Place de la CathédraleCredit: Pierre Dompnier
Nestled within the largest valley which crosses the Alps, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is advantageously located at the meeting point of the roads leading to the great Alpine mountain passes. As well as being a three-star Town in Bloom situated in the heart of a Region of Art and History, it’s also a gateway to the vast skiing area of Les Sybelles. It’s no surprise that Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne is featured as one France’s top short break destinations, as it has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for culture, sports or seasonal events. Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne loves cycling... and cycling has pride of place in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne! La Madeleine, Le Glandon, La Croix-de-Fer, Le Mollard, Le Télégraphe, Le Galibier, Le Mont-Cenis and L’Iseran – all of these names have been immortalised by the Tour de France and have made the Maurienne Valley home to the world’s largest cycling area, and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne the place to be for alpine climbing specialists. A town made for all kinds of cyclists, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne hosts the prologue of the famous MTB competition, the Transmaurienne-Sybelles, as well as welcoming classic cyclosportives (long distance, organised, mass-participation cycling events typically held annually), such as the Marmotte and the Brevet de Randonneur des Alpes and takes part in the organisation of the Avant-Tour, a challenge which leads touring cyclists up across the Col de la Madeleine. It is the town’s privileged position on the road to the mountain passes that has really earned it a place in history books. The area is full of the rich heritage worthy of a Region of Art and History, with its listed monuments, Gothic cathedrals and cloisters, and the crypt where Romanesque art was born; plus museums dedicated to costumes, to Mont-Corbier (a liqueur distilled from the essence of the area’s mountain plants) and of course to the Opinel, the famous knife invented 120 years ago just a stone’s throw from the town which went on to take the world by storm. Local produce from the area’s rich land is available from the town’s many shops and at the markets held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Finally, don’t let Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne’s lively atmosphere pass you by – come and join the festivities at the events and festivals held throughout the year.