Les Chalets de Varan

 

On this beautiful sunday I met with Daniel again, the amazing guide I contacted last spring to experience the parade of the Black Grouse in the French Alps (see stories Waiting for the Black Grouse (Part 1), and Waiting for the Black Grouse (Part 2)).

We hiked to Les Chalets de Varan, located at 1620m of altitude. Starting from the parking of Bay au Coudray, it is an easy 1h-1h30 hike going through a beautiful forest. Once out of the shade, the view is breathtaking!! Unfortunately we were there when the light is harsh which makes it more difficult for photography, but no matter the time of the day, the landscape you face is really stunning. The Mont-Blanc is right in front of you, but there is also the Aravis Range on the right, and the Aiguille de Varan behind you. And the beauty of this scenery of fall was constantly changing with clouds coming and going.

 Mont-Blanc

Mont-Blanc

fall-colors-chalets-de-varan

Many hikes start from there, and the place is also a great starting point for paragliders. Throughout the day we spotted many great bird species, including a large number of Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus)..

 Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus)

Yellow-billed Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus)

.. but also Commons Ravens (Corvus corax)..

 Commons Raven (Corvus corax)

Commons Raven (Corvus corax)

.. a Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo), an Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), a Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), a Coal Tit (Periparus ater), a Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris), Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), Water Pipits (Anthus spinoletta) and Black Redstarts (Phoenicurus ochruros).

Either you are a bird lover or not, I strongly recommend this hike. It is incredibly beautiful.

JAG