The news of chalet de Rozan

How to have a good time in Grenoble… without going to the hotel

Find a nice hotel in Grenoble?

We have nothing against hotels and there is no doubt that there must be some very good hotels in Grenoble. Let’s say we don’t know much about the supply of housing of this type so we will avoid judging too quickly. But overall, the quality of the buildings sometimes leaves something to be desired and many hotels in Grenoble forget to get to the tastes of the day in terms of modernity.

  • Well already, we avoid channels like Ibis, Mercury, Novotel or other standardized establishments that frankly have no interest in Grenoble unless you are looking at all costs not to be disoriented. Why if you are passing without the intention of discovering anything but if this is the case, you would not be on our site.
  • Beware of the notion of proximity often indicated in housing offers. Hotel near Grenoble can mean 5, 10, 20 or even 30kms which quickly become a nightmare given the daily traffic jams. In the metropolitan area, prefer the areas served by the tram, including if you are motorized.
  • Some hotels in Grenoble’s city centre are interesting and well rated on booking platforms. The Grand Hotel, for example, offers interesting services that seem to be appreciated by guests. The décor and comfort are quite modern and of a certain style. It’s still a bit cold but the location of the hotel is great
    . The OKKO hotel caught our attention also for its somewhat innovative style and a very friendly atmosphere. The terrace is very nice and the location almost perfect. It’s still a big hotel with 138 rooms but it’s super rated.
  • In the town area, the Château de la Commanderie in Eybens is also very well rated. Good must love the decoration of another century, the gilding, the large curtains, the huge moldings to the ceilings, etc. But the SPA doesn’t look unpleasant. In short it’s not our kind but if you like why not!

Finally, the offer of hotels and similar establishments is quite poor in Grenoble. There are few nice little hotels in Grenoble. This is also what our customers tell us when we are full (it’s pretty often!). To get a nice hotel in Grenoble, you often have to get away from the city.

As for the north of Grenoble, on the Grésivaudan side: Grenoble Ile Verte, Meylan, Corenc, La Tronche – it’s the sidereal void. Very little hotel offer and we won’t have many ideas to submit other than snooping on the Internet.

Hunt for pre-preconce on Grenoble

Grenoble sometimes suffers from some prejudice.

  • No Grenoble is not dangerous. Contrary to the speech of a former president, Grenoble is a rather balanced city that faces societal concerns than cities of similar sizes. Some neighbourhoods are probably to be avoided without it being embarrassing on a daily basis.
  • No Grenoble is not a ski resort lost in the mountains. Grenoble is at a maximum altitude of 250m and it happens to be the flatest city in Europe! We have no more snow than in Paris on the plains. But during the winter, the snow is never far away, accessible by car or bus to the delight of all.
  • Yes and No Grenoble is polluted. Grenoble has to deal with sources of pollution from several origins: industry, the automobile and heating. The geography of the Grenoble basin does not facilitate the evacuation of pollutants, especially in periods of air stagnation. Grenoble experiences pollution peaks when summer highs last too long without wind or rain or when winter cloud cover causes temperatures to reverse. But let’s not dramatize either, these pollution peaks are quite rare (1 or 2 per year) and many concrete actions are being taken by the community to improve the situation. Grenoble is a leading city in the fight against global warming. The practice of “bike-taff” is one of the strongest in France and the city is committed to becoming an area of low CO2 emissions. Also, we must recognize that we have the advantage in Grenoble of being able to escape easily from the pollution of the valleys.
  • Yes and No Grenoble is ugly. The city developed strongly in the 50s and 70s with a peak during the 1968 Olympic Winter Games. Everyone tastes good, but it must be acknowledged that the urban planning of that time has done a great deal of damage. The historic centre has managed to preserve and enhance its ancient and even medieval character. The pedestrian centre is very pleasant and rather lively thanks in particular to the 70,000 students who come to rejuvenate the population.
  • No Grenoble is not asleep. We don’t hear much about Grenoble in the media. However, it is the second most English-speaking city in France after Paris, which shows a dynamism and attraction for foreigners. The numerous research centres in science and medicine make Grenoble a leading hub in terms of innovation and technology. This contribution energizes the cultural life, which is particularly rich.

Having a nice time in Grenoble

Are you coming to visit, to work or to visit someone? In any case, you should have a good stay.

Grenoble, a large metropolis made up of medium-sized cities

The metropolis of Grenoble is home to many municipalities. If we limit ourselves to the immediate agglomeration, the whole is a relatively homogeneous and rather well organized city. Some municipalities integrate better than others thanks in particular to the tram which facilitates transport. For example La Tronche is served by 3 tram stations, the nearest of which takes you to the hyper centre of Grenoble (Museum, Place Notre Dame, Halles Saintes Claires) in 2 stops, which is just 5 minutes!

