10 ideas for JEUX de PISTE and CHASSES au TRÉSOR au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

🗺 Outdoor games can be a great way to keep youngsters entertained while exploring a hike en famille, or used as an educational approach to learning about one of our mountain villages or towns here 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc. These 🗺 outdoor games take all sorts of different forms:
  • 🦌 thematic trails to learn about the local patrimoine or nature & animals;
  • 🗺 informative booklets & maps to buy from our local tourist offices;
  • 🔍 treasure hunts: solving puzzles and following clues along the way to finding 💰 the ultimate treasure!
  • 📱 virtual reality treasure hunts or trails to follow on your smartphone;
  • 🧭 orienteering (parcours d’orientation), requiring the use of 🧭 a compass, or/and 🗺 accurate map-reading skills;
  • 🧭 geocaching®;
  • 🌳 outdoor escape games;
[ good to know: Tourist Offices in 🏔 the Pays du Mont-Blanc are excellent resource centres (and often overlooked, when we live in-situ!) when it comes to finding suitable outdoor games. ]

Colour code for listings

Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches, Servoz & environs) and Vallorcine  Passy & environs Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy Saint-Gervais, Le Fayet & environs Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs Les Contamines & environs 🇫🇷 Further France
[  for more ideas for Visites en Autonomie au Pays du Mont-Blanc, see website Culture au Pays du Mont-Blanc ]

CHAMONIX VALLEY

Jeu de Piste: Au Fil du Rail (Chamonix Valley)
Over the last couple of years, the Chamonix Valley has developed its 🔍 jeu de piste: Au Fil de Rail (literally, ” along the rails “) – fun and informative trails that you can access via the train! There are now several Au Fil de Rail available :
  • Jeu de Piste: Au Fil du Rail (Les Bois & Les Tines) – this time, explore the hamlets of Les Bois and Les Tines to answer the questions! You can also do this parcours ludique 🚵 by bike! / 🗺 pick up your leaflet from any of the Chamonix Valley tourist offices, or download it here;
  • Jeu de Piste: Au Fil du Rail (Argentière) – explore Argentière, whose history is intrinsically linked to its glaciers and alpinism. Observe the farms, and the greniers, the erratic rocks and the moraine, and the Baroque church, to answer the questions on this 🔍 parcours ludique, culturel et instructif / starting point: Gare SNCF d’Argentière or Place du Village / 🗺 pick up your free leaflet for the parcours ludique from the Tourist Office!
  • Jeu de Piste: Au Fil du Rail (Trélechamps & Les Aiguilles Rouges) this 🗺 parcours ludique will allow you to explore a pretty mountain hamlet and the nature reserve of 🗻 Les Aiguilles Rouges / download your booklet here;
  • Jeu de Piste: Au Fil du Rail (Servoz) – explore pretty village of Servoz, with its old farms, granite fountains and mountain patrimoire / 🗺 download your booklet here;

