Sainte-Foy is very much a gem of the Rhône-Alpes region and the area around it is one of pristine landscapes uncluttered by crowds.
It's the place to go to really get away from it all and Les Fermes de Sainte-Foy (luxury residence) will help you do just that (located in Ste Foy station [not village]). Bordered to the south by the Isère river and to the north by the Italian border, this smart new resort makes a great base for mountain biking, river rafting, rock climbing and hiking.
Choose between a gentle trek up to the high mountain pastures to admire the pretty Tarine cows or, for more challenging walking, there are over 70km of footpaths close to the Vanoise national park as well as new projects like the “Glacier Haute Route”. Many of the area’s waymarked paths pass through unspoilt traditional Alpine villages and peaceful mountain lakes like the Lac Noir in the Clou valley. Some offer stunning views of Mont Blanc, the Lord of the Alps.
Sainte-Foy is at the centre of some of the largest resorts in the Tarentaise which makes it wonderful mountain biking territory. Near the Vanoise national park, there are some exhilarating freeride descents in a wild untamed setting where routes of more than 1000 vertical metres take in goat tracks and shady forest paths.
The commune of Sainte-Foy is actually made up of 100 hamlets in total including Le Miroir, a protected site which is known for its eye-catching Italian-style colonnaded chalets and important religious architectural heritage. The listed farming village of Le Monal has a breathtaking panorama of the Mont Pouri glaciers. There are several excellent eateries in the area offering Savoyard specialities in charmingly rustic surroundings. Within easy driving distance of Sainte-Foy are the resorts of Tignes, where it’s possible to practice summer skiing, and Les Arcs and Val d’Isère which both offer a wide range of additional activities for the whole family. Day trips to Italy are also a possibility from here.
Places of interest in Sainte-Foy
· Vanoise national park – located between the Tarentaise and the Maurienne, the Parc de la Vanoise is one of Europe’s oldest and largest protected areas and the home of a 2000-strong herd of ibex. One of the country’s loveliest villages, Bonneval-sur-Arc, is also to be found there. With summer glaciers, raging rivers and stunning scenery, the park is a taste of paradise for hikers.
· Villaroger – the tourist office can organise a three-hour guided visit of the baroque church at Villaroger, as well as the rural, religious and architectural heritage of La Masure and Le Miroir. At the end of the visit, there’s the opportunity to taste a local sweet speciality known as “farçon ".