A climb high above the Rhône valley to the Lac de Taney, an idyllic lake at the heart of one of the finest nature reserves in the Alps. Glorious views of the surrounding mountains.
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The Lac de Taney enjoys an idyllic setting in a natural forested hollow at an altitude of 1,408 m. The lake and surrounding area have been a nature reserve for more than 50 years. Only vehicles with a special permit are allowed – so that walkers are promised an experience of blissful tranquillity. Our route begins at the village of Miex, about halfway up from the floor of the Rhône valley. The ride up the narrow twisting road to Miex – best done by bus – is an adventure in itself, revealing glorious views across the valley and of the Chablais Alps. From Miex, the trail climbs through the forest to reach the high pastures of Prélagine. Here the trail flattens, eventually reaching the Lac de Taney at its easternmost tip. The first sight of the deep-blue lake, framed by forest and mountain peaks, is enchanting. The route follows the northern shoreline to Taney: the summer hamlet, with its three friendly auberge-restaurants, fits perfectly in the tranquil landscape. The lake is the focus of a national nature reserve, best known for the amphibians who come to spawn in large numbers. Walkers may even spot an alpine salamander in the shadow of the forest. The lakeshores and surrounding meadows support a colourful carpet of flowers, including alpenrose, willowherb, Turk’s cap lily and wolf’s bane. One reason for the site’s natural wealth is its unique microclimate, influenced by Lake Geneva just to the north, with mild winters and fresh summers. Perhaps it attracted some of the area’s first human residents: research has shown that nearby caves were inhabited around 30,000 years ago. The route leaves the lake at its southern shore, before leading over the low Col de Taney to the forested slopes overlooking the Rhône valley and back down to "Le Flon", near Miex. Highlights: Exhilarating climb through high, fragrant forests overlooking the Rhône valley Idyllic Lac de Taney: nationally important nature reserve, abundant flowers, friendly mountain auberge-restaurants