Beaufort, Savoie: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Beaufort (Rhone-Alpes region)

Visit Beaufort (Rhone-Alpes, France)

Beaufort is a small town and popular resort, both in summer and winter, in the Savoy Alps to the north-east of Albertville in the region called Beaufortain. The town is also known as Beaufort-sur-Doron*, and includes the ski region called Arêches-Beaufort.

*Over the centuries it has been known as Luce, Saint-Maxime, Belfort, Castellania Bellifortis and Saint Maxime de Beaufort so apologies in advance if it is called something different by the time of your visit!

Explore Beaufort

As with many towns in the French Alps your 'visitor experience' will be very different according to whether you are visiting in the winter to pursue skiing and related activities, or in the summer to enjoy walking and exploring the mountain scenery.

River and bridge in centre of Beaufort

While Beaufort has a couple of buildings of minor historical interest, such as the imperial gendarmerie, it is for the proximity to the mountain scenery, the lakes and the outdoor activities that most visitors come here. You will still want to walk through the village, of course, where you will see the attractive houses along the river and cute pedestrian bridges as well as the church with its carved wooden doors and gilded altar.

The tourist office for Beaufort is across the road from the town hall.

Summer visits

In the mountains of Beaufortain to the east of the town you will come across several substantial lakes, mostly man made by the construction of dams. The largest of these is the Lac de Roselend.

If you follow the D925 east from Beaufort towards Bonneval (classified as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France') you have nice views across this lake - we suggest that you should stop when you reach the small chapel by the edge of the road for the beautiful photo opportunities...and a great place for a picnic.

Roselend Chapel is a small romanesque structure with its round chevet and arches, and previously stood in the valley below - the chapel survived the creation of the barrage and lake by being completely dismantled and then rebuilt in its current position in the 1970's.

Popular local activities include cycling, hiking, mountain climbing, while enthusiasts can go (or just go and watch...) hanggliding. Mountain bike enthusiasts are especially well catered for, with the ski lifts taking you up the mountain so you can descend one of several maintained descent courses.

Other local activities include an accrobranche center (treetop adventures) and a via ferrata (a predefined route that is a cross between mountain walking and climbing and helps us non-mountaineers, with the help of a guide, to experience the mountains).

Arêches-Beaufort and winter visits

Domaine de Arêches-Beaufort

The Arêches-Beaufort ski resort has developed around a traditional mountain village at an altitude of 1000 metres just to the south of the town, with skiing on the 50 kilometres of ski runs accessed by skilifts from the resort towards the Grand Mont mountain (skiing up to 2300 metres altitude).

Although it is not among the largest of the ski domaines in the Alps there are a reasonable number of bars and restaurants for your apres-ski activities.

Arêches-Beaufort is open for skiing from the end of December to the end of March, as well as other weekends in December if snow conditions permit.

Beaufort cheese

Beaufort is well known for a cheese of the same name produced in the Beaufortain region. The cheese is highly reputed and also protected by the 'Appellation d'origine protégée' label - that is, cheese produced elsewhere can not call itself Beaufort. Used in dishes such as fondue, pasta sauces, risotto and dauphinois potatoes you will come across the cheese in many of the local restaurants.

When you are exploring the mountains you will see cows that are brown with a white face and underside - these are 'abondance' cows and one of the two races that are used to produce the local Beaufort cheese (along with the all brown 'tarine' cows).

 

Traditional style chalet in Beaufort

Attractions nearby

Beaufort is not far from Albertville, where the winter olympics have been held and where you can visit the medieval village of Conflans. To the north-west of here, and as a change from visiting mountain villages and ski resorts, we reommend you visit the villages and towns around Lake Annecy.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Savoie guide and the Rhone-Alpes guide.

See also:

Map of Beaufort and places nearby

Visit near Beaufort with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Savoie

Address: Beaufort, Albertville, Rhone-Alpes, 73270, France || GPS: latitude 45.718889, longitude 6.575556

Plan your visit to Beaufort, Savoie

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Albertville: town of art and history (15 km)
  • Megeve: ville fleurie 4* (16 km)
  • Sallanches: recommended detour (25 km)
  • Mont Blanc: site of natural beauty (26 km)
  • Glacier des Bossons: site of natural beauty (29 km)
  • Aiguille du Midi: site of natural beauty (30 km)
  • Le Brévent: site of natural beauty (31 km)
  • Roc de Chere: site of natural beauty (32 km)
  • Lac Cornu: site of natural beauty (34 km)
  • Mer de Glace: site of natural beauty (35 km)
  • Montenvers: site of natural beauty (36 km)

The French version of this page is at Beaufort (Francais)