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Retrouvance® : hiking tour in the Jura's montains

Retrouvance® : hiking tour in the Jura's montains

Retrouvance® is an all-inclusive itinerant hiking formula: accompaniment, accommodation, food and luggage carrying.
Created by the ONF, this stay that combines the pleasure of hiking and respect for the environment is offered by Pedibus.

This Retrouvance® circuit takes you through the mountains and through the valleys of the Valromey,
located in the Bugey country at the southern end of the Jura Mountains and whose highest point is the Grand Colombier at 1531 metres. This limestone territory shaped by glaciers is crossed by numerous rivers. Preserved from urbanisation, Valromey has remained very rural. The route crosses varied landscapes: "black" forests, mountain pastures, combes, hedged farmland. Its prime location at the front of the Alps offers surprising panoramas. This stay invites you to discover its preserved natural areas, its bucolic setting, its architectural and historical heritage.

During this easy itinerant hike, you will be accommodated in a hotel in the heart of a village and in typical and warm gîtes d'étape, all located in the heart of nature. There are notably two old forest houses, the Gîte de la Lèbe and the Chalet d'Arvières, a wild atmosphere guaranteed. The basic accommodation is in a dormitory, but three double or triple rooms are available in a hotel formula (if you book early enough).

Difficulty: hiker level 2 out of 5: from 550 m to 780 m of difference in altitude, from 5 h to 5 h 30 of walking per day.
Group: from 6 to 13 people.
Supervision: state-qualified mountain guide, with a perfect knowledge of the massif.

The stages are divided as follows:

Day 1 : Champagne in Valromey (532 m) - Gîte de la Lèbe (860 m).
Meeting at 1.45 pm at the Virieu-le-Grand train station or in front of the Champagne-en-Valromey Tourist Office at 2.30 pm. You must arrive at the meeting point, ready to go hiking, dressed with your backpack ready and your hiking boots on.
Beginning of the stay by crossing the Valromeysanne countryside, discovery of the Gorges de Thurignin. Ascent in the direction of the Lèbe pass. Evening at the Lèbe Observatory. Meal and night at the Lèbe forest gîte.

Difference in altitude: + 570 m, - 240 m, length: 11 km, duration: 3 h 30.

Day 2: Gîte de la Lèbe - Ruffieu (707 m).
Crossing of the Cormaranche forest and ascent to the panoramic viewpoint of Planachat. Descent into the valley through the village of Lompnieu to reach the Puits des Tines and continuation to the accommodation.

Difference in altitude: + 650 m, - 810 m, length: 20 km, duration: 5 h 30

Day 3: Ruffieu - Les Plans d'Hotonnes (1117 m).
This day in a more open setting takes you to discover the villages and hamlets of Valromey. A bucolic route in the Séran valley takes you to Bassieu. Ascent then towards the site of Châteauneuf, the medieval capital of Valromey, to reach the village of Songieu. Discovery of the Etang des Alliettes pond, crossing the village of Hotonnes and ascent to the accommodation at the resort of Les Plans d'Hotonnes. Meal and night.

Difference in altitude: + 780 m, - 370 m, length: 19 km, duration: 5 h 30.

Day 4: Les Plans d'Hotonnes - Chalet d'Arvières (1174 m).
The day's hike links the Plateau de Retord to the Grand Colombier massif by a beautiful and long crossing via the Corniche du Valromey. Discovery of the panoramic view of the Mont-Blanc and all the Alps. Continuation to the Chalet d'Arvières, accommodation for the next two days. Intervention of a technician from the National Forestry Office during the day.

Height difference: + 430 m, - 390 m, length: 18 km, duration: 5 h.

Day 5: Chalet d'Arvières - Loop route - Chalet d'Arvières.
Loop hike that will take you over the open expanses of the Plateau de Sur Lyand and then up to the Devil's Claw. The route is much simpler than the name suggests. Continuation of the route towards the Col de Charbemènes and the summit of Grand Colombier. You will be able to admire the spectacular 360° view of the Jura, the Mont-Blanc massif, the Aravis, the Bauges, the Chartreuse and sometimes even the Massif Central. Return to the chalet d'Arvières.

Height difference: + 650 m, - 650 m, length: 16 km, duration: 5 h.

Day 6: Chalet d'Arvières - Champagne en Valromey (532 m).
Descent towards the village of Lochieu for the visit of the Bugey-Valromey Departmental Museum. There you will discover other facets of the area and will no doubt want to come back. The hike ends with the resurgence of the Groin and the village of Vieu-en-Valromey, an ancient Gallo-Roman vicus.
End of the stay at around 4.30 pm in Champagne-en-Valromey or at 5.15 pm at the Virieu-le-Grand train station (transfer on reservation at registration).

Difference in altitude: + 200 m, - 850 m, length: 17 km, duration: 4 h 30.

The times have been calculated for a rate of 300 metres per hour on the ascent, 500 metres per hour on the descent and 4 km per hour on the flat, so that the different hikes can be compared with the same base. They only concern the actual walk, all meal times, breaks or contemplation times are to be added.

The organiser of the stay and the guide may have to modify the indicated itinerary.

Open period

From May 24th to 29th CANCELLED
From May 31 to June 5 CANCELLED
From June 14 to 19
From July 5 to 10
July 26th to 31st
August 2 to 7
From 30 August to 4 September
From September 6 to 11
From September 13 to 18
October 4 to 9
From 1st to 6th November


Adult: from 668 to 688 € depending on the period chosen.
Supplement of 68 € per person for a double or triple room, subject to availability at the time of booking.

Supplement of 18 € per person for the return transfer between Virieu-le-Grand train station and Champagne-en-Valromey, to be booked at registration.

The price includes :

Organisation and supervision costs.
Dormitory accommodation with full board.
The evening at the Lèbe Observatory.
The intervention of a technician from the National Forestry Office.
A visit to the Bugey-Valromey museum.
Luggage transport at each stage.

The price does not include :

The picnic on the first day.
Drinks and personal expenses.
Individual equipment.
Transport to reach Virieu-le-Grand or Champagne-en-Valromey on the first day and to leave Champagne-en-Valromey or Virieu-le-Grand on the last day.
The return transfer between Virieu-le-Grand and Champagne-en-Valromey (to be booked at registration if necessary, with supplement).
Cancellation - assistance - repatriation insurance.


  • Booking obligatory
  • Set down on-site for groups
  • Airport or station shuttle bus

Adapted tourism

  • Not accessible in a wheelchair

In addition to the reception

Spoken languages

  • French

Methods of payment

  • Bank/credit card
  • Cheque
  • Credit transfer

Point de départ / arrivée à la gare 01510 Virieu-le-Grand Show / Hide location


Booking centre, Office de Tourisme Bugey Sud Grand Colombier
  • 04 79 81 29 06
  • contact@bugeysud-tourisme.fr

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