Nature and heritage discovery trail
Nature and heritage discovery trail
Embed this item to access it offline
Located right next to the town centre, this itinerary immerses you in the fascinating history of Les Contamines-Montjoie, from ancient times to the present day, and in the richness of its heritage. The trail runs alongside a stream and is ideal for family outings in summer!
15 points of interest
- Small patrimony
A glimpse of the routeAn illustration of the trail and various points of interest along the way.
The Bon NantYou will walk together, from the center of the village to Notre Dame de la Gorge, the endstop of this route. Who is that mysterious companion going to be? Bon Nant, water torrent which source is located in the heart of the nature reserve of Contamines-Montjoie. To find out more about it, go to sign 2!
Highlights of the village's historyFrom ancient times to the dawn of tourism, discover all the key historical dates in Les Contamines-Montjoie. And then you'll be able to answer the question: who were the Ceutrons? Go to panel 3!
Architectural heritageLoge, mazot, éparson or fenil will hold no more secrets for you, once you've seen this panel which describes the different elements of pastoral architecture typical of the Val Montjoie.
The call of the mountainsThe Val Montjoie is renowned for the natural beauty and ruggedness of its peaks. Despite the appeal of these peaks to mountaineering enthusiasts, the history of mountaineering here is far from straightforward. To find out more, go to panel 5!
The face of Les ContaminesThe municipality of Les Contamines-Montjoie has a rich natural alpine heritage. In fact, almost two thirds of its surface area is classified as a national nature reserve! To find out more, go to panel 6!
Legacy of the glaciersDid you know that glaciers are the main architects of the landscape you can see all around you? Some of them are being scientifically monitored by the nature reserve. To find out more, go to panel 7!
Life at all levelsAltitude has an influence on the natural environments that occur on mountain slopes. Thus, at each altitude level there are different species of flora and fauna, some particularly well adapted, others more versatile! There is life at every level.
The homeland of mountain ungulatesChamois and Ibex are mountain ungulates, while Stag and Roe Deer are lowland ungulates that have adapted well to the mountaineous environment. Come and find out which species can be found here! To do so, go to panel 9!
The forestThe forest is an important part of the nature reserve. To find out more, go to panel 10!!
At grass levelA delicate array of some of the essential species of flora, butterflies and amphibians that can be observed within the perimeter of the nature reserve with just a bit of luck and patience!
A mountain of feathersAn opportunity to meet iconic mountain birds such as the golden eagle and black grouse. But it's also a chance to meet some lesser-known species, such as the European owl, a small nocturnal bird of prey found in the nature reserve.
The nature reserveA few steps away from the true entrance to the nature reserve, a panel presenting the issues of this protected and regulated natural space.
The Roman roadsMore than just a tourist attraction, the Roman roads were one of the main routes used to cross the Alps in ancient times! Before the Roman invasion, the Ceutrones, a Celtic tribe who farmed livestock, inhabited the Val-Montjoie. To make cheese, they used salt mined at Moutiers via the Col du Bonhomme. They were involved in building roads to Italy. These roads were taken over by the Romans when they invaded the Alps. Take a look at the Rochassets pass: it was carved out of the rock to allow chariots to pass through!
Notre Dame de la GorgeFind out everything you need to know about the history of the Notre Dame de la Gorge church, so that you can make the most of your visit later on.
Start from the car park in the centre of Les Contamines-Mointjoie, right next to the town hall. Take the Chemin des Crueys down to the footpath. At the crossroads, turn left. Pass the first map board outlining the entire trail, then continue straight ahead. Go straight on across the Nant Fandraz road and follow the markers for the discovery trail. Cross a bridge and turn right. Continue straight ahead. Cross the paved road labelled Chemin des Echenaz, and follow the markers for Notre-Dame de la Gorge on the hiking trail. The discovery trail markings also point in the same direction. Cross the bridge over the Nant Rouge stream and continue straight ahead. At the Pont du Lay, turn left over the bridge, then immediately right after the bridge. The hiking markers point you in the direction of Notre-Dame de la Gorge. Cross the Moranches bridge and walk past the Nordic Centre car park. Join the path heading towards the Centre de Loisirs and continue straight ahead. Go past the Parc de Loisirs in a place called Le Pontet. Continue straight on towards Notre-Dame de la Gorge. Arrive at Notre-Dame de la Gorge. This is the end of the trail. Return by the same route in the opposite direction.
- Departure : Les Contamines-Montjoie centre
- Arrival : Les Contamines centre
- Towns crossed : Les Contamines-Montjoie
Along your trek, you will go through sensitive areas related to the presence of a specific species or environment. In these areas, an appropriate behaviour allows to contribute to their preservation. For detailed information, specific forms are accessible for each area.
- Impacted practices:
- Aerial, , Land, Vertical
- Asters - Conservatoire d'espaces naturels de Haute-Savoie
Always exercise caution and plan ahead when hiking. Asters, CEN 74 cannot be held responsible for any accident or incident that may occur on this trail.
Access and parking
Go to Les Contamines-Montjoie. In the village centre, follow the Office de Tourisme sign. Park in the car park next to or below the Office de Tourisme - Town Hall - Espace Nature au sommet.
Report a problem or an error
If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: