Le Bugey - THE destination for nature lovers !
Le Bugey is THE destination for nature lovers. The area, which stretches from the banks of the Rhône to the plateaux of Retors and Valromey, has many surprises in store. Hikers, walkers, cyclists, skiers, fishermen and swimmers are attracted by its beautiful diverse scenery and hidden treasures. To the west, in the hills above Ambérieu-en-Bugey, the Château des Allymes castle has stood guard over the entrance to the valleys for many centuries. The original 14th century castle was rebuilt in the 16th century and became part of France in 1601. Visit the castle then continue on towards the Rhône. The Via Rhôna offers a secure path along the Rhône from Sault-Brénaz to Seyssel, passing close to Belley and Culoz. The 50km flat path, partly on cycle lanes, allows all the family to discover the charm of Le Bugey in peace and tranquillity. Bikes (electric or normal) can be hired along the way, notably at Montalieu. Numerous other circular walks and bike rides lead from the river banks through the surrounding hills. 10 circular discovery trails start from the Via Rhona. They are of varying lengths (5km to 29km) and varying climbs (155m to 870m), so there is something for everyone. On arrival at Massignieu-de-Rives, stop off for a picnic and admire the Grand Colombier, the highest mountain (1,534m) in the Le Bugey area.
For those who prefer fishing or swimming, ten lakes nestle among the valleys and hills. The most popular fishing spots include Lac d’Ambléon, Lac Barterand, Lac des Alliettes and Lac Virieu-le-Grand. Fly-fishermen should head for Chaley. Many fishing enthusiasts come from far and wide to fish in the River Albarine. It has to be said that water can be found everywhere in the hills and vales of Le Bugey. Around Artemare there are numerous steep waterfalls, notably the Cascade de Cerveyrieu, with its 62m drop. The Cascade de Glandieu is accessible from the Via Rhôna.
From Glandieu, make a detour to the village of Izieu and visit the Memorial Museum. 44 Jewish children aged from 4 to 17 and 7 adult monitors were arrested here and deported on 6 April 1944 on the orders of Klaus Barbie. Only one female monitor returned… The museum brings to life the story of these refugee children during the war through letters, drawings and descriptions. A deeply moving experience.