La Cabane du Petit Oiseau, a fairy place for families

La Cabane du Petit Oiseau (1265 m altitude) in Rathvel, close to Les Paccots, is the family destination par excellence to spend a friendly moment in an exceptional setting. This is undoubtedly a fairy place offering a lot of activities where families can enjoy a day out not spending much.


It all started in the year 1972 when Alexis Tâche had the idea of making a ski lift at a place called “Cornefi” in Remaufens, which worked for three winters. But the snow becoming more and more rare, he decided to go higher, and it was towards Rathvel that he went. The Ski-Club of Remaufens knew this place well since each year it organized its internal competition. In 1976 the wooden chalet has been built.

I have recently spent a day out in this place with an association I founded (étincElles – for the integration of women) and we had a fabulous time there with our families and friends! We were 28 adults and around 14 children. They prepare for us a hall underneath the restaurant, perfectly located overlooking the playground and the farm, so adults could enjoy a drink while keeping an eye on their kids playing in the garden. Two lovely ladies served us. First, there was an aperitif in the terrace in between the hall and the garden. In the garden there is a carriage with a fake horse for the joy of the kids who could freely climb it and take pictures on it. Then, the meal took a while to be served, being a large group, but on time, we all enjoyed it.

The restaurant offers traditional cuisine made with local products all day long, from May to September. Their specialities are cheese crust, nuggets and rösti. For our group we got ham, sausages, chicken nuggets, French fries, meringue double cream, and home made apple pie. All was simple and delicious.

After the meal we went to visit the mini zoo where dwarf goats, pigs, donkeys, rabbits, alpacas, ponies, ducks, peacocks, and hens. The dwarf goats were waiting to be approached and caressed with gentleness and affection. It was a little safari for our kids! They enjoyed a lot playing with the dwarf goats and I made a new friend, a funny piglet that behaved like a dog! Is good to know that the mini zoo is only open during the summer period and closed on Monday.


All around the mini zoo there is a play area with a wooden Mary-go-round. Uphill there is a fabulous playground with slides, tower and swing, close to the little train stop. Going down there is a pond with ducks and a narrow path following a stream that takes you to a tiny wooden church. If you keep walking down you will reach the parking, but you will find another parking next to the restaurant as well. Taking left from there, there is a beautiful lagoon you can walk around following an educational trail about batrachians. The flowers in this season are gorgeous and we saw wild orchids in the pastures all around.

For the joy of the families there is also the Little Train (from mid-May to the end of September). This is a free entertainment, but you can leave some coins at your will for the driver in the piggy bank at the end of the ride. The ride takes you up hill to enjoy a beautiful scenic view, crossing shady forests, pastures and streams. Since it didn’t stop, we felt safe leaving our kids going by their own, something that they appreciated a lot, taking four rides on a row! The Little Train runs only during the summer period and according to the influx, every day, in the afternoon, except Monday. Outside school holidays, it works on Wednesday afternoons and weekends.


A lovely place for families to which we will surely return!


Restaurant opening times:

Winter season: from 23 December 2017 (depending on the weather)

Open 7/7 days, self-service restaurant, night skiing + fondue on Friday nights.

Summer season: from May 10 to October 7, 2018. Open 6/7 days (closed on Mondays), table service.

Groups: from 10 people.



Rte du Moléson

1618 Chatel-Saint-Denis

021 948 77 01



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