PAYS du MONT-BLANC

Enquête: Sur la route des écoles (Chamonix Valley and Pays du Mont-Blanc)
Les enfants en montagne savaient-ils lire ? Pourquoi les filles et les garçons étaient séparées en classe ? Quelle est la forme des écoles d’hier et d’aujourd’hui ? Partez à la découverte du Pays du Mont-Blanc et de la vallée de Chamonix dans une enquête dont vous êtes le héros ! Livret-jeux pour les petits et les grands enfants à réaliser en autonomie ! ” – Culture au Pays du Mont-Blanc / 🗺 download your booklet here;
Sur la route des écoles (Culture au Pays du Mont-Blanc) © Bertille Favre
Self guided walk: Les sites remarquables à Combloux
On a walk in the heart of this pretty mountain village, you’ll discover the patrimoine culturel: old farms, bread ovens, granite fountains, the old PLM hotel, ⛪️ the Baroque church of Saint-Nicolas . . . and also the patrimoine naturel: 💦 the plan d’eau biotope, 🗻 the mountain ranges you can see from Combloux / departure point: next to restaurant Au Village, in front of Tourist Office in Combloux / timings: 2h / note: NOT suitable for buggies! / 🗺 pick up your free leaflet from the tourist office or download your booklet here;
Les sites remarquables à Combloux : the old hotel PLM © Combloux Tourisme
Jeux de Piste in Sallanches
Over the holidays, Sallanches sets up some ephemeral jeux de pistes, so check the FB page for new ones . . .
© Sallanches Tourisme
© Sallanches Tourisme
Sallanches also has Randoland jeux de piste (some you’ll need to pay for):
Circuit vélo (Lacs des Ilettes and Cascade de l’Arpenaz) © Randoland / Sallanches Tourisme
Explor Games© Megève:  « À la recherche de la déesse perdue » (Megève)
Explor Games©: « À la recherche de la déesse perdue » is an adventure game taking place in the Secteur du Calvaire and the Creux St-Jean (forest trail) / you’ll need to 📱 download the app for free on your phone, and you’ll learn about biodiversity and the history of Megève / open May until October, FREE! / more information here;
Le Sentier des Contrebandier : le trésor de Fanfouétomas (Praz-sur-Arly)
You’ll have to take a chairlift to do this parcours ludique, located 1700m, over the summer months . . . ” Un joli sentier sur les traces de Fanfouétomas. Il vous faudra résoudre des énigmes tout au long du « Sentier des Contrebandiers » avec la vue sur le Mont-Blanc, le Val d’Arly et la chaîne des Aravis. Un parcours ludique créé au sommet du télésiège du Crêt du Midi, sur le véritable lieu de passage des contrebandiers qui trompèrent les « gapians » de 1860 à 1923 ” / this family treasure hunt should take about 2 hours . . . will you find le trésor de Fanfouétomas ? / more information here;
Rally Photo (Les Contamines-Montjoie)
To play this game, you’ll need to pick up a leaflet from the tourist office. You then have two possible parcours:
  • petit circuit – 1h30;
  • grand circuit – more than 3h;
You then follow the map, and take photos of the spots indicated on the shorter or longer circuit. Once finished, it’s rendez-vous at the office de tourisme to show your photos and make sure you took the right ones.
© Les Contamines-Montjoie
NEW ! Jeu de Piste de Choupette (Les Contamines-Montjoie)
This is a jeux de piste for little ones . . . Head off in search of the Les Contamines-Montjoie mascot Choupette / less than 1km.
© Les Contamines-Montjoie

FURTHER FRANCE

And here are some more options a little further away . . . [ for some further ideas for treasure hunts across 🗻 Savoie Mont-Blanc, see here ]
Cluses Arve & Montagnes jeux
Cluses Arve & Montagne has several fun 🗺 jeux (géocaching, parcours d’orientation treasure hunts, adventure games (some virtual reality) aimed at different age groups (there are now 12 games on offer!) . . . 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; ⇒ read more about MBFF’s experience doing these parcours :
  • 🦅 L’Œuf de Plume La Gypaète – in Le Reposoir / see here;
  • ⚔️ Le Chevalier Maudit – in Châtillon-sur-Cluses / see here;
  • Le Mystère de la Montre – in Mont-Saxonnex / see here;
© Cluses Arve & Montagnes

