MBFF was thrilled to discover Le Jardin des Cimes in Plateau d’Assy a few years ago. It is a truly magical garden, with breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc Massif.
Le Jardin des Cimes (“Garden of the Summits”) has revitalised the area of Plateau d’Assy; not only are the garden and café a delight for locals and tourists alike, but jobs have been created and there are plenty of activities and workshops on offer for families and schools, as well as plentiful cultural activities for adults.
This very special garden has captured our imagination on each of our visits and our children are always eager to show it off to our visitors; it never loses its charm and each season brings new surprises! On offer are: the parcours of the gardens (route through the gardens – fun and pedagogic); guided visits of the gardens; the café; the bookshop; the workshops; and special events during the summer months (yoga, tai chi, apéros, concerts . . . ).
The website says:
“A unique place of nature and culture, the «Jardin des Cimes» is an invitation to discover nature, mountains, kitchen gardens and landscaped gardens during a leisurely stroll of an hour and a half. Visit the heart of the alpine world and gardens of the world, whilst enjoying the visual displays and audible effects along the way, the gardens offer exceptional views along a route that is both sensory and educational. Accessible to all, on your own, as part of a group or as a family, the «Jardin des Cimes» pays special attention to our disabled guests or those with reduced mobility”.
A family visit to Le Jardin des Cimes
It is a short walk from the car park up to the entrance to the Jardin des Cimes, which sits at 1000m altitude and covers an expanse of 6 acres.
Just after the entrance to the garden is the Café du Jardin, and then the ticket office, small shop, special play area with a view and the amphitheatre. Here there is plenty of space for little people to play.
The start of the parcours is from the ticket office, and the visitor starts his/her journey through the Porte de l’Ombre, a verdant green tunnel. The route then takes visitors through an imagined ascent through different mountain terrain, from the valley floor to the glaciers of the high summits, with interactive, sensory and creative touches along the way. The visitor finishes his/her journey in the Potagers du Monde, for a bit of the exotic!
Every year, the Jardin des Cimes adds to its cultural agenda: last year, still on offer were: «les petits ateliers du mercredi» every Wednesday during the summer/autumn months, photography workshops, Friday apéros, «Fête de l’Automne», and «Journées Zen» . . . check the website to see what’s on currently.
Workshops for Children
Over the summer months (and until the end of September), the Jardin des Cimes offers weekly workshops for children every Wednesday afternoon, from 14h30 to 16h30;
These are themed workshops pertaining to nature and gardens, with a different theme for each week.
You need to reserve a place for the workshop, at 8,50€ par enfant, with a reduced entry price to the gardens for the accompanying adult (though adults do not have to be present for the workshop) / reservations: +33 (0)4 50 21 50 87;
Places to Eat
Over the summer months, the Café du Jardin is open to the public. I have yet to treat myself to their home-made cooking, using fresh and locally-sourced organic products, but it is certainly on my list of things to do with friends this summer! Open at midday Tuesday to Friday (mid-June to mid-September) for set lunches, ice-creams, drinks and snacks are available throughout the day. See here for more details about the snack’jardin and les apéros’jardin. Booking is advised on: +33 (04) 50 21 50 87!
Le Jardin des Cimes also has a picnic area in the shade, so you are welcome to bring your own food.
Puschairs and wheelchairs
A joëlette (a one-wheeled chair that is carried by 2 assistants) allows total access to the site and is available upon request. Entry is free of charge for the attendants of the wheelchair user.
A good pushchair, that manoeuvres up and down easy mountain paths, is adequate for full access to the gardens.
Opening & Closing dates 2018: Saturday 26th May until 30th September, every day 10h to 18h30;
Adults (over 16 years): summer – 6,50€; spring/autumn – 5€
Children (4-16 years): summer – 4€; spring/autumn – 3€
Babies and children up to 4 years: FREE!
Families (2 adults, 2 children 4-16 years): summer – 18€; spring/autumn – 14€
Students, Disabled, Unemployed: 5€/4€ (FREE for person accompanying disabled)
447 route du Docteur Davy
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 21 50 87