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Edition 2016


TasTe The French way oF liFe isère by bike

© Agence photo Urope

The remarkably rich and well-conserved heriTage oF isère



Getting to

ISèrE IS EASy To GET To by roAd, TrAIn or PLAnE.


3 TGV train stations : •Grenoble •Saint Marcel-lès-Valence •Lyon Saint Exupéry - Tel: 3635* Paris-Grenoble: 2h55 London-Lyon: 5h *These numbers can only be called from France


5 airports put Isère within the world’s reach. •Grenoble/Isère Airport - Tel: +33 (0)4 76 65 48 48 •Lyon Saint Exupéry Airport Tel: 0 826 800 826* - Tel:+33 (0)4 26 007 007 •Geneva International Airport - Tel: + 41 22 717 71 11 •Chambéry Airport - Tel: +33 (0)4 79 54 49 54 •Turin Airport

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MAIN DISTANCES Grenoble - London 1035 km Grenoble - Calais 869 km Grenoble - Paris 570 km Grenoble - Genève 143 km Grenoble - Turin 236 km Grenoble - Lyon 105 km Transisère local bus network - Tel: 0820 08 38 38* Itinisere : Traffic news, routes, bus timetables, carpooling, car clubs

isère in the summertime, a must-see destination Particularly cherished by tourists in winter, the French department of Isère has far more to offer to its visitors than its legendary ski runs. In summer, this little piece of south-eastern France reveals other facets of its personality. nature lovers will enjoy walks alongside the lakes, bike rides, trail running and canyoning in the heart of French Alps. As for city dwellers, they will take great delight in attending openair music festivals, will try new gastronomic experiences and will discover the rich architectural heritage of the region’s cities and typical villages. Travelling in Isère in the summertime is an amazing and unforgettable experience that will enable you to recharge your batteries and where wonder is daily. Whether you prefer nature or cities, sports or relaxation, history or music, you will certainly find a way to satisfy your holiday desires while discovering unique aspects of France.

Contents P4 discover isère wiTh Four ouTdoor sPorTs / P5 inTerview « my liFe is here » / P6-9 TasTe The French way oF liFe / P10-11 ciTy break grenoble & vienne / P12-15 isère by bike / P16-17 hikes From The banks oF The rhone river To The Peaks oF The alPs / P18-21 siX musT-see Places in isère / P22-23 lakes and rivers in isère / P24-29 The remarkably rich and well-conserved heriTage oF isère / P30-33 summer evenTs in isère / P34 isère, one oF The besT ski desTinaTions  













This document is a tourist brochure. We have taken great care in selecting the information provided in this booklet as we tried to choose them objectively. All the mentioned indications and prices are only informative and not contractual. They shall not involve the responsibility of “Isère tourisme”. For more information: Rédactrice : Nathalie Gresset

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Discover isère with four outdoor sports Monteynard Lake is without doubts THE paradise for kitesurfers in Isère and in France. This turquoise-blue water lake, which is located 25 kilometres south of Grenoble, gathers all the prerequisites to enable the good practice of this sliding sport: second most windy lake in Europe, moderate thermal breeze between 10 and 20 knots and a surface area of 657 hectares. This wonderful stretch of water is situated at the foot of the Alps in an exceptional and relaxing natural setting. In addition to kitesurfing, water sports enthusiasts will be able to try many other sports and activities such as canoeing, sailing, water-skiing, fishing and wakeboard.

Summer skiing, go skiing all year round

Who said that skiing in summer was impossible? In Isère, a resort enables skiers to practise their favourite sport all year round. With the biggest skiable glacier of Europe, the resort of “Les 2 Alpes” is one of the rare resorts in France to open its slopes during the summer season. Holidaymakers can hit eight slopes – one green (easy), nine blue (medium) and one red (harder than blue) – that stretch over 90 hectares, between 2,900 and 3,600 meters high. beginners, experts and freestylers will find for sure what they are looking for. ►

© M. Dalmasso / Les 2 Alpes

Kitesurfing: surfing between the water, the air… and the mountains



Golf, a breath of fresh air at the foot of the mountains

Canyoning, explore the French Alps



Let’s grab your clubs! With about ten golf courses located in the heart of the mountains, Isère gives golfers the chance to perfect their golf swing in a very pleasant setting. novices or experienced players will find the 4, 6, 9 or 18-hole golf course that matches their expectations. Golfing in Isère is also a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature and sport in the middle of genuine havens of peace. The department counts three exceptional golf courses: the international golf course of Grenoble, the golf course of Grenoble Charmeil and the golf course of Corrençon-enVercors. All three of them also appear in the top 15 of best French greens.


Summer skiing in “Les 2 Alpes” on the 3,200 m high glacier


The international golf course of Grenoble - Bresson



& © P. Jayet

Kitesurfing on Monteynard Lake

Climbers, the Alpine cliffs are yours! With a mountainous terrain sculpted by gorges and waterfalls, the department of Isère is a very special place to practise canyoning. “Les Ecouges”, “le Furon”, “le Versoud”, “l’Infernet”, etc. are part of the 120 “Isérois” canyons, mainly situated in the Chartreuse and Vercors mountains. Canyoning is a combination of speleology, hiking, climbing, mountaineering and water activities. This complete sport is ideal to discover the geology of Isère and the hidden face of our mountains. Abseiling descents, jumps, toboggans... Skilled sportsmen as well as non-specialists will each find their right dose of adrenaline thanks to the different difficulty levels of the canyons. ►

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« My life is here »


Gillian Fabre, owner of the holiday cottage “Le Sardonnier”


riginally from Epsom, England, Gillian, 61, has been living in oz en oisans, a small village of 233 inhabitants located 50 kilometres away from Grenoble, for more than 30 years. This “Iséroise” by adoption receives tourists from all over the world in her holiday cottage, “le Sardonnier”, an old barn that she renovated with her defunct husband, bernard Fabre, a mountain guide.

income especially during the summer season. once he became a mountain guide, our holiday cottage enabled us to receive his clients.

When did you come to Isère for the first time? Gillian Fabre: “I was 25 the first time I went to Isère. Initially, I came as a seasonal worker in Chamrousse for the winter season. I discovered the mountains of this region, learnt to ski, and finally I ended up staying here because I met bernard, my husband, at this time of my life.”

You welcome tourists from all over the world in your holiday cottage, do you have some anecdotes to tell? G.F.: “Each person who comes here brings their own story. It’s really interesting. one day, a German came here with his Chinese wife. They were joined by his wife’s parents. This couple never left China before and they came here in Isère for their first travel abroad. Another anecdote: last summer, two boys came here bicycling. The funny part of their story is that they were wearing flip-flops to complete stages of more than 100 km a day because they felt more comfortable riding with them.”

When and why have you decided to create a holiday cottage with your husband? G.F.: “In 1983, bernard and I bought an old barn that we renovated. After two years, even though there was still some work to do here and there, we were able to receive our first clients. At this time, my husband was not yet a mountain guide. He was a member of the ski patrol and a ski instructor. Having a holiday cottage was a good source of additional Full information on

© L. Salino


besides, hospitality is an important value to me. My parents often accommodated people at home, like French students who came to England in summer for instance. In turn, I wanted to continue this tradition in my own way, once settled in Isère.”

What do you like especially in Isère? G.F.: “I like my lifestyle. I live in an exceptional natural setting, beautiful and enjoyable at the

same time. I can easily go skiing in winter, I put my shoes on and ten minutes later, I hit the slopes. In summer, I enjoy the fine weather hiking. Few people live in the mountains. I sometimes have the feeling, when nobody is there, that this nature is all mine for an instant. Isère is a very dynamic department where you can go to the mountains, the countryside or the cities. For instance, Grenoble is an accessible city where there is a lot going on. you can watch plays, attend concerts, etc. Vienne is also a nice culturally and historically-rich city*. Even if I could live elsewhere, I wouldn’t. I feel good here. My friends and my children live in the region. I know the inhabitants of my village as well as the ski resort staff and the mountain guides. I also have faithful customers who have been coming back each year for many years. My life is here.” ►

* The city of Vienne in Isère is famous for its numerous Gallo-Roman sites and its annua jazz festival.


