Photo credit: Town of Pontcharra//View of Pontcharra and the Chartreuse Mountains
Located on the Grenoble-Chambéry road, in between Belledonne, Chartreuse and the Bauges Mountains, Pontcharra is more than a simple junction town for the Alpine area: it also manages to combine a dynamic attitude with a comfortable lifestyle. Focused on young people and sport in particular, the town supports a number of sporting associations, including the Pontcharra Cyclists’ Union (UCP), whose notable past members include Patrick Ceria, the winner of Paralympic medals in Atlanta and Sydney, Jean-Claude Colotti, the winner of a stage of the 1992 Tour de France and Julien Loy, two-times World Triathlon Champion. As well as the nearby ski resorts and the Lônes water-based recreation area, the town and its surroundings win over nature-lovers and sports enthusiasts alike with their trails designed for walkers and mountain bikers. Pontcharra, which is making a name for itself as an urban centre via its businesses and services, also places great importance on its community and is currently developing the public transport system, including eco-friendly ways to travel, and improving the quality of its public roads.
Photo credit: Cliclaphoto//La Toussuire, 360° of energy
The commune of Fontcouverte-la Toussuire isn’t for the faint-hearted! Situated on a grassy plateau in the mountains, it enjoys a 360° panorama of the majestic Aiguilles d’Arves, the mountain passes of Croix de Fer and Glandon and the glaciers which stretch on into the distance.
La Toussuire, where Jean-Pierre Vidal spent his childhood before going on to win an Olympic gold medal in down hill skiing at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, is also a gateway to the heart of Les Sybelles, the ski area comprising ten villages and resorts in the Arvan-Villards mountain range. Its 310 km of ski runs form the biggest and most varied ski area of the Maurienne Valley. And when the snow melts, visitors can also enjoy the many walking trails, mountain bike circuits, and other outdoor activities which the area has to offer. Here, nature has pride of place: batteries are recharged using solar power, the mountain air is invigorating and the water pure and refreshing. The ascent of La Toussuire and the mountain passes of Les Sybelles, part of the world’s largest cycling area, is equipped with timing devices.