The Gorges du Fier is a natural site located about ten kilometres from Annecy. The Fier is one of the main rivers in Haute-Savoie and takes its source in Mont Charvin. The erosion of water on the rock has dug a 45 meters high canyon that can be visited from March to October. Unlike most articles on my website, this walk is in a natural site that has been equipped and therefore, subject to opening and closing times.
The Gorges du Fier are accessible thanks to a footbridge fixed in the rock, 25 m above a narrow canyon. It was developed 150 years ago! And followed the annexation of Haute-Savoie to France in 1860. After only 10 months of work, the gorges were opened to the public in1869.
Half-way through the visit, we can see a scale: it indicates the heights reached during floods. Some have even exceeded the height of the footpath! The last part of the walk leads to the “sea of rocks” where the Fier flows more gently.
To avoid the crowds, it’s best to arrive at the opening or early evening before closing. The footbridge is narrow and it is difficult to stop when there are too many people. The last time I visited the site, I came just before 5 pm and there was hardly anyone on the site. Perfect for pictures!
The last part of the visit is the “La Mer des Rochers”, the sea of rocks. The ridges formed on the rocks are called lapies (Limestone pavement). You might have heard of the Désert de Platé: one of the biggest lapies in Europe. It’s located near Flaine, the ski resort and worth hiking to!
Swimming in the Gorges du Fier
Can you swim in the Gorges? Not really. At least not in the “equipped” part. But a little further down the river, the banks are accessible.
Coming out of the Gorges du Fier, take the left path going up to the parking lot. Then cross the road and continue on the left just after a yellow house. Keep going under a shaded path which runs along the last part of the Gorges du Fier. At the end (near the fence), take the small path descending to the right. You will reach the banks.
In the spring of 2019, 2 people died while adventuring on the banks. The town hall of Lovagny (where the gorges are located) has therefore planned to install fences to block access to a part of the river.
The site is open from March 15th to October 15th, everyday (holidays included).
Entrance fees for adults (16+): €5.80. For other rates, please visit the official website.
From March 15th to June 14th
9.30 am to 6.15 pm.(last entry at 5.15 pm)
From June 15th to August 31st
From 9.30 am to 7.15 pm. (last entry at 6.15 pm)
From September 1st to October 15th
9.30 am to 6.15 pm (last entry 5.15 pm)
The Gorges du Fier are only 10km from Annecy and easily accessible:
30 Rue du Pont des Liasses, 74330 Lovagny, France
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