© La Pyramide

taste the French way of life Patrick Henriroux, Head Chef of the Michelin two-star restaurant “La Pyramide”, in Vienne

Discover Isère through its local products


Each French region has its own culinary specialities. The department of Isère, which is in the heart of the French Alps, is no exception. your culinary journey starts with the most wellknown food of all French food: cheese. Saint-Marcellin is a little flat and round cow’s milk cheese that gets its name from the eponymous village. Either dry or runny depending on its maturing period, this soft cheese has been made in Isère for centuries. Le bleu du Vercors-Sassenage is another famous “Isérois” cheese. This blue-veined cow’s milk cheese is mild and creamy with a hint of hazelnut. It goes well with quiches, sauces, soufflés and salads. What would be a good cheese without a good wine to go with it? A sacrilege. Isère has a lot

of renowned wines such as the “balmes dauphinoises”, “Coteaux du Grésivaudan” and “Château Grillet”. The most famous and prestigious of them all is the “Côte-rôtie”. Produced on the right bank of the rhône river, this red wine got its name from the verticality of its hillsides that benefit from an optimum exposure. This cru was already very popular in roma a century before the Christian era. Its flavour is a blend of spicy aromas, violet and red and black fruits. Emblematic local product, Chartreuse is a green or yellow French liqueur known all over the world. American rock band ZZ top wrote a song in 2012 about this beverage that is also featured in Quentin Tarantino’s movie death proof. Made out of 130 different plants and spices, the recipe of Chartreuse is a well-kept secret that only the monks of Grande Chartreuse monastery know. beyond its cheese and wines, Isère is also known by cooked meats lovers for its famous “Murçon”. This saucisson, which has to be cooked in hot water, comes from the village of “la Mure”. Its aniseed-flavoured taste is due to caraway, a plant similar to fennel. As for gourmands, they will appreciate the AoC (a French label guaranteeing its origin) walnuts of Grenoble in all its forms (dried fruits, chocolate, tarts, etc.) as well as the brioche of bourgoin Jallieu, local beers, the ravioles or chocolate.

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domain and Chef’s wife, Laurence Girardon describes her husband’s cuisine: “His courses are creative and based on “dauphinois” local products. We try to provide a high-quality and eco-responsible cuisine for our guests who enjoy their meal in a sober and warm decor.” Here is a tip: try the famous blue lobster from their own lobster farm or “l’Illanka”, a chocolate and Chartreuse soufflé.


Located 20 kilometres south-east of Grenoble, the Michelin two-star restaurant “Les terrasses d’uriage”, in Saint-Martin-d’uriage, offers a refined cuisine in a delightful setting, facing the park. Managed by the Head Chef Christophe Aribert, the kitchen brigades work hard to prepare inventive courses based on local and fresh products such as Antésite from Voiron (drink), Vercors trout, fera fish, Grenoble walnut or “Isérois” cheese. Sat on red velvet chairs, guests will enjoy refined and gourmet menus in this nicely decorated restaurant.

© Agence photo Urope


Meal with friends

“Farm markets”, a nice way to taste the local products

organised by the producers from “Viennois au Chambaran”, “Farm markets” are a good way to discover “Isérois” products. Audrey Perrin, a farmer who produces walnuts and milk, is one of the 25 members of this association. She explains: “between April and the beginning of the winter season, we organise once a month, in the surroundings of “la Côte-Saint-André” or roussillon, a market in one of our farms. It’s a nice opportunity for visitors to taste our products while discovering the places where these products have been made.” Producers put on sale traditional delicacies such as fruits, vegetables, honey, meat, goat’s, ewe’s and cow’s milk cheese but also unusual products: “We have ostrich meat. This low-fat red meat is very tender and has a bit more pronounced taste than beef. We also sell saffron or spirulina, an alga grown under greenhouse and then dried. Its nutritional value has no equivalent”, continues Audrey Perrin. As for her, the diversity of “Isérois” local products contributes to the department’s good reputation. ►

Four Michelin-starred restaurants in the gastronomic « Isérois » sky

Let yourself be tempted by a gourmet getaway in one of the four Michelin-starred restaurants of Isère. “La Pyramide”, “Les Terrasses

d’uriage”, the restaurant “ du domaine de Clairefontaine” or the one “du domaine des Séquoias” will delight your taste buds. run by Head Chef Patrick Henriroux, “la Pyramide” is a Michelin two-star restaurant established in Vienne. born and raised in a farmer family, the chef particularly likes working with farm products. “As well as vegetables, poultry, whose dressing and side dish change with the season, is also one of the Chef’s culinary speciality”, said boris Henriroux, assistant director and Head Chef’s son. According to Patrick Henriroux, the reception of guests, the service and the atmosphere are as important as the food for the gastronomic experience to be complete and agreeable. redone in 2011, the black and yellow room is quite original. Very pleasant in summertime, the restaurant’s terrace is surrounded by centenarian plane trees in a French-style garden. Highly recommended to chocoholics: the chocolate and praline piano, created in honour of the famous jazzman, Miles davis, who went to the restaurant in 1989. ►

About ten kilometres away, in the middle of a three-hectare park, “le domaine de Clairefontaine” in Chonas-l’Amballan is a Michelin one-star restaurant run by Head Chef Philippe Girardon. General director of the

Equidistant between Grenoble and Lyon, “le domaine des Séquoias” in ruy-Montceau warmly welcomes customers to make them discover a traditional and contemporary cuisine. The concept of this Michelin one-star restaurant run by Eric Jambon is quite unusual: the guests don’t choose their courses on the menu. They decide the number of culinary creations they will eat but they don’t know what they are going to have in their plates. The discovery and the immersion are complete. Little hint: the Head Chef especially enjoys cooking excellent products such as truffle, lobster, pigeon or stag. For sure, guests will appreciate their meal in this genuine and contemporary former mansion built in 1840. ►

Living in a castle

once upon time, there was a castle. Located 50 kilometres south of Vienne, the Château de barbarin in revel-Tourdan is a place of “elegance, calm and authenticity” according to its owner, Philippe Seigle. built in the 14th century by Lord François de revel, this fortified house became a nice castle in the 18th century thanks to Laurent-Joseph Emé de Saint-Julien, Marquis of Marcieu and governor of dauphiné. “This château was not built in order to impress people. It is an agreeable place to live, a relaxing oasis of greenery”, explains its owner. Its terrace offers a superb view over the largest agricultural plain of Europe and the Vercors mountain range in the distance. Today, this delightful dwelling, classified as a Historic Monument, receives visitors who want to live like a lord or a lady for a few nights. “We have two 50 square metre rooms for our guests

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Taste the French way of life

who are received here as our friends. The whole château is open to them. They can relax in the front room, sit by the fire in the reading room or walk through the vast park, where lime trees and Corsican pines grow peacefully.” The decoration consists of furniture and artefacts from the 18th century. Very luminous thanks to its south-facing windows and painted in several orange-yellow ochre shades, this castle is a warm and nice place to spend your holiday. All year long, the Château de barbarin also welcomes curious tourists who feel like visiting it. Music lovers are most welcome in summer to attend concerts. “Each year, in June, we organise two concerts. In 2016, we will receive, on June 4th, the berlioz vocal group for our event “rendez-vous au jardin” and the third Sunday of June, we will greet the dazzling russian soprano, Elena Galitskaya, for a private concert followed by a cocktail.” A special and unforgettable moment not to be missed!



