of the time of year, at an elevation of 1000m, you’ll never run out of things to do…

7 unique activities in Le Grand Bornand

1. Explore 160km of marked hiking trails

There is a large variety of breathtaking hikes suitable for all levels of ability, with over 160km of marked trails in summer and 70 in winter. 

For seasoned hikers or those seeking a challenge, Pointe Percée is a must! Being the highest peak among the Aravis mountains at 2750m, this majestic summit provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The ascent to Pointe Percée involves traversing rocky terrain and navigating a route that’s rewarding yet demanding. So, if you decide to take on the challenge make sure you’re prepared with food, water and suitable footwear.

Why not try the Crossing of Les Bornes or the Côtes Balcony while you’re there too?

A couple hike down a mountain passage
© P.Guilbaud – Le Grand-Bornand Tourisme

2. Step into the life of farmers

Farming life is still very much present in this alpine village. And why not embark on a captivating journey into the past by visiting the La Maison du patrimoine (Heritage House)? This immersive experience invites you to delve into the life of the local farmers, with their traditions still present today. 

In the summer, some of Le Grand Bornand’s 55 farms host visits where you can discover the art of reblochon cheese making. Make sure to pay a visit and, of course, taste the famous cheese with its creamy hazelnut notes!  

Exterior of La Maison du patrimoine

3. Cow Art Trail

Enjoy a walk in the heart of Le Grand Bornand village whilst discovering the Cow Art Trail. With a variety of metal and wooden sculptures as well as mural paintings, the trail is a real open-air art gallery.

You can find a map of all the cows here, or spot them as you stroll through the village. They’re hard to miss!

A painting on the cow art trail
© C.Cattin-AlpcatMedias-Le-Grand-Bornand

4. Night skiing

Le Grand Bornand caters to all the classic winter sports desires, offering a well-balanced selection of pistes for all levels. Beginners can enjoy gentler slopes, and advanced skiers can explore several off-piste areas including Mont Lachat, and the famous Dénivel Maxx. What’s more, the ski passes are reasonably priced!

However, for skiers seeking a new thrill, the Abondance and Cyclamens slopes in Chinaillon offer a unique highlight in the form of night skiing.

The resort transforms into a magical playground after dark, where skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the thrill of the slopes with a different ambience. This twist on the traditional alpine adventure is a must-try! 

Three people drink vin chaud by the piste at night
© P.Guilbaud, Le Grand Bornand,

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5. Cycling

Whether you’re pedalling up the historic roads of the Tour de France as a keen road biker or exploring the 200 km of rugged mountain bike trails, Le Grand Bornand is a paradise for cyclists of all stripes.

For mountain bikers, the Aravis mountain bike pass is well worth having and will give you access to the Le Chatelet chairlift. 

For road bikers, the village’s strategic location at the base of the Col de la Colombière grants access to some of the most renowned ascents in the Alps.

© D.Machet – Le Grand-Bornand Tourisme,

6. Lac Le Cour

Spend a day at the beautiful Lac Le Cour, a high-altitude lake perfect to take a picnic, enjoy the scenery – or even try fishing! The regular release of rainbow and fario trout makes this spot particularly interesting for avid fishers, with the welcome point selling rods, bait and refreshments. 

The dominating presence of the Jalouvre mountain overseeing the Cold de la Colombière on the route des Grande Alpes also provides views that are nothing short of spectacular.

© C.Cattin-Alpcat Medias, Le Grand Bornand,

7. Biathlon World Cup 

For those who appreciate world-class sportsmanship and the beauty of alpine surroundings, the Biathlon World Cup in Le Grand-Bornand offers a unique opportunity to witness these elements come together harmoniously. 

This international sporting spectacle in December showcases the combination of precision shooting and high-speed cross-country skiing, making it a favourite among sports enthusiasts and spectators alike. 

For more information on the cup check out their website here.

© P Guilbaud, Office de tourisme Le grand Bornand,

To delve deeper into the charming village of Le Grand Bornand and to uncover all that it has in store, check out our destination guide. And if you are looking for some more classic activities to do check out our blog about the top 10 things to do in Le Grand Bornand

If you’re yet to book your accommodation, make sure to browse our collection of stunning partner properties in the region. With this wealth of resources, you have everything at your fingertips to start planning your ideal getaway!

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