What to do in autumn in the heart of the Alps

Autumn is a blazing season in Haute Maurienne Vanoise. The climate is generally dry, cold and bright. The low-angled sun, the carpets of multicolored leaves, the smells of pine and humus, the golden larches… It’s up to you to enjoy it!

Top 6

activities to do

in autumn


Enjoy the golden larches

Autumn is the season for golden larches in Haute Maurienne Vanoise. These conifers are the only ones in Europe to lose their needles in winter. But before falling, the needles change from green to yellow. The forest then takes on golden colors. It is spectacular in October on the side of the Orgère, du Mont Cenis or Avérole. To you the walks on the paths lined with fine needles.

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Wilderness mountain biking: bellow n’ run!

You’ve heard of summer mountain biking. Yes but have you tested our singles in September-October? When the larches turn golden and the deer bellow in the heart of the forests, mountain biking becomes even wilder. And the mountain bike trails are less crowded. At this time, renting a beautiful chalet or a labeled apartment is also easier: the evening by the fire makes it possible to appreciate the day’s runs even more…

Don’t miss also: the Chantelouve Mountain Bike Area in Bessans, which remains accessible to all until the first snow. With a series of cross-country itineraries for all levels (green, blue, red and black trails), enhanced with wooden and stone modules to spice up the riding, Chantelouve is a unique mountain bike area in France.

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Listen to the stag’s bellow

Have you ever heard it? Back in Haute Maurienne Vanoise since the 70s, the stag offers every year from mid-September to mid-October a superb show: the bellowing. To hear this love cry and intimidation rattle typical of the rut of the species resound and to discover the jousting of the males and the pretty ballet of the hinds in their natural environment, the Orgère valley, the Sardières plateau or the site of the Sollières airfield are favorable and easy to access sectors. Reach out, get out the binoculars but remain discreet and cautious: wild animals should not be disturbed, nor feel threatened by human presence.


Getting back into cross-country skiing

Located on a high plateau at an altitude of 1,750 meters, the “Nordic capital of the Alps” opens its Nordic domain this fall thanks to the snowfarming technique. With a 3,500m long run accessible from November 5, 2022, Bessans is the first resort to open in France (excluding the glacier). Popular each fall with the greatest cross-country and biathlon teams, the Bessans site has become a base camp for the great Nordic ski family. Wax your skis!

Practical information:Opening November 5, 2022. Track accessible every day from 12pm to 5pm (morning reserved for clubs and professional teams). 6€ per person


Spend a night in an unguarded refuge

Before the 1st snows, the high altitude refuges remain easily accessible by hiking. To you the walks in the heart of the wild mountain pastures with red and gold colors to reach a refuge and spend an unforgettable night in the heart of the mountain. If in autumn the refuge keepers offer themselves a well deserved break after the long summer season, many refuges have “unguarded” parts: a living room with a wood stove, a small kitchen and dormitories. The comfort is sometimes limited but the atmosphere is always warm and 100% mountain. The ideal for a weekend with friends or family.

→ Your refuge for an unusual night


Choose raclette + fondue!

At the end of the day, when the sun goes behind the mountains, the temperature is cool in autumn in Haute Maurienne Vanoise. The ideal for a cheese specialty. The choice remains: raclette or fondue? In fact… don’t choose! Take advantage of the 1st cold weather to treat yourself, 1 day raclette, 1 day fondue! The Coopérative laitière de Haute Maurienne Vanoise outlets are open and can even lend you a fondue pot and raclette machine.

Discover where to eat, where to sleep, where to shop this fall
in Haute Maurienne Vanoise