Getting around Grenoble

We often talk about traffic jams and pollution in Grenoble. Grenoble is one of the cities that has developed the most bike paths and bicycles are very numerous to walk the highways by bike. In the hyper-centre of Grenoble, pedestrians and cyclists are kings.

Beyond the hyper centre, the tram allows you to move at any time of the day very quickly and comfortably. The bus network is efficient and some can take to the mountains to go hiking, skiing, climbing, or just going home.

For example, Bus 62, which serves a stop close to the Chalet de Rozan, connects the city centre (Museum) to the Col de Porte. It even offers to take bikes in the back or in the hold.

Weather question, we’re not bad.

When it’s bad, it doesn’t pretend, but most of these grey periods are concentrated in winter. And it is always possible to escape at altitude to have the chance to pass over the cloud sea.
But most of the time, the sun is present and rather generous. On the hillside – on the Bastille side and La Tronche – the sun hits a little harder and we are sheltered from the drafts. The rozan chalet district is nicknamed “The Little Nice” for the micro climate that prevails and which benefits a flora worthy of the south of France.

Daytime sports activities in Grenoble

The somewhat active Grenobles sometimes complain. We can’t do everything !!! Hiking, trailing, road biking, mountain biking, climbing, via ferrata, paragliding and all the other sports imaginable in the mountains are added to the sports that can be enjoyed elsewhere.

If you are not motorized, most of the sites are accessible by bus with a little organization. Public transport is quite well organized and reliable.

If you only have one thing to do, of course the climb to the Bastille is unavoidable. The climb is very pleasant on foot and you can for example climb on one side (by the Casemate for example) and go down the other (the dolphin garden). Once at the top, take the time to visit and see to climb up to Mount Jalla. Yes it’s tiring but the higher you go the more the view is pr
odigious! If you really insist, you can take the bubbles but frankly… It’s prettier from afar, isn’t it?

Cultural activities in the Grenoble metropolis

But yes, the cultural life of Grenoble is particularly rich and varied! Grenoble has the distinction of having a fabric of theatre and concert halls spread over all the territories of the metropolis, including in the cities of the agglomeration.

The House of Culture (MC2), the Belle Electric are the most emblematic places among many others that are worth a visit. The programming satisfies all tastes.

On the exhibition side, Grenoble has many very interesting museums. The Grenoble Museum sits in the historic heart of the city as a cultural lung and is much appreciated by locals and visitors alike.

Shopping in Grenoble

Not to mention the shopping streets that resemble other city centres, Grenoble is distinguished by the impressive number of high quality bookstores. Note that shopping in the many pedestrian streets is very pleasant. You will not be advised of course on shopping malls such as “Grand Place” which are pales copy of “Lyon Part-Dieu” or other horror cloned without any interest.

Local production

In Grenoble, you won’t find anything but Chartreuse and nuts! If you take a little time to wander around the city and the many markets, you will discover nuggets from here and there. Locally brewed beers, handicrafts, cheeses, etc. You can only be encouraged to favour local producers over national supermarkets.

Go out in the evening

The city has no shortage of festive and tasteful possibilities. There is something for everyone in terms of bars, restaurants with a generally very nice atmosphere.

The Grenobles

As everywhere, in Grenoble, there are lots of nice people but also cool months. Because traffic is difficult in the car, drivers are easily nervous. Prefer cyclists who always have a smile. And frankly, the jerks like to meet in the same places that we spot pretty quickly so it’s obvious.

At the green light, remember to check anyway that no one burns the fire because this is unfortunately c
ommon. In the shops, take the time. In Grenoble, we like to exchange a little even if others wait behind.

Grenoble and urban planning

We’re not going to do a geo history class. Simply put, Grenoble is divided into 3 times and 3 urbanisms that can be observed in panoramic view of the Bastille for example.

  1. The historic centre of Grenoble is spread around Notre Dame Cathedral, which dates back to the 13th century. The streets of the historic district are mostly very well restored and above all very lively. The architecture of the time still works very well to make life pleasant, with sheltered areas and sunny squares. At the other end of the historic district is the town garden – a very pleasant place – then the Isère. A pedestrian walkway gives access to the right bank formerly Italian quarter and now very trendy with its benches at the water’s edge and its many pizzerias. Saint Laurent Street closes this crossing stopped by the mountain.
  2. The many neighbourhoods and towns built between 1950 and 1980 are an urban disaster. With exceptions, these thermal colanders without any architectural homogeneity promote the ill-being, delinquency and bad reputation of the city. Considerable efforts are being made to rehabilitate these urban failures, but Grenoble will remain marked for a long time by this bad taste.
  3. The more pragmatic recent development has revitalized Grenoble. From the famous 3 towers and the construction of the magnificent university campus, Grenoble presents a much more welcoming face. Whether you like these 3 towers or not, they are part of the landscape and the identity of the city. You can see them perfectly well from the Chalet de Rozan! These towers represent the city’s innovative capabilities and have been models for seismic towers around the world.
    The gradual construction of the tramway has also greatly improved the face and comfort of the city.

