The Good Life France Magazine




The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...


Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

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11 months ago

Issue No. 16

Bringing you the best of France including captivating towns like sunny Montpellier, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, the antiques capital of Provence, Gascony, Chateaux of the Loire Valley, Paris, Lyon, a long lost cheese story, mouth-watering recipes and a whole lot more.

Next morning it’s cold

Next morning it’s cold and crispy and there’s frost on the grass. After crossing the Muande stream, it’s a steep zig zag up the mountainside, climbing to 2350m. At this altitude, I’m feeling short of breath and it’s a bit of a slog, but the magnificent views more than make up for it. We descend slightly to the Lac des Fétoules, more of a pond really, where people have camped overnight. comfort. A taxi whisks us 14km to Vénosc and we take the cable car to Les Deux Alpes and check into the three star Hotel Le Souleil’Or. After a couple of nights roughing it, it really feels like a palace and it’s good to have a room of my own. Dinner at their Le Shakisky restaurant is excellent. From here it’s a scramble downhill, icy underfoot, back to the bridge over the Vénéon River. There’s another bit of climbing before we reach delightful St Christophe en Oisans. The amusingly eccentric Café La Cordée supplies the beers and then welcomes us into their Hamman - just the thing for washing the dirt and sweat of the last few days away. The Tour Gourmand continues onwards to a couple more refuges but I’m keen to try some glacier hiking, and I’m craving some

It’s wise to get on the glacier early, before the snow begins to melt, so at 8am, we meet Marc, our guide. We’ll need to be roped so are equipped with helmets, harness, crampons and ice axe. It’s then a ride by cable car and funicular up to 3400m. At this altitude, even though the sun is shining, fingers are a little cold to be fumbling with crampons, but they’re essential on the snow. Marc inspects each of us, checking the harnesses and adjusting the positions of our ice axes so we won’t damage our partners, then leads us single file onto the glacier. Of course I’m the one who keeps standing on the rope, almost tripping the person in front of me, but I quickly learn from my mistakes. We climb steadily, across what looks like plain pristine snow, but there are hidden crevasses and Marc steers us away from particular patches which he deems dangerous. It’s tough walking at this altitude and any cold is banished by a sea of perspiration. Finally the snow runs out, replaced by a bed of rough slate, and I realise we’re at the summit. At this altitude the views are stunning: Mont Blanc to the north is completely clear and, looking south, I can just make out the distinctive shape of Mont Ventoux in Provence. There’s no time to linger as the ice is melting and we need to get off the glacier before it’s too late. The Tour Gourmand is all inclusive, and can be booked at berarde.com Hotel Souleil’Or For more information about the Vénéon valley, see www.montagne-oisans.com. For more information about Les Deux Alpes, see www.les2alpes.com. For further information about the mountains of France see www.francemontagnes.com.