The Vanoise National Park is one of the major pastoral areas in France. It’s in these sometimes snowy, sometimes lush green mountainous landscapes that the inhabitants continue to live at the rhythm of the seasons while continuing the traditions of their ancestors. Here, with your 5 senses on alert, you’ll find yourself transported far away.
Broad expanses of green interspersed with chalets here and there, the mountains are emblematic of the Vanoise National Park landscapes. You will undoubtedly cross these landscapes when hiking on mountain paths. From June to September, cows and sheep graze these meadows, which are mown in some areas according to agroecological management methods.
In the heart of the National Park, the traditional and vibrant agropastoral lifestyle mark the seasons. This lifestyle contributes significantly to the local economy by providing high quality local products: various sorts of cheese and meat and, in particular, high-pasture lamb.
An authentic setting to take a timeless break
These areas conquered by humans at altitudes up to over 2000 meters, sometimes at the foot of glaciers, are an integral part of the mosaic of the Vanoise natural environment. The mountain prairies harbour precious biodiversity, such as the very rare Blue thistle. In the beginning of the summer, the area is donned with thousands of colours and delicate scents. An authentic and preserved setting to take a break away from time!
Chalets and mountain buildings: the Chavière hamlet, architecture without architects!
Most mountain buildings date back to the 18th century and were built using materials found in the area and local know-how, transmitted orally. Each stone chalet shows the work of men and women, their community and their relationship with nature. The architecture has shown to be inventive with respect to high mountain constraints: slopes, avalanches, cold, wind, limited resources… These resulting sober and ingenious techniques give these chalets a unique identity.
Taste all the flavours of the Vanoise to Val-Cenis Termignon
You can partake in the fabrication of Beaufort, a cooked and pressed cow cheese (PDO since 1968), in a mountain chalet. At Val-Cenis Termignon, you can taste a rare local specialty: Termignon blue cheese. But on a Vanoise cheese plateau, you can discover other savours: Sérac, fresh cheese made from whey, Tomme cheeses (cow, goat, sheep), Persillé de Sainte-Foy veined cheese, Persillé de Tignesveined cheese or even Bonneval-sur-Arc blue cheese...
Discover the origins of Tarine cattle in the Tarentaise Valley
On the paths in Vanoise, you will surely see the deep black edged coloured eyes of Tarine cows, and their long eye lashes and brownish colour coat. This cow is originally from the Tarentaise Valley in Savoie and is particularly adapted to mountain areas. Its slight build for a dairy cow makes it hardy and its hard black hooves make it an excellent walker on sloped terrains. Its scented milk coming from high altitude prairie flowers gives mountain Beaufort cheese its subtle fruity flavour.