AOP walnuts of Grenoble



Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage AOP cheese

© Agence photo Urope

The traditional Gratin Dauphinois

© M. Battaglia

Green Chartreuse (liqueur)

© M. Battaglia


The Gratin Dauphinois is definitely the most famous of all “Isérois” dishes. The expression was recorded for the first time in 1788 at a banquet but it existed long before that. This delicious course made from potatoes is at the same time creamy and meltingly soft. There are several variations of the Gratin dauphinois but for the purists it is made without cheese or egg. Gratin Dauphinois Ingredients for 4 people: - 1 kg bintjes potatoes - 20 cl single cream - 60 cl milk - 50 g butter - salt, pepper, pinch of Cayenne pepper, 1 clove garlic

Peel and wash the potatoes. bring the milk to the boil, take off the heat, add the salt, pepper and unpeeled garlic clove and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Cut the potatoes into 3 millimetre-thick slices (without washing them), lay in a saucepan, pour on the milk, bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. butter a gratin dish, fill with the potatoes and even them out. Season the single cream with salt and a pinch of Cayenne pepper and pour over the potatoes. Finish off with the melted butter. Full information on

City Break

Sixteenth biggest city in France and second most innovative European city in 2014, Grenoble is the ideal spot to discover the “Iséroise” culture and more generally the French culture. The “Musée de Grenoble”, which gathers more than 900 art works, is a must-see for art lovers. In this museum, visitors will see Western paintings from the 13th to the 21st century as well as Egyptian antiquities or contemporary works. nearby, in the historical centre of the city, the “Musée de l’Ancien Evêché” is also worth visiting. on five levels, artefacts and paintings tell the History of Grenoble and the department of Isère, from prehistory to the present day. The archaeological crypt and the baptistery, dating from the 3rd and 4th century, are two of the museum’s genuine treasures. once outside the museum, you can walk down the antique dealers’ district where you will come across traditional shops, second-hand book sellers, antique dealers and cafés. Well known to the inhabitants of Grenoble for its flea markets and neighbourhood parties, this bustling area looks like a small village inside the city. Afterwards, keep on walking in the pleasant pedestrian streets of the city centre where you will find many restaurants and bars to quench your thirst and satisfy your appetite.

G renoble


© P. Blanc

For those who would like to continue the walk a bit further, the quays of the Isère river are a unique place, at the edge of the city, surrounded by the Chartreuse, belledonne and Vercors mountain ranges. Going there at nightfall is a magical moment: the city lights reflect on the river and the Italian district, easily recognizable thanks to its numerous Italian restaurants, comes to life. It’s also on these quays that you will find the stairs that lead to the “Musée dauphinois”. Each year, two to three exhibitions explore the ethnography, archaeology and history of the old dauphiné province’s heritage. To enjoy a plunging view over the city, you should go at the top of the bastille where several activities such as Via ferrata, 80 acrobatic games, etc., also await you. At night-time, why not enjoy Grenoble’s nightlife in one of the city bars, pubs, performance halls, clubs, etc.? In summer, several festivals liven up the streets of Grenoble. From July 5th to 10th 2016, cinema lovers will gather in “la Place Saint André” to attend the outdoor Short Film Festival. If you love music, you should go to the “Cabaret Frappé” Festival. Famous as well as emerging artists perform in the central city garden.

© Pierre Jayet

Grenoble, capital of the Alps

© Ville de Grenoble


Photo 1 : At the top of the Bastille, Grenoble

Photo 2 : “Cabaret Frappé” Festival in Grenoble’s central city garden Photo 3 : “La Place Saint André” and its terraces

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Vienne, city of art, history and gastronomy

Located 30 kilometres south of Lyon, Vienne has a rich historical heritage with more than 40 sites classified as Historic Monuments. In the third century b.C., the city was the capital of the Gallic tribe of the Allobroges before falling into the hands of the roman Empire, which contributed to give the city its current international reputation. Today, the roman theatre, the temple of Augustus and Livia, the pyramid, the garden of Cybele, etc. are what remain of Vienne’s exceptional Gallo-roman past. on the outskirts of the city, covering seven hectares, the archaeological site of Saint-romain-en-Gal/Vienne and its museums are amongst the richest European museums. The medieval period also left its mark on the cityscape. Cloisters, churches and cathedrals, such as the cloister and church of Saint-Andréle-bas or St Maurice’s Cathedral, stand as the evidence of the clergy’s influence at the time. Apart from its historical heritage, Vienne is also

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the cradle of modern gastronomy. Michelinstarred restaurant “la Pyramide” is known for having trained the greastest French chefs like Paul bocuse, Troisgros brothers and Alain Chapel. The kitchen brigades challenge their creativity and ingenuity to delight your taste buds. Wine connoisseurs will be pleased to know that the city has recently decided to develop oenotourism in order to promote its renowned “Condieu” and “Côté-rôtie”.

© P. Jayet

© P. Jayet

© P. Blanc


Photo 1 : Jazz à Vienne Festival

Photo 2 : St Maurice’s Cathedral

Photo 3 : Temple of Augustus and Livia

A summer trip in Vienne would however be incomplete without attending its famous jazz festival. For a fortnight, the greatest international stars of jazz perform on the mythic stage of Vienne’s roman theatre. The “Grande fête médiévale” (Great medieval celebrations) is also another main event of the city. Several medieval activities, a pyrotechnics show and a concert are organised during this festive week-end. ► ►



© Agence photo Urope

isère by bike

Bicycle touring, discover Isère at your own pace With 21 signposted cycling routes and its outstanding natural setting, Isère is an exceptional territory to ride a bike. There are indeed more than 1,000 km of cycling itineraries to explore the mountains, plains and hills of the department, from north to south and from east to west. Thanks to this extensive network in the heart of the famous Chartreuse, Vercors, belledonne and oisans mountains, cyclists will find the 15 to 100 km route that matches best their level and time availability. Each path is a great opportunity to discover the region’s typical villages, heritage and gastronomy. From the banks of the rhône river to the peaks of the Alps, Isère offers some of the best itineraries to bike riders who want to visit France. The legendary Viarhôna route (, which goes from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean seashore, crosses Isère following the banks of the rhône river. relatively flat, this safe itinerary is ideal for families willing to appreciate the landscape diversity sculpted by the river. In a wooded area, the route around the turquoise waters of Lake Paladru is also easy and suitable for everyone. The archaeological museum of the lake, with its artefacts dating from neolithic and the year one thousand, will also entertain cyclists. If you feel like pedalling in the middle of a shady forest, you should probably try the route in the heart of the Chambaran forest with its magnificent view points of the surrounding plains and mountains.

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Isère by bike On the left : Bicycle touring on the roads of the Vercors gorges At the bottom : VTT in the Chambarans

A bike trip through Isère would be incomplete without exploring the department’s Alpine mountains. Quite easy, the tour of the four mountains cross the Autrans vale, Lans vale, the Croix Perrin pass and the villages of Lans-en-Vercors and Villard-deLans. With a height difference of 1,460 m, the 43-kilometre itinerary “des murailles du Vercors-Sud Grésivaudan” roams across the valleys, the fields of walnut trees, the slopes of Vercors and the bourne gorges.

Cycling competitors, reach the summits of the Alps

Isère is a great destination for bike riders who like challenging themselves. Highlight of the “Tour de France”, the 21 bends of l’Alpe d’Huez are a legendary itinerary. All bike lovers must try to take this internationally renowned route at least once in their lifetime. The sportiest ones will also like following the itinerary of the “balcons de belledonne”. With its 2,240 metres of positive height difference, this 100-kilometre route runs along the foothills of belledonne and crosses the Mouilles and barioz passes.

