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“beautiful natural Amphitheatre in the French Alps”

Le Cirque du Fer a Cheval
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the most beautiful national parks in France with dramatic cliff scenery. The start of many walks and refuge trails.
Reviewed August 15, 2011

this is a lovely spot right at the head of the Giffre valley in the French Alps, and just a few metres from the Swiss border - the ring of high mountains making a vast natural amphitheatre with many waterfalls descending into the valley and merging into the main river the Giffre - this was pretty fast and white even in summer so must be spectacular in spring.
we did circular walk from car park/info centre/cafe to the head of the river at Fond de la Combe- fairly flat path but some steeper climbs and rocky bits so need stout shoes - about 5 kms long which took us about 3 hours inc lots of stops for photos + a picnic
need to go over a wooden plank and rope bridge half way round to cross the river or you can retrace your steps if you don't like heights/wobbly bridges
lots of places for picnics or can just sit near and enjoy the cool spray from the waterfalls - not a lot of shade in summer
2 cafes - one at start and one about a quarter of the way around - didn't try food at all as we just needed cold drinks (as there is a captive audience prices are slightly higher than normal)
can also do pony trekking from here but we didn't try that
quite a busy place with lots of local and foreign visitors (as it's in most guide books it seems to be quite a magnet) but still a very beautiful and unspoiled place
not really suitable for those with baby buggies or wheelchairs
info boards some of the way round with info about geology/wildlife
more energetic can go further and higher from here and climb into mountains
a small charge to park - 3 euros

5  Thank tredsoftly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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54 - 58 of 315 reviews

Reviewed August 2, 2011

I've visited this national park half a dozen times with different people of all shapes and sizes and it always impresses. The scenery - tall dramatic cliffs on all sides with dozens of waterfalls - is breathtaking. The main walks all take place on the valley floor and are therefore easy and even suitable for the more sturdy pushchairs/strollers for most of the way. After only 45 minutes or so there is a little cafe with simple sandwiches and drinks, and you can continue to "The end of the world" - "Le Bout du Monde" for another hour or so or just turn back and have ice cream at the restaurant at the start. It is easy to spot wildlife including mountain goats, and there are big boulders along the way which are very inviting for little kids to climb. At peak season (when there is a small parking charge if you want to park close to the site entrance) you can also hire donkeys to carry little ones. And it is the start of some more challenging hikes as well, some of which lead to mountain refuges. If you are in the area, it is definitely a site not to be missed!

4  Thank teegeegeegee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago
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Reviewed 1 week ago
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Thank Fred D
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago
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Thank G5278ZCmariet
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