BUGGY WALKS – a springtime stroll in Sallanches

ūüĆł¬†Springtime has arrived . . . and while I dream of one day being in Japan for¬†its¬†famous¬†ūüĆł¬†springtime cherry blossoms, for now I am excited to share this little Sallanches town walk¬†with you. While there is still snow on the higher altitude walks, why not take a leisurely amble through the streets of Sallanches, enjoy the spring blossoms and discover a little history as you go . . .

The walk that I am highlighting here would be ideal as a buggy walk or as a family walk. It would work with a smaller child on a push bike, as there is some open space along the way, but you would have to be vigilant as there are many roads to cross and the start of the walk has no pavement! Equally, older children will be happy as there are two playgrounds along the way!

ūüóļ¬†Walk¬†Information & Map¬†ūüóļ

ūüďƬ†departure Point: Le Parking Ch√Ęteau des Rubins / Levaud (FREE!);
ūüďƬ†arrival Point: Le Parking¬†Ch√Ęteau des Rubins / Levaud (round walk / boucle);
‚ŹĪ¬†timings: 45 minute leisurely stroll with a buggy (without stops at¬†playgrounds or sit-downs in caf√©s!);
ūüŹ¶¬†highlights: ūüĆł¬†spring blossoms / ūüĆľ¬†flower arrangements and water features in the Place St Jacques / the Place Charles Albert and along the river / the playgrounds / historical landmarks in Sallanches / mountain views;

Google Map:


To start this walk, you will need to park in the free car park¬†Ch√Ęteau des Rubins¬†/¬†Parking du Levaud. Cross over the river Sallanche¬†and turn right into chemin R√©v√©rand P√®re Jacquier.

La Sallanche © montblancfamilyfun.com

good to know – the Centre de la Nature Montagnarde (Le Ch√Ęteau des Rubins), which is located near the start of this walk, is currently being renovated and will be SHUT until 2020. If you are without a buggy, an¬†alternative to following the river / road option (which has NO pavement), is to walk up the short flight of stairs by the main entrance of the¬†Centre de la Nature Montagnarde;¬†this will bring you onto Mont√©e des Rubins, which joins with Place du Commissaire Chesney, almost directly at one entrance point into the grounds of the M√©diath√®que Ange Abrate.

Le Centre de la Nature Montagnarde © montblancfamilyfun.com

As you carry on along chemin R√©v√©rand P√®re Jacquier (be very careful with small children and buggies, as there is a drop towards the river and no pavement here), be sure to look up and see the little Chapelle de l’Immacul√©e (built between 1855 and 1857) up on the hill above the Ch√Ęteau des Rubins.

Le Ch√Ęteau des Rubin et la Chapelle de l’Immacul√©e¬†¬© montblancfamilyfun.com

If you walk through this historic archway, then you’ll be off the road and entering the m√©diath√®que from the back way . . .

© montblancfamilyfun.com

Médiathèque Ange Abrate

The m√©diath√®que in Sallanches opened in 2018 and we are huge fans – spacious, lovely children’s area, storytelling and spectacles! See here for MBFF post . . .

Aire de Jeux de l’Eglise

What do you know, you’ve arrived at your first playground: the Aire de Jeux de l’Eglise, on Place du Commissaire Chesney! This playground is one of our favourites and we come here often after a Saturday morning visit to Sallanches’ market¬†or a visit to Le Centre de la Nature Montagnarde. There is a public WC in the small car park opposite.

Aire de Jeux de l’Eglise √† Sallanches ¬© montblancfamilyfun.com
Aire de Jeux de l’Eglise √† Sallanches ¬© montblancfamilyfun.com

La Place St Jacques

Sallanches’ church (Le Coll√©giale Saint-Jacques) dates from the 17th century, the original 14th century structure having burned down in the 1300s. The ūüĆł¬†Place Saint-Jacques was recently renovated and it is a lovely spot to admire the ūüĆł¬†springtime blossoms and planted greenery. There are plenty of benches and so this is a great snack or picnic¬†stop . . . There is also a ūüí¶¬†little water feature, which can be a fun place to play leaf races (but make sure you have some spare clothes!).

Le Collégiale Saint-Jacques © montblancfamilyfun.com
Le Collégiale Saint-Jacques © montblancfamilyfun.com

If you are needing a ‚ėēÔłŹ¬†coffee at this point, then the ‚ėēÔłŹ¬†Caf√© Saint-Jacques, on the Quai Saint-Jacques,¬†is popular with Sallanches locals and in the warmer months there are tables and comfortable chairs set out along the riverside (le quai). During the summer months, there is live music here on Friday evenings.

A bit further down this quai, you will find ūüćļ¬†Le Blaireau qui Brasse, a great place for lunch or a beer! Other lovely spots for lunch in spring and summertime, with outdoor seating along the quai:¬†@Table and L’Espace¬†. . . and the other side of the river, across the Pr√©-de-Foire,¬†l’Essentiel;

Or, if you fancy more of a sweet stop, sat on a bench and admiring Mont-Blanc behind blossoms and leaves, then you could try:¬†Chocola’th√©¬†(38 quai Saint Jacques) are also situated along the quai¬†and D√©licat D√©lice¬†(72 quai de l’Hotel de Ville).

