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La Danchere, Venosc 38520, France, View on Map
<span>From</span> Easy to Extreme

From Easy to Extreme

Action on your Doorstep

There are many ways to be active.  The pleasures of relaxing in the gardens of Lauvitel Lodge, experiencing the 5 Tibetan yoga in the morning practice out on the deck, or returning to stillness in the evening meditation at the bottom of the garden, are accentuated by their contrast to the exertions of the day.  If you are looking for adventure there is no better place to find it than from Lauvitel Lodge, in close proximity to all the offerings of the Veneon Valley.  Whether you are looking for a different activity each day of your stay here with us, or you are stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new, or you are planning something for a group of friends, you will find an adventure activity that is the right one for you.

Mountain Walks

Mountain WalkingLet your adventurous spirit set you free.  Lauvitel Lodge is your gateway to the mountains with a huge range of walks and trails that take you into the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside and further still into the wilderness of the Ecrins National Park.  Whether you are looking for something that is easy or extreme, you will find it here, from open valleys, exposed traverses, or steep climbs.  For example, from La Berard you can follow the wide open valleys to the Chatelleret hut or the Plan du Carallet, or climb the Tete de la Maye from which you will get 360 degrees of spectacular high mountains including La Meije and the Barre des Ecrins.  Closer to hand there is the relatively short climb to the Vallons des Etages with perhaps the easiest access to high altitude scenery, striking rocky terrain and glacial peaks.  Or you may want to try out your head for heights on Le Balcon, stretching from Les Deux Alpes across to Saint Christophe.  You are always welcome to explore the possibilities with Caroline to find out what suits you best.

Mountain Lakes

Lauvitel Lake in SummerIf mountain lakes are your passion you will be spoilt for choice.  Right from the doorstep you can join the famous walk to Lauvitel Lake, a beautiful day out that is suitable for people of all ages.  This is the magnificent mountain lake that drew me here in the first place and I am always happy to share its magic. If you are early enough you may come across the chamois and you will almost certainly be greeted by the call of the marmotte.   In the other direction, towards Ornon, you will find scenery more akin to Scotland with a scattering of small lakes amongst alpine meadows and welcome refreshments at the Refuge de Teillefer.   And higher still, from the Vaujany cablecar, you have easy access to the many lakes of Les Grandes Rousses.

Mountain Huts

Trekking in Parc Nationale des EcrinsFrom Within half an hour’s drive there are numerous valleys each with their own particular character, from the style of walking, the flowers and animals to see, and the mountain huts to visit.  You can make these single day excursions or over-night stays.   Le Lavey is ideal for children, a relatively easy walk and a family friendly refuge.  Alp du Pin is a steeper climb through forests into spacious high mountain scenery.  Refuge de la Selle sits at the foot of the Aiguille de Dibona and Le Promentoire, one of the highest huts in the region, perches on the rocky cliffs of La Meije.  Many of our clients come especially to complete the two day tour to the Refuge de la Muzelle, staying over-night in the hut and returning via the Col de Vallon and Lauvitel Lake.  And, for those that know, we are right on the GR54, a10 day trek of the Oisans that includes some of the most spectacular terrain in the Alps, and also boast some of the most sustained climbs and inevitable descents.  The rest, recuperation, good food and warm hospitality found at Lauvitel Lodge are always greatly appreciated.

Rock Climbing

Rock ClimbingWhether you are new to rock climbing or it is your chosen pursuit you will find the rock you are looking for here at your finger-tips.  Whatever your level, this is a full bodied, whole minded activity where the challenges keep you in the present moment until you begin to move at one with the rock.  There are numerous climbing walls and pinnacles in the area to test out your skills but my preference is always to be out on the cliffs.  From Lauvitel Lodge there are climbing crags in every direction – Le Vernis, Les Fréaux, Venosc, Les Deux Alpes and La Berard, each with their own climbing school to guide you through the ropes.  And then there is the Parc des Ecrins!  It would be impossible to do justice to the possibilities – Aiguille de la Dibona, Traverse de la Meije, Le Rateau, La Muzelle, Les Bans, Pic Coolidge  – these are all climbs of dreams.  As all of these climbs will involve an over-night stay in the high mountains we will be happy to accommodate this at Lauvitel Lodge.

