In the Massif des Bauges, above Chambéry, the Nivolet cross is reputed to have known many adventures. Erected in 1861, it was first designed out of metal and tinplate. It was enlarged in 1867, but a few decades later, in 1909, it was bent by a storm. A new, more solid cross was inaugurated two years later. Degraded in 1944, it remains in place despite a very damaged base. An illumination was installed in 1960 on the occasion of the centenary of the attachment of Savoy to France, but which was destroyed by lightning. New equipment will be installed in preparation for the 1992 Albertville Olympics. It is still one of the emblems of the region today that you can discover just 43 km from our campsite in Savoie. To discover it, here are the best hiking routes in the area:
An easy level hike, lasting 3 hours 30 minutes for 10 km, which follows pleasant forest tracks. Upon arrival at the foot of the cross, an orientation table allows you to identify the elements of the panorama.
A simple loop of 3 hours, for a walk of less than 9 km which can be undertaken in all seasons. The circuit is well marked. After a large open area to cross, the circuit continues in the forest, then on the ridge path.
Lasting 5:10 for almost 11 kilometers, this hike is popular with walkers in Chambéry. We appreciate the view of Mont-Blanc, Lake Bourget and the Chartreuse. An alternation of rocky tracks in laces, paths, steep passages like that of Pas de l'Echelle, and finally a motorized track.
Almost 4 hours of walking are expected for this hike of approximately 7.5 km. The route is pleasant as it is varied, between forest areas and lookouts on the valley. Note the somewhat difficult descent to Pas de l'Echelle.
A winter hike for snowshoeing enthusiasts, departing from the Deserts. The route is easy, but allow 5 hours of hiking in the snow, for almost 12 km to cover.
This hike is technical. The 12 km to cover requires around 6 hours of walking. The circuit has the advantage of offering a new angle on the cross of Nivolet. At the Ladder step, you will have to take a fairly technical passage but facilitated by the presence of a cable, then climb a few bars sealed in the rock.
Another winter hike to do on snowshoes. With a duration of 3 hours for 6 km, it is of medium difficulty. It is a round trip, but the beauty of the panorama is not boring: particularly, the arrival at the cross offers a 360 ° view of the chain of the Alps.