The 30 timed cycle routes in oisans are also interesting challenges for cyclists who can now time their performance. Such as the climbs of l’Alpe d’Huez, Croix-de-Fer, Lautaret, Galibier, etc., each of the 30 courses is equipped with a special checkpoint activated by a chip identifying each rider. Activated when cyclists ride past start and finish flags, this chip fixed on the bike or rider can be bought or hired in either one of the local tourist offices or on the internet. After the course, cyclists can find all the times and overall rankings on the website and compare their performance with the ones of other riders. Sportswomen and sportsmen may also take part in summer cycling events. Most renowned cycling time trials of the Alps, the “Marmotte Gran Fondo” (July 2nd 2016) and the “Vaujany” (June 26th 2016), both located in oisans, attract participants from all over the world each year. With 3,200 metres of height difference, the cyclosportive “challenge Vercors” (May 22nd 2016) is another main cycling event during which riders have the time to gaze at the views of the Vercors mountains.

© S. Chappaz

Sportswomen and sportsmen also come to Isère for its numerous mountain passes. The itinerary “cols et panoramas de Chartreuse” follows the road of the Guiers Vif gorges, climbs up to the Cucheron pass, before going down towards the village of Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. In this way, holiday-makers will surpass themselves while discovering the waterfalls, forests and

cliffs of the Chartreuse regional nature park. If you want to cross Alpine passes, you will surely be pleased to hear that every Tuesday morning, in July and August, oisans Tourism reserves a mountain pass exclusively for cyclists. With no cars on the road, you can cycle safely.

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The French Alps, a great playground for mountain bike riders Summer is a great time for mountain bike riders. Throughout the department, they can cycle across thousands of kilometres of single tracks. A journey in Isère may therefore be an amazing opportunity to discover the Chartreuse, oisans, belledonne and Vercors mountains while trying all kind of mountain biking practices such as cross-country cycling, Enduro, downhill mountain biking, Fat biking, gentler rides, etc.

Isère by bike

unmissable event, the “vélo vert Festival” in Villard-de-Lans is the second biggest gathering of mountain bike riders in France. From June 3rd to June 5th 2016, mountain bike enthusiasts will discover the latest tests and trends of bikes and accessories. They could also take part in different bicycle trips (“sporting ride”, “discovery”, “pleasure” or “night-time ride”) and cycling time trials (“adrenaline”, “challenge”, “fun” or “new”). More generally, “populaires” (mountain bike tours) are organised every Sunday by the villages of Isère. The food supplied during these events is a nice way to get to know local culinary speciality.


Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider, there will be a route that suits your level of experience. The itinerary n°7 of the tour of “la Vallée bleue” is for instance a pleasant bike ride to begin mountain biking or to practise this sport with your family. As for seasoned riders, they should follow the hilly route of the “crêtes et combes de Chambaran” or the “boucle d’ornon”.

In Isère, “Via Vercors” is a unique and safe 40-kilometre route. Perfect to start with the e-bike, this dream itinerary connects the Vercors ski resorts to one another and cross a rich and superb nature as well as typical villages. All along the way, you will have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople, producers or restaurateurs who will introduce you to our products.


Travel idea : Tour of the Vercors by bike (Electric bike.)

SELFGUIDED TOUR BY BIKE A great tour, in absolutely magnificent landscapes, which makes you discover all the facets of the massif: the northern Vercors, Central Vercors and the Trièves, with their different landscapes, between the northern Alps and Provence and beautiful points of view on the Mont Aiguille and cliffs. The bike with electric assistance makes this tour accessible, besides, the tour is also practicable with road bike but only for confirmed sportsperson.

© Laurent Salino

do you feel like cycling across Isère but you fear you may not have the physical abilities? If the answer is yes, no matter what age you are, the electric bike (e-bike) is made for you. Thanks to this special and playful bike that requires less physical effort, your ride will be easier. However, you won’t lose any of the sensations you usually have when you ride a non-electric bike as you need to pedal in order to activate the mechanical assistance. This alternative bike will get you closer to summits and the famous ascent of l’Alpe d’Huez won’t only be the privilege of athletes anymore.

© images-et-rev

Electric bike: get easily closer to the summits

Photo 1 : Downhill mountain biking in Oz-en-Oisans Photo 2 : Mountain bike riders along Lake Paladru

Photo 3 : The Tour de France at l’Alpe d’Huez

On the right of the page : Taking a break on the “plateau du Vercors”

► 8 days / 7 nights From 660 € ► ►


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Š Agence photo Urope

Hikes from the banks of the Rhone River to the peaks of the Alps

With 9,000 km of marked trails, the Ecrins national park (92,000 hectares) and the two regional nature parks of the Vercors (186,000 hectares) and the Chartreuse (69,000 hectares), Isère is the perfect place for hikers. From easy itineraries that cross forests, prairies and hills to daring treks across glaciers and eternal snow, through hilly mid-mountain trails, all the walkers will find a route matching their level. Also ideal for family holidays, hiking is a unique time to discover the natural, patrimonial and historical wonders of Isère. Let’s start our walking journey with the most famous of “Isérois” itineraries: “la route de napoléon”. on foot or on horseback, this legendary route, suitable for children and parents, offers sublime panoramic views of Great Laffrey Lake and the surrounding mountains. For the record, napoleon took the Alpine road when he went back to France in 1815, after his exile on the island of Elba a year before. being aware of the royalty’s unpopularity, the former emperor came back to France to retake control of the kingdom. napoleon followed this famous route in order to get to Paris from Grasse while avoiding the cities that were faithful to king Louis xVIII. At that time, most of dauphiné’s inhabitants appreciated napoleon. on March 7th 1815, in Laffrey, the former emperor convinced the royal troops sent against him not to kill him by delivering this speech: “Soldiers, I am your Emperor. don’t you recognize me? If some of you want to kill their general, here I am”, said napoleon moving peacefully towards them, putting his own life at risk. In response to his courage, the soldiers all shouted: “Long live the Emperor!” Today, an equestrian statue of napoleon stands in “the meadow of the encounter” in Laffrey to commemorate this decisive victory in the Emperor’s life.




Discover all of Isère’s legendary hikes

With its Alpine peaks, Isère offers many legendary hikes to holidaymakers. Shaped like an inverted pyramid, the “Mont aiguille” was known as “the inaccessible mountain” in the 12th century. The tour around this fascinating mountain enables walkers to discover some of the most beautiful facets of the Vercors regional nature park. In the Chartreuse mountains, the ascent of the “dent de Crolles” is renowned for its great 360-degree view over the Grésivaudan valley and the mountains around. The coveted title of “the department’s most spectacular walk” undoubtedly goes to the “Croix de belledonne” hike because of its diverse and breath-taking landscapes. The highest part of the walk peaks at 2,926 m above sea level and gives stunning views over

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Opposite : Waterfall of Lanchâtra in the valley of Vénéon (Oisans) On the left : A mountain hut of l’Alpe du Pin in Saint-Christophe-en-Oisans


Travel idea : The way around the Chartreuse Natural Park

the “Grand Pic de belledonne” and the numerous lakes. Lake Crozet with its bird’s-eye view over the Grésivaudan valley and the Chartreuse mountains is a highlight of this walk. The French Alps are also the perfect spot to practise mountaineering in France. Surrounded by 3,000 and 4,000 metre-high peaks, “la bérarde” is one of the biggest French centres of alpinism. In the heart of the Ecrins mountains, this hamlet of SaintChristophe-en-oisans is the starting point of many wonderful itineraries. If you don’t feel like mountain hiking, you will appreciate the gentle walks crossing the department’s plains and hills. In the northern department, the walk of Montgeard’s wild orchids or the Vaillet crossing are two easy and agreeable strolls, accessible for the whole family, that will show walkers the natural and historical wonders of Isère. Walkers will also have the opportunity to discover some of the most Isère’s iconic heritage by following another legendary way, the route of Santiago de Compostela. Genuine peace havens, mountain huts are essential to long walks. Spread across the mountains of the department, the 38 refuges of Isère are more than simple accommodation. They are a gateway to the mountain world.

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Most of these places offer walkers musical and gastronomic entertainments or informal history lessons to make them discover and learn more about “Iséroise” culture.

Isère, the perfect spot for trail running and Nordic walking

The Vercors, Chartreuse, oisans and belledonne mountains are a nice playground for trail runners and walkers practising nordic walking. Since the creation of the first trail running resort in Chartreuse in 2011, four other resorts have been founded in Isère. Each summer, around twenty events are organised within the department and gather thousands of trail runners. Scheduled on September 10th 2016 in Autrans-Méaudre, the “ultra-trail du Vercors” is the most important event of the summer season. This 88 km run across the Vercors mountains offers unique sceneries. originated from Scandinavian countries, nordic walking is an outdoor sport, derived from crosscountry skiing. It involves walking fast with sticks. This practice attracts each year more and more enthusiasts. Planned on June 17th, 18th and 19th 2016 in Lans-en-Vercors, The “Euro nordic Walk Vercors” is the biggest European gathering of walkers practising nordic Walking. This event is not to be missed for nature lovers who enjoy hiking. ►

SELFGUIDED TOUR We invite you to discover "our" mountain range, its deep forests, summits and local history. Just after the well-known Col du Granier, dominated by the unique Mont Granier, enter the heart of the Chartreuse regional natural Park. Typical landscape of these Pre-Alpine mountains shows a great variety: forests, rivers, cliffs, villages nestling in clearings and small valleys, high altitude pastures. The Chartreuse range undoubtedly conjures up a special atmosphere endowed with great historical, cultural, and handcraft heritage. ► 7 days, 6 nights from 578 € ► ►

Travel idea : The Pearl of the Prealps SELF GUIDED TOUR The Vercors regional natural Park is a unique place: “The Pearl of the Prealps.” unspoilt nature to rejoice in to your heart’s content! “our plateau is a good place to live!” the Vercors’ inhabitants agree unanimously. Take the chance to experience this life on a trip that features an exclusive selection of the region’s treasures. Well-paced hikes through straths offering unobstructed views that instill a feeling of tranquility; walks along panoramic ridges as well as captivating deep gorges. ► 6 days 5 nights fom 510 € ► ►


six must-see places in isère

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The bridges of Monteynard lake

Paradise of kitesurfers, Monteynard Lake is also a destination of choice for hikers and mountain bikers. Inaugurated in 2007, the two Himalayan bridges are between 45 and 85 metres high depending on the water level. unique in Europe, these two footbridges are 180 and 220 metres long and 1.20 metre wide. Thanks to these constructions that span the drac and the Ebron rivers, it is now possible to walk around the whole lake. Perfectly integrated into the landscape, they offer hikers and mountain bikers stunning and vertiginous views of the lake and its surroundings. once on the suspended bridge, you can see the gap under your feet. This situation may give you the impression of being as light as a bird flying above turquoise water. Here is a small tip: carry a picnic with you as there are many spots along the way that are ideal to take a break or a snack while enjoying a fantastic panorama of Monteynard Lake.

© V. Thiebaud


Opposite : Himalayan bridges over Monteynard Lake

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© P. Jayet

The Choranche caves

during your descent into the depths of the Earth, you will discover enchanting soda straw stalactites suspended above underground lakes and rivers. These immaculate white calcite straws are sometimes three metres long. They contribute to the special beauty of the place, rendered sublime by a sound and light show. young explorers will also have the chance to meet strange creatures called olms or proteus. originating from Slovenia, this cave-dwelling animal was brought to Choranche for a specific research project with the aim of protecting the species. This kind of salamander is blind, depigmented and is able to spend several months in a raw without eating. The fascinating creature can be up to 35 centimetres long and can live up to 80 years. ►

© M. Battaglia

In the heart of the Vercors regional nature park, about an hour’s drive from Grenoble, the Choranche caves are among the most beautiful in France. during the one-hour guided tour, visitors will explore our mountains from the inside. This amazing trip to the centre of the Earth will delight parents and children.

The Grande Chartreuse monastery

The Grande Chartreuse cellars and monastery

Chartreuse is indubitably the most famous liqueur of the region. This exquisite and strong beverage inspired the American rock band ZZ Top who wrote a song about it in 2012 and the American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino who featured it in his movie death Proof. This green or yellow liqueur is made out of 130 different plants and spices. The secret of its recipe is safely kept by the monks of the Grande Chartreuse monastery. nevertheless, travellers can learn some historical facts about this spirit drink by visiting the Chartreuse cellars in Voiron. during the one-hour guided-tour, they will watch a short film and explore the cellars and the distillery before ending the visit with a tasting. Located in the heart of the Chartreuse regional nature park, the Grande Chartreuse Monastery is exclusively reserved for monks. you can however see this place of worship from the outside. The walk to get to this sacred site, which can only be reached on foot, is very pleasant especially in summer. For those curious to know more about the lifestyle of these monks, the Grande Chartreuse museum will quench your thirst for knowledge. ►


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© Domain de Vizille

Six Must-see places

On the left : The Choranche caves

The Funicular of Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet

on the southwestern side of the Chartreuse mountains, the funicular of Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet is one of the oldest cable cars in the French Alps. It connects the hamlet of Montfort in Lumbin (251 m high) to the Plateau des Petites-roches in Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet (967 m high). open in 1924, the funicular was initially built to reach the sanatorium built on the Plateau des Petites-roches. In 1960, it was mentioned for the first time in Michelin travel guidebook as a site of interest for tourists. during a 20-minute steep ascent, passengers enjoy an incredible view over the Grésivaudan valley and the surrounding cliffs. once on the Plateau des Petites-roches, many activities await visitors. If you are interested in mechanics, you can visit the engine room of the funicular while paragliding enthusiasts can get to the take-off area. In September, the Coupe Icare is one of the main events of the region. This wonderful air ballet gathers paragliders and hang gliders from all over the world.

The Château de Vizille

Domaine de Vizille

At the gates of Grenoble and the oisans mountains, on the “route napoléon”, the “domaine de Vizille” is a prestigious cultural site of Isère’s heritage. Established in a peaceful natural environment, this must-see site is composed of a château and a magnificent park. The Château was the ancient dwelling of the duke of Lesdiguières (17th century), the Perrier family (1782-1895) and several former French presidents (1925-1960). Classified as a Historic Monument, this edifice has been housing since 1972 the Museum of the French revolution. Thanks to its art collection, the museum enables visitors to learn more about this key moment in French history. In the park classified as “Jardin remarquable” (remarkable garden), visitors walk among numerous original floral creations. The bucolic park is also a very special place to discover the region’s wildlife (reserve of cervids).


Walibi, Theme Park

© Walibi Rhône Alpes

© Funiculaire St Hilaire du Touvet


Walibi, a theme park for the whole family

Located in Avenières en Isère, rhône-Alpes Walibi theme park is ideal for tourists looking for thrills and travelling with friends or family. The park is divided in two parts: Walibi and Aqualibi. The first part consists of twenty attractions such as the Ewalyzer, a recently renovated roller coaster, or the Coccinelle (lady-bird), an attraction for children and parents that rips through the air. In the alleys, you are likely to meet a giant orange kangaroo, which is the mascot of this theme park. At different times of the day, several shows and cinema in 4d are organised to entertain and enthral visitors.

The funicular of Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet

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Very pleasant in summer, Aqualibi theme park includes four giant water slides as well as many thematic pools. Among the Shark, the Pirate bay, the Sea snake or the Tropical lagoon, you will find the aquatic area that matches your desires of adventure or relaxation.



Lakes and rivers in isère THE MAny LAkES And rIVErS oF ISèrE ArE An InVITATIon For VACATIonErS To rEST And rELAx. SWIMMInG, WATEr SPorTS, STroLLS ALonG THE LAkE… PLEnTy oF ACTIVITIES WILL EnTErTAIn you durInG your JournEy In FrAnCE.

