Updated: Jun 18
What a wonderful weekend in Pays du Saint Bernard! We spent our weekend in the Camping des Glaciers campsite which is situated in a unique alpine setting, surrounded by rich flora and fauna. At the edge of a glacial torrent and in front of an impressive mountain landscape, it is very quiet and many walks and hikes start right at the campsite.
We have been itching for a proper trip for months now so we jumped at the chance when the tourism office of Pays du Saint Bernard asked if we would like to visit their beautiful region.
Our destination to be precise was La Fouly where we were staying at the Camping des
Glaciers. We haven’t done any camping before (apart from when Jude and I spent a night in a tent in the garden) and were a bit nervous about trying it with Elio, but we needn’t have worried because we were actually staying in a little chalet on the camp site. When we arrived, we were struck by how green the area is, and how very beautiful!
On arrival, we made our way to reception where we were greeted by the lovely Emma who was really welcoming, knowledgeable and helpful. She showed us to our accommodation and left us to settle in. The chalet is really well laid out and had everything we needed with two bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchen, sitting/dining area, shower and toilet rooms and a large storage space. Jude and Alba quickly chose their beds and were already excited about sleeping in the same room. The room had bunk beds as well as a single bed and they opted for the two beds closer to the ground as Jude (despite having a raised bed at home) decided he’d rather be on ground level this time. We had brought Elio’s travel cot with us and there was plenty of space for that in the living area. We were lucky enough to have a view of the glacier on one side and the river on the other. You can find all the details about this chalet here.
Outside, the camping area is well laid out. It’s very large but it looked like the sites we’re all well spaced out with room for everyone. We took a quick look at the facilities and found the showers and toilets to be really clean (clean enough that even delicate Jean said he would use them 🤣), we saw a baby change area, places to wash dishes and laundry areas. I’m not sure if this is standard camping equipment stuff but for us novices, it seemed to be extremely well served.
The reception also houses a little shop and you can also get lots of advice about thing to do nearby.
Our programme for the afternoon was to try the accrobranche which was about a 5 minute walk from our chalet. Jude had tried it already and was really excited to show us his skills, and picked Jean to go with him (bravo Jean). Jean wasn’t entirely sure since he has never done it before, but really enjoyed it and their enthusiasm encouraged Alba to try. She was so brave and despite a couple of wobbly moments on the zip line, she managed it all with great confidence!
The weather changes quickly in mountains and as we left the accrobranche it started to rain quite heavily so we were happy to be back at the chalet where we were warm and cosy and had time to take a look at our itinerary for Sunday. There are so many hiking trails for varying abilities around the area and many of them start from close to the campsite itself so it’s a really practical base for those wanting to explore the area nearby.
For dinner we were leaving the campsite and heading for the Café du Milieu in the village. It’s been a long time since we went to a restaurant and we’re all pretty excited, Alba was wearing her best shoes and Jude had hesitated over whether he should bring his suit 🥰.
With the pouring rain, the restaurant was really cosy and we were soon installed and perusing the menu. Jean and Jude tried a fondue, whereas Alba opted for chicken nuggets and I took a mushroom lasagne. It was all delicious and the service was fantastic. Alba’s highlight was meeting Nanouk, the very large, fluffy dog who was trotting around and even Elio leant down to stroke him and say hello which was really sweet. Elio has been screaming a lot lately so I was really worried about a restaurant but he was an absolute angel and apart from some raucous laughter (brought on by ice cream 😃), we didn’t hear a peep out of him.
Back at the chalet and the children were asleep within minutes and we weren’t far behind them. The great thing about the campsite is that it is so peaceful, we really had the impression of being in the heart of nature and it was lovely to wake up to the view of mountains, river and the glacier around us.
We reluctantly packed up to leave then we set off for the supermarket where we were going to grab some things for a picnic later. Next stop was Buvette de l'alpage des Ars for brunch. This was a really lovely experience. The farm is in a fairly remote hillside location so the views are incredible. The restaurant itself is simple but well laid out with a nice fire and cosy atmosphere. The food was delicious and we we’re treated to a wonderful selection of local cheeses and charcuteries, fruit juices, delicious breads and jams, as well as locally produced yoghurts.
After a good brunch, Jude and Jean went off to see the cows while I got Elio warmly tucked up in the car.
Our next stop was the tourism office where we collected a map for the “Charlotte the Marmotte” walk, the start of which was just opposite the tourism office itself.
We all love this kind of walk with little activités and puzzles to solve along the route. There were also lots of panels informing us about the kinds of plants and flowers we might see along the path and their uses in natural medicine.
The walk took us about 1h30 and was sufficiently easy that the children managed it without grumbling. There is so much to look at, and so many different kinds of landscape, that the time soon flashed by. We started in the village before crossing pastures, forests with little streams and we crossed the main river with its tumbling rapids which was impressive.
We had originally planned to stop for a picnic during our walk but we weren’t hungry after our amazing brunch so we decided to eat back at the car before leaving.
Back at the car and we all felt sad to leave this wonderful oasis of peace. It really encapsulated all this things we love: Nature, tranquility, meeting local people, trying local food and fully absorbing the very best of Swiss nature. We thoroughly recommend this place!
For the chalet, don’t forget to take your own towels including some for the kitchen, a hairdryer if you need it and maybe a few basics if you are staying for a few days like dishwasher tablets etc.
Camping des Glaciers
Chemin de Tsamodet 36, 1944 Fouly
Virtual Visit 360°: https://camping-glaciers.ch/en/camping/visite-360
Pays du Saint-Bernard
Discover their packages and special offers: https://www.saint-bernard.ch/en/staying/packages-and-special-offers