🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes is a truly 🌷 magical alpine 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 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 ”.
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.
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!
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.
There is normally 🌱 a marché aux plantes, during the re-opening period, where you can buy plants and seeds:
🎨 children’s Saturday workshop: Les enfants au jardin! – Saturday afternoons, there are regular workshops centred on nature, gardening and art (with a different theme every week):
🎨 LandArt creations from a school visit:
Artists in Residence summer 2021
Artifex en Horto were the artists in residence for the summer of 2021, and you can still see the art they created!
Places to Eat
☕️ 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: see website (this varies) / see here for more details / booking is advised on: +33 (04) 50 21 50 87 or online;
🍏 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.
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;
🌳 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!
🌁 Pont Himalayenne – you can hike to this spectacular bridge from Place Tobé in Plateau d’Assy; it is a pretty 30mins stroll through the forest . . . or you can carry on to Lac Vert / see MBFF article here;
🧗♀️ Via Ferrata de la Curalla – spectacular! / more information here;
🏥 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).
⛪️ 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 ]
🗺 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 ]
🗓 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);
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);
🅿 parking: there is a FREE car park on-site (note: be very careful crossing the road, as this is a main road and cars go FAST! DO NOT let children run ahead when leaving the gardens!);
address: 447 route du Docteur Davy, Plateau d'Assy, 74190, Passy; tel: +33 (0)4 50 21 50 87; website: www.jardindescimes.com