EASTER CHOCOLATE: chocolatiers artisanaux au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and a bit beyond)

How do you celebrate 🐣 Easter? Do you organise 🐣 a little Easter egg hunt in your garden or in a local park? Here 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, we live on the border with 🇨🇭 Switzerland, one of the most famous chocolate producing nations in the world! Those 🐄 happy alpine cows produce 🥛 a rich creamy milk, perfect to mix with cacao, to … Continue reading EASTER CHOCOLATE: chocolatiers artisanaux au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and a bit beyond)

PASSY PLAINE-JOUX activities 2021 (Passy)

🗻 Plaine-Joux is one of MBFF’s favourite play areas, whether that be for ⛷ skiing, ❄️ snowshoeing, 🛷 sledging or just playing! Both of the MBFF boys had their early ⛷ ski lessons here, and it was the perfectly-sized ski resort for this. I felt more confident, as there are no chairlifts, and I always worried about them being on a chairlift when they were … Continue reading PASSY PLAINE-JOUX activities 2021 (Passy)

FAMILY HIKES: La Passerelle Himalayenne to Lac Vert (Passy)

I have now been on this hike a couple few time, en famille, and with friends. I can assure you that each time, friends are wowed by the 🌉 Himalayan suspension bridge, 🏔 the fabulous views of Mont-Blanc, and the ethereal 💦 Lac Vert. The altitude gain (dénivelé) on this hike is fairly minimal, making it a great short hike for families with young children or older … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES: La Passerelle Himalayenne to Lac Vert (Passy)

ACCROBRANCHES ®, GRIMPE d’ARBRE & TYROLIENNES au Pays du Mont-Blanc

With all of our wonderful 🧗‍♂️ rock climbing and Via-Ferrata routes 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, it is only natural that so many 🌳 accrobranches ® should also appear over recent years! We’ve tried out a few of them, and they are very popular with our 🐵 monkey climbing boys . . . 🌳 some tree climbing terminology: 🌳 accrobranches ® – it is a rope course … Continue reading ACCROBRANCHES ®, GRIMPE d’ARBRE & TYROLIENNES au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Where to observe TADPOLES & FROGS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

Yesterday MBFF went for 🍏 a picnic with friends (🌥 between sun and cloud!) up at 🎣 Lac de Javen in Megève. 🎣 Lac de Javen is a popular picnic spot for families in the summertime, as it is just a short hike to get there and there are plenty of activities on offer: ☕️ buvette and restaurant, 🌈 small playground, 🌈trampoline and other loisirs (later … Continue reading Where to observe TADPOLES & FROGS au Pays du Mont-Blanc

BUGGY STROLLS: Parcours de l’Eau Artistique (Arve River, PASSY)

Each new spring season, ❄️ the  snow melts and the 🌷 first spring flowers peep up shyly from the lawns; this re-awakening of nature is the perfect invitation for a buggy stroll . . . Early in 🌷 the spring season there may still be too much ❄️ snow along the river paths at higher altitude in 🏔 the Pays du Mont-Blanc, but there is a lovely stretch … Continue reading BUGGY STROLLS: Parcours de l’Eau Artistique (Arve River, PASSY)

SPRING & SUMMER BLOSSOMS and FLOWERS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

It’s official in Geneva: 🌺 SPRINGTIME has ARRIVED ! The 🌳 Marronier de la Treille’s first bud appeared this year on Friday 12th March 2021 – and this is seen in the Helvetian city as the first official day of 🌺 spring! (see below for further explanations). And here are the 🌺 first buds on our Sallanches co-property tree too: 🌷 Springtime: when 🌱 crocuses first timidly reach out … Continue reading SPRING & SUMMER BLOSSOMS and FLOWERS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

La Passerelle Himalayenne du Nant Bordon (PLATEAU d’ASSY)

The 🌉 Passerelle Himalayenne in Plateau d’Assy, which straddles the 💦 Nant Bordon ravine and allows you to access the 💦 Lac Vert via the original route du Lac Vert, was inaugurated on the 21st December 2019 . . . and since then, MBFF has been across it (and back) THREE times! On our most recent crossing, some Tibetan prayer flags had been attached to the … Continue reading La Passerelle Himalayenne du Nant Bordon (PLATEAU d’ASSY)

