Chalet Etoile

Chinaillon, Le Grand Bornand

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Things to do in the summer.....

Chalet Etoile has a large flat garden, which then drops very steeply down to the Torrents du Chinaillon.  In the summer many hours can be spent paddling and making dams, and just downstream is deep section where it is even possible to swim.                                                                                    

Just minutes from the chalet and throughout the valley are a vast network of walking paths, taking you up, down or across the mountain, depending on how hard you want to work!  Walks are well signed and well documented, so it is easy to pick one that is suitable for your party- young or old, fit or not! Just pack a picnic and plenty of water and set off. 

 There are detailed walking maps available in many of the shops, and the Tourist office.  The Tourist Office is incredibly helpful,  and can also help you  book guided walks led by qualified mountain guides.

 Mountain biking or VTT  (Velo tout terrains)

With over 200km of marked and graded trails in the Aravis, the area is  perfect for all levels of  mountain bikers, both  purely recreational and more serious.  The area features rides for all levels from easy to the almost impossible, if you know the lingo....  there are high speed firetrails, long single track adventure trails, technical downhills and everything in between. Combine this with the fantastic attitude of the locals who welcome mountain bikers, the stunning scenery and great weather and you can't go wrong.

Many of the local walks are also marked out for mountain bikes.  These routes are graded in the same fashion as ski runs, from Black down to Green, with green being suitable for most people.  The red runs are exhilarating and after a good rain fall are not for the faint hearted, or (as we discovered) a young child on a tag along!!   Follow the link for an idea of some of the bike routes available.  The Tourist Office sell a couple of different walking and mountain biking maps, which are well worth investing in.

 Parapenting

Le Grand Bornand is considered to be one of the best places in Europe to paraglide/parapente.   To book your flight either contact the tourist office .

 Swimming

 Le Grand Bornand has a fantastic open air swimming pool with three pools and a water slide.  There is a baby pool, a shallow children’s pool and a very deep pool with a diving board.  Around the outside of the pool there is an attractive area of grass with trees for shade where you can picnic.  There is also a poolside restaurant and bar.

Walking

There are hundreds of marked walks in the area, to cater for all ages and fitness’s. Just don’t forget to wear good shoes and take lots of water! 

Climbing - There is a very good climbing school at a rock face in Chinaillon called La Culaz, where all ages and levels from the age of 5 upwards can learn to climb.  Contact the Bureau des Guides or the Tourist office.

 Via Ferrata - A Via Ferrata  taken from the Italian for "iron road", is a mountain climbing route which is permanently equipped with fixed  cables, ladders and bridges. There are three Via Ferratas in the immediate area (Le Grand Bornand, Thones, and La Clusaz) with varying degrees of difficulty.  Apparently they are not for the faint hearted!  You can arrange a trip to any of the via ferrata, through the Tourist Office.  The Via Yves Pollet Villard in La Clusaz is most suitable for beginners.

 High wire forest adventure - Parcours aventure en foret, or climbing in the trees as we call it, is a great activity for children of all ages.  It involves a  course of ropes with bridges, Tarzan swings and zip wires... all set high up in the tree tops on the edge of the forest.  Climb the trees and slide across high wires, crawl through tunnels, cross rope bridges, walk the planks and zip down to the ground if you dare. There is another parcour in Talloires La Foret de l'aventure on the edge of Lake Annecy, here they have children's and adult courses, they are very strict with the height restrictions on the adult course.  The views are magnificent.

Canyoning  - Take on the challenge of this unique water and rock adventure and you will find yourself plunging down water-polished chutes and abseiling waterfalls. Prepare to get very, very wet as you climb, swim, slide and float through the spectacular and mysterious green worlds of sculptured rock and sparkling, crashing cascades. If you like climbing AND getting wet then this is definitely for you. The basic idea is to get down waterfalls and mountain streams using a combination of jumping, abseiling and natural water slides. With over 40 canyons in the area there’s something for all levels including complete beginners with no climbing experience. You go with qualified guides and all safety equipment and wetsuits are provided.  See Tourist office for locations.

The Compagnie des Guides offers a range of summer activities including climbing, canyoning, VTT guided trips (mountain biking), walking etc 

Aravis Pass -  This is a pass that gives you discounts on most activities in the area during the summer.  Simply you put a monetary value onto the card, and as you do each activity the cost is deducted from you card.  A substantial discount is achieved through the use of this card.  Any credit not used at the end of your stay is refunded. Enquire at the tourist office.

The local Tourist Office produces an Activities brochure each year detailing all the activities available in le Grand Bornand in the summer months.  Enquire at the Tourist office.

The tourist office also produces a small leaflet each week of "animations" or events taking place that week; it is well worth picking up a copy of this when you arrive.  In the summer there are loads of  things going on, Fetes, concerts, dinners etc.  On Monday evening minigolf and other activities in LGB  are free.  Many of them are well worth going to and it is a shame to miss them.