Le Café Saint-Jacques (Chez Vez) à Sallanches Рterrace on the quai © montblancfamilyfun.com

Le Pré-de-Foire

Sallanches’ Pr√©-de-Foire is a large open space which is used for town events (Saturday’s market, March’s Le Bonhomme d’Hiver, April’s Carnaval, summer’s Les Enfants d’Abord, etc . . .). ¬†The rest of the time, it is empty and thus the perfect place to let chilren run freely, use¬†ūüõī¬†scooters or ūüö≤¬†push bikes (though do be careful as you are next to busy roads). There are some seats to rest your feet in a little corner of the square, and just across the road is a small amphitheatre, with grass and seats at the top (my boys have always loved walking on the seats, and this is a good spot for a picnic).

La Place de la Grenette

Cross over the Torrent de la Frasse (small river that joins the Sallanche) towards the old covered grain market, La Grenette. A landmark in Sallanches, and the centre-piece of the Christmas market (it becomes an ice-skating rink in December!), La Grenette was built in 1868 with granite from Combloux. Be sure to look across the road to your right, as the impressive remnants of the doorway to the Couvent des Capucins , that used to stand in the Place Charles Albert, now reside here.

La Grenette à Sallanches © montblancfamilyfun.com
Original doorway to Capucin Convent in Sallanches © montblancfamilyfun.com

Le Lavoir des Tuileries

Cross over the road at La Grenette and turn right along la Route de Meg√®ve (NB –¬†hold onto children firmly¬†and keep them away from the side of the road, as this is the busy main road up to Combloux and cars go VERY fast here!). Take the first road on your left, rue du Commerce, and then cross the road as you will¬†want to take the first road on the right, rue du Mont Joly. At the corner of rue Chenal, you will arrive at the Lavoir des Tuileries, which always has a pretty display of ūüĆļ¬†potted plants and flowers adorning it. Built in 1889 out of local granite, this structure changed the lives of the local washerwomen, who before this date had just ūüí¶¬†fountains and rivers at their disposal to do their washing.

Lavoir des Tuileries © montblancfamilyfun.com

La Place Charles Albert

Walk down rue Chenal towards the main road, rue du Mont Blanc¬†(which was nicely renovated recently); here you turn left, and you’ll arrive at the Place Charles Albert. There are plans underway to renovate this public square, as well as the whole riverside area of Sallanches heading towards St-Martin. For now, the square is divided in two: there is the paying car park and then there is the ūü•Äpretty garden area for pedestrians. The very lovely bookshop ūüďö¬†Librairie les Carnets d’Albert is on this square (sometimes there are children’s workshops held here).

Place Charles Albert © montblancfamilyfun.com
La Place Charles-Albert à Sallanches © montblancfamilyfun.com

A bit of history . . . 

Sallanches once housed two convents, before they disappeared during the Revolution: the Capucin Convent (built in 1619, it once stood in the Place Charles Albert and you can see its original doorway opposite La Grenette) and the Ursuline Convent (built in 1630, it once stood in the Pré-de-Foire).

Before¬†Sallanches was reunited with France in 1860, it was ruled by the Maison de Savoie. ¬†In 1840, a ūüĒ•¬†huge fire demolished most of the houses in Sallanches and the town had¬†to be rebuilt. The ruling king of Savoie at this time, Charles-Albert, entrusted¬†his engineer, Fran√ßois Justin, to rebuild the new town; an aerial view gives us an appreciation of¬†the grid-like design he conceived.

For more detailed history about Sallanches, see sallanches.com or pop into the Sallanches Tourist Office.

Ode to L’Ancienne Poste¬†

The Ancienne Poste¬†(old Post Office) no longer exists, as it was demolished at the end of 2017 . . . after being a Post Office, for a time it was used as a venue¬†for temporary exhibtions. In the summer of 2016, to prepare for Sallanches’ role as Tour de France departure town for the ” contre-la- montre “, the fa√ßade of the Ancienne Poste was painted by Zoer¬†et Velvet from the Kill Art Factory; this ephemeral street art was eye-catching.

L’Ancienne Poste √† Sallanches ¬© montblancfamilyfun.com

Aire de Jeux des Quais

If you are needing a second playground stop at this point, then just cross¬†the bridge, and here you will find¬†the Aire de Jeux des Quais, another of our favourites (due to the fire-engine feature!). Across the road here, you will find a lovely caf√© restaurant – LM l’Atelier and a Vietnamese restaurant Khue Dhan.

Aire de Jeux des Quais, Sallanches © montblancfamilyfun.com
Aire de Jeux des Quais, Sallanches © montblancfamilyfun.com

Quai de l’Hotel de Ville

You are on the home stretch now . . . with your back to the playground, cross over the busy Avenue de Gen√®ve, onto the Quai de l’Hotel de Ville. The Hotel de Ville (Mairie), built in 1844, is where the Sallanches Tourist Office is located. It is worth going into the Tourist Office as there are plenty of free leaflets with ideas for family fun in Sallanches and the environs, as well as Tour de France memorabilia!

Continue along the quai, and you will find yourself back at the Place Saint-Jacques!

MBFF hopes that you enjoy this walk as much as we do!

5 thoughts on “BUGGY WALKS – a springtime stroll in Sallanches

  1. Sallanches is a delightful French market town and I look forward to doing this walk and learning more about its history. With stops at play parks I am sure we could entice our small grandsons to accompany us.
    Jenny R


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