Travel and parking in Grenoble

This is a subject that is being debated in Grenoble. Either we love or we hate the evolution of the city in recent years. On the road in Grenoble, the car is both essential to enjoy the surroundings and also unwelcome in the city centre.

Parking not bad in Grenoble

Even if the Grenobles often grumble, the car parks of the city centre are rather well distributed and organized.

  • A few “relay parkings” at each end of the tram lines allow you to leave your car for free in exchange for the purchase of a ticket. Admittedly quickly complete, these car parks are very practical.
  • Underground car parks everywhere make vehicles safe and avoid the stress of the timer ticket. Be aware that some shops and cinema refunds you (partially or totally) the parking ticket as at the Barracks of Bonne for example.
  • Parking on the road is to be avoided during the day. On-street parking is in the sights of the town hall, which aims to encourage smooth travel and also to encourage short parking for shopkeepers. The minimum fine is 35 gloups. The road rate is not necessarily cheaper than in underground parking.
  • The Mistral parking lot of the speed ring (Boulevard Clémenceau) is probably the last to be free. Do not repeat it too much because it is still quite easy to find room and 5-10 minutes of walking lead very quickly into the hyper center.

So we have the right to be for or against, but forget the idea of parking in front of a bakery to buy you a sandwich. This little constraint brings a real feeling of well-being in the city center provided you walk or pedal a little.

Contrasting movements

Grenoble is cut in half. Neighbourhoods/cities served by the tram and others. The tram works great, including late evenings and weekends. The network is now extensive, reliable and not very expensive.

In addition to the tram lines, the metropolis has set up express lines that can make great distances very quickly with reserved lanes and good reliability. Their frequencies are higher at peak times and days. As soon as you move away from the city centre, public transport is less successful. Notably the SNCF lines between Lyon and Grenoble and between Chambery and Grenoble.

The bike is ROI in Grenoble

Grenoble is the flatstest city in Europe. So you don’t have to have done the Tour de France to get around by bike in Grenoble. Every effort is made to reward cyclists even if it never looks enough. The black spot is bike flying, which is undoubtedly one of the favorite activities of some living long before skiing! Also watch out for motorists who are sometimes irresponsible and dangerous to behave…

In any case, cycling around the city of Grenoble is a great way to visit quickly and save time.

Grenoble and the 4 mountain ranges

So few Grenobles know their chance to be surrounded by 4 mountain ranges each as majestic, wild, preserved and contrasting. For those who crapahute a little, the playing field is almost infinite. For our visitors, it’s all good reasons to come back in summer, winter and the following year!

The Chartreuse massif

No it does not drink, it is a mountain. The notoriety of the massif is less than the liquor of the same name. The Chartreuse massif is the easiest to reach since Grenoble. In La Tronche, we’re already a little in Chartreuse while being in town! The road to Chartreuse takes us in a few minutes to the Sappey and in 15-20 minutes to the Col de Porte. This pass represents the real entrance into the massif itself. We recommend that most of our guests go for a walk, summer and winter, there are many things to do for all levels of mountain sports practices, including tourism!

Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, snowshoeing, skiing or walking, climbing, biathlon and even sled dogs or mushroom picking. The Chartreuse has that magic. It satisfies the expectations of a mountaineer as well as those of a tourist, those of the hunter as the Sunday walker.

The Chartreuse has a cow mountain side that should be wary of anyway as it is home to endless cliffs, holes and forests without any source of water. It is also probably the most “inhabited” and still very much alive farm. There are excellent cheeses!

From Grenoble, the locals (sportsmen a little naughty) do not hesitate to climb the road of the Charmant Som in skating before sunrise or the summit of Chamechaude in ski touring before going to work. Funny practice but honestly, the ascent of Chamechaude at sunrise or sunset has something surreal so it’s beautiful, wild and yet very close to the city.

We offer a lot of hiking topos. And everyone is recommended to go to the inn of Charmant Som and its adjoining farm that sells the cheeses of cows well present in the surrounding pastures.

The Belledonne massif

In front of the Chalet de Rozan, the Belledonne massif gives us its show mornings and evenings and we never tire of observing the shades of green, white, pink, orange, blue depending on the hours of the day from the terrace of the house. As most of our guests point out, the view of The Chalet de Rozan is extraordinary. Thank you the Belledonne massif, it was there long before us!

The Belledonne massif is majestic and very imposing. Culminating at the 3000m limit, this massif is rather compact and impenetrable to the uninitiated. No road crosses it and it’s fine like that. So the roads leading to it all end with a parking lot to say goodbye to his car. Beyond that, it is Mother Nature who decides and we can say that she did it well. Unlike the Chartreuse, Belledonne has no shortage of water. Dozens of lakes embellish the hikes to be done summer and winter.

