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Spring 2022

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

Discover Paris in the spring, Caen in Normandy and its marvellous markets plus Yvoire, a picturesque village on the edge of Lake Geneva in Haute-Savoie. Explore Saint-Omer, a historic city in the far north that's full of secrets and treasures, and Evian, where Frankenstein's monster stayed! Head with us to Metz in Lorraine to find out about its incredible past, La Couvertoirade, one of the prettiest villages in France, and the UNESCO heritage of Avignon. Guides, gorgeous photos, what's new in France, the best tours and delicious recipes from the legendary Le Nôtre bakery in Paris - and more.

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‘Actually, many of the French Nordic sport

champions comes from Vercors’ said Loïs

Habert. He and his wife Marie Dorin, both

ex-national biathletes, and cross-country

skier Robin Duvillard manage ZeCamp

Hotel in Corrençon-en-Vercors, which offers

a selection of sports and wellness holiday

activity options. It is the perfect place to try

biathlon.

‘Shooting a rifle is all about the breathing,’

Loïs said just before he pulled the trigger and

downed one of the targets. I tried to replicate,

concentrating with all my energy and

managing to hit three out of five targets.

For the ski part of the biathlon, it being

summer we ‘ski’d’ on roller skis. It’s not that

easy, and not like roller skating, and though I’d

seen school groups make it look easy as they

rolled up and down the streets of Villard-de-

Lans, the town where I was based, I retreated

to the hotel for a session of yoga.

On top of the world in

Vercors

All around Vercors, the sight of silvery

mountain peaks like limestone fingers reaching

to the sky is never far away. If you want to get

closer to them then a spot of rock climbing is

a popular pastime here. I couldn’t resist and

joined mountain guide Jehan-Roland Guillot.

As he strapped ropes and hooks onto each of

us in our intrepid group of climbers he assured

us we would be on top of the world soon. I

pulled on a helmet and looked up. The sun was

streaking through the vertical silhouette of the

so-called Three Maidens – Les Trois Pucelles,

a set of limestone formation above the valley

of Grenoble 1456 meters above sea level. It

looked daunting. It looked impossible.

‘Don’t worry, winked Jean-Roland ‘I’m good

with beginners!’

Two hours later, we had hiked past the 90-metre

springboard used during the 1968 Winter

Olympic Games at Grenoble, picked our way

through patches of coniferous trees, abseiled

down a rock wall like James Bond, climbed the

jagged edges of the cliffs to the top, and finally

reached the gap between the rocks. A rope,

stretched tight between the peaks of the rocks,

was our way across. Tentatively I hooked my

clips onto the rope, inched towards the edge. It

was a steep drop to the ground, I gulped.

‘Trust the rope, trust yourself, there is nothing to

be afraid of. Just let go’ encouraged Jehan.

In my line of sight, the city of Grenoble spread

before like walnut butter, covering the basin

and towards the edges of the mountains. It was

a beautifully clear day and the peak of Mount

Blanc was just visible in the distance. Adrenaline

kicked in. It felt like I was at the top of the world.

I breathed it all in and let go.

For nature, beauty, adventure and sheer joie

de vivre – Vercors is hard to beat.

For more information:

inspiration-vercors.com

isere-tourisme.com

The Good Life France | 69

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