Tanay Lake, a protected paradise

I never stop marveling when I visit this lake of emerald waters, and every time I do I see it differently. The landscape, with its unique flora and fauna, unfolds all its generosity in multiple colors depending on the seasons.

The beautiful Lake Taney is a small mountain lake located at 1408 m altitude above the colorful town of Vouvry in Chablais (Valais).  This small paradise, overlooking the Rhone Valley, is a nature reserve since the 60s. The surrounding area is part of the Swiss Federal Inventory of Landscapes and Natural Monuments. Reaching on foot in around 1 hour from Vouvry, the small summer village of Taney welcomes many visitors to its mountain refuges. For families, it is possible to go around the lake in less than 1h30 and for the most enduring, the hike can continue for 2h00-2h30 (depending on your rythm) until Grammont, which rises to 2172 m altitude.

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Hiking to Taney Lake
The start of the ride is given to the parking Le Flon in the town of Miex above Vouvry. You have two possibilities to reach Lake Taney: either by road (very little used by cars because unpaved), or by the path of Goats. The path climbs through an undergrowth of birch trees and joins the road three times, leaving you the choice to continue on the road or on the trail. After a good hour of walking, you are already at Lake Taney where many small restaurants offer specialties of the region, such as the famous refuge Le Vouivre. Count about 1h30 to go around the lake.

I’ve been there two times this summer with my family and it is good to know that the usual “goats’ path” which takes you to Tanay Lake from the parking Le Flon, in 45 breathless minutes hiking is closed. The Commune is carrying on some works to increase the safety of the path. For the moment you have to walk on the road (1h20) which is a little bit slippery going down. I recommend you to use trekking poles and good walking shoes if you go.

There are other less known paths to reach Tanay. One departs just behind the little church in Miex indicated as Prélagine (1h30); the other one from Chalavornaire above Les Evouettes (2h30). Both takes you to the opposite side of the lake, where a beautiful XXL wooden bed overlooking the lake will receive you promising some rest after the effort!

If you choose to go to Chalavornaire, you have to drive or walk from Les Evouettes until the homonymous Alpage. The road is very tough but it worths the effort. In that Alpage you can buy goat cheese; up to 10 people can sleep, and is one of the best hidden spots for amazing meals (gastronomic but copious and prepared by one passionate funny grumpy man, Jean Bruegger, who manages alone the whole place) Politicians and powerful people come here by helicopter during the week to enjoy his banquets. You have to book in advance. Now I told you, get ready to be surprised! You won’t know the menu beforehand, it is up to his mood!

The path from the Alpage de Chalavornaire to Tanay offers stunning views, different grounds and landscapes (pines woods, rocky waterfalls, cliffs and more, even a green velvety hilly tiny valley just before reaching Tanay which seems taken from a fairy tale and has been revealed as a splendid mushroom picking spot by the locals…) It’s longer than the other alternative paths but less steep.

The level of the lake was very low this summer due to the drought weather, showing the prolific underwater algae landscape, but still nice to swim. During autumn the forest displays a magnificent palette of colors you can’t miss!

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If you want to reach the Gramont be ready to walk 2 more hours, a real Alpine point of view. The path starts in the forest and makes some laces before joining a wider track. 30 minutes after leaving Taney, the trail exits the undergrowth. The arrival at Col des Crosses is on the right of the Binoculars. You then cross easily the Combe des Pecheux then the lake Lovenex. It remains only a hundred meters before reaching the top of the Grammont. There, admire the 360 ° landscape on Lake Geneva, Saint-Gingolphe, the Grand Combin, the Mont Blanc Massif, Le Moléson, Les Diablerets, Les Rochers-de-Naye, the Dent de Jaman and the Tour d’Ai of Leysin. From here you will enjoy a breathtaking view of both, Swiss and French sides, and the whole Lake Leman in all its splendor!

The return is by the same way. A little bit of extra effort, but totally worth full!

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Coordinates 46°20′45″N 6°50′26″E

 

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