Le Jardin des Cimes (PLATEAU d’ASSY)

🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes is a truly 🌷 magical alpine garden, with breathtaking views of 🏔 the Mont-Blanc massif

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Jardin des Cimes – view of Mont-Blanc massif © montblancfamilyfun.com

🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes (“ Garden of the Summits ”) has revitalised the area of Plateau d’Assy; not only are the gardens 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 and mindful activities for adults.

These very special gardens have captured our imagination on each of our visits and our children are always eager to show them off to our visitors! 🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes 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 & restaurant – bio and local food (now serving poke and buddha bowls);
  •  📚 the (newly expanded) bookshop; 
  • 🎨 workshops for children & adults (soap-making and more); 
  • and special events during the summer months (🧘‍♂️ yoga, tai chi,🍷 Friday apéros, 📚 literary events, 🎵 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 ”.

Le Jardin des Cimes @ montblancfamilyfun.com

 

Le Jardin des Cimes © montblancfamilyfun.com

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 gardens is the ☕️ Café du Jardin, and then the ticket office, small shop, special play area with a magnificent view, and the amphitheatre. Here there is plenty of space for little ones to play.

Jardin des Cimes – the bookshop © montblancfamilyfun

 

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Jardin des Cimes – a unique playground with a view! © montblancfamilyfun

 

Jardin des Cimes – a playground with a view © montblancfamilyfun.com

The 🗺 start of the parcours is from the ticket office, and the visitor starts his or 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!

Le parcours & plan in the Jardin des Cimes © Jardin des Cimes

 

Le Jardin des Cimes – Porte des Ombres © montblancfamilyfun
Le Jardin des Cimes © montblancfamilyfun
Le Jardin des Cimes © montblancfamilyfun.com

 

Le Jardin des Cimes © montblancfamilyfun

 

Le Jardin des Cimes © montblancfamilyfun

Events Calendar

Every year, the 🌻 Jardin des Cimes adds to its cultural, wellness & mindfulness agenda . . .  in the past, there has been 🌳 tree climbing and relaxation in the trees . . .  check the website for the 2021 agenda.

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© Jardin des Cimes

 

Escale Arbres © Jardin des Cimes / Escales Arbres

There is normally 🌱 a marché aux plantes, during the re-opening period, where you can buy plants and seeds:

Le Jardin des Cimes – le marché des plantes © montblancfamilyfun.com

🎨  children’s Saturday workshop: Les enfants au jardin! – in the past, on Saturday afternoons, there have been workshops centred on nature, gardening and art (with a different theme every week):

Les enfants au jardin! workshop © Jardin des Cimes

🎨 LandArt creations from a school visit:


Places to Eat

☕️ Le Café du Jardin – over the summer months, this lovely café &  restaurant is open to the public. The locally-sourced and beautifully-presented food is delicious – you’ll find produce from the gardens on your plate! I have been for lunch and cake here, and I love it! 2021 update – you’ll now find poke and buddha bowls! / 🗓 opening hours: open lunchtime in June, and keep posted for July and August! / see here for more details / booking is advised on: +33 (04) 50 21 50 87 or online;

Café du Jardin at Jardin des Cimes © montblancfamilyfun.com

 

Jardin des Cimes - Café
Café du Jardin at Jardin des Cimes © montblancfamilyfun

 

Jardin du Jardin at Jardin des Cimes @ Jardin des Cimes

 

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A colourful plate from the Café du Jardin @ Jardin des Cimes

🍏 picnics – 🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes also has a picnic area in the shade, so you are welcome to bring your own food;


Pushchairs 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 all-terrain pushchair, that manoeuvres up and down easy mountain paths, is adequate for full access to the gardens.


Nearby activities

A visit to the 🌻 Jardin des Cimes can combine nicely with other activities up on the Plateau d’Assy or Plaine-Joux (or if you have a family or friend group with different wishes for the day!):

💦 Lac Vert (Plaine-Joux) – is a short drive away / for more details, see here;

Late summer at Lac Vert, Passy © montblancfamilyfun.com

🌳 Plaine-Joux accrobranches ® & parapentes take-off (Plaine-Joux) – capers in the trees, plenty of green space for running, or just sit and watch parapentistes taking off!

Plain’Wood accrobranches Plaine-Joux © montblancfamilyfun.com

🧗‍♀️ Via Ferrata de la Curalla – spectacular! / more information here;

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Via Ferrata de la Curalla © Cabanon de la Via

🏥 Plateau d’Assy sanitoriums – driving back down to the valley floor through Plateau d’Assy, you can’t miss the 🏥 1930s tuberculosis sanitoriums: huge and often garishly coloured buildings on bends of the road (some are still in use for medical purposes or have been transformed into apartments or holiday centres), and then on the plateau itself you’ll see many that are in a state of total or half-abandon . . . Plateau d’Assy is a fascinating place, rich in both 🎨 medical and also art history, and it is worth exploring! (more information here).

Le Guébriant, old sanitorium (now a holiday centre) © montblancfamilyfun.com

⛪️ Eglise Notre-Dame de Toute Grâce (Plateau d’Assy) – this beautiful church was built in 1937, during the heyday of the sanitoriums, and was referred to as the « l’église des malades ». It was made famous by the work of several renowned artists: the façade’s mosaic was created by painter and ceramist Fernand Léger; Georges Braque added a bronze tabernacle and Marc Chagall a baptistery. You’ll also see some unique sculptures gracing bends in the road on the drive from Passy chef-lieu to Plateau d’Assy.

[ read more about the route des sculptures and art in Passy here ]

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Notre Dame de Toute Grace at Plateau d’Assy © montblancfamilyfun.com

🗺 hikes – there are hikes that leave directly from the 🌻 Jardin des Cimes . . . for example, you can do a lovely (🌲 largely shaded in the woods) aller-retour hike to the Refuge de Varan (note: the refuge is currently shut for renovations, but 🐄 the pâturages surrounding it are beautiful!), or a longer boucle, along the TPMB path via the Chalets de Charbonnière, and back down to the gardens;

[ read more about the hike to Refuge de Varan here ]

Refuge de Varan © montblancfamilyfun.com

Practical information

🗓 opening hours: from end of May until early autumn (3rd October 2021), from 10h until 18h or 19h30 (check website for exact times, as at the moment you can only visit Wednesday to Sunday, but over the summer holidays access is every day);

[ note: the terrace of the Jardin des Cimes has been open since 1st May 2021 (Friday to Sunday), for: sale of plants and takeaway options from the Café du Jardin ]

price:

adults (over 16 years): summer – 6,50€; spring and autumn – 5,50€;
children (4-16 years): summer – 3,5€; spring and autumn – 3€;
babies and children up to 4 years: FREE!
families (2 adults, 2 children 4-16 years): summer – 18€; spring and autumn – 15€;
students, Disabled, Unemployed: 5€ / 4€ (FREE for person accompanying disabled);

address: 447 route du Docteur Davy, Plateau d'Assy, 74190, Passy;

tel: +33 (0)4 50 21 50 87;

website: www.jardindescimes.com

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