Summer in Le Cochet
Come and Stay in the Summer
Summer in the Alps is a nature lover’s paradise and Saint Martin de Belleville and Les Trois Vallees offer a vast array of activities for adult groups and families who love the morning croissants and market days of French village life as well as the fresh air of an alpine wildflower meadow. Here are some of the things we’ve enjoyed to give you an idea. See also the summer section of the Saint Martin website
The mountains are full of walks direct from the apartment and also up and down the valley, some aided by the lift network that is open around the valley on a rotational basis throughout the week:
The Biollay Walk – The two St Martin lifts open on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The lift stations have been adjusted from winter to make getting on/off easy even for the younger or older less steady walkers. This area has several paths that can be done in two stages from either the top of the SM1 or SM2 lift. From the top, views down the Meribel Valley and on to Mont Blanc set the tone for a walk that starts above the tree line, skirting down ridges (safe for young children) passing mountain streams and wildflowers. Lower down, just over a little stream, the Ferme la Choumette farm restaurant offers refreshments and Savoyard food amidst free range chickens.
Planlebon ruined hamlet – Set off from St. Martin across the valley to Chatelard into the narrow Vallees des Encombres. From here a winding path through thick forest into a steep river gorge, cross the rushing river and up the other side onto a small mountain ledge where the little abandoned hamlet rests, where you can visit the restored chapel and where our children enjoyed ringing the chapel bell.
Lacs de Val Thorens – Some of the Val Thorens lifts are open Mon-Fri and enable walkers to get high up near the glaciers and mountain lakes above the resort on a circuit walk that takes in beautiful lakes.
Cime de Caron – The high speed telepherique from Val Thorens (at one point the largest in the world) takes you to 360° views of glaciers and mountains, looking down on Les Trois Vallees and on to Mont Blanc. Walk down past endless glacier fed streams or talk the easy lift ride back.
Staying in Alpine Refuges – the Lac de Lou and Gittamelon refuges are closest in the Belleville Valley – wonderful stone mountain huts, walk all day, stay overnight and return the next day, or link these together on the Tarentaise walk for longer adventures. I took my seven your old on a one day hike, ate a wonderful tartiflette, an even better blueberry crumble, slept like logs and hiked home in the morning.
Ski resorts are now offering perhaps more activities in summer than in winter as well as market days, village craft days, mountain race events and local fetes and festivals throughout the summer:
Tennis / Crazy golf / Forest Adventure – all 50 metres from the apartment, just go to the hut and sign up.
Archery – Free archery sessions right outside the apartment next to the gondola two mornings a week, with distances set for adults, teenagers and children from five onwards
Table tennis – two tables set up right off the market square, bring your own bats or get from the tourist office, free any time, we enjoyed evening family games before heading to a village restaurant.
VTT (Mountain biking) – probably the biggest summer growth sport with wide gentle trails and exhilarating adrenalin pumping banked tracks and jumps. Bikes and safety equipment can be rented in all villages and bikes can be taken up all lifts, gondolas and chairlifts.
Horse-riding / parapenting / white water rafting