La vallée des Villards, made up of a number of hamlets with houses packed tightly next to each other, has managed to preserve its charm of old for the pleasure of all, whilst offering high quality tourist infrastructures. There are many sports and leisure activities on offer both summer and winter.
St Colomban des Villards (186 inhabitants) lies only 20 minutes from the motorway exit . In winter the resort has a ski area capable of providing all the pleasures of winter sports thanks to the 45km of slopes and the link to the 310 km of pistes of the « Sybelles » ski area. The higher valley of the Villards brings joy to all lovers of ski-trekking with abundant snow over these grandoise wide open spaces.
In summer life in this pleasant and green setting is gentle and relaxing. There are many walking trails, leisure areas, lake, via ferrata, horse-riding centre, children’s clubs, pétanque tournaments…all of which are an invitation to relaxation in a village atmosphere, decorated with flowers which regularly results in departmental recognition.
3 hotels in Vallée des Villards, private lets and Gîtes de France, holiday centres, residences and one campsite (see accommodation page).
St Colomban des Villard’s great treasure is its costume which is of a rare beauty and is one of the finest in the Maurienne valley. The cloak is made up of many glistening colours, with apron, belt, ribbons and shawl made from silk and a headdress edged with fine pleated lace, fixed onto an embroided bonnet with a thousand pearls and sequins.
This costume can be seen on show at the tourist office : contact the Office de Tourisme for times, and also on the 15th August for the village fayre.
Other things to see: wooden rooms or attics where precious items are kept, numerous chapels (circuit from chapel to chapel), the linden tree in chef-lieu which has been listed under the “remarkable trees in France” category. Exhibition at the Tourist Office.
Summer: multi-sports ground, man-made lake (lifeguard in July/August) children’s games, via ferrata, horse-riding, tennis, football, rock-climbing, cycling, mountain-biking, pétanque, fishng in the torrents and mountain lakes, childrens clubs, themed evenings, heritage centre, library, outdoor training circuit (below the sports ground).
Pétanque tournaments, conférences, organised walks with walking guide, dancing, traditional fête on 15th August.