There are plenty of good reasons to pedal around the area of San-Antonio with Saint-Chef village where writer Frédéric Dard lived and La Tour-du-Pin, remarkable for its church and contemporary art circuit, and hills with vines, ponds and forests.
Start from Morthelayse hamlet towards Dolomieu via La Petite Frette.
Head to La Faverges-de-la-Tour, then La Ballatière. Turn right towards La Chapelle-de-la-Tour.
Pass by Saint-Martin, Les Plagners et le Molard.
Carry on to Rochetroin via Chatanay.
Turn right towards Montcarra via Reculefort.
Finally, turn right and pass through Les Liobards, Les Balmes and Vignoze to reach your starting point.
« Saint-Chef, village heureux : j'aime ce pays et ses habitants [...] Blotti dans ses collines, c'est le lieu de recueillement, de la méditation, de la sérénité ».
"Saint-Chef is a happy village. I love the area and the locals [...] Nestled in the hills, it's an ideal place for contemplation, meditation and serenity."
- Cycle sports, Signposted Cycling routes
- 28 km
- Trail type:
- Elevation gain:
- 323 m
- Elevation drop:
- 321 m
- Daily duration:
- 2h 15m
Balmes Dauphinoises wines: the wines of the Balmes dauphinoises have a long tradition and continue surprising wine enthusiasts. Until the middle of the 18th century, Isère had vast vineyards, especially in the north. The sunny hillsides around Saint-Chef pursue the tradition, growing grapes used to make Balmes Dauphinoises wine. Local winegrowers include Noël Martin who uses traditional winemaking methods. His vineyard is 30-years-old and features several grape varieties including chardonnay, pinot noir and gamay .
Nicolas Gonin, on the other hand, plants only local grape varieties: Altesse, Mondeuse and Persian to name a few "to obtain more complex wines with better potential for ageing". Awarded the organic label in 2012, one of his goals is to revive old grape varieties.
- Domaine Noël Martin, Mont de Trieux, 38890 Saint-Chef. Tel. +33 (0)4 74 92 52 64.
- Domaine Nicolas Gonin, 945, route des Vignes - 38890 Saint-Chef. Tel. +33 (0)6 10 39 25 15.
History, culture and heritage
Following the trail of San Antonio: Frédéric Dard, author of the adventures of the famous commissioner San-Antonio, was born in Jallieu (now Bourgoin-Jallieu) in 1921. According to his last wishes, he was buried in the cemