A lively village
at the heart of the Massif des Aravis
With more than 400 chalets, many of them over 200 years old, Le Grand-Bornand is the French resort that has managed to keep the most examples of this type of traditional home. The oldest is still home to the same family as it was in 1664, a testimony to the attachment of the village’s residents to their precious yet modest heritage, as well as the timelessness, comfort and beauty of Le Grand-Bornand. A lively village year-round, Le Grand-Bornand stands out with its friendly tradition of hospitality, which is lived out by the shopkeepers, artisans and farmers. Working with the seasons, they put their heart into their work, and have often been doing so for many generations!
In summer, against the backdrop of the Aravis Mountains, enjoy a guided tour with commentary and discover the old village of Chinaillon, dating back to the 17th century. Visit the Maison du Patrimoine (Heritage Museum), discover the different stages of the manufacture of reblochon (AOC) at a farm and set off on a food tour.
In August, Le Grand-Bornand attracts 90,000 festival-goers young and old alike (45 times the regular population of Le Grand-Bornand) for the Festival “Au Bonheur des Mômes”, Europe’s premier festival of performing arts for young people and often seen as the children’s equivalent of the famous Avignon Festival. Another widely loved event is the “Fête de l’Alpage”. With its parades, this rallying event highlights the area’s ancestral expertise and heritage, and is a lively homage to the glories of pastoral life.
The Hotel Les Cimes, located in Chinaillon, is the ideal departure point for getting to the heart of the sumptuous landscapes of the Aravis, whether by hiking, or via mountain or road bike (the nearby Col de la Colombière being a favourite of the Tour de France). It’s also a great stopping point on the Route des Grandes Alpes for lovers of classic or sports cars, as well as lovers of motorcycling. Other activities available include Nordic walking, tennis, golf (enjoy a round at the Golf Le Rocher Blanc course), climbing, via ferrata, beach volley, archery, paragliding, hot air balloon rides, adventure trails, summer biathlons, fishing, rafting, canyoning and riverboarding.