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  • Lauvitel Lake in Summer
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  • Mountain Walking
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  • Trekking in Parc Nationale des Ecrins
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SwimmingThe summer sun in the mountains is surprisingly hot and sometimes it is nice just to lounge by the pool and cool off at ease whilst the children amuse themselves on the toboggan slide.  Venosc has one of the best outdoor pools in the area, surrounded by green grass with a children’s play area right next to it.  And for those who prefer something a little cooler there are many hidden beaches and small pools along the Venoen river.  My personal preference is swimming in Lauvitel Lake with the deep waters underneath me and the towering mountains all around me.

White Water Rafting

White Water RaftingFor something a little wilder, Venosc is spoilt for choice with two very professional establishments, Veneon Eaux Vives an Integral Rafting,  that each have their own favoured routes.  Depending on just how up you are for the thrills and spills of white water rafting, you can choose traditional rafting or from a whole range of other ways to be in the water, from hot-dogging, hydro-speed, air boat, kayaking and tubing.  Whatever your choice of floatation to run the river you are sure to enjoy this outing and have stories to tell afterwards.


For those of you who enjoy a quiet day’s fishing it is easy to buy a day’s or week’s fishing license so that you can seek out the hidden pools where the brown trout and rainbow trout hide along the Venoen River.  And if you want to cast your rod a little further up-stream there are special licences given to fish the elusive ‘Ombre Chevalier’ or arctic char in the depths of Lauvitel Lake.

Summer Skiing and Glacier Walking

Glacier WalkingHigher still, the glaciers of Les Deux Alpes and La Grave stay open all year round!   If you have never tried it before or if you just can’t resist the chance to slip and slide on the snow, the Deux Alpes team groom and prepare the ski slopes so that they can still be enjoyed even in the height of summer.  Even if you are not drawn to the skiing, it is an incredible feeling to go out walking on the vast expanse of glacier ice, with crampons on your feet and ice axe in hand, to see directly into cavernous crevasses or stand underneath spectacular cliffs of ice.

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Forest Walking

Forest WalksThere are many beautiful walks to be had through the mixed forests of the Veneon valley that are off the beaten trail and take you to the most gorgeous places.  You may choose to climb gently alongside the Veneon river towards Venosc, through the cool mixed forest amongst mossed covered boulders to where you will find natural springs and hidden beaches.  You may wish to descend to the Cascade de la Pisse, your breath taken away by the sheer rock cliffs ascending directly to the mountain summits.  Or, you may prefer something that climbs more steeply beside the sound and sight of magical streams and waterfalls, until you emerge at the beautiful Lac Lauvitel.  It is also possible to add a little spice to these more gentle adventures.  Riding donkeys may make the going easy and fun for small children.  Swimming in the mountain waters may bring light refreshment to children and adults alike.  Whichever brings you most joy, Caroline will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Adventure Park

Adventure ParkIf you really want to get to swing in the trees there is nothing better than Adventure Park in Venosc, just 10 minutes from us.  You will find yourself flying through the treetops, climbing obstacles and generally doing everything you can to defy gravity. There is something for everyone with 7 different courses from easy to challenging.  They have also recently added a ball pool section so even the youngest members of the family get to enjoy the experience.

Cabled Walks and Via Ferrata

Via FerrataOnce you have got the hang of it you can enjoy the challenges of our local cabled walks and via ferrata.  Climbing from La Cascade de la Pisse to Notre Dame (800m climb) or from La Berard to theTete de la Maye (800m climb) there are steep and exposed sections which have been secured by metal cables for you to hang on to as you make your way up or down.  Venosc also has two magnificent Via Ferrata, one that swings out above the Veneon river and the other that climbs Les Perrons facing the glacier de la Muzelle.  There are various places in the valley to hire out the full set of essential equipment. And it if it your first time out on rock and metal there is a perfect beginners via ferrata that has recently been created in Vaujany, climbing up through forested cliffs to one side the cascade de la Fare with a built in Nepelese bridge.  Your reward is a picnic in the Alpine meadows followed by an easy descent with raspberries to pick at every turn along the baker’s trail back down to the valley.

