The valley opens up when you reach La Chapelle d’Abondance to bathe you in full sunshine. This is the reason human settlement here is the oldest in this valley. Well before La Chapelle d’Abondance became known for its hotels, people came to discover the village and explore the mountains drawn there by the beauty of the landscapes.
The highest points in the Abondance valley are the Mont Grange at 2,433m and Les Cornettes de Bise at 2,432m.
Both summits are in La Chapelle d’Abondance’s municipality.
The valley is covered in forests, which rise up the slopes to an altitude of around 2,000m.
To adapt to the special mountain conditions, inhabitants developed an economic and socio-specific system called mixed farming. This system fully exploits the pastureland and prairies. It left its mark on the landscape as man searched to find new exploitable terrain, pushing the forests boundaries by successively clearing.
The River Dranse in Abondance
A small river, whose source is a few kilometres from the village, flows into the River Dranse at the entrance to the valley and then into Lake Geneva.
The Chevenne Stream (photo)
This stream is a tributary of the River Dranse in Abondance. Up until the beginning of the 20th century the regular flow was the working companion of millers, tanners, blacksmiths and sawyers who used its natural energy to activate their various devices: millstones, bellows, drop hammers, beaters, saws, and drums. Scientific studies revealed the presence and persistence of an indigenous wild trout population in the stream.
Surrounded by peaks and rocky escarpments, it nestles at 1670m in the mountain pastures of Les Cornettes de Bise’s nature resevre. It is a natural lake formed through erosion due to the Arvouin glacier. It is easily accessible in the summer.
The Abondance valley is fortunate to enjoy all the characteristic wildlife that flourishes in the limestone Alps: deer, hares, grouse, ibex, chamois and marmots. In addition, it shelters a reserve on the Mont de Grange massif, which has enabled bighorn sheep, deer and chamois populations to increase.
With its complex geology and glacial valleys, the Chablais is an area where you can discover the fascinating history and evolution of our Earth. This heritage enabled the Chablais to be labelled a UNESCO Geopark.
From the shores of Lake Geneva to the summit of Mont de Grange, at an altitude of 2432 metres, the Pays d’Evian Abondance valley has unique landscapes ready to be explored. At the heart of this magical territory lives a discreet fauna, preserved by parks and natural places.