Magazine Les 3 Vallées

Traditional celebrations

A wealth of opportunities to discover Les 3 Vallées’ heritage await you this summer.
Costumes and a variety of different traditions: discover a whole host of heritage happenings! Village festivals, guided tours, exhibitions...

At the end of June, set out from Saint-Martin de Belleville for the traditional morning hike up to Chez Pépé Nicolas, walking alongside around 80 Alpine goats and about 20 Tarine and Abondance cows up to the Alpine pasture above Les Menuires. A weekend of festivities unfolds with a celebratory meal, activities for children, as well as a behind-the-scenes visit to the permaculture garden and learning about how cheese is made.
In July, La Tania hosts the lumberjack festival with a number of different activities and exhibitions taking place alongside the international lumberjack competition. La Fête de la Madelon is one of Courchevel’s flagship events. With a craft market and many other activities, Le Praz comes to life for a buzzing weekend. The grand finale sees everyone come together to enjoy a traditional soup that has simmered gently in a large copper cauldron for several hours. Much like Méribel’s Fête à Fanfoué (date TBC), La Fête de la Madelon is a chance to meet the association who brought the Route des Tommes back into the spotlight.
At the time, some fifty or so mule drivers and farmers would set off on a 2-week trek to sell their Tomme de Savoie cheese, going from the Tarentaise Valley, into the Maurienne Valley, then over the col du Mont-Cenis mountain pass towards Turin and into Italy. 

At the end of July, history enthusiasts will love discovering the exceptional heritage of Villarnard. The Saint Roch and Saint Bernard chapels, bread oven, covered washing and water troughs and old school (la Maison du Patrimoine heritage museum) are just a few vestiges of rural life of yesteryear in this little hamlet. On August 15th, Notre-Dame-de-La-Vie chapel in the Belleville Valley welcomes one and all with a pilgrimage that showcases this gem of baroque art. The summer draws to a close with the traditional festival in the picturesque little hamlet of La Saulce, located in the municipality of Brides-les Bains. 

But how about going one step further? To find out more about the life of mountain dwellers and the onset of winter sports, join a guided tour.
Follow the guide
When you’re on holiday, there are plenty of opportunities to step inside a church or discover a little mountain hamlet.

In summer, Courchevel and the Facim cultural foundation run 16 tours based on various themes, including high Alpine pastures at milking time, Courchevel’s hamlets, as well as the «Baroque Courchevel» sensory guided tour calling on all 5 senses at nightfall.

The Belleville Valley also has a rich programme to offer: Baroque heritage discovery for children (July 15th for the concert performed by the Pays de Savoie orchestra), a Baroque getaway weekend in the Alps (from June 15th to September 15th), a half-day tour of Les Combes high Alpine pasture, a tour of the Villarenger and Béranger hamlets…

This summer, Moûtiers is focusing on hydroelectricity with two guided tours: one around the Rageat and Moûtiers EDF power stations and another around the Saint Marcel water supply point and La Coche dam. Also worth noting is a new exhibition in Courchevel Le Praz, held in the Alpinium building next to the media library entrance. The local council tells the tale of Le Praz ice house, which existed before fridges became commonplace


Crédit photos :
Sylvain AYMOZ

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