Stage town for the 4th time
Mountain resort of Haute-Savoie (74)
Population: 5,800 (Saint-Gervolains, Saint-Gervolaines)
Specialities: fondue, raclette, polenta, croziflette, farcement, Savoy cheese (tomme, beaufort, emmental).
Personalities: John Ruskin, Jean-Christophe Rufin (writers), Marie Paradis (mountaineer), Alain Penz, Florence Steurer (skiing), Alexandre Hayetine (trail running), Isabelle Delobel (world ice dancing champion)
Sport: skiing, freeride, ski jumping, figure skating, Sporting Hockey Club de Saint-Gervais (Mont-Blanc Hockey Club). 6 Stations Rugby Tournament; Alpine Skiing World Cup; "Pandathlon" (untimed eco-sport race); La Montagn'Hard (Trail)
Economy: tourism, skiing, thermalism.
Festivals: Festival Mont-Blanc d'humour (March), Les Indézikables (July).
Labels: Station Famille Plus / Ville fleurie **** / Ville Internet @@ / Labellisée S3A pour l'accueil des personnes handicapées mentales / Signataire de la Charte " Vacances Propres " / Ville à vélo du Tour de France (3 bikes)
Websites / FB / Twitter : www.saintgervais.com / facebook.com/saintgervaismontblanc / www.hautesavoie.fr / www.savoie-mont-blanc.com / facebook.com/Departement.de.la.Haute.Savoie / facebook.com/savoiemontblancFR / https://twitter.com/megeve / facebook.com/letoursaintgervais / twitter.com/letourstgervais /
SAINT-GERVAIS AND CYCLING
Bardet towards the podium
In 2016, Romain Bardet won the 19th stage of the Tour de France in Saint-Gervais to restore France's pride with two days to go before the finish line in Paris, where he finished runner-up behind Chris Froome. The Frenchman broke away with 10 km to go with his team-mate Mikaël Chérel and caught Rui Costa, who had broken away, to win solo. The Tour stopped for the first time in Saint-Gervais in 1990, where the late Thierry Claveyrolat won after a solo breakaway of nearly 70 kilometres. It was the first victory in the Tour of the Eagle of Vizille, who took the polka-dot jersey at the same time, which he finally kept all the way to Paris. 1990 was the great year of the RMO team climber, who also won a stage in the Dauphiné Libéré and finished second in the final classification. Ronan Pensec was the other rider to make the best of this stage as he took the Yellow Jersey on his 27th birthday. The Breton rider only kept it for two days. If Claveyrolat's fate was tragic, René Le Grevès' was just as gruesome. Winner of 16 stages in the Tour and without doubt one of the most gifted French sprinters of all time, he died in Saint-Gervais in a skiing accident at the age of 35. More recently, Christopher Froome won the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné in Saint-Gervais and went on to win the Tour in July.
The highest mountain in Western Europe rises to 4,808.73m and is located in the commune of Saint-Gervais. Every year, many mountaineers attempt to climb its summit via the “Voie Royale” (Kings Way), the most popular route which passes through the famous "Couloir du Goûter". The preservation of the Mont Blanc site is part of the environmental campaign led by the commune of Saint-Gervais since 2004 : "La Montagne à l'Etat Pur: pour ne laisser dans la montagne que la trace de nos pas" (Mountain at its purest: let’s leave but our footsteps in the mountain). Ten years of education and awareness-raising on the ground have borne fruit. Saint-Gervais has seen a definite change in attitudes, an encouraging promise for the future.
Evasion Mont-Blanc Ski Area The area includes 7 resorts: Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc, Saint-Nicolas, Megève, Combloux, La Giettaz, Hauteluce and Les Contamines Montjoie which has more than 400 km of slopes (3rd largest area in France). The area offers a unique panorama of the Mont Blanc and Aravis chains. In summer, the ski lifts allow you to enjoy many activities: downhill mountain biking, hiking, lunch in a mountain restaurant...
Mont Blanc tramway
The highest cogwheel train in France leaves from Le Fayet or Saint-Gervais. It allows you to reach the ski area of Les Houches-Saint-Gervais in the winter and goes up to the Nid d'Aigle (Eagle’s Nest, 2,372 m) in the summer, where you can admire the Bionnassay glacier. From here, experienced and equipped climbers can access the normal route of the Mont Blanc ascent. In 2022, four new engines were put into service: Anne, Marie, Jeanne and the latest arrival, Marguerite, named after the daughters of the founder of the operating company.
Saint-Gervais thermal spa
Nestled at the bottom of the Thermal Park and steeped in 200 years of history, the Thermes de Saint-Gervais offer curists and visitors alike the benefits of a thousand-year-old thermal water, with exceptional therapeutic properties. Discovered in 1806, the thermal water springs from the heart of Mont Blanc and is loaded with minerals and trace elements with repairing, healing and soothing powers for the skin and respiratory tract, recognised by the French National Academy of Medicine. The thermal park, planted with centuries-old sequoias, covers 10 hectares. A climbing rock allows budding climbers to practice becoming the great mountaineers of tomorrow with or without the advice of the Saint-Gervais guides. Climbing rope ladders, pendulums, monkey bridges, footbridges, nets, 180 m zip lines...
Rebuilt in 1847, the former presbytery of Saint-Gervais has been renovated in 2022 to become La Cure, the new cultural centre in the heart of the village. It houses a collection of mountain paintings and iconography, the works of Father Kim En Joong and Maurice Lenoir's collection of mountain books and bears witness to the history of the valleys. Paintings, engravings, drawings and watercolours signed by the greatest names in mountain painting, such as Abrate, Poignant, Wibault, Bouillette, Samivel and other renowned illustrators, adorn the walls of the first-floor exhibition room, while the works of Father Kim (stained-glass windows, paintings, ceramics), the author of the stained-glass windows in the church of Saint-Gervais, shine on the second floor.
Mont Blanc gin
It is in an old donkey shelter, rehabilitated with recycled materials, that James Abbott, a Scot turned Savoy man, founded the highest distillery in Europe, at an altitude of 1,365 m. Mont Blanc Gin is made from ingredients and plants picked in the mountains. It was developed with the help of Tom Nichol, a world-class distiller who has worked at the Tanqueray distillery for 42 years and is one of only two people to have received a Gin Guild Award of Honour.