Nearby hikers enjoy a lakeside bivouac before going for a walk on the peaks, observing ibex and chamois. Beyond 2000m, everything is mineral, little vegetation resists altitude but wildlife remains abundant. Marmots, Chamois, Bouquetins, Lagopeeds and Gypsies share the territory.

At Chalet de Rozan, we like to recommend to the less seasoned the climb to Lake Crozet and a dinner at the Freydière La Gelinotte inn. Another place out of time and just 30 minutes from Grenoble.

The Vercors massif

A chouilla further as they say around here. Add 15 minutes and you’re on the Vercors plateau. A change of scenery assured, yet another massif that has its personality distinct from the Chartreuse and Belledonne.

The Vercors massif is a vast plateau between 1000 and 2000m made of rock and vegetation that tells us that we are already in the South. There is not much water here either, as the limestone is too permeable to keep the water on the surface. This is the delight of cavers. Less funny, these natural hiding places were also useful to the resistance fighters of the region during the Second World War.

The Vercors is less our playground although the view of this massif from the rozan cottage is not so bad. It is more the crossing of Grenoble that holds us back than the climb on the plateau. Once up there, winter or summer, you never get bored. Temple of cross-country skiing with the plateau of Gève, Bois Barbu, Corrençon, Autrans and Méaudre, you can also when the snow is missing practice climbing, trailing, hiking, climbing.

Last point and not least, we eat great. Vercors cheese is excellent, as is the local beer and Romans ravioli.

For us, the Vercors is the gateway to the South. We gladly push to the Diois or even the Triève where it is good to live.

The Taillefer massif

Beware, even some Grenoblois confuse it with Belledonne or the Scripts. But no, this (relatively) small massif is well isolated between valleys more or less high that delimit it.

The summit of this massif that bears his name is very busy especially in the summer but a little winter too. Access is relatively easy especially by providing a playful bivouac at the edge of one of the lakes of the lake plateau (forked but shush it appears that we no longer have the right of the called like that).

Without necessarily aiming for the summit, many walks, hikes, via ferrata are accessible from L’Alpe du Grand Serre or Ornon.

The southern part of the massif is less easy to access and much wilder with peaks that are close to 3000m and which requires to have the alpine foot …

The UT4M: ultra trail of the 4 massifs

Grenoble has a number of ultra-trailers, i.e. humans who run (voluntarily) more than 80kms in the mountains, in semi-autonomy, with some refuelling.

We know the UTMB around Mont Blanc. The UT4M is the local equivalent but as the Grenoble is very proud, he designed the race a little longer and a little harder. So it’s 171kms and more than 11000m of positive gradient…

We can talk more about it when you come to the Chalet de Rozan, your host has finished the race several times!

Location of La Tronche in Grenoble

The ideal location in Grenoble

When we arrived in Grenoble in 2014, as good city dwellers, we set out in search of a beautiful large family apartment in the city centre with – necessarily – a terrace view mountain. After an unsuccessful search to bring together the beautiful, the big and the mountain view in the city centre, we are forced to widen the perimeter to the “near suburbs”. To anticipate the needs of children, we target Seyssins and La Tronche because the two cities meet two unstoppable criteria: tram – fast mountain access.

It was finally in La Tronche that we had the crush on a house that was almost ruined but overlooking the city in an amazing calm so close to the centre. Seyssins is separated from Grenoble by the motorway and the Comboire Area, both of which are hideous and noisy. In addition, Seyssins gives quite quick access to the southern part of Grenoble which is not the most interesting.

The mountain to the city on the banks of the Isère

The Tronche is separated from Grenoble by the Isère, exactly where this beautiful river provides well-built banks for pedestrians. In addition, the Grenoble district near Isère is the most interesting historical district. Only 2 tram stops separate La Tronche from “Our Lady Museum”, a hyper centre in Grenoble.

These aspects, which we did not necessarily identify in an obvious way at the beginning, bring a real comfort of daily life, whether for our children who go every day to the high school of Grenoble center, or for us and our customers.

The south-facing hillside and its micro climate

We smiled at the first days when we heard the locals talk about little Nice to designate the district of the Black Virgin and the Coteau in La Tronche. It must be recognized that the area is protected by the Chartreuse massif of the northern winds and enjoys optimal sunshine. It is not uncommon to see Grenoble plunged into the mist when the sun points to the Rozan Chalet.

In winter, the temperature felt is a little milder than in the valley background due to the slightest humidity. And in the summer the vegetation still dense enough works like a natural air conditioner to save us some precious degrees.

So from there to talk about Petit Nice, we will simply say that it is good to live on the way to the hillside in La Tronche, so close to the nicest neighborhoods of Grenoble and already in Chartreuse.