WINTER BUGGY STROLLS: Lac de Passy & Lacs des Ilettes

If you live at altitude 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, it can be a challenge to find a suitable path for buggy walks in nature over the ❄️ winter months: snow, ice, muddy ground underfoot . . . Luckily, if you head down to the Arve Valley, then you’ll descend about 500m in altitude . . . and here you will find our 💦 two … Continue reading WINTER BUGGY STROLLS: Lac de Passy & Lacs des Ilettes

SKI INDOOR 4810 – perfect your skiing INDOORS! (Passy)

During the school holidays, MBFF was invited to test out the ⛷ new indoor ski centre in Passy: Ski Indoor 4810! The boys were really excited to dig out their 🎿 ski boots, helmets and gloves ahead of the official ski season, and to try out something so novel! Being a pretty mediocre skier myself, I was somewhat more apprehensive, but I was certainly intrigued to … Continue reading SKI INDOOR 4810 – perfect your skiing INDOORS! (Passy)

Festival « Les Petits Asticots » 17th ⇒ 23rd October 2020 (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

🎭 Les Petits Asticots – the fabulous annual children’s festival 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, which takes place during the 🍁 Toussaint school holidays – will be yet again offering families seven inspirational days of theatre, music, dance, circus and workshops from 17th ⇒ 23rd October 2020! The MBFF family absolutely LOVE 🎭 Les Petits Asticots – not only are the shows of high quality, the festival … Continue reading Festival « Les Petits Asticots » 17th ⇒ 23rd October 2020 (Pays du Mont-Blanc)

SCIENCE ACTIVITIES & MUSEUMS for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

There are several 🧬 BIG SCIENCE EVENTS that occur regularly 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc and beyond, and we have 🧪 La Fête de la Science approaching fast! 🧪 La Fête de la Science – from 2nd ⇒ 12th October 2020 (annual); 🧪 La Nuit des Sciences – every two years in Geneva; 🧪 CERN Open Days – every few years, CERN opens to the public; This got me thinking … Continue reading SCIENCE ACTIVITIES & MUSEUMS for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

AUTUMN PARKS & GARDENS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

🍁 Autumn is a lovely season to visit 🌳 parks and gardens: on the trees, a sharp palette rich in shades of gold, brown red, orange and yellow . . . underfoot, 🍂 a blanket of leaves crunching and sent fluttering when the children find a mound and run through it . . . a crisp, and often ☀️ sunny day to accompany your exploits: playing and running, tree-climbing, LandArt, … Continue reading AUTUMN PARKS & GARDENS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

LES MERCREDIS – nature, creative activities, sport and relaxation for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

[ La Rentrée 2020-2021 UPDATE ! ] WEDNESDAYS are, in many of the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc communes, a day free from scholastic duties (for young children, at least!). A day to perhaps explore a new ⚽️ sport or 🎨 leisure activity, 🏡 to relax at home or to head to garderie . . . [ ⇒ see article 📚 La Rentrée for more details about clubs and associations to … Continue reading LES MERCREDIS – nature, creative activities, sport and relaxation for children au Pays du Mont-Blanc

FAMILY HIKES: Jardin des Cimes to Refuge de Varan (Passy)

[ note: ☕️ Refuge de Varan is SHUT for the 2020 & 2021 summer seasons for renovation, but there is lots of gorgeous alpine pasture surrounding it for picnics! ] For a family hike, MBFF finds it a good idea to have a clear point of interest along the way: 💦 a waterfall, ❄️ a glimpse of a glacier, a ride in 🚡 a télécabine or on a télésiège, … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES: Jardin des Cimes to Refuge de Varan (Passy)

MBFF’s recommended family hikes au Pays du Mont-Blanc

With a now nine year old and a six year old in tow, the MBFF family is beginning to find its 🏔 hiking mojo (we hope). Here, below, you will find some of MBFF’s favourite (and tried and tested!) family hikes 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, with suggestions for 🥤 buvettes and 🏚 refuges for a snack, lunch or overnight! For general tips on hiking with small children see MBFF … Continue reading MBFF’s recommended family hikes au Pays du Mont-Blanc

