This is a lovely bucolic family hike, a boucle leaving from ⛪️ the baroque church of Combloux, and heading to ⛪️ the little chapel in the hamlet of Ormaret.
It’s an easy stroll, with 🌿 wide open spaces for running, little bridges to cross, 🐄 farm animals to see (and the possibility of visiting a farm along the way), and ⛪️ a small chapel to admire at the mid-point. You’ll get a good feel for agricultural life, as you’ll pass fields aplenty and hamlets, and you’ll have the majestic 🗻 Mont-Blanc as the ultimate backdrop!
As the walk starts and finishes in the centre of town, you’ll be able to stop off at one of the many playgrounds in Combloux or at the pumptrack!
[ note: I’ve done this hike in summertime, and also at the end of winter, but I think it would be lovely in 🍂🍁 autumn, because of the trees and mountain views! ]
🗺 distance: 4km;
⏱ timing: 1h30 aller-retour;
⛰ dénivelé: + /- 140m (departure: 980m and arrival 1120m);
👨👩👧👦 buggies: NO!
🅿️ parking: Parking de la Mairie or Parking des Écoles;
🗺 carte de randonnée: Les Belvédères du Mont-Blanc, for sale at tourist office for 6€ (with accompanying booklet);
The hike – step-by-step
The hike starts at ⛪️ Combloux’s 18th century baroque church – the Église Saint-Nicolas de Combloux – which is known for its central wooden altpar-piece and bulbous steeple (more information here).
From ⛪️ the church, you’ll head towards the restaurant and hotel Le Coin Savoyard (if you’re not picnic-ing, then this would be a great place to stop for lunch, as it has a lovely terrace and is right opposite the playground and pumptrack!), and 50m beyond this, you’ll need to cross the la route de la Cry-Cuchet (be very careful, as there is no specific crossing here, and visibility can be poor; AND the cars come down the hill fast!), and head onto ➡️ the sentier balisé Le Barratti, towards Ormaret. The start of the walk is on tarmac, 🏘 past houses in a residential area, and then you’ll head off onto a path . . .
The view from this section . . .
Children will enjoy crossing the little wooden bridges along the way . . .
And then you’ll emerge into 🌿 fields, and perhaps you’ll spot 🐄 cows or 🐑 sheep . . .
There are some wide paths for RUNNING across 🌿 the fields!
And views of the ⛰ Chaîne des Fiz and 🗻 Mont-Blanc are superb!
After about 30 minutes, you’ll come to . . .
🐄 La Ferme les Montagnards – at this point you are in Ormaret . . . here, you can stop off to buy some farm products: 🥛 milk, 🧀 cheese, 🍓 confitures and 🍯 honey . . . or you could book a visit (Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons). Read more about this pedagogical farm in a separate MBFF article here;
A bit further up along the path, and you’ll come to:
⛪️ La Chapelle d’Ormaret (route d’Ormaret, 74920, Combloux) – this is a pretty little chapel founded in 1495, and originally named after St Maurice et St-Félix. In the past, followers had processions here to ask that their crops be spared from hail! The chapel is NOT open to the public, but it can be visited with a private booking.
With your back to ⛪️ the chapel, you then turn right – onto La Côte Pugin, and towards route de la Cry, and hence begins your downward return to Combloux! (you could also go back using the same path you ascended!).
[ extension of walk: continue upwards to Le Cuchet, to enjoy the superb panoramic view of the 🗻 Massif du Mont-Blanc, and then return via Le Cry (there are also navettes in the summertime) ]
Places to eat
You have plenty of options in Combloux for 🥗 cafés and restaurants, but here are some suggestions (note: 🗓 remember to check opening hours out of high seasons!):
- Le Coin Savoyard – you’ll pass this as you start out on your hike. And, wow, it is 200 years old! / FB page and website / address: 300 route de la Cry-Cuchet, 74920, Combloux;
- 🥗 Marmite & Co – this restaurant in the centre of Combloux gets great reviews from my Combloux-residing friends / see FB page and website / address: 151 route de Sallanches, 74920, Combloux;
- 🥗 Le Dandy – you can’t beat this restaurant’s location, overlooking the Plan d’Eau Biotope, and with 🗻 Mont-Blanc twinkling in the background! / FB page and website;
- 🍻 Plan B Combloux – a new tapas bar, next to the tourist office / FB page;
- 🍻 La Tanière – a new bar with many local beers to try! / FB page / address: 81 route de Sallanches, 74920, Combloux;
- 🍰 Miss Clafoutis – a little tea-room and concept store in the centre of Combloux / FB page;
🍏 picnics – Combloux is a super town to pick up picnic produce, as you’ll find two boulangeries (La Pointe Percée and the new Aux Délices de Combloux) and a Casino supermarket. You can picnic along the way, or there are picnic tables at the pumptrack or at the Plan d’Eau, where you can enjoy the playgournd facilities!
I found the perfect picnic bench on this hike:
As this is a fairly short hike, you might want to make the most of your time in Combloux to try out some other activities and sights on offer:
🚵♂️ pumptrack, skatepark & city stade – make sure you pack 🛹 skateboards, 🛹♂️ bikes, 🛴 scooters and ⚽️🏀 balls for fun here! / see MBFF article here;
🌈 playgrounds – you have a choice of THREE playgrounds in Combloux / see MBFF article here;
💦 Plan d’Eau Biotope – [ OPEN June until September ] naturally cleansed by plants, this swimming lake is popular in the summertime. While you cannot swim here in autumn, it still makes a lovely stop, for the view of 🗻 Mont-Blanc, 🌿 the annotated pannels explaining the flora and fauna, and the boulder-hopping around it! / see MBFF article here;