The MBFF tribe is a huge fan of the ⛳️ Parc de Loisirs du Pontet, the largest parc de loisirs 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc. This giant leisure park in the beautiful Les Contamines-Montjoie, offers more than 20 sports and leisure activities and also has 💦 a small swimming lake and boating lake. Being located next to Notre Dame de la Gorge, opposite the 🚡 Téléphérique de la Gorge, it is also close to lots of fabulous walks and bike trails . . . (and – bonus – the park is easily accessible with a buggy!).
[ ⇒ for a full list of all the ⛳️ leisure and sports activities on offer at the 🏀 Parc de Loisirs du Pontet, see here ]
Be sure to find out about the different price options and passes for the activities at the 🎾 Parc de Loisirs du Pontet at Les Contamines-Montjoie Tourisme.
There is a 💦 small swimming lake (refilled each summer season; not natural) in the leisure park, surrounded by grass and with soft sand . . . during the summer holidays, there are weekly sessions of 🧘♀️ yoga, pilates, zumba, aqua fitness . . . and an inflatable slide too!
🚣♂️ fishing & boating lake – you’ll need a 🎣 special fishing licence to fish here (available from l’Office de Tourisme des Contamines-Montjoie), and the pedalos, kayaks and paddle boards too are available to rent from Nash Games (see below).
🌳 parcours aventure – there is a tyrolienne that runs over the pedalo lake, and nets, a pont de singe and more . . . / see here;
🌈 Nash Mountain Games – Laurent and his team offer plenty of fun activities:
- 🏰 trampolines & bouncy castles and water games;
- ⛳️ mini-golf – 18 holes for fun en famille;
- 🚗 mini quads;
- 🚣♂️ boats & pedalos;
🛴 NEW for 2020 season – electric trottinettes!
🌈 playground – this is the one FREE area to play at the parc de loisirs, and it was renovated this springtime. My boys have spent many hours playing here (NB – do be vigilant with small children, as the playground is located right next to the boating lake).
🐺 canirando & parc du chien polaire – learn about the chiens de traîneau, their life in a pack, expeditions . . . or take one of these beautiful dogs for a walk with a harness! / see here for more details;
🐴 pony riding & horse riding – ponies for little ones, horse riding lessons and outings . . .
🐴 donkey walks– a few years ago, a friend recommended a wonderful idea for encouraging youngsters to hike and promised me that it had worked wonders with her slightly reluctant young walkers: walking with a donkey! At Les Ânes et Les Mômes, the idea is to lead a donkey on a walk . . . and, if necessary, to let the children take turns on the donkey’s back. This company has different lengthed options ( 🏕 even some over-nighters!), and we opted for the shortest hike (15€ for 1h30). The boys absolutely loved the experience (though they did, inevitably, squabble about whose turn it was on the donkey’s back), and it was definitely a great incentive to keep Big Brother walking and to give Daddy a rest from Little Brother shoulder duty! Our donkey’s name was Ernest, and he became a firm friend! The boys still talk of him fondly.
🧗♀️ climbing – la Duchère is a beautiful rock climbing area located on the outskirts of the Parc de Loisirs du Pontet / climbing lessons available;
🎾 tennis – there are 8 courts to rent and a wall for practice / lessons and stages available;
ateliers slackline – on Wednesdays, 10h30 until 14h (during the summer holidays) / price: 5€ / you’ll need to sign up with the tourist office!
⛳️ golf – lessons and stages, with a view of Mont-Blanc!
⛷ NEW: découverte saut à ski – on Thursday evenings (of the summer holidays)!
⚽️ terrains de sports – sports pitches and courts (football, basketball, badminton) and 🏓 ping pong tables;
🏹 tir à l’arc & biathlon – learn archery or summer biathlon en famille with a professional;
🚵♀️ mountain biking – there is a boucle (green and blue options) that starts at Les Loyers and takes you through the Parc de Loisirs du Pontet (see here). There is also the downhill VTT trail nearby « Les Clarines » (for this you would need to take the 🚡 Télécabines de la Gorge and 🚡 Le Signal);
⛷ piste de ski roue – during the ❄️ winter season, the Parc de Loisirs du Pontet becomes the ❄️ Domaine Nordique, and dedicates itself to cross- country skiing, 🛷 sledging and dog sledding . . . As of summer 2019, there is now a new 2,5km long piste de skie roue, allowing you to ☀️ ski in summer (NEW 2021: and you can also rent out roller-blades!) All equipment can be rented on-site.
You have several eating options for eating at the Parc de Loisirs du Pontet:
🍏 picnics – there are picnic tables available or you can set up a picnic blanket of your own;
🌭 foodtrucks – Le Repaire des Curioos – 🍦 homemade farm ice-cream, mixed with real 🍓 fruit (and FREE games!) – can sometimes be found at Notre Dame de la Gorge;
☕️ Le Chalet du Lac – a restaurant with a terrace and view of the boating lake / often live music or special soirées;
☕️ food hut – there is a new food hut at the entrance to the park;
Photo exhibition « Nature au Sommet »
There is an 🖼 outdoor photo exhibition (nature-themed) in the Parc de Loisirs du Pontet (and in other locations around Les Contamines-Montjoie).
🎾 Open International de Tennis des Contamines – free access to this week-long tennis tournament;
Village Nature & Semaine Nature – the first week in August!
🎇 Fête de Notre-Dame de la Gorge – every year on the 15th August, 🎆 a fireworks show, music and son et lumière light extravaganza! / by the church and entrance FREE!
🎃 Toussaint holidays & Halloween in the park – the park is open during the Toussaint holidays, with lots of activities on offer . . . and a special day on the 31st October!
The leisure park and river path are suitable for all-terrain buggies!
There is a sentier de découverte (perfect for families) that leaves from the Office de Tourisme in town, along 💦 the Bon Nant river, and then threads through the leisure park; with an annotated map and panels along the way, you will discover local architecture, animals, the Roman path, tourism and more . . . There is also an audio book available – Découvre la Légende de Choupette – which introduces the emblematic little 🦉 owl mascot of Les Contamines-Montjoie (a themed Choupette game for youngsters can be found in between the two lakes). You can opt to do different stages of this hike, and it links up the NEW pumptrack and aire de jeux in Les Loyers with the leisure park (possible on foot, with a good buggy or with bikes!).
And there are some ⛰ fabulous hikes nearby (💦 Lacs Jovet, Roman road to Refuge de Nant-Borrant and Cascade de la Combe Noire) that leave from Notre Dame de la Gorge. Ask at the Office de Tourisme for the 🗺 map Sentiers de Randonnées Pédestres au Pays du Mont-Blanc specific to Les Contamines-Montjoie.
Right next to the 🎾 Parc de Loisirs du Pontet is the 🏕 campsite Camping le Pontet – this is a lovely, friendly, family-run campsite, and spending a night or two allows you to visit the leisure park and also to enjoy other activities nearby . . .
Other activities nearby
💦 Lac de l’Étape via the 🚡 Téléphérique de la Gorge – lovely little lake at altitude (summer season), with small boats and pedalos, a hotel and restaurant and playgrounds.
[ ⇒ see separate MBFF article for more details ]
⛪ Église de Notre Dame de la Gorge – this Baroque church dates from 1699, and has long been a centre of pilgrimage; read more about it here / and a little further along the river, you’ll find the beautiful ⛪ Sainte-Chapelle chapel, clinging to the rocks;
🛴 pumptrack and playground (at Les Loyers) !
address: 🅿 parking: FREE parking either at the ❄️ Domaine Nordique entrance (a 5 minute walk along the river), or opposite the 🚡 Téléphérique de la Gorge;