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- Peaceful family site the Hauts de Chartreuse nature reserve
- Hiking and mountain biking trails direct from the site
- Spectacular views, sports areas, big pool and restaurant with terrace
If a site is deep in a nature reserve, it's a sure bet that there'll be weeks' worth of scenic walking, hiking and wildlife watching within a piffling distance. And so it is with the peaceful family site of Le Balcon de Chartreuse, as the site's spectacular setting near the Isère town of Miribel-les-Échelles is in the Hauts de Chartreuse nature reserve.
The vast space of the nature reserve spans the eastern side of the Chartreuse Mountains, the mighty pretty range running from Grenoble in the south to Lac du Bourge in the north. Around the site, meeting points for hiking, climbing, caving and paragliding are within a short stroll; hiking and mountain biking trails start from the grounds, and caving and a via ferrata are within 15 kilometres. The emerald green waters of Aiguebelette and Paladru lakes are within half an hour for fishing and watersports.
For skiing, climbing, cycling and (most highly recommended) trips above the Alps on the Les Bulles cable cars, the world-famed winter sports centre of Grenoble is less than an hour from here. And if you're in the region with very small youngsters who may be too teeny for all that, the Walibi Rhône-Alpes theme park, the biggest in the Rhône-Alpes, is 45 minutes away.
But. No need to plunge straight into activities of mountain, water and snow immediately on arrival at Le Balcon de Chartreuse, as there's some splendid scenery to drink in here first. Perhaps from the bar terrace, a roomy and colourful space looking out over to the snow-tipped mountains? Or from the big outdoor pool, open in summer for sunny days under the mountain sky...?
A pétanque court, ping pong tables, playground and a multisports pitch for basketball, football and volleyball are also on site. The team organises sports activities such as water polo, aqua aerobics and pétanque competitions daily in high season, and a variety of nightly events like themed meals, dance events and games in the evenings. You could also spend time after a long day's hiking at the licensed pizza restaurant and takeaway, or buy some bits in town or at the site shop to barbecue up for alfresco suppers.
To make sure you're fuelled up for a full day of mountainous activities, order baguettes and pastries at reception by 7pm, to collect from 8am the following day.
Tourist board rating
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Propane/gas cylinders available
Lake and/or mountain
Convenience store nearby
Public transportation nearby
Leisure on park
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Cycle hire nearby
Horseback riding nearby
Leisure/theme park nearby
Mountain biking nearby
Barbecue grills allowed
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Amenities on park
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Large (51-200 sites)
Hire a bike or lace up your sturdy boots right on site to take one of the hiking or mountain bike trails passing through the grounds, or arrange caving, paragliding or climbing from the meeting points a short walk away. A tennis court is around a kilometre from your mountain base.
A horse riding centre and fishing are within 10 kilometres of Le Balcon de Chartreuse, or you can travel a little further to visit the spectacular glacial lakes of Aiguebelette and Paladru, both around 20 kilometres from the park, for activities such as mountain biking, hiking, swimming, canoeing/kayaking, rowing, a via ferrata and more caving and paragliding.
Local town Miribel-les-Echelles is a few minutes' drive or about 10 minutes' cycle away. From here, it's 40 minutes by car to the lively and pretty city of Chambéry, home of the medieval Château de Chambéry where the first counts of Savoy settled in the Middle Ages. Chambéry's also the only Alps settlement where you'll see a few elephants in the Alps: go to the fab Fontaine des Éléphants near the old city centre to snap a pic.
Walibi Rhône-Alpes theme park and the L'Île aux Pirates waterpark are 35 kilometres from the site, at Les Avenières.
- Does Le Balcon de Chartreuse have a swimming pool? Yes View all features
- Is Le Balcon de Chartreuse dog friendly? Yes View all features
- What attractions are near Le Balcon de Chartreuse? Hire a bike or lace up your sturdy boots right on site to take one of the hiking or mountain bike trails passing through the grounds, or arrange caving, paragliding or climbing ... Read more
When can I check in and check out of Le Balcon de Chartreuse?
Camping and touring Arrive: noon – 8 p.m. Depart by: noon