Le Jardin des Cimes is a truly magical garden at altitude, 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.
These very special gardens have 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; workshops for children & adults; 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 ones 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 . . . still on offer this year, Friday apéros, and «Les Journées Zen» . . . check the website to see what’s on currently.
On the opening weekend of the gardens this year – the weekend of 26th & 27th May – is the «Folie Végétales» – a marché aux plantes, guided visits . . .
Workshops for Children
The Jardin des Cimes offers weekly workshops for children every Wednesday morning and afternoon. This 2018 season, there will also be several NEW options on Wednesdays / see here for more details of what’s on offer this 2018 season;
- Montessori au Jardin for 0 to 2 year olds / for parents and children / from Wednesday 30th May to 4th July, at 10h / price: entrance to gardens + 10€ per family / workshop given by Laure Carré / reservations: 06 95 41 42 84 or firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Montessori au Jardin for 3 to 6 year olds / Wednesdays at 16h / price: entrance to gardens + 8€ per child / workshop given by Laure Carré / reservations: 06 95 41 42 84 or email@example.com;
- Qi Gong pour les enfants – Wednesdays at 13h30 / for children 7 to 13 years / price: 5€ / workshop facilitated by Catherine Charles, expert in traditional Chinese medicine / reservations: 0660759218 or firstname.lastname@example.org;
Places to Eat
Le Café du Jardin – over the summer months, the Café du Jardin is open to the public. I went with friends last September, before the gardens shut for their winter hibernation – it was delicious! / opening hours: open midday Tuesday to Friday (mid-June to mid-September) and then every lunchtime in July and August; also open Friday evenings from June until September / for set bio lunches, drinks and snacks / see here for more details / booking is advised on: +33 (04) 50 21 50 87;
picnics – 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;
from 26th May until 7th July (and again 2nd until 30th September) – every day from 10h to 18h and until 19h at the weekend;
from 7th July until 2nd September – 10h until 20h;
open Friday evenings from 1st June to 14th September;
Adults (over 16 years): summer – 6,50€; spring/autumn – 5€;
Children (4-16 years): summer – 3,5€; 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