ANIMAL PARKS & AQUARIUMS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

We are 🐯 HUGE ANIMAL LOVERS here at MBFF  . . . and we are lucky to share our home with a couple of affectionate (and fairly tolerant!) 🐱🐱 felines. But perhaps some of you don’t have the home set-up to accommodate animal friends, or perhaps allergies are preventing you from doing so . . . Luckily – whether you live 🗻 au Pays du Mont-Blanc or you are visiting – … Continue reading ANIMAL PARKS & AQUARIUMS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Le Lac Vert (PLAINE-JOUX)

The MBFF family members are regular visitors to 💦 Lac Vert in Plaine-Joux (Passy), and a visit last 🍂 autumn reminded me that I should write an article exclusively about this lovely alpine lake! A visit here is a great family day out: a short walk, with fun wooden walkways and some scrambling too, boulders to climb, 🌲 trees and 🏔 snowy mountain peaks reflected in the … Continue reading Le Lac Vert (PLAINE-JOUX)

LAKES & WATERSPORTS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

🏔 Au Pays du Mont-Blanc we are lucky to have 💦 several swimming lakes with stunning mountain views . . . while the perfect spot for strolling and biking in autumn and winter, come the balmy days of spring and summer, the water warms and the lakes start to get busy with bathers and ⛵️ watersport enthusiasts (at Lac de Passy and Lacs des Ilettes: windsurfing, paddle boarding, SUP yoga, … Continue reading LAKES & WATERSPORTS au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Le Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes is a truly 🌷 magical garden at altitude, 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, … Continue reading Le Jardin des Cimes (Plateau d’Assy)

PISTES de LUGE au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

UPDATE February 2021 – over the February holidays 2021, many of the fronts de neige have added new pistes de luge (in lieu of ski alpin, which is curtailed due to the ski lifts being SHUT! The ❄️ FIRST SNOWFALL au Pays du Mont-Blanc . . . when the ❄ first snow arrives, the delight and excitement is catching: walks knee-deep (or shoulder-deep for the little ones!) … Continue reading PISTES de LUGE au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

Gypaètes Barbus © Antoine Rezer Photography

Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

The gypaète barbu celebrated two big birthdays in 2017: 30 years since its successful re-introduction into France (1987); and 20 years since the first gypaète was born in the Alps (1997); Some gypaète barbu facts: NAME – the gypaetus barbatus is what is known as an «Old World vulture»; ie it resides in Africa, Asia and Europe, as opposed to the Americas; SIZE – the gypaète barbu … Continue reading Bon Anniversaire, Gypaète Barbu! (© Antoine Rezer Photography)

BUGGY WALKS & FAMILY STROLLS: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc

After a visit to Japan during the magical time of 🍁 « autumn leaves », I never thought that autumn would inspire me in the same way again . . . But then I returned home to the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc, and was charmed all over again by the palette of red, ochre, gold and orange covering the trees, crunching under my feet and reflected in … Continue reading BUGGY WALKS & FAMILY STROLLS: lakes in autumn au Pays du Mont-Blanc

FAMILY HIKES – tips for hiking with small children

[ ⭐️ 2020 update ⭐️ this appears to be a very popular article on the MBFF website, so I have updated it with a few new suggestions for family walks! ] ⛰ FAMILY HIKING with small children is not a simple task! Well, perhaps it is for some families . . . perhaps your children were born hikers! But for many of us, getting our … Continue reading FAMILY HIKES – tips for hiking with small children

SOFTPLAY & INDOOR PLAY au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)

🏔 Au Pays du Mont-Blanc, we are lucky to have 🌈 a softplay option in the industrial zone of Sallanches for those ☔️ RAINY DAYS all year round . . . and in the ☀️ summer months, plenty of bouncy castles spring up in lovely locations too (separate article to come!) . . . And further afield in the 🇫🇷 Arve Valley and beyond, there are some 🌈 larger softplay … Continue reading SOFTPLAY & INDOOR PLAY au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond)