Summer News from the Belleville Valley 2023

Summer News from the Belleville Valley 2023

From the village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville to the high ridges of Val Thorens and to the crystal-clear waters of Les Menuires, never has there been a better time to discover the flower laden mountain pastures and snow-capped peaks of the Vallée des Belleville, in the French Alps. 

ALPINE SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS 2023 – see full press kit for more details.

 NEW SOAP BOX CHALLENGE – ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, GO! 

Amateur racers go head-to-head  – handmade, motor-less vehicles, judged for their aesthetic, speed and handling, careering down mountain roads and paths – a feast for the eyes awaits! With three soap box races to enjoy this summer, soak up the atmosphere at these three locations:  

02 July – Saint Martin de Belleville

14 July – Les Menuires

13 August – Val Thorens 

Entry: €20 for one race or €50 for all three

MAGICAL “LE NANT BRUN” REFUGE OPENS ITS DOORS

Located in the heart of the charming Nant Brun Valley, lies a namesake refuge hideaway at 1,500m. Closed for four years, two friends have renovated this labour of love into an unmistakable bolthole. Stay the night or drop by to wine and dine, during a day of trail hiking or biking. Prices from xx

NEW HIGALIK 4* HOTEL OPENS IN LES MENUIRES – PERFECT FOR GOURMETS 

The new state of the art Hotel Higalik “ice house” in Les Menuires wows guests with a vast spa complex, set against commanding views over the breath-taking peaks. Le Telemark restaurant serves selected cheese specialities and a refined brasserie menu. Arranged over 10 floors, this Alpine jewel blends modernity and traditional wooden design harmoniously into the landscape and opens for it’s first summer in Les Menuires.

Double rooms from €100 per night: www.higalik-hotel.com/en  

NEW “HAMEAU DE KASHMIR” RESIDENCE, VAL THORENS – PERFECT FOR FAMILIES 

This summer sees the opening of the luxurious Hameau de Kamir Residence on 8th July. Inspired by the colours of the Kashmir region, this family focussed apartment hotel of unsurpassed luxury invites guests to relax and unwind in the pool, sauna and spa, with unparalleled views of the surrounding spectacular mountain range of Val Thorens. 

Namaste! Hameau de Kashmir are hosting “Altitude Yoga” sessions on the terrace each Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon for 15 euros per session. 

www.le-hameau-du-kashmir.com 

NEW UNIQUE BRAVA VELA MICROBREWERY AT 1,400M

Bellville’s first microbrewery tempts visitors from across the globe in Le Chatelard. Housed within a former goat farm, owners *Julien and Sophie proudly showcase their collection, from “La Masse” (brown beer), “La Belleville” (a golden, light blonde version) to Le Thorens (pale ale with citrus notes). The niche “Brava Vela” brewery began life with Julien creating ales using his mother’s old cooking pot. With 97% of all ingredients being locally sourced, this microbrewery is making a name for itself on the world brewer’s map. 

www.bravavela.fr  Images

NEW CRAFT BEER FEST, ST MARTIN DE BELLEVILLE  15-16 July

Sample the delights of Brava Vela* and a host of other local producers at the Craft Beer Festival in St. Martin de Belleville from 15 – 16 July, with workshops, demonstrations, tastings and a competition to discover the finest craft beer. 

RAILS, SKILLS AND BIKING TRICKS FOR HIGH KICKS 

Tots, tweens and teens will thrive this summer in the natural bike park at La Croisette, modelled on terrain found in the mountains. This mini bike park consists of 4 trail levels (green, blue, red and black). Dedicated to beginners, the park features moguls, arches and small jumps to build confidence and speed with ease. 

Meanwhile, a new skate park has opened in Preyerand. Free and open to all, this high alpine delight at 1,800m features steps, rails, slides and pyramids for high kicks. 

SAVE THE DATE:

18-20 August: MOUNTAIN BIKE FRENCH CUP

Les Menuires plays host to the Mountain Bike French Cup this summer from 18 – 20 August. The best French cross-country and downhill riders meet to battle it out across technical and dramatic terrain. 

9-10th September FRENCH RIVER TROUT FISHING CHAMPS

Les Menuires and the Belleville Valley are set to host the French River Trout Fishing Championships from 9 – 10 September. Fishing enthusiasts from across France work in pairs to battle it out for the highest catch of the day.  All fish are released at the end of the competition and hooks are barbless. 

3* MICHELIN-STARRED DINNER CONCERT AT LA BOUITTE

Take a seat for the evening of a lifetime on 27 July, where guests are indulged with a 3* Michelin starred tasting and wine pairing menu, to the unsurpassed musical charm of world-renowned Cellist Ophelie Gaillard. 

Tickets from: €390, email: info@la-bouitte.com 

PROFILE OF AN ENTHUSIAST: 

HIVE OF ACTIVITY – KELLY DUQUEINE 

Having spent 12 years working as a beekeeper for an industrial conglomerate, Kelly returned to the traditional side of the profession in France. Operating closely with the Conservancy, working to safeguard the European dark bee, Kelly is aiming to re-establish the bee’s genetics and ensure its safeguarding in the Belleville Valley. 

Every Friday, Kelly offers tours and discovery workshops to raise public awareness for this fragile species.

*HOMEBREW – JULIEN & SOPHIE 

Julien, a former restaurateur and Sophie, a former scientist, joined forces to embark on a brewing love story. Julien has been brewing his own ales for 10 years in his cellar with his mother’s old cooking pot. Turning this project into reality, following training courses to hone their skills, the goal is to combine art and science to create high quality, memorable brews. 

The launch of Brava Vela is the culmination of beers brewed with love at 1,400m. 

HIGH ALTITUDE ICE CREAM– MARTIAL VUILLEMIN 

Chef Martial Vuillemin creates homemade, local and ethical ice creams and sorbets, with full control over all aspects of traceability. The cows graze on luscious pasture at 2,000m and the milk is churned into sumptuous scoops without any use of pesticides, colouring or artificial flavouring. Martial’s latest mission is to develop savoury sorbet recipes using herbs from the doorstep. 

Full press info can be found at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jtW_hQzfU8HBPwHHu86uidNPzzZRnmuY/view 

Images: 

https://mediabase.lesmenuires.com/en/

https://mediabase.st-martin-belleville.com/ 

– ENDS – 

 

For further information please contact: Vanessa Fisher, 07957 618 525 vanessa@vanessa-fishercom.local  

Summer News 2022 from the Belleville Valley


Located between 1,200 and 3,200 meters above sea level, the Vallée des Belleville with its flower filled meadows rises up to snow-capped peaks, from the authentic village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville to the lakes of Les Menuires, the green meadows give way to the blue colours of the glaciers and the peaks of Val Thorens.

Discover these three unique and contrasting areas via the free shuttle buses and lifts accessible to all, making trips between each resort extremely easy. Explore the valley by its many trail paths or by a mountain bike – find the secret valleys of Deux Nants and Les Encombres or discover the Belleville traditions.

Full Press Kit in an easy to read format:

https://en.calameo.com/read/0057989615fa0dffe12a1?page=1

New La Masse lift

The new Pointe de la Masse cable car is 3,318m long and covers a height gain of 1,050m at a speed of 7m/s or more than 25km/h. It is one of the longest in the Vallée des Belleville, but also one of the fastest in France and only the second one of its kind in the country. Hikers can go up to the top in less than 8 minutes and enjoy incredible views and hikes. Open from 9th July 2022

New eMTB bike track – ‘Via 3 Vallees’

This new cycling track is 34 km long and is asphalted from Courchevel to Val Thorens, passing by Méribel and Les Menuires. It’s both accessible to families on electric bikes and other riders on normal mountain bikes. It is dedicated to cyclists and stays away from hiking paths. One section is still to be completed, this new track opens for summer 2022 for bikers to experience the ‘Via 3 Vallees’. The whole valley offers 260km of bike tracks, with a new training area at La Croisette, ‘The Ludizone’ in Les Menuires.

Explore Vallee des Encombres

Relatively unknown, the Vallée des Encombres is accessible by mountain bike or on foot solo or with a guide.  When leaving Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, head towards the Châtelard hamlet, with its tiny, winding alleys and renovated chalets. Stop at the Gittamelon refuge in the hamlet at 1700m, this family chalet turned refuge is one of the last private refuges in the Alps.  A typical mountain hut, it sleeps 18 and belonged to the grand-parents of Marc Jay, the current guardian who has run it along with his wife Anne-Sophie since 1993.  The last ascent leads to the summit of the Col des Encombres at 2,325m with 360° views of the Ecrins massif and the high summits of the Vanoise National Park.

Tarentaise Baroque Music Festival at La Bouitte in Saint Martin de Belleville

La Bouitte – a 3 Michelin star Belleville restaurant, hosts the 31st edition of the Tarentaise Baroque Music Festival. The Vallée des Belleville is a hotspot for alpine baroque architecture – with 36 chapels and churches -enjoy a Michelin-starred dinner accompanied by music performed by soprano, Maria Cristina Kiehr, and harpsichordist Jean-Marc Aymes from Concerto Soave.  Chefs René and Maxime Meilleur have a great rapport with the musicians who will taste each dish a few minutes before the guests, and then play music which takes into account the emotions that the food evokes. It is a true musical, culinary and wine focused experience.

Glacier hike and the Three Lakes circuit

From the top of the new La Masse lift, after a fast eight minute ascent to 2,804m enjoy a 3hr 30 descent, via the Three Lakes Circuit taking in the Longet Lake, Black Lake and Crintalia Lake. From the heart of the Vallée des Belleville, you are surrounded by majestic alpine peaks that are reflected in roughly 15 mountain lakes spread out in this exceptional area.  Enjoy breathtaking scenery in the Lou Valley. Or take a guided day walk above Val Thorens to the Chavière glacier.

Kilbert Silvestre and the Black Honey Bee

Born in the Vallée des Belleville, Kilbert is a mountain guide and ski patrol member in winter and has been a beekeeper in La Biellaz since 2006. His grandparents already had beehives in Saint Marcel when he was just a boy, so the interest came naturally. He has been fighting to protect the black bee in Savoie. It is now threatened by hybridisation waves, a phenomenon that makes bees more fragile and less resistant. He also owns a hundred production beehives in the Vallée des Belleville and participates in a project to breed queens which allows him to give local beekeepers in the valley an isolated strain of black bees.  The beehives are kept with respect to the bee’s life, so the honey is harvested with care and sold in shops of the actual producers and in local Vallée des Belleville markets. You can visit his “honey house” in la Biellaz with the Bureau des Guides.

Key Diary Dates:

  • Every Monday: Solar workshops at the top of the Cime du Caron at 3200m
  • 1-3 July 2022: Ultra Cycling Tour de la Vanoise – Team or solo long distance cycling event
  • 16 July 2022: Craft Beer Festival, Saint Martin de Belleville
  • 28 July 2022: Dinner & Concert at La Bouitte, Saint Martin de Belleville
  • 30 July & 20 August The Tougnete Climb – depart Croisette @1800m to bike to 2304m
  • 5-7 August 2022: Val Tho Summit Games: Trail Running for all ages, Val Thorens

-ENDS-

For further information, press visits and images:

Vanessa Fisher PR – vanessa@vanessa-fishercom.local 07957 618525

Link to online press kit and full pdf attached: https://en.calameo.com/read/0057989615fa0dffe12a1?page=1