travelling

Walking in France: Col Vert (1766m) at Vercors Natural Park

The last trip in 2015 was to France, Lyon. I guess one can say the whole year was “French” year as after my visit to Provence I started studying French again. I really wanted to take another trip there. Lyon is in the region of Rhone-Alpes. That means mountains. So, though the options were wide, I made a quick calculation of time available, weather and gear I had and a suggestion I got from the tourist office and chose Natural Parc of Vercors which had many different mountain tops, all starting from ca 1000 m. My highest mountain so far has been St Baume at around 1100 (starting from ca 600m).

So, I started 6 am from Lyon, took a train to Grenoble, where I planned to have a In Grenoble, with 5 minutes difference, I hopped on a bus that started climbing and did that for an hour and a bit. I arrived to Villard-de-Lans, a small village, bought some fresh croissants and started walking up to Col Vert. It was -1 I think. I am glad I started so early, even though I understood that my gear was completely wrong – no hat, no gloves. Almost like the gear I had in +20. But, as I walked, it got warm and as the day moved forward, sun came out as well.

Start at 6am from Lyon to Grenoble to Natural Park of Vercours
Start at 6am from Lyon to Grenoble to Natural Park of Vercours

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Villard-de-Lans
Villard-de-Lans

Morning dew
Morning dew

Isn’t it a wonderous view with the fog? It was fun to see as it descended and the mountaintops cleared.

Another pathway
Another pathway
There was some snow and ice on the path
There was some snow and ice on the path

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The final ten minutes was a bit tough, there were few hikers coming down and encouraging – that was helpful!

The vie from the top
The vie from the top

Top of Col Vert
Top of Col Vert

The view from the top
The view from the top

At the top and on the other side of the mountain range, there was an amazing strong sun. I was there around noon and stayed and ate a sweet pecan cake and enjoyed the view, the sun and the birds flying.

Another hiker showing where he is going
Another hiker showing where he is going
Wow!
Wow!

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I was being watched
I was being watched

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A moment to rest
A moment to rest
New top, new heights conquered
New top, new heights conquered

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When I arrived down, after 3 hours of walking, I was hungry. As it was lunch time, all the restaurants were full. I don’t know where did they all come to this small place. I think I went through all the restaurants and finally found a place I thought was nice, La Marguerite (website here, in Tripadvisor here). I took a food named “GRATIN DE RAVIOLES AU BLEU DU VERCORS”. OH MY GOD! I am not going to say how good it was, because it was just so good I don’t have words for. If you are there, definately try this.

Well deserved food. The BEST food ever
Well deserved food. The BEST food ever

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Before going back to Lyon, I thought I pop in to see what Grenoble has to offer. I had done zero preparation and maybe that is why I did not find it very fascinating. Luckily I got lost going back to the train station and a guy wh I asked directions suggested me to find a place where one can see Grenoble from a higher top. Hence few views in the dark.

Grenoble
Grenoble
Grenoble at night
Grenoble at night
The view from a top to Grenoble
The view from a top to Grenoble

I think the hike to Col Vert was one of the highlights of my trip to Lyon, France. I was ready to leave after that. I love hiking. That’s all I will say :).

More stories from my trip to Lyon coming. Keep looking at the Walking in France page.

All the best!
Liisi

About the Author

liisi

Performance coach, blogger and activist.

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