The BEAUTIFUL QUAIS of the Sallanche river (SALLANCHES)

A walk along the 💦 quais in Sallanches makes for a perfect buggy walk or stroll with a toddler on a draisienne any time of year!

It is especially lovely in later springtime, to see the 🌳🌰 chestnut tree flowers blossoming and in summer, to sit at a restaurant or café terrace. But it is also lovely in winter, to enjoy the sparkling Christmas lights !

[ see MBFF article 🌸 BUGGY WALKS – Sallanches springtime family stroll here for a suggested route ]

All is very compact in the 🏛 centre of Sallanches – so you can take in (and all in one morning or afternoon visit, though be sure to check opening hours!):

  • 🌈 two playgrounds;
  • 🦌 Château des Rubins – Observatoire des Alpes;
  • 📚 Médiathèque Ange Abrate;
  • ℹ️ a visit to the office de tourisme;
  • 🏛 some history;
  • 🌺 flowers and some riverside ☕️ cafés and restaurants;

Springtime flowers & marronniers  

A walk along the quais in Sallanches when the 🌳🌰 marronniers (chestnut trees) are in bloom (pink and white flowers) is lovely, as the trees form a tapestry above one’s head, providing plenty of shade . . . the bridges across 💦 the Sallanche river are also adorned with 🌷 flowers, making the walk even prettier!

The history of the 🌳🌰 marronniers is fascinating: the quais were designed by town planner Justin, and they were built with money gifted by Naploéon III, on his visit to the town in 1860 (when Savoie became part of France). The Sallanche river was prone to flooding, so these trees were a welcome protection.

The 🌳🌰 chestnut trees normally flower in early May.

Les marronniers de Sallanches ©
Les marronniers de Sallanches ©
Les marronniers in bloom in Sallanches ©
Les marronniers de Sallanches ©
Les marronniers flower leaves Sallanches ©
Les marronniers in bloom in Sallanches ©
The Sallanche river in Sallanches and the marronniers in bloom ©

Cafés & restaurants along the quais ☕️

You are absolutely spoiled for choice when it comes to ☕️ restaurants and cafés along the quais in Sallanches! Starting from La Place Saint-Jacques and heading down to the playground near the Mairie, you have:

  • ☕️ Chez Vez (officially called the Saint-Jacques, and affectionately referred to as Chez Vez, this is an institution in Sallanches, with comfortable chairs next to the river and summer concerts);
  • 🍰 Chocola-thé – fresh juices, cake and chocolate!
  • 🍰 Délicat Délice – cakes to take away;
  • 🥗 La Dolce Vita restaurant;
  • 🥗 Le Bistrot des Quais restaurant and bar;
  • 🥗 Quai 110 restaurant and bar;
  • 🍕 Restaurant la Sardegna – a lovely terrace here;
  • 🍦 La Cabane à Glaces – little wooden hut serving ice cream and crêpes, open in the summer;
  • 🥟 Viet-Thai Restaurant (Vietnamese and Thai cuisine, lovely) – now with a small terrace;
  • 🍺 L’M l’Atelier – great, locally-sourced food and the site of the summer event Ce soir on ferme la Rue);
  • 🍕 Pizza Storia – now with a small terrace;

Most of these restaurants and cafés open summer terraces, which are perfect for lunch, apéros or an evening meal.

Down by the river . . .  

There are various access points down to the riverside in Sallanches, the perfect place to have an evening picnic after a hot summer’s day ( NB – do take due care down by the 💦 water with small children! ).

There is a little🍦wooden ice-cream hut right by the river (open during the summer months, under new management Gâteau & Cacao) – 🍦 La Cabane à Glaces;

© La Cabane à Glaces
Enjoying a crêpe down by the river ©
Riverside walk (or run!) to picnic spot ©
Riverside splash in Sallanches ©


There are TWO playgrounds in the centre of Sallanches, and one is located right on the river, near the Mairie. This playground was recently renovated (it had a total overhall!), and it now incorporates terraced seating down to the river – a perfect picnic spot!

The second playground is located by the church.

Sallanches Saturday Market 

A trip to 🍎 Sallanches’ Saturday morning market (which is bustling and lovely) is one way to experience the joys of the riverside; but then you do also have to share it with all the market stalls and market-goers (not so easy on a draisienne!).

A quieter visit would be on a weekday or Sunday . . .

Sallanches Saturday market ©
Sallanches Saturday market ©

Events & festivals along the quais

All year-round, there are 🎶 festivals and events for families and children in the centre of Sallanches and often up and down the quais . . . during the summer months, we are spoiled for choice:

  • 🎵 « La Fête de la Musique » – this nationwide amateur music festival (21st July) is particularly lovely to experience along the quais in Sallanches (you can bar-hop!) / a couple of years ago, we found ourselves down by the river, with the children throwing pebbles and building a dam! (we had filthy children by the end of the evening, but they had so much fun!);
Sallanches – an alternative « Fête de la Musique » ©
  • 🖼 « Exposition Montagn’Arts » – June until August – photography graces les quais de la Sallanche . . . 
  • 🎵 « Ce Soir on Ferme la Rue » – every first Thursday of the summer, with a different musical flavour each month, la rue Berthollet in Sallanches (next to L’M l’Atelier) shuts to traffic, to allow for dancing! / FB page;
© Ce Soir on Ferme la Rue
  • 🌈 Les Enfants d’Abords festival – this lovely event is in early August, and all of the animations spill out down the quais and around the centre of Sallanches;
« Les Enfants d’Abord » in Sallanches ©
  • 🌈 « Les F’estivales de Sallanches »festivités de la Saint-Jacques (late July) La Saint-Jacques is the patron saint of Sallanches, and the town celebrates with: retraite et illuminations aux flambeaux, fête foraine and other animations! / a huge funfair is set up in Sallanches for five days, next to the quais on the Pré de Foire, lots of FUN!
Fête Foraine de la Saint-Jacques in Sallanches ©
  • Noël à Sallanches – the town organises plenty of winter animations, and as well as the huge Christmas tree by the quais, there is lovely lighting too !

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