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Stay in the Jura Mountains in freedom

Stay in the Jura Mountains in freedom

Retrouvance® en liberté is an itinerant hiking formula including: accommodation, half-board catering and luggage carrying.
Pedibus offers you a holiday that combines the pleasure of hiking with respect for the environment.

This Retrouvance® tour takes you through the hills and valleys of the Valromey, located in the Bugey region 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, the Valromey has remained very rural. The route crosses a variety of landscapes: "black" forests, mountain pastures, coombs and hedgerows. Its prime location in front of the Alps offers surprising panoramas. This trip invites you to discover its preserved natural areas, its bucolic setting, its architectural and historical heritage.

Difficulty: hiker level 2 out of 5: an average of 580 m of difference in altitude, 17 km and 5 hours of daily walking. You must be able to follow an itinerary using a map, a walking book and clues on the ground. Attention and correct map reading.

The stages are divided as follows:

Day 1: Welcome in the late afternoon at your accommodation in Belmont-Luthézieu (511 m). If you arrive by train, taxi transfer possible from Virieu Le Grand station upon reservation at registration (extra charge).

Day 2: Belmont-Luthézieu (511 m) - Songieu (730 m).

The first part of your hike on the edge of the forest allows you to discover the Valromeysanne countryside and to familiarise yourself with your surroundings for the week. You discover the Massif du Grand Colombier which will be your objective in a few days. You reach Sutrieu (660 m) before crossing the Séran at the Pont des Tines. Les Tines is the local name given to the "marmites de géant", spectacular erosion of the limestone rocks. A small burst of energy is required to reach your stage at Songieu (730 m). Depending on your choice of accommodation or availability, you can also be accommodated in Ruffieu or Hotonnes. The location of your accommodation will influence the division of the first two stages.

Difference in altitude: + 570 m, - 350 m / Length: 15 km / Time: 4 h

Day 3: Songieu - Les Plans d'Hotonnes (1038 m)

After discovering the sites of the Fontaine d'Argent and Châteauneuf, the medieval capital of the Valromey, you reach the peaceful Etang des Alliettes before reaching the village of Hotonnes (736 m). Your real ascent begins and allows you to reach the Grange du Plat (1035 m), nestled in its clearing. The profile softens and from clearing to clearing, you reach your highest point at 1125 metres before descending to Les Plans d'Hotonnes. This small ski resort is renowned for cross-country skiing and has produced many champions in this field.

Difference in altitude: + 640 m, - 330 m / Length: 14 km / Time: 4 h 15 min

Day 4: Les Plans d'Hotonnes - Retord loop - Les Plans d'Hotonnes (1038 m)

This loop day in a more open setting takes you to discover the Retord Plateau. You leave the forest for vast areas of meadows and woods typical of the Jura massif.
Your wild loop from barn to barn reaches the Grange à Lucien (1224 m) then the massive Ferme du Retord (1268 m). A small "collu" gives access to the eastern edge where, for the first time, the view of Mont Blanc and all the Alps will dazzle you. The last ascent will take you to the Crêt du Nû (1351 m) before completing your loop at Plans d'Hotonnes.

Difference in altitude: + 460 m, - 460 m / Length: 18 km / Time: 4 h 30 mn

Day 5: Les Plans d'Hotonnes - Chalet d'Arvières (1170 m)

Today you will link the Plateau de Retord to the Grand Colombier massif by a long and beautiful crossing. You will wander on either side of the gentle ridge between clearings and forests, from barn to barn. The ascent of the Hergues (1425 m) allows you to discover a 360 degree panorama of the Valromey, the Bugey and all the Alps. You then descend to the ruins of the Chartreuse Notre-Dame Sainte-Marie d'Arvière and stop at the Chalet d'Arvières (1170 m), in the middle of the mountains, for two days of natural immersion.

Difference in altitude: + 680 m, - 540 m / Length: 20 km / Time: 5 h 30 mn

Day 6: Chalet d'Arvières - Boucle du Grand Colombier (1525 m) - Chalet d'Arvières (1170 m)

You leave your accommodation for a beautiful loop hike and reach the large open spaces of the Sur Lyand Plateau. An open ridge then leads to the top of the Griffe du Diable (1419 m). The route is much more gentle than the name suggests. A pleasant route leads to the Col de Charbemènes (1317 m). All that remains is to climb the slopes leading to the summit of the Grand Colombier (1525 m). The 360-degree view from the Jura, the Mont Blanc Massif, the Aravis, the Bauges, the Chartreuse and even the Massif Central is spectacular. It is time to return to your haven of peace and quiet at the Chalet d'Arvières (1170 m) via the Route Forestière de La Nouvelle.

Difference in altitude: + 610 m, - 610 m / Length: 14 km / Time: 4 h 15 min

Day 7: Chalet d'Arvières - Belmont-Luthézieu (511 m)

After descending into the Gorges d'Arvière, you reach the former Correrie de la Chartreuse d'Arvières, above the village of Lochieu. You can visit the Bugey-Valromey Museum to learn about other aspects of the area and make you want to come back. A wild route along the Arvière leads to the spectacular Vaucluse resurgence of the Groin. After passing through the village of Vieu, you descend to the Gorges de Thurignin and its "tines". A final burst of energy is needed to return to your starting point and complete the loop.
Disperse at the end of the afternoon in Belmont-Luthézieu. Transfer to the Virieu Le Grand train station (reservation required at registration and extra charge).

Difference in altitude: + 470 m, - 1130 m / Length: 19 km / Time: 5 h 15 mn

This itinerary is done without a guide and under your own responsibility. The organiser will provide you with all the necessary information and logistics to ensure that your walk goes smoothly. You are capable of autonomy by judging your own strength and appreciating unexpected situations.

Open period

Departure possible at your convenience every day of the week from 1 May to 31 October, depending on the availability of accommodation.


Adult: 538 € half board, gîte formula (dormitories)
OR 598 € half board, hotel formula (double room)
Supplement of 168 € per person for a single room.

Picnic supplement: €78 per person, to be booked at registration.

Supplement of 78 € for the whole group for the return transfer between Virieu-le-Grand station and Belmont-Luthézieu to be booked at registration.

The price includes :

Organizational costs.
Accommodation in dormitory or hotel with half board.
Luggage transport at each stage.
The hiking file handed in before departure: extracts from IGN maps (1/25000 scale) with the itinerary highlighted + hiking booklet written by Pédibus. GPS tracks available on request.

The price does not include :

Picnics for lunch.
Drinks and personal expenses.
Individual equipment.
Transport to and from the meeting point.
Return transfer between Virieu-le-Grand and Belmont-Luthézieu (to be booked at registration if necessary, with supplement).
Possible visits.
Cancellation, assistance and repatriation insurance.


  • Luggage porterage
  • Booking obligatory

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 Belmont-Luthézieu 01260 Valromey-sur-Séran Show / Hide location


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