I used to get some inspiration for family visits from my boys’ outings with their garderies, and I remembered that one summer my younger son had headed up to Le Reposoir (between Cluses and Le Grand-Bornand) to do a parcours d’orientation with his local garderie, and that he had loved this excursion . . . I also knew that Cluses Arve & Montagnes had developed numerous parcours d’orientations and jeux numériques . . .
And so a couple of years ago, I had a look online and found a parcours that I knew my 🦅 little gypaète-barbu loving boys would enjoy . . . and I found L’Œuf de Plume La Gypaète in Le Reposoir.
Le Reposoir is an authentic mountain village located on the 🗺 Route des Grandes Alpes and dominated by the elegant 🗻 Pointe Percée mountain in the Aravis chain, and so I knew we would have a lovely day!
The parcours d’orientation
The 🗺 parcours d’orientation: L’Œuf de Plume La Gypaète is aimed at 7 to 10 year olds, and so this was perfect to keep both of my boys entertained and challenged! We picked up the kits (🗺 maps and cards to stamp along the course) at the local tourist office in Le Reposoir, and set off just after our picnic lunch . . . My younger son remembered where lots of the first clues were located (as he had already down the 🗺 parcours orientation Cache Cache Animaux), and so the boys zoomed around this part of the activity without even looking at their map nor paying one iota of interest in learning to read a map! As an ex-teacher (and therefore ALWAYS a teacher 😉), I felt it absolutely necessary to take them in hand at this point and make sure they began to actually read the map for the second part of the quiz! So off we went together in search of 🥚 the lost gypaète barbu egg and the villainous animal that had stolen it; the parcours took us all around Le Reposoir, so we were active!
good to know: you can do this parcours orientation with an all-terrain buggy or draisienne!
We found 🥚 the egg in record time and headed back to the tourist office to claim our gift! The boys had a great time, and it was a really lovely treasure hunt with a ludique sense to it too, learning some facts about this fascinating local vulture.
[ ⇒ to learn even more about the gypaète barbu, please see separate MBFF article here ]
🍏 L’Epicerie « La Misperette » & ☕️ café-bar « Le Mistrot » – as we noticed our picnic table had been paid for by the local épicerie, we thought it only fair to stop to have ☕️ a coffee on their sunny terrace post picnic . . . this turned out to be a necessary pause, as no sooner had our younger son begun to build a rock bridge in the 💦 Foron river, that he promptly put a foot in the water . . . and we needed some time to dry out his sock, shoe and jeans! (we ended up buying him some new ski socks, much to his delight). The café is tastefully and cosily decorated inside, and you can buy from the épicerie: local cheese and charcuterie, bread and everything you’ll need for a picnic! / website ;
address: 37 route de Romme, 74950, Le Reposoir / tel: 04 50 98 10 82;
🍲 Restaurant La Chartreuse – located opposite the church is this restaurant with a terrace / website;
address: 622 route de Béol, 74950, Le Reposoir;
🍲 Restaurant La Colombière – located at the Col de la Colombière, this family-run restaurant (since 1912!) serving traditional meals, is super to stop at when doing a hike in the Massif du Bargy or a road bike excursion / note: NOT open in winter, open June until September;
address: 7049, route de la Colombière, 74950, Le Reposoir;
🍏 picnic tables – we used a super picnic table right by the épicerie (and donated by the épicerie!), and there are plentiful other picnic tables dotted around Le Reposoir;
Further activities for families in the area
Le Reposoir is a lovely mountain village to visit, and there are plenty of other activities for families available, meaning that you can do more that just 🗺 the parcours orientation! See ❄️ here for winter activities and ☀️ here for summer activities.
🗺 other parcours orientations – Cluses Arve & Montagne has several other parcours orientation for you to do . . . if you have a 3 to 5 year old and older children in the same group, then you could separate and do different trails / see here for the full selection of treasure hunts and other games on offer in the area;
🌈 playground – the parcours orientation starts at the tourist office, and this is conveniently located right next to Le Reposoir’s playground! Which means that you can have fun here before, during and after the treasure hunt! In the village you’ll also find a football pitch and table tennis.
⛷ skiing – on our visit, the few pistes on offer at Le Reposoir looked very sorry for themselves . . . this early spring had all but melted one tiny beginner’s piste! But when there is decent snow cover, it must certainly be a brilliant little ski station to bring beginner skiers – it is small, so they would gain confidence quickly!
💦 Le Foron stream – my younger son rememebered this river and the wooden swing hanging from the bridge from his trip with his garderie and he led us directly to it! He also put his foot directly in the river, as mentioned above . . . and so I would advise you to bring spare clothes and shoes!
This looked like a good bridge to cross (perhaps to try this summertime!) . . .
🐮 Le Reposoir, a mountain farming town – Le Reposoir is rich in farming history and you’ll find some black and white photos scattered about town . . .
⛪️ church and chapel:
- L’Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste – was built in 1850 with money from Les Chartreux . . . very soon after, it was considered too small for the village’s population and so it was extended towards the end of the 19th century. It is designed in the form of a Latin cross, and is adorned with several paintings and sculptures;
- La Chapelle du Bienheureux Jean d’Espagne – this pretty little chapel located right next to the Foron river, was also linked to the history of the Chartreuse du Reposoir . . . The current chapel was built in 1891, in honour of the Charteuse founder, le Bienheureux Jean d’Espagne (1123-1160).
⛪️ La Chartreuse du Reposoir – Le Carmel – the old Chartreuse, now the Carmel, was founded in 1151 by the Chartreux monks, and is classed as a Monument Historique. The old monastery, now convent, sits in the shadow of La Pointe Percée (2752m). The buildings were restored in 1686 et 1717, and contain: the former monks’ rooms, the big and little cloister designed in Flamboyant Gothic style (you can visit these on the Journées du Patrimoine), the harmonieuse chapelle (1480-1530) and the living quarters. For many years, the monks were important in the pastoral and agricultural life of the village, and then they left in 1901, leaving a place for the Carmelites to arrive in 1932.
Just in front of the La Chartreuse du Reposoir – Le Carmel is the pretty little Carmel lake. You can park near the Carmel, or you can hike up to it from town.
⇒ more information: website;
🗓 opening hours: all year, 8h until 12h and 14h30 until 18h30 / mass at 8h30 and vêpres at 16h35;
address: route du Carmel, 74950, Le Reposoir / tel: 04 50 98 15 01;
🗻 Col de la Colombière – this mountain pass is located at 1618m, and links Le Grand-Bornand and the Arve Valley . . . Many hikes depart from here and it is also part of 🚵♂️ a classic road biking route, used many times in Le Tour de France! The restaurants around Le Reposoir all have places to put your bike!
💦 Lac de Peyre – a short hike from the Col de la Colombière, you will find this small mountain lake, accessible spring, summer and autumn;
Porte d’Age – is mentioned in documentation from the XIVth century. An old farm, of which only stone ruins remain (restaured in 1998), this was the entrance gate to the Domaine des Chartreux. A farmer lived here and was in charge of collecting the péage due to the monks. There is a statue of the Virgin and Child in one of the little alcoves.
address: route du Reposoir, 74950, Le Reposoir;