What is more refreshing in summer than unwinding near a lake? In Isère, Lake Paladru in Charavines, Lake Freydières in revel and Lake Mirande in Allevard-les-bains are ideal for vacationers who want to have a swim or a walk in an enchanting setting. In Charavines, bathers who also love history will have the opportunity to visit the museum of Lake Paladru where artefacts dating from neolithic and the year one thousand are exhibited. If you enjoy water sports and activities, you will definitely go to Monteynard, Sautet and Great Laffrey lakes. There is a wide range of activities to choose from such as kitesurfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, canoeing, sailing, diving, etc. Internationally renowned, Monteynard Lake is a very special spot for kitesurfers since the place benefits from good weather conditions. Isère also counts many leisure centres. The “Vallée bleue” in Montalieu-Vercieu has a waterpark, a sailing club, a marina, a fishing pond and offers visitors several activities such as Fly boarding, jet-skiing or boat rental (with or without license). In Condrieu, the leisure centres are established next to an agreeable swimming area with playgrounds for children and water-skiing available for adults. Looking for thrills? you should go to the oisans, Vercors, Chartreuse, Pays Voironnais or Val du dauphiné areas as you will have the opportunity to practise many white-water sports. In the ice cold turquoise blue waters, you will have the choice between rafting, hydrospeed (water ludge), tubing (large tube) and kayaking. If you like mountain lakes, hiking is one of the best ways to discover some the most outstanding lakes of Isère. In oisans or in belledonne, these bodies of water look like genuine mirror, reflecting the sky, in the middle of unspoilt natural areas. ►


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On the background : Lake Paladru Photo 1 : Laffrey Lakes Photo 2 : River fishing Photo 3 : The 7 Laux Photo 4 : Rafting on the Vénéon


Its numerous high mountain lakes, torrents, rivers, inland lakes, etc., make of Isère one of the best destinations to go fishing in France. In 2016, the fishing season in Isère starts everywhere on 12 March, except for mountain lakes where it starts on 28 May. There is a large diversity of fish species found in the various fishing areas, including trouts, Arctic chars, perches and pikes. don’t miss, on 5 June 2016, the Fête de la Pêche (Fishing celebration). It provides you with the opportunity to discover and develop your fishing skills. discovery days are also planned in April, May, June and September for those who want to explore new fishing areas or learn new fishing techniques. you will also find a variety of accommodation adapted to suit your activities (fishing areas nearby, storage for your equipment, accurate information, etc.). Grab your fishing rod!

© Agence photo Urope

Fishing in Isère

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Located on the shore of Lake Laffrey, the campsite Ser Sirant is labelled “hébergement/pêche” (accommodation/fishing). It offers an 8 day/ 7 night stays starting from 395 € (based on 5 people, including two fishermen) that includes mobilhome or chalet accommodation, the barque rental, fishing rights for 5 days as well as the possibility to store your equipment. ►

© Michel Battaglia

Travel idea


the remarkably rich and well-conserved heritage of isère

© P. Jayet



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On the left : The courtyard of the Abbey, in Saint-Antoinel’Abbaye

© P. Blanc

On the right : Roman-Byzantine frescoes of the abbey church of Saint-Chef

The treasure of Saint-Antoine-l’Abbaye

Located 60 km west of Grenoble, the medieval village of Saint-Antoinel’Abbaye has been ranked as one of the most beautiful French towns since 2010. With its labyrinth of quaint little streets, its squares, its ancient houses and monuments’ frontage and roof, Saint-Antoinel’Abbaye take visitors back in the Middle Ages. Classified as a Historic Monument, the impressive Abbey of Saint-Antoine sparkles with its flamboyant gothic-style facade. This group of buildings is composed of an abbatial house, a great cloister, a novitiate, a library, a great refectory, an infirmary, stables and gardens that were modified during the 12th and 13th century. The abbey church of Saint-Antoine was erected between the 12th and 15th century at the instigation of Antonines, a hospitable community of monks that was important in Europe in the Middle Ages. built to receive the relics of Saint Antoine of Egypt, founder of Christian Eremitism, the church is situated on the route of Santiago de Compostela. Each year, it welcomes many pilgrims who hope to benefit from the Saint’s healing power. Thanks to its sophisticated architecture, its well-preserved mural paintings, its tapestries of Aubusson and priceless treasure, this building is definitely one of the region’s heritage most extraordinary jewels. ►

Saint Chef, a traditional village with exceptional Roman-Byzantine frescoes

In the northwestern part of the department, about an hour’s drive from Grenoble, the municipality of Saint-Chef is renowned for its benedictine Abbey. The village grew up around a monastery founded in the 6th century by one of the most powerful religious community in France at the time. originated from the region and buried in the village, the famous writer Frédéric dard, also known under the pseudonym of San-Antonio, wrote: “Saint-Chef, happy village: I love this country and its inhabitants […] nestled in its hills, it’s a place of contemplation, meditation and serenity.” registered as a Historic Monument since 1840, the village’s 16th-century abbey church is a masterpiece of romanesque architecture. The monument houses roman-byzantine frescoes among the most beautiful and well-conserved in the country. overlooking the village, the castle of Theyssier de Savy was the property of the wealthy Abbey of Saint-Chef in the Middle Ages. With its towers, tiled-roofs and rough stone walls, this dwelling is very typical of dauphiné’s architecture. Surrounded by a superb park, the castle is today the Charlets’ who organise free guided visits between July and September. besides its church and castle, the village centre has also remarkable renaissance-style buildings such as towerhouses and magnificent ancient doors.


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Morestel, the “town of painters”

Morestel’s charm also lies in its medieval architecture. At both ends of Morestel, two doors enable inhabitants and visitors to enter the town. This fortified town grew up at the foot of a rock on which there is a beautiful castle. by walking down the streets, travellers will discover Morestel’s rich heritage such as its medieval tower or the remains of an old castle from where visitors will enjoy a wonderful view of the surroundings. In the historical centre, the church of Saint Symphorien initially was, in 1425, an old chapel of the Augustinian convent before it became a parish church in 1791. overlooking Morestel’s battlements, its square steeple is one of the most spectacular of the region. ►

© P. Jayet

© P. Blanc

About an hour’s drive from Grenoble, Morestel was nicknamed the “town of painters” as several famous artists went there to reproduce on their canvas the special light of the place. The most famous of them is the landscape painter FrançoisAuguste ravier whose house is perched on the upper part of the village. Today the numerous town’s galleries show that the villagers’ deep interest for the arts is still alive.


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The remarkably rich and well-conserved heritage of Isère

On the left : Morestel’s medieval tower

On the left at the bottom : The hanging houses of Pont-en-Royans Below : The church of St-Etienne-de-St-Geoirs

The hanging houses of Pont-en-Royans

In the Vercors regional nature park, the village of Pont-en-royans is a surprising wonder of Isère’s heritage. Its colourful houses, clinging to the rock over the bourne river, were invented by the inhabitants of the 16th century. They use their ingenuity to build a village that would make timber trade easier. Today, the town’s battlements, bridge and narrow streets are the remains of Pont-enroyans’s rich medieval past. A tour of the village would not be complete without walking along the riverbanks or without going to the water museum. This museum of 4,000 square meters invites visitors to discover, in a playful and interactive way, the history of this natural resource, essential to life and yet jeopardized by humans. If you are staying a bit longer in Pont-en-royans, don’t hesitate to pay a visit to the ancient feudal tower of the “Three Châteaux” or to explore the mysterious Choranche caves nearby.


Saint-Etienne-de-Saint-Geoirs, the legend of Mandrin

known abroad for its international airport, SaintEtienne-de-Saint-Geoirs is for the region’s inhabitants the city where Mandrin, a local hero nicknamed “the beloved robber”, grew up with his eight siblings. born in 1725, Louis Mandrin was raised in a good family. nothing destined him to become a smuggler until his father passed away when he was only 17 and left him at the head of his family. His trouble with the law, his brother’s hanging and the financial failure to provide mules for the French army fighting in Italy, lead him to rebel against the system.

