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Eco Stays in Isère

More and more of us are trying to do our bit to ‘go green’ and still enjoy our snowsports.  The Isère region in the French Alps has some great ideas for how you can make your visit more sustainable.

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As winter sports fans we have a lot to lose from global warming with glaciers shrinking and the risk of shorter winter seasons.

Isère claims “eco-friendly inspiration for conscious exploration of our planet is key”.

It wants mountain-lovers to explore the region sustainably while also cutting their carbon footprint as much as they can.

Travel

Rail

The city of Grenoble is in the heart of Isère and is just over 7 hours by train from London.

Rail travel creates just a fraction of the carbon emissions of the equivalent journey by plane or car and can be a way to make the journey become an enjoyable part of the holiday.

Electric Cars

Every year, Isère is installing more electric charging points to cater to customers with electric cars.

The system was introduced by the Eborn network in Isère.

These charging points are fed by 100% green electricity produced from renewable energy sources (EKOénergie label*).

With a single subscriber badge, access to all the charging facilities is available on the network, including those in other French mainland departments (www.eborn.fr).

*There are three payment options: subscriber badge, contactless bank card, and online smartphone payment.

Electric Buses

The high-altitude ski area of Les 2 Alpes is equipped with 100% electric resort buses and is applying to obtain the Flocon Vert label.

Only 9 ski resorts currently hold this title.

Alpe d’Huez has the first hybrid bus in the French Alps.

The Resalp shuttle bus helps limit greenhouse gas emission and cuts fuel consumption.

Farmhouse Stay

The 4* Val Lachard in Villard-de-Lans is an energy-efficient converted farmhouse with the Inspiration Vercors partner label.

Hôtel Le Val Lachard, Villard-de-Lans – photo Isère tourist office

It means it is involved in sustainable development initiatives to maintain air and water quality, as well as waste management and short food supply chains.

Accommodating up to 20 people in 9 rooms and suites, the building mixes innovative systems with a traditional energy-efficient house supplying a continuous stream of fresh air for healthy breathing.

Energy consumption is reduced by 80% compared to a standard new house, plus it has an electric charging point for vehicles.

The Vercors is known for cross country skiing, moderate forest terrain and great ski touring.

Villard-de-Lans/Corrençon-en-Vercors is the main Alpine resort in Vercors with 125 km of slopes.

A week’s stay, at Val Lachard, from 08 January 2022, costs from 1455€/ £1,220 per room for two people on a B&B basis www.vallachard.com/www.villarddelans.com

Sustainable Holidaying

Zecamp in Corrençon-en-Vercors, is modern accommodation that was designed and developed by Marie Dorin-Habert, Robin Duvillard and Loïs Habert, three French ski champions from Vercors.

Zecamp, Isère – photo Isère tourist office

Zecamp is a hotel with 15 rooms in the Vercors National Park at the start of the 148 km Nordic skiing area of the Hauts-Plateaux du Vercors.

It has direct access to the Espace Biathlon where Olympic and World Champions come to train during winter.

There is a professional gym, cold bath to relieve aching muscles, heating provided by solar panels.

Healthy meals are personalised and a vegan menu is offered with organic, local ingredients and produce from Zecamp’s own vegetable garden.

A week’s stay, at Zecamp, from 08 January 2022, costs from 581€/£488 per room for two people sharing, £244pp on a B&B basis. Travel is not included. https://zecamp.fr/chambres / https://en.villarddelans.com/

Grizzly

Chalet Le Grizzly in Alpe d’Huez is a B&B built with materials from the area such as slate and larch.

Sleeping 12 people in 6 bedrooms, it has all the usual home comforts, including a hot tub.

Owners Sandrine and Philippe offer dinners based on seasonal products from organic and local producers.

They also make their own terrines and jams and collect mushrooms and herbs from the area for the dishes.

A week’s stay, at Chalet Grizzly, from 08 January 2022, costs from 986€/£830 per room, £415pp on HB for 2 people. www.chalet-alpe.com

Hobbit House

Ecogîte® – Gîtes de France is committed to sustainable tourism.

It aims to “pull up” the overall environmental quality of rural tourism structures.

One example is Les Petites Roches Insolites in Chartreuse.

Les Petites Roches Insolite, Chartreuse, Isère – photo Lionel André

This hobbit-like chalet is half-buried into its surroundings.

It has a living roof that provides insulation as well as being a source of biodiversity.

The two-bedroom chalet sits at an altitude of 1,000 m on the Plateau des Petites Roches.

It’s a great hangout for paragliders and has easy access to cross country skiing.

Saint-Bernard-du-Touvet, within the Regional Natural Park of Chartreuse, extends over a large territory, dominated by the highlands of the Chartreuse.

A week’s stay, at Les Petites Roches Insolites (sleeps 5)  from 08 January 2022, costs from 1500€/£1260 for the chalet, £252pp on  B&B basis www.petitesrochesinsolites.com

Station Verte

Resorts in Isère that have been awarded the French ‘station verte’ label include Vaujany.

Working closely with locals, the Station Verte label helps to explore historical heritage, understand local traditions, pedestrianise village centres, and provide free museums.

The mayors of 9 ski resorts in Isère (one of which is Vaujany) have signed a French national charter for sustainable development to preserve biodiversity and natural resources.

Opposite the Massif des Grandes Rousse at an altitude of 1,250 m, Vaujany has the character of an authentic village with access to the Alpe d’Huez ski domain and its 250 km of slopes.

La Tanière, Chambres d’Hôtes is a cosy chalet located in the middle of the village of Vaujany.

It overlooks the mountains and has four rooms. They can be used separately, but the chalet can also be rented in its entirety.

Twice a week the owner offers a menu based on fresh seasonal products.

A week’s stay, at La Tanière, Chambres d’Hôtes, from 08 January 2022, costs from 665€/£560 per room for two people sharing, £280pp on a B&B basis. www.lataniere38.com

Family Stay

Deep in the untamed valley of Haut Bréda, a path leads to the Auberge Nemoz, a former mountain grange that is now a family-run stone and wood chalet.

Auberge Nemoz, Isère -Photo © images-et-reves.fr

There are five guest rooms, all with a three or four rating from the Gîtes de France website.

The feature fireplace in the dining room is where raclettes and other traditional mountain dishes are made.

All the food here is home-made from carefully selected local ingredients.

There is a storwatt (a Norwegian bath tub made of red cedar wood, with water heated to a toasty 37°C).

It is sheltered from view on an outdoor terrace overlooking a nearby mountain stream.

Les 7 Laux is the closest ski resort.  It has 3 purpose-built villages, linked by a common ski area.

A week’s stay, at L’Auberge du Nemoz Belledone, from 08 January 2022, costs from 995€/£835 per room for a family of four sharing on a B&B basis, HB available at a supplement of 24€/£20 pp per night. www.auberge-nemoz.com / www.les7laux.com

ABOUT ISÈRE

Isère is a department in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region in south-eastern France. It extends from the banks of the River Rhône to the summits of the French Alps. For more information visit: www.isere-tourism.com

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