Parcours d’Orientation de la Vallée de Chamonix
The Chamonix Valley has developed 🧭 6 orienteering routes for you to enjoy:
  • 🌳 Bois du Bouchet (Chamonix);
  • 💦🌳 Lac des Chavants and woods (Les Houches);
  • 🏰🌳 Château Saint-Michel & Le Lac and Le Vieux Servoz (Servoz);
  • 🏚🌳 La Poya (Vallorcine);
  • and 🌳🧗‍♂️ La Moraine (Argentière);
🧭 Orienteering is a sport in which one follows a very precise route from 🗺 a given map. As it is a fun activity for the whole family, it can be a great pretext to get everyone outdoors and enjoying nature, and to develop navigational skills at the same time. To do orienteering, you will need to learn or understand the concept of 🗺 reading a map (to align it with the terrain, to understand a “legend”, to understand a map’s scale, and to pinpoint landmarks). The Chamonix Valley orienteering routes are made up of balises (grey posts), planted at points on the terrain where they stand out (or not!), and which are outlined on the map; you need to stamp these au fur et à mesure (as you progress). Many of these are located in 🌳 the SHADE of forests (and hence perfect for ☀️ a hot day!). The routes are available for FREE from the Chamonix Valley tourist offices, or you can print them out from here, from the Chamonix Tourist Office website. For more information about MBFF’s experience orienteering in the Chamonix Valley, see these articles :
  • Lac des Chavants (Les Houches) – see here;
  • La Moraine (Argentière) – see here;
  • 🏰🌳 Château Saint-Michel & Le Lac and Le Vieux Servoz (Servoz) – see here;
Parcours d’Orientation Passy Mont-Blanc
The commune de Passy, in partnership with the Comité Départemental de Course d’Orientation de Haute-Savoie, have put out 4 parcours d’orientation for you:
  • Lac de Passy – see here;
  • Lac Vert – see here;
  • Plaine-Joux – see here;
  • Lac Gris – see here;
We’ve spotted several balises out on our family hikes!
Le Lac Vert in autumn glory © montblancfamilyfun.com
Parcours d’Orientation Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc 
If you head to the tourist office in Saint-Gervais, you’ll find x4 NEW parcours d’orientation:
  • Parc Thermal – this is the easiest one!
  • Mont d’Arbois;
  • Col de Voza;
  • Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce;
Parcours d’Orientation Parc Thermal © Saint-Gervais Tourisme
Parcours d’Orientation © Saint-Gervais Tourisme
You’ll also find x2 parcours d’orientation to do in the centre of town:
  • 1 parcours to do en famille, to develop orienteering skills;
  • 1 parcours on Saint-Gervais’ patrimoine;
Parcours d’Orientation © Saint-Gervais Tourisme
Parcours de Découverte au Plateau de Solaison (Faucigny Glières Tourisme)
New for 2020, is this parcours d’orientation on the Plateau de Solaison (Brizon), on the western side of 🗻 the Massif des Bornes, located at 1500m. The 🗺 maps are available at the Faucigny Glières Tourisme office for 5€ (you also get a little souvenir!). The main tourist office is located in Bonneville, but this also incorporates: Ayze, Brison, Contamine-sur-Arve, Glières Val de Borne (Petit-Bornand & Entremont), Marignier & Vougy;
Parcours d’orientation Plateau de Solaison © Faucigny Glière Tourisme

Geocaching®

Geocaching® has been around for 20 years now, and there is an official website and FB page! And so, what is Geocaching®? ” There are millions of clever containers called geocaches hidden in nearly every country on Earth. Join the millions of players using the Geocaching® app and GPS-enabled devices to find them. Founded in 2000, Geocaching HQ is dedicated to inspiring and enabling discovery, exploration, and adventure through a unique combination of outdoor recreation and location-basedtechnology. Share your adventures, pictures and video of this family friendly, high-tech, GPS powered treasure hunt. To participate, you’ll have to create an online Geocaching® account (or one on the app), in order to view the map with all of the caches near to you! When you locate the cache, you’ll need to sign in the logbook, with the date you found the cache, and then put it back for the next players to find!
© Geocaching®
© Geocaching®
Sallanches géocaching
There are now several géocaches to find in Sallanches, including some in the centre of town ! [ see Sallanches Tourisme website for more information ]
© Sallanches Tourisme / montblancfamilyfun
Géocaching® du Haut-Giffre
14 géocaches to find from: Châtillon-sur-Cluses to Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, with the theme of ⛪️ chapels / pick up your booklet from one of the tourist offices / more information here;
Géocaching © Haut Giffre Tourisme

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