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Heat of the Sun

This is clearly a rather strange heading to find under adventure.  Yet, being at Lauvitel Lodge, the full significance of the sun is constantly present.  On fiery hot days you will rise earlier to take advantage of the cooler morning air and enjoy the shade of the trees on your return to the lodge.  In the spring and autumn you can profit from the longer days that are neither too hot nor too cool.  And when the sun is hidden by rain and cloud there is always the open fire place in the sitting room, to read the book that never gets read, to play the games that you remember from childhood, or simply to enjoy the rest and stillness, lighting a candle and taking a lazy day infront of the fire.


ParapenteParagliding:  If you have never tried it, now is your chance.  From above Les Deux Alpes there is that moment of lift-off that simply takes your breath away and then you get to relax into the stunning descent from rocky mountain peaks to the green and safe valley floor of Venosc.  This will be an experience you will not forget.  With a little less exposure but no less breath taking, there are small planes that fly from the Altiport in Alpe d’Huez, giving you a completely different take of the mountain peaks and ridges, the glaciers and lakes, and the wildlife only found in out of the way places.

Mountain Bivouack

Bivouac - Les Grandes RoussesWhen we think of our summer holiday, going on a mountain bivouac is probably not the first thing that springs to mind.  And yet, it can become a turning point experience.  There is nothing that compares to staying out over-night, in the immensity of the mountains and the vastness of the night sky.  Bivouacking at Lauvitel Lake, seeing the stars move in the heavens, feeling the earth beneath you and hearing the water beside you, we are reminded of the simplicity of life and the joy of small things.

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The Parc des Ecrins

A place of natural great beauty, Lauvitel Lodge is situated right on the edge of the Parc des Ecrins.  No-one could ask for more. It is a veritable wilderness playground of rivers, valleys, forests, high ridges and mountain peaks.  Even the drive to La Berarde takes you through some of the most magnificent scenery – a road not for the faint hearted that twists and turns as it climbs the valley, cut into the rock face with cliffs above and shear drops below, eventually opening up to the Alpine pastures above Saint Christophe. The hamlet of La Berarde has become a mecca for climbers with its mixed atmosphere of summer holidays and expedition basecamp.

Mountain Villages

Mountain VillageTo my mind, Venosc is the most beautiful village in the area, with its cobbled streets and quaint shops selling anything from local goods such as saussicon, honey and genepi, to leather and wooden bowls, pottery and silk.  And it is hard to resist a drink at one of the local bars or a light lunch at one of the many restaurants.  The summer months are full of summer events, organised with care and imagination.  And of course, there are all the adventure activities described on the previous pages.

Other villages in the region such as Villard Reculas, Saint Christophe, Besse en Oisans, Clavens, Villard Notre Dame, Villard Reymond are definitely worth a visit. Each has its own character and charm, with their own particular shops and their own museums portraying some aspect of life in the mountains.

Les Deux Alpes

For a change of scene you can take the cablecar directly from Venosc to enter the world of Les Deux Alpes, that transforms itself into a summer resort with swimming pools, ice skating, summer skiing, summer luge, quad bikes, horse riding, trampolines and even beach volley ball.  A fabulous range of shops and restaurants, including the Michelin star Hotel Chalet Mounier, awaits you.  And when you step out into the street you will be surprised to see the snowy peaks of La Muzelle just across the valley.

Further Afield

For those who like mountain drives there is nothing better than to take the road to Italy, through La Grave, past the mountains of La Meije, over the col de Lauteret, down the valley to Ser Chevallier and on to Briancon.  On the way it is definitely worth stopping right on the col du Lauteret for the Jardin Alpin, where you can stroll through the incredible collection of alpine flowers and plants from all over the world.  Once in Briancon you will not want to leave. It is a picturesque, fortified town steeped in history, that is both beautiful and intreaging.  A veritable tourist town with its winding, ancient cobbled streets and a wealth of arts shops amongst the numerous restaurants.

For those with a passion for history, you will also want to go in the other direction, towards Grenoble.  The Chateau de Vizille and the Museum of the French Revolution is not to be missed.  It is one of the best museums I have ever been to and it is set in the beautiful gardens of the chateau.  A perfect combination.

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Posta Fantástico!  Susan y Caroline Bravísima!  Vacancia ciclística y di reposo Divina.  This is as good as it gets!!  Thank-you.  Gracias for everything.  See you next year.

Rachele Mauro