Our fascinating area has been marked by history. It started during the roman era: our village (Vieu) was the biggest of the area with an amphitheatre, a temple and baths. The water was transported through an underground aqueduct which might be one of the longest in Europe and is in perfect condition. However, it is not possible to visit it.
The history lovers will also be delighted with vestiges from the Middle Ages, a memorial of the Jewish children killed during WWII (Maison d’Izieux), as well as being close to cities city with sublime architectures like Lyon, Annecy and others.
From a one-minute walk to more than an hour’s drive, there are many places to enjoy in our area. We have prepared a list available at your convenience.
Please feel free to contact us to suggest a hiking itinerary, a car tour or a bike trip.
(a 2 minutes walk)
This church has been built on the former location of a Roman temple dedicated to the god Sun. Surprisingly, some paving stones and two columns from the Roman temple have been reused for the church.
(5 minutes drive)
The water from this fountain comes from an underground source. This source was already discovered in the Gallo-Roman era. There is also a statute of The Virgin Mary and a chapel built in 1670. This site inspired Paul Claudel for his painting of “L’annonce faite à Marie” (The Annunciation).
Ovens and wash houses
(15 minutes drive)
Poisieu has a wonderful medieval fountain with the vault built in the Gothic arch style. The source never dries up. You will also find an oven and a 900 year-old ordeal with a capital and a Roman column for its base.
(20 minutes drive)
The vestiges of ramparts and a donjon rise above a 70m rocky spur. This was the former feudal Valromey capital.
(20 minutes drive)
The bishop’s palace was first referred to in the fifth century. The first mention of a cathedral in Belley goes back to April 5th, 722.
However, the bishop of the diocese that covers the Ain department has been living in Bourg-en-Bresse since 1978. Since 1988, the name Ars was added in the diocese name to honour the Curé d’Ars.
This is a beautiful example of a neo-gothic religious building from the 19th century.
Ruins of the” Chartreuse d’Arvière”
(25 min drive)
The monastery “Chartreuse Notre-Dame Sainte-Marie d’Arvière” is situated at 1200m altitude in the heart of the Arvière forest. This monastery was founded by the holy monk Arthaud whose relics are kept in the church of Lochieu. Unfortunately, only the foundations, some buried vestiges (arched underground rooms) and outer walls remain. The ruins of the Chartreuse were classified as a historic monument in 1995.
(30 minutes drive)
This village flanks the Savières channel that connects the Lac du Bourget with the Rhône river. Its lock, its marina, the antique site of Portout Chanaz and its Gallo-Roman Museum attract more than 150 000 tourists every year.
“Chapelle du Retord” (a chapel isolated in the mountains)
(40 minutes drive)
The Plateau of Retord is the paradise of cross country skiers during the winter and has an exceptional flora in the summer with daffodils, narcissus, orchids and carlines. The Chapel of Retord is situated in the middle of this great area and is the highest chapel in the diocese at 1200m altitude.
It was restored in 1940 by abbot Tarpin with the help of his parishioners. They decided to put their passion for wood to serve God and filled the chapelle with original furnishings from the surrounding forests.
The house of the Izieux’s Children
(45 minutes drive)
Forty-four Jewish children from various nationalities sheltered in this building transformed into a holiday center during WWII. They were deported the 6th April 1944 during a Gestapo raid and were all of them were exterminated.
This house is simultaneously the arrest location of these unfortunate children, a memorial dedicated to their memory and a historic monument.
(50 minutes drive)
A Cistercian Abbey from the XIIth century, Hautecombe hosts the necropolis of the Princes of Savoie. With Gothic architecture, this building right next to the lake is one of the most visited destinations in Savoie.
The Benedictine and Cistercian monks have been replaced now with the “Chemin neuf” community that pursues the vocation of prayer and the welcoming of pilgrims.
(1 hour drive)
The medieval city of Pérouges is ranked among the most beautiful villages in France. It is in fact one of the most visited places in our area. Pérouges is a former weaver’s city surrounded by two ramparts recently restored. The architecture is typical of the Middle Ages with dwellings from the 15th and 16th century, cobbled streets and a fortified church.
Annecy’s old town
Because of its channels and its medieval buildings, Annecy is sometimes called the Venice of the Alps.
The city of Lyon
(1 hour and a half drive)
The city of Lyon is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
If you have any question, call us at +33 (0) 479 875 435 or leave us a message with the contact form !
Please feel free to contact our local tourism information offices: