Just half an hour from Grenoble and Chambéry, perched above the Grésivaudan valley, the spa town of Allevard-les-Bains (4,000 inhabitants) has treated respiratory and rheumatological disorders for 200 years and has now expanded its offering to encompass general wellbeing. In winter, its ski resort, Le Collet d’Allevard, offers 23 downhill runs and the biggest night skiing area in Europe, in an outstanding natural setting. In summer, the mountain attracts many walkers, eager to explore its marked paths. With around one hundred cultural and sporting associations, Allevard-les-Bains has the perfect example of a multi-purpose infrastructure in the form of the La Pléiade complex, constructed according to High Environmental Quality standards and used as a venue for high level sporting events and shows. The town is also a trailblazer in environmental protection, with all its public services due to be connected to the new wood-fired power station, construction of which is almost complete.
At the heart of the valley through which the Sallanche and Arve rivers run, Sallanches (with a population of 16,500) boasts a 360° view of three prestigious mountain ranges: the Aravis range, the Fiz range and the Mont-Blanc range. A geographical crossroads and passing point towards the nearby ski resorts as well as neighbouring Switzerland and Italy, it is the “town of Mont-Blanc country” but also a town of hi-tech industry, notably in the domains of bar-turning and ski manufacturing. Sallanches is also the starting point for hikes and mountain biking circuits, whilst windsurfing, rafting, fishing and swimming can be enjoyed in its lakes and rivers, in a preserved natural setting which the Château des Rubins, dedicated to mountain nature, pays homage. Sallanches also possesses a long-lasting love of cycling. It has already welcomed the Tour de France and the world championships on two occasions, in 1964 and 1980, also the year of Bernard Hinault’s victory, giving the opportunity to celebrate its 30th anniversary this year.