Bessans in Summer
From the Col de la Madeleine to the Rocher du Château, the Bessans plain stretches between the Ribon and Avérole valleys and numerous peaks and glaciers exceeding altitudes of 3,000 metres. Around Bessans, the hamlets of Villaron, Vincendières, Goulaz and Avérole are worth a visit for their narrow streets and stone chalets with stone-slate roofs. This typical habitat is quite rustic and evidence of the difficult living conditions.
The Saint-Antoine chapel features some valuable wall paintings and the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church is decorated in baroque style. A four-horned devil dominates the village square. You’ll have no trouble finding out the story behind this local curiosity, as everyone here knows the legend of the Devil!
Take advantage of the pleasant temperatures at this altitude – 1,750 metres – to try a whole variety of activities that will appeal to the whole family, including lake fishing, swimming and fun in the water at the Ludi’lacs centre, laser shooting and rollerblading at the biathlon stadium, Nordic walking, hiking and glacier trekking, botanical trail, via ferrata and climbing, and mountain biking in the brand new Chantelouve mountain bike area.
Take advantage of the summer shuttle buses to Avérole to get closer to the peaks at the border and the routes once used by peddlers and horse dealers. Go to the Vallon mountain pasture where Sébastien will share with you his life as a farmer. Your children will love helping to milk the cows, sleeping in the chalet and waking to the sound of cowbells and the sight of ibex, chamois and marmots.
Don’t leave Bessans without having admired the traditional costumes worn during the 15th August celebrations. And you must try the “Jambon cousu” (stitched cured ham) a Bessans speciality that you’ll find at the Pontet butcher’s shop!