© S. Chappaz

Mandrin is a very popular character since he was opposed to the “fermiers généraux” who collected major unfair taxes on behalf of the king during the French “Ancien régime”. Mandrin was also appreciated since smuggling enables the region’s inhabitants to get cheaper products than the ones sold on the market. The life of this complex character sometimes seen as an upholder of the law, sometimes as a shameless robber, ended in 1755, in Valence, where he was beaten to death.

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Today, Mandrin’s legend is still alive in the heart of Saint-Etienne-de-Saint-Geoirs inhabitants. A place has been named after him, next to the ancient fortified house of Varanin, his mother’s house. Visitors can also see his ancient family home in front of the covered market. Every five years, the “Mandrinades” pay tribute to the memory of the “beloved robber”. With its float parades, concerts, plays and pyrotechnic show, this three-day celebration is a major event that takes visitors back to the 18th century.


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© F. Pattou

The Châteaux of Isère

Isère’s châteaux are the mirror of the department’s prosperous past. Many secrets of the History of France are hidden behind these monuments’ walls. In the heart of « Pays Viennois », the Château of Septème is located at the level of the seventh milestone of an ancient roman way, which connects Vienne to Milan. All its visitors are impressed by the dwelling’s fortification, its round and square towers, its donjon and its park surrounded by a 13th-century battlement. The massive outside architecture contrasts with the rennaissance style inside. ►

on the border between Savoie and Isère, the Château of Touvet is an ancient fortified castle built in the 13th century. Embellished with


Above : The Château du Touvet and its gardens

splendour of the Grand Salon, the 45,000 books of the library and the monumental castle’s staircase.



The Château de Virieu is an ancient castle turned into a stone castle in the 11th century. Well-preserved, this dwelling houses an exceptional chapel dating from the 12th century. This beautiful part of the building is ornamented with a sculpture of the Stations of the Cross, which was created by Stéphanie de Virieu, a famous French painter and sculptor. The colourful king’s bedroom is decorated with refined furniture. In 1622, the king Louis xIII slept in this room during his stay in Virieu

built in Saint-Geoirs-en-Valdaine, the Château de Longpra is surrounded by water-filled moats. This 14th-century fortified house, modified in the 18th century, has a spectacular interior decoration. The outstanding woodworks, decoration and parquet in the Grand Salon were created by the renowned cabinetmakers from Grenoble named Hache.

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About ten kilometres from Grenoble, the Château de Sassenage was inhabited by one of the most famous family of the old province of dauphiné, the bérenger-Sassenage family. Erected in the 17th century, this classical castle was built above an ancient fortification. This magnificent well-proportioned edifice comprises several gardens dating from the renaissance period and a lush garden with hundreds of centenary trees and shrubs. ►

waterfalls, its park offers a marvellous view of the Grésivaudan valley and the belledonne mountains. The masterpiece of this splendid park is an Italian water staircase of rare beauty. once the travellers enter the castle, they discover the interior richly decorated with painted woodworks, gypsum mouldings and parquet flooring by the nobility.


Almost totally destroyed after the French revolution, the Château of Pupetières in Chabons has been saved from sinking into oblivion thanks to major renovation works. In 1861, the owners hired the great architect Eugène Viollet-le-duc, known for its renovation of notre-dame de Paris. He is the one who designed the castle’s current neo-gothic style. during their visit, tourists will be amazed by the


Located 30 km south of Vienne, the Château of Anjou and its huge park were restyled in the 19th century by two famous landscape architects, Henri and Achille duchêne. From the gallery to the renaissance-style diningroom and the beautiful gardens, the architects, father and son, used their creativity to transform the place into the centre of elites’ social life. In summer, visitors will enjoy a stroll in the French gardens or in the cave of Aphrodite of the estate’s park. ►

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BERLIOZ FESTIVAL 2016 August 19 > 30

La Côte-Saint-André, Isère

This year, Berlioz will dance with the witches : Symphonie fantastique, Dance of Death, Sorcerer’s apprentice, Night on bald mountain, First Walpurgis night...

...and also

Romeo and Juliet, Benvenuto Cellini, Summer nights, Harold in Italy…

An enchanted occasion, for a unique symphonic experience !

© Simon Barral Baron

summer events in isère

Berlioz Festival in La Côte-St-André

THE BERLIOZ FESTVAL From August 19th to August 30th 2016, the berlioz Festival will take place in the town of la Côte-Saint-André. organised in the home-town of this great composer in late summer each year, this internationally renowned classical music festival is one of the rare symphonic music festivals in France. Most symphonic concerts are held in the courtyard of the Château Louis xI. on this occasion, the place is equipped with a unique structure that guarantees fantastic acoustics and protects the musicians and the audience in case of bad weather. For twelve days, the city resonates and vibrates to the beat of street concerts, exhibitions, lectures, etc. Many other musical performances (chamber music, contemporary creations, etc.) also take place in churches and other venues of the surrounding area. Far from being the privilege of an elite, this festival is open to all the neophytes who feel like discovering the magical world of classical music in a spectacular setting and a friendly atmosphere. ►

Jazz à Vienne Festival

© P. Blanc

19 to 30 August 2016 La Côté-Saint-André

THE JAZZ A VIENNE FESTIVAL 28 June to 13 July 2016 – Vienne

Considered as the main cultural event in rhône-Alpes, the Jazz à Vienne Festival is undoubtedly the unmissable musical event of the summer. From June 28th to July 13th 2016, French and international artists will gather for the 36th year of this festival. For fifteen days, the concerts are held in most of the city’s legendary and historic places such as the roman theatre, where the main headliners perform, the scenes of Cybele, the academy, etc. Miles davis, Claude nougaro, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Chuck berry, Ibrahim Maalouf and several other famous musicians went to the festival to showcase their talents in front of Jazz enthusiasts. With the organisation of Funk, blues, Gospel, Gypsy music concerts, this festival is the opportunity to discover other kinds of music, close to jazz musical nuances. ►

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© P. Jayet

Festivities in Grenoble on July 14th

THE FETE DE LA MUSIQUE AND 14th OF JULY 21 June and 14 July 2016 - Isère

Each year, on the day of the summer solstice, all the cities in France celebrates the Fête de la musique. Various musicians perform in unison in the streets, the parks, the concert halls, etc. of the vibrant cities. In a friendly atmosphere, all the inhabitants gather to live together this French midsummer night’s dream. Three weeks later, on July 14th, the French stop working on this bank holiday to commemorate the Storming of the bastille on July 14th 1789, a symbolic day that initiated the end of absolute monarchy in France. Parades are organised in the streets during the day and in the evening, the traditional fireworks set the sky alight above cities and lakes. To end your evening on a high note, why not attend one of the many concerts and dance till night ends?

“Quand on n’a que l’amour, pour unique raison, pour unique chanson, et unique secours” (When we only have love, as unique reason, as unique song, and unique relief), performed Jacques brel in his song Quand on n’a que l’amour (When we only have love). Created 29 years ago in tribute to this incredible poet-singer, the rencontres brel Festival is a French music festival that will take place in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, from July 19th to July 24th 2016. Whether you prefer Pop, blues, Folk, Jazz, or rock music, whether you like today’s music or older styles music, you will definitely find a concert that will meet your expectations. This festival is the opportunity for music enthusiasts to listen to well-known French singers such as Pierre Perret, Zaza Fournier, Cats on Trees as well as discover genuine musical golden nuggets such as Greybeard, less popular but as talented and with as much potential as the greatest music groups. ►

Rencontres Brel Festival

© Georges Ichtchenko

THE RENCONTRES BREL FESTIVAL 19 to 24 July 2016 – Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse

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© P. Jayet

The Coupe Icare, free flight Festival in St Hilaire du Touvet

COUPE ICARE 22 to 25 September 2016 Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet

For its 43th year, the Coupe Icare will take place in Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet from September 22nd to 25th 2016. Accessible by the funicular of Saint-Hilaire-du-Touvet, one of the oldest in the Alps, the Plateau des Petites-roches is the scene of an exceptional aerial ballet. For three days, in the heart of the Chartreuse mountains, many activities are proposed to participants: a costume contest for hang gliders and paragliders (the Icarnaval), aerial acrobatic acts, a free flight film festival (the Icares of Cinema), an aerial sports exhibition (Icare Expo), etc. The Coupe Icare has become since its creation an unmissable and exceptional event for free flight enthusiasts. Each year, this event gathers almost 80,000 people among whom 10,000 are pilots from all over the world.

