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Haute-Savoie, France, Europe
6010 ft / 1832 m
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Created On: May 17, 2005
Last Edited On: Oct 14, 2005


Le Parmelan or Tête du Parmelan is an unavoidable hike in Haute-Savoie.
Seen from Annecy, the high cliffs of Parmelan are dominant and this view point will fill with wonder each rambler.
The walk up through the Grand Montoir is a nice and airy scramble on a narrow and steep path. Chains and handrails ensure relative security.

Parmelan is located in the Bornes, the limestone prealps near Annecy. Between the Fier valley in the south and the Fillière valley in the west and the north, the Parmelan plateau is a stone desert of Lapiaz , abysses, caves, ending in the west and the south with a bold cliff of 300 meters verticality.

Parmelan is a very popular hike and with the proximity of the towns Annecy and Geneva, the diiferent routes can be crowded on nice summer sundays...

Cliffs of Parmelan

Le Parmelan : cliffs and overhangings of the west face (May 15, 2005)

Getting There

Start point is Annecy :
By road
- A41 (Exit ANNECY-Nord) - Lyon-Chambéry-Genève
- RN 508 from Albertville or Bourg-en-bresse
- RN 201 from Genève or Chambéry, Aix les bains
- RN 203 from chamonix
. LYON : 140 km - 1h15
. GENEVE : 50 km - 0h30
. GRENOBLE : 100 km - 1h00
. CHAMBERY : 50 km - 0h30

By rail
S.N.C.F - Gare d'Annecy
Information : +33 450 66 50 50
Booking : +33 450 51 50 60
Direct TGV Paris-Annecy
Getting to Annecy is easy by train with the High Speed TGV service.

By plane
- Airport Annecy-Haute-Savoie-Mont-Blanc
- Airport International Genève-Cointrin
- Airport International Lyon-Saint-Exupéry

I posted two photos of the Annecy lake to show the contrast between the cliffs and the lake (10 km distance).

Red Tape

No red tape. On crowded summer sundays, it is difficult (or impossible) to park at the end of the forest trails of Parmelan (Villaz) or Anglettaz (Grand Montoir and Petit Montoir routes). Start early or climb from La Blonnière or La Verrerie.

When To Climb

Snow on the route Grand Montoir needs crampons.

Mountain conditions

Forecast for the département:
Météo France Haute-Savoie : tel. +33 (0)8 36 68 02 74
Météo France Savoie : tel. +33 (0)8 36 68 02 73.

Routes overview

1) Grand Montoir

2) Petit Montoir

3) Anglettaz

4) La Blonnière

5) Pertuis collar

6) From Ablon (Croix du Bénitier)

7) Grotte de l'Enfer

The summit



- Camille Dunant Hut
near the summit of Parmelan (CAF)
Open 15 June to 15 September
week-ends from May 25 to June 15 and from September 20 to October 6.
ADRESS : La Balme de Thuy, 74230 THONES
Number of places : 49

ADRESS : 17 rue du Mont-Blanc
74000 ANNECY
Tél. :
Fax. :

- Chalet Chappuis

- Restaurant de l'Anglettaz

- Chalet d'Ablon 1400m 40 places Private (winter) or (summer)


- Domaine La Chapelle Saint Claude

Open from Easter to September 30
Address :
74290 Talloires
Tel : +33.(0)450.603.697
Fax : +33. (0)450.603.705
e-mail :

- Le Lanfonnet, Talloires

Open May 1 to Sept. 28
Address :
Angon S Berthier 74290 Talloires
tel / fax : 04 50 60 72 12 ou 04 50 23 38 82
e-mail :


-Carte de l’Institut Géographique National (IGN) au 1/25 000 (Série bleue), No 3430 ouest.

-Carte de l’IGN au 1/25 000 (TOP 25), No 3430 OT.

Castle of Menthon Saint Bernard

Menthon is derived from the Celtic term men-dun, which means "stone fortress" and bears witness to the fact that there has been a castle or stronghold on this spot for well over two thousand years.

The castle tours are conducted by young people of the town of Menthon. Dressed in medieval clothing, they act out scenes which illustrate life in the castle over the centuries. The tour takes the visitors through a number of rooms, including the bedroom of the countess. Its walls lined with priceless tapestries, this room was last occupied by the current count's mother.

A remote ancestor, born in the castle in 1008, became the famed Saint Bernard, patron saint of mountain travelers and skiers. The famed dog is named after the man who was born in this castle almost a thousand years ago.

Villages of the Country of Fillière

From the XVII-th, it was a major natural trump card for the business allowing to make turn mills to beat the hemp or grind flours but it also had a political importance because it was the line border separating the department of the Mont Blanc and that of the Lake Geneve.

Today, the Country of Fillière consists of 9 charming municipalities that are :
Aviernoz, Charvonnex, Evires, Groisy, Ollières, Naves-Parmelan, Saint-Martin-Bellevue, Thorens-Glières and Villaz.


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