The sectors of the Chaine of Belledonne
The Chaine of Belledonne is made up of six sectors, from north to south:
The Val GelonCoisin, located to the north west of the Chain of Belledonne groups together 18 villages on a surface of approximately 150 km². It reaches 2805 meters above sea.
The forest is highly represented throughout the sector. The low altitudes in the Gelon plain are used for cereal production. The Valley of the Oils offers narrow fields of vision dominated by forests. The sector thus varies from the agricultural plain to the summits, passing through deep valleys and mainly wooded plateaus of hardwoods and conifers used for silvicultural production.
Agriculture is traditional with mainly bovine but also sheep and goat production. Due to the large wooded area, farmers have to go to graze their flocks in mountain pastures.
Most farmers are pluriactive. Some offer welcome at the farm with visits, tastings and / or restoration.
The mining and hydraulic site can be visited, alone or accompanied. You can see the mine, the ruins of the old mill and the oven to grill.
At the monastery, you can stay, eat and learn about local heritage whether natural or cultural.
The eco-museum of, at the town hall presents the whole history from 1850 to 1950 with many objects: headdresses, clothes, dishes, old trades, utensils.
The Val GelonCoisin also offers multiple physical and cultural activities. You can practice fishing, hiking, horseback riding but also “sensation” sports such as paragliding, canyoning or climbing.
The forest discovery trail presents the world of the forest. It can be traveled alone or accompanied with the possibility of pedagogical visits on request.
There are also many chapels dating from the 18th and 19th century and panoramic crosses on the tops offering 360 degree views. In addition, 15 hiking trails are marked and listed in a tourist guide.
The Hurtier massif
The Hurtier massif is home to 850 inhabitants.
Low altitudes are mainly occupied by dwellings and open agricultural environments. The river flows there. The rest of the area is covered by many forests. Very few alpine pastures are present on the heights.
The agriculture practiced is typically and therefore extensive and traditional with in the bottom of valley the fields of cereals cultivated more intensively. Only a few hectares of mountain pastures are present on the area and only grouped. The sector has been oriented towards soft tourism around the mining sites present.
The forests offer a great hiking resource for all levels, from the family walk to the hike for experienced people.
There is a high cliff of 70 meters that can be climbed from an average level. The area offers the possibility to walk with family for less than an hour but also to go hiking for several days passing by the most beautiful peaks and points of view. During the walk you will discover small buildings that bear witness to the past, such as an old forge, a wine press, bread ovens and the church dating from the VXII century.
The Museum welcomes the public with exhibitions and explanations on medicinal plants, their uses, their virtues and examples of simple recipes. There is also a varied heritage with a roman church, the mining chapel, fortifications and old bread ovens along numerous paths. There is also a Protestant temple, old ovens, ancient basins of fountains and sundials. The copper and iron mines are the oldest in the country and the most important. The famous sword of Durandal would have been made there.
The Country of Allevard
- The thermal baths
It was in 1836 that the therapeutic virtues of the source of these waters were recognized and in the course of the XIXth century that the first thermal baths were built. Today the region is worth its renown to the thermal baths which are one of its main economic activities. At their peak, they never cease to develop, notably with new work which have allowed to evolve the range of treatments to propose, around the well being
- An industrial revolution thanks to iron:
From a geographical point of view is composed of numerous ferruginous veins, of exceptional quality. Thanks to this network of galleries, the iron mines intensified during the 17th century. During the period the blast furnaces were built, mining took on its full scope and many steel and steel mills developed. To recall this history you can visit the museum of forges and mill, and to cross the footpath of the iron.