MARMOTTE GRAN FONDO 2 July 2016 - Oisans

The Marmotte Gran Fondo is one of the oldest and most challenging cycling event in Isère. organised on July 2nd 2016, this legendary cycling time trial is one of the most famous in the French Alps and in Europe. riders surpass themselves physically and mentally over a distance of 174 km with a height difference of 5,000 m. The race starts in bourg-d’oisans (717 m), a village located 50 km from Grenoble, and finishes at l’Alpe d’Huez (1,880 m), via the Glandon (1,918 m), Télégraphe (1,570 m), Galibier (2,642 m) and Lautaret (2,057 m) passes. With 7,500 participants from the five continents, this race is definitely one of the greatest sporting events in Isère and all the cyclists worthy of the name must take part in it at least once in their lifetime. ►

Opposite : The Marmotte Gran Fondo at l’Alpe d’Huez

© Laurent Salino / Alpe d’Huez Tourisme


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© P. Jayet


UT4M (Ultra Tour des 4 Massifs)

2 June 2016 – Bourg d’Oisans, Alpe d’Huez

17 to 21 August 2016 – Grenoble

Planned on June 2nd 2016, the Alpe d’Huzes is a major cycling and charitable event. This dutch initiative is aimed at raising money for the dutch foundation kWF that fights against cancer. For a week, oisans turns into the netherlands. The name of this race, Alpe d’Huzes, is a play on words between the legendary ascent of l’Alpe d’Huez, highlight of the Tour de France, and the number six that is said “zes” in dutch. organised for the first time on June 6th 2006, this race consists of climbing six times within the day the 21 bends between bourg d’oisans and l’Alpe d’Huez. To join the race, participants must raise a certain amount of money from companies and other institutions. In 2013, the Alpe d’Huzes raised a record of 29 million euros! ►

From August 17th to August 21st 2016, the trail runners can surpass themselves during the ultra Tour des 4 Massifs (uT4M), one of the toughest trails in France. This ultra-trail starts and finishes in Paul-Mistral Park, in the centre of Grenoble. over a distance of 160 km with a height difference of 10,000 meters, the contestants run across the Vercors, Taillefer, belledonne and Chartreuse mountains, four emblematic mountains ranges of Isère. Within 53 hours, runners discover the Moucherotte summit, the Saint-Michel peak, Great Laffrey Lake, the Alpe du Grand Serre, Lake Poursollet, the Croix de Chamrousse, the Grand Colon, Chamechaude, the Mont Saint-Eynard and the bastille fort. The Pas de la Vache, which culminates at 2,360 m above sea-level, is the highest part of the race. More than 90% of the itinerary is located in mid and high-mountain. Each year, thousands of experiences runners take part in this nationally and internationally renowned event. ►

MEDIEVAL CELEBRATION IN CRÉMIEU do you feel like travelling back in time? In September, the visitors are immersed in the Middle Ages during the medieval celebrations in Crémieu. With its uncovered markets, its castles, its churches and its cloister, the medieval town of Crémieu is the perfect place for these festivities. The city inhabitants also wear for this special occasion their most beautiful costumes of lord, peasant or damsel. For the illusion of travelling back in time to be complete, several plays, farces, an equestrian show, a bird of prey show and many other events are organised during this weekend. The medieval market is a nice opportunity for visitors to discover craftsmen’s artwork. decorated with standards and banners, the city streets are bustling with more than 300 artists. This event is unquestionably a highlight of the department’s life. ►

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Medieval celebrations in Crémieu

© P. Jayet

10 to 11 September 2016 – Crémieu


© A. Gelin

isère, one of the best ski destinations WHAT IS MorE EnCHAnTInG In WInTEr THAn THE ConTEMPLATIon oF THE IMPrESSIVE ALPInE SnoW-CAPPEd MounTAInS? WHAT A bETTEr WAy To EnJoy THIS drEAMLIkE VISIon THAn PrACTISInG onE oF THE MAny WInTEr SPorTS In onE oF THE 22 “ISéroISES” SkI rESorTS?

© L. Salino – Alpe d’Huez Tourisme

© Agence photo Urope

After getting a pair of ski at the Swedish stand of the 1878 universal Exhibition, the famous mountaineer Henri duhamel is the first person to conquer the French Alps, from the “Isérois” village of Chamrousse. Seduced by this sport, he convinced his friends to join him on the slopes and created in 1895, Grenoble’s ski club, the first one founded in France. For more than a century, in winter, the green pastures of the French Alps turn into ski slopes. Located in the Chartreuse, Vercors, belledonne and oisans mountains, the department’s 22 resorts receive thousands of visitors each year. Each person can find the resort that will meet their expectations. Skiers who are looking for international renowned resorts will go to “Les 2 Alpes” or “l’Alpe d’Huez”. The holidaymakers who prefer a more intimate and confidential setting will rather choose the village-resorts of “Vaujany”, “Autrans-Méaudre” or “l’Alpe du Grand Serre”. As for families, they will appreciate resorts with the “Famille Plus” label, such as “Villardde-Lans” / “Corrençon-en-Vercors”. These resorts guarantee a warm welcome as well as suitable activities for children and parents.

Alpine skiing or Nordic skiing?

Alpine skiing is definitely the most practised of all winter sliding sports. Expressed with a colour code (from the easiest to the hardest: green, blue, red, black), the different difficulty levels enable beginners and experts to find the ski slope that matches their skills. Skiers will most probably bump into the players of another sport: snowboard. More recent, this sliding sport, which combines speed and the search of a new balance, has become popularized. Slower but not less challenging than alpine skiing and snowboard, crosscountry skiing, ski touring and snowshoes walks become more popular each year. These three latter sports enable you to be physically active while taking more time to enjoy the landscape. Alternating ups and downs, you will reach Alpine summits and benefit from memorable views of the surroundings.

Ice skating, Fatbike, Spa… many activities await you in ski resorts

If you are not really a ski enthusiast or if you simply feel like having a break after hitting the slopes, Isère’s ski resorts also offer you many other outdoor activities such as ice skating. This sport is a nice way for the most experienced ice skaters to express their dancer’s soul over the ice. Looking for thrills? you should try paragliding, snowmobile or Fatbike, a bike from Alaska. This special mountain bike makes it much easier to ride a bike on snow. nevertheless, one shouldn’t forget that holidays also mean relaxation. Many ski resorts have a spa in their infrastructure that will enable holidaymakers to relax and recover after physical effort.


Photo 1 : Freeriding in Chartreuse Photo 2 : A family going sledging

Photo 3 : Alpine skiing at l’Alpe d’Huez

Ski liberty

Looking for ideas to ski peacefully? Here’s a tip: Ski liberty. This option will put an end to the usual bookings running from Saturday to Saturday. you can now leave three, four or five days, even in the middle of the week if you wish. Ski liberty is also an amazing chance to have all the pleasures of skiing without the stress due to the large number of tourists coming on weekends and during the holiday. by arriving on a weekday, you won’t have to cope with the traffic jam, the endless queues to rent your pair of ski or to use the resorts’ ski lifts anymore. you can now freely hit the slopes and take a deep breath of fresh air without being preoccupied by other skiers’ arrival. Thanks to this idea, you will also have the opportunity to save money by adapting your stay to your budget. ►

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the closest airport to the french alps

quick and easy access to the slopes

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At the heart of the French Alps


At the heart of the French Alps