Château de Miolans

The Château de Miolans (Miolans Castle) is a fortress in the Bauges mountains above Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny, Savoie. It was built during the Middle Ages and was converted to a prison by the Duchy of Savoy after they acquired it in the 16th century. Its most famous prisoner was probably writer (and notorious pervert) Marquis de Sade: He was arrested in 1772 in Chambéry and placed under guard at Miolans, until he escaped a few months later.

Above, keep.

Above, Tour Saint-Pierre.

Above, dungeon (oubliettes).

Above, the courtyard of the fortress has a botanical garden.

Above, Arclusaz mountains in the Bauges.

Above, view from the top of the tower.

Above, in the keep.

Above, view of the castle from below.

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Bike ride in the Bauges mountains from the Semnoz Plateau to Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny

Last summer, a few weeks after riding my bike from La Féclaz to Albens, I came back to the Bauges mountains. This time, I rode from the Semnoz plateau to Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny in Savoie.

In the morning, I took my bike on the summer shuttle from Annecy to the Semnoz plateau. From there, I first rode my bike down the road to Col de Leschaux then turned towards the Vallée du Chéran at the heart of the Bauges mountains. On the way, I stopped at Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge), which straddles a gorge popular for canyoning, but soon arrived at Lescheraines. I then kept on the main road until Ecole-en-Bauges, where I stopped for lunch next to the Chéran river. I exited the Bauges at the Col du Frêne and, after the steep slope down, made my way to the Château de Miolans (Miolans Castle), a fortress above Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny that was used as a jail by the Duchy of Savoy. Finally I rode to the train station and boarded a train, first to Chambéry then switched for Annecy.

Above, view of the Bauges from the Semnoz Plateau.

Above, Crêt de Chatillon.

Above, church in Leschaux.

Above, gorge at Pont du Diable.

Above, the bridge.

Above, arriving at Lescheraines.

Above, Chéran river.

Above, Mont Colombier.

Above, Mont Margeriaz.

At La Compote, looking towards Mont Pécloz and Pointe des Arces.

Above, Dent de Pleuven and the back of Mont Trélod.

Above, lunch spot near the river.

Above, Mont Julioz.

Above, Pointe d’Arcalod.

Above, church at Ecole-en-Bauges.

Above, on the way to Col du Frêne.

Above, looking back at the Vallée du Chéran, with Mont Trélod covered with clouds.

Above, large cross at Col du Frêne.

Above, on the way down, with a view on Dent d’Arclusaz.

Above, Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny in the Isère valley.

Above, vineyards.

Above, Château de Miolans.

Above, view from the castle.

Above, waiting for the train to Chambéry at Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny station.

Above, Dent du Nivolet seen from Chambéry.

Fort de Tamié

The Fort de Tamié is a military fortress built by France starting in 1872 with the goal of defending the Albertville valley.  It is located on Col de Tamié, in the Bauges mountains between Albertville and Faverges. Beyond its historical interest, it offers a great view on Albertville and the surrounding mountains.

Above, looking towards Faverges.

Above, Isère valley.

Above, view on Albertville.

Above, La Belle Etoile.

Bike ride in the Bauges mountains from La Féclaz to Albens

Last summer, I went on a hike to Croix du Nivolet, where I had already gone a few years ago. I took my bike on the bus from Aix-les-Bains to La Féclaz on the Mont Revard plateau, where the start of the trail is located. After the hike, instead of going down to Aix-les-Bains, I went in the other direction, towards the Vallée du Chéran and Vallée de Bange, at the center of the Bauges mountains. When I reached there, it had started to rain so I rushed to the nearest train station, in Albens.

Above, Croix du Nivolet and Lac du Bourget in the background.

Above, Lac du Bourget.

Above, church in La Féclaz.

Above, Mont Margériaz.

Above, Col de Plainpalais.

Above, Vallée du Chéran.

Above, church in Arith.

Above, towards Vallée de Bange.

Above, Chéran river.

Above, Tours Saint-Jacques, a rock formation on the Semnoz.

Cave & Waterfall of Seythenex

The Cave & Waterfall of Seythenex (Grotte & Cascade de Seythenex) are natural sites at the foot of the Bauges mountains, down from Col de Tamié and Pointe de la Sambuy. The waterfall is formed by the Saint-Ruph torrent which pours from 45 meters high into large pools, on the way to Lake Annecy. A footbridge and staircases enable visitors to walk up to the top of the waterfall. As to the cave, it is the only one open to the general public in Haute Savoie. It has 1km of galeries and passages, with 250m accessible as part of a guided tour.

Above, stairs to the footbridge on top of the waterfall.

Above, view from the top of the main waterfall.

Above, smaller waterfall.

Above, ziplining above the waterfall.

Above, entrance of the cave, waiting for the guide.

Above, La Tournette and Aravis from the entrance of the site.