Gateway to the Oisans, Belledonne, Vizille

From the valley, the mountain is just a stone’s throw away. At the crossroads of the Belledonne and Oisans mountains, Vizille is a must-see stop on the road that leads to the Alpe d’Huez and Deux Alpes ski resorts. You’ll pass through this history-rich city on your way to the beautiful Ecrins National Park, one of the most impressive of the Alps. Surrounded by numerous hiking paths and near the Laffrey Lake, Vizille is home to one of the most emblematic sites of the Dauphiné.

Domaine de Vizille château parc
Domaine de Vizille © Domaine de Vizille Photec

With its imposing size, the Vizille Estate can be discovered by following the paths all around the site. Stroll through the refined ornamental park, planted with century-old trees and and a delicate rose garden and water basin.

 

Domaine de Vizille - plan d'eau.jpg
Musée de la Révolution française - Denis Vinçon.jpg
Musée de la Révolution française © Denis Vinçon

Push the heavy chateau door and cross into the only museum in France dedicated to the French Revolution. Its rare collections highlight this pivotal time in French history.

Thermes d'uriage.jpg
Thermes d'Uriage
reserve naturelle du luitel © Carole Desplanques (1).jpg
Réserve Naturelle du Luitel © Carole Desplanque

As you make your way back from 1789, follow in Napoleon’s footsteps on the route that bears his name. Making his way back from exile on Elba island in 1815, Napoleon marched through here and all the way to Paris to take back power. His passage through Laffrey still rings out in French history.
In Jarrie, just nearby, don’t miss the Museum of Chemistry, that tells the story of the industrial vocation of this part of the region.

 

Finally, marvel at the wealth of treasures hidden in the surrounding nature. On the southern side of the Belledonne mountains, hiking trails take you up to magnificent panoramas that change colors with the seasons,from pure white in winter to the brightly colored forests in autumn, to the many shades of green in summer. Discover the Little Luitel Lake National Nature Reserve. This high-altitude bog harbors a unique ecosystem of exceptional plants and animals: the lesser twayblade (a very rare type of small orchid), various species of moss from the ice age, dragonflies, amphibians, and more.