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Le Grand-Bornand

Travel Guide Europe France Rhône-Alpes Le Grand-Bornand

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Introduction

Le Grand-Bornand is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department of the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France. It is within the Annecy arrondissement and has almost 2,500 inhabitants. Nestled at the foot of the Aravis mountain range, Le Grand-Bornand is a traditional French Alpine village and a popular ski resort. The region is proud of its farming heritage. Human population is still outnumbered by the livestock in this valley. Le Grand-Bornand is still a thriving agricultural centre, though it is more popular as a winter sports resort and in summers its high mountain pastures are used for hiking and gliding activities.

The town is also part of the Annecy Olympic project- Annecy is the official candidate city for France for holding the Olympic winter games in 2018.

For more information about Le Grand-Bornand and its beautiful surroundings, check the official Le Grand-Bornand tourist website.

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Sights and Activities

  • Church of Virgin Mary
  • Bouchet Chapel
  • Maroly Lake
  • Militiamen Cemetery
  • Gramusset Refuge
  • Chinaillon Chapel

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Weather

Like with many parts of the French Alps, summers are warm with chances of heavy rainshowers, and winters are relatively cold, especially up the mountain slopes. From June to September it's around 25 degrees Celcius on average, sometimes over 30, but with chilly nights in general. Winter ski season lasts from December to March when the village itself might get above zero, but the surrouding mountains experience frost and snow.

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Getting There

By Plane

The airport of Annecy located 35 kilometres away is the closest to the town. However the closest international airports with connections to major towns worldwide are at Geneva (50 kilometres) in Switzerland and at Lyon (150 kilometres) in France. The Geneva Cointrin Airport has many flights, including lots of flights to places outside Europe. It also has many flights with lowcostairlines like Easyjet. Lyon Saint Exupéry has lots of flights as well.

By Train

The nearest train station is at Annecy, 30 kilometres away. High speed TGV trains connect Annecy to most of the major towns of the region. SNCF operates the rail network in France. There are even twice a week connections from London in winter directly to Bourg-Saint-Maurice from where it's a short hop.

By Car

You can reach Le Grand-Bornand from several directions. Albertville is to the south while Annecy is to the west. The A40 runs from Geneva towards Chamonix and further to the Italian border. Le Grand Bornand is south from this road and east from the A41 running south-north from Chambery towards Annecy and further north.

By Bus

Buses connect Le Grand-Bornand with Annecy and Geneva on a daily basis, providing fast services connecting with trains and planes.

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Sleep

There are endless sleeping options in the village and surrounding mountains, including romantic mountain chalets.

Mid-Range

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Keep Connected

Internet

France is one of the best connected countries in the world, with data speed for upload/download ranked among the top 5 in the world. Most hotels and hostels would have in-house facilities to provide free internet access. Many major cities also have initiatives put in place to provide free wi-fi connection in public spaces. Alternatively there are internet cafés available in most cities/towns at a reasonable rate. Some private businesses, such as local cafés (or even the Starbuck's chain), may also provide wi-fi connectivity - keep an eye out for the signs by the shop windows/doors. Also look for the @ symbol prominently displayed, which indicates internet availability. However, with most homes now wired for the internet, cyber cafés are increasingly hard to find, especially outside the major cities.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

To dial an international number from France, the IDD is 00, followed by the country code that you wish to dial, the area code and the phone number.
To call France from abroad, start with the international direct dialing (IDD) code from the country you're in, followed by French country code 33, the area code (drop the first zero in front of the area code), and the phone number. French telephone numbers are rarely given without the area code. The telephone number, including the area code, is made up of 10 digits. They are written in a set of 5 pairs of digits (i.e. 01 xx xx xx xx xx).
In France, the area code designations are: 01 - Paris Area ("Région Ile-de-France"), 02 - northwest, 03 - northeast, 04 - southeast, 05 - southwest, 06 - mobile phone providers. From 2010 onwards, 07 will also be assigned to mobile phone providers in order to cater for the surging demands for mobile phones.

Emergency numbers are 15 (medical aid), 17 (police station) and 18 (fire/rescue). You can also use the European emergency number 112 (perhaps a better choice if you don't speak French). These calls are free and accessible from virtually any phone, including locked cellphones.

France uses the GSM standard of cellular phones (900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands) used in most of the world outside of the U.S. There are several companies (Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Télécom and some others MVNOs like Virgin Mobile) offering wireless service. The country is almost totally covered but you may have difficulties using your mobile phone in rural or mountainous areas. If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands. Then incoming calls and SMSes are free.

Post

La Poste in France is also referred to as the PTT (short for postes, télégraphes et téléphones). The mailboxes are painted bright yellow and often there is a slot for local city mail and another slot for "outside mail". Normally there is a queue in the post office, but most of the post offices have the self service machine installed which is quite easy to operate. Nowadays many of the tabac and even some of the souvenir shops also sell postage stamps. Normally an overseas postcard costs almost as much as sending a letter. Mails sent in France also have a zip code. The first two numbers represent the administrative department (e.g. in Paris' case that would be 75).

Post offices are generally open from 8:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Apart from the basic job of mailing letters, most of the post offices do some banking activities also and some even have photocopy machines and cyber cafes for internet access.

For international package services, you might also check options with companies like DHL, UPS or TNT, which have competitive services and prices and might be faster in most cases.

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This is version 9. Last edited at 8:02 on Sep 20, 13 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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