Places of Interest in the French Alps

Information on the main tourist attractions, places of interest and sights to see in the French Alps...

Tourism is an active industry in the French Alps with visitors coming for skiing and snow sports in the winter and outdoor adventure sports in the summer months. However there are also many other attractions suitable for tourists and residents.

La Plagne Olympic Bobsleigh

The 1992 Winter Olympic games in Albertville saw may of the Savoyard resorts hosting events:

  • Val d'Isere – downhill
  • Courchevel - ice-skating
  • La Plagne - bobsleigh

Since 1992 the bobsleigh run has opened every winter for training teams, hosting international competitions and providing the public with a rare chance to experience the sport.

The La Plagne bobsleigh is the only one of its kind in France which is open to the public and is experienced by up to 10,000 people each winter. The track is over 1.5 Km long with a vertical drop of over 120m.

There are various tariffs and ways to get down the track, the most popular, and cost effective, is in the bob-raft where four people share a vehicle reaching speeds of around 80 Km per hour. Alternatively there is the taxi-bob which is a competition-style four-man bob driven by a professional with three passengers, this travels faster at 100 Km per hour and passengers will experience G-force of 3.5G.

The mono-bob is the experience of speeding down the track at 90 Km per hour alone, with no driver.

  • Bobsleigh La Plagne
    At: Centre Media Sports, La Roche, Macot, La Plagne (73)
    Tel: 04 79 09 12 73
    Fax: 04 79 09 15 13

Musée de la Grande Chartreuse

In the Chartreuse Regional Park is the Monastery, which for over 900 years has been the home to the Chartreuse monks. It is also the home of the famous chartreuse drink.

The museum has audio guides in English where visitors will learn about the monks through their history and how they live today in silence and solitude. The museum is only open between April and October (access via the icy roads in winter is difficult). However the distillery in Voiron is open all year round.

Albertville Olympic Museum

The 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville bought massive regeneration and investment to the Savoie region. The Olympic stadium used for the 1992 games is open to the public. The museum includes permanent exhibitions on the Olympic movement and its symbols and values. The improvements that were made to the ski resorts and how a 16 day event took ten years to plan. There is also a section on the winter sports and the famous personalities and local champions. The stadium is used for competitions and exhibitions throughout the year.

Grenoble Bastille

The Bastille, high above the city on the top of the mountain, was an important military fort on the Alpine frontier. From the Bastille there are superb views across the city and towards the Alps. Building work began in the middle ages and extensive additions have been made throughout the centuries. In 1934 a cable car was installed to take passengers from the city centre across the Isère River and up to the Bastille.

The téléphérique is the oldest urban cable car in France climbing from 213m to 475m in altitude, having undergone renovations in 2005 at the summit it is a accessible for the disabled.