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Hiking to the ruined Château de Montfort with Raph’s Mum

France

, 2019

It has everything; butterflies, flowers, mountains and ‘le chateau’!

Deep in the Isere valley, leading up to the Dent de Crolles (2062m) the Chateau De Montfort sits mercifully (only 350m) on a prominent mound of hills. We walked up with Jill (Raph’s Mother) who is 57 and who had no problem. Although she did wish we told her about the possibility of mud!

You can get to the castle ruins by 2 main ways. The first and quickest is to hike up from the bottom of the funicular. it is only a 100m walk up the hill, but took us about 20mins. Line Express 1 (EXP1) goes from Grenoble to Lumbin and stops outside the funicular on the way.

The closest train station is in Brignoud which is about an hour walk down a busy road.

The 2nd way is to walk through the wooded foothills behind the Crolles Marie. Start off in the direction of the Crolles waterfall, and you can follow a tough path that slowly traverses and ascends to the chateau.

We did it in reverse, starting at the bottom funicular station and finishing at the Crolles Marie.

The Castle site was first developed in the 1000s. Probably little more than a small wooden fort then, it was developed throughout the centuries before it eventually fell into ruin in the 1500s. However, lots of castle is still standing, enough cast your mind back and get the feeling of how the medieval site was organised.

Part of the ruins are blocked off with warning signs, due to legitimate concerns about the site’s safety in a landslip – however on the calm dry day, we didn’t hesitate to walk up to get the photo from above shown below.

We saw lots of butterflies, including this Swallowtail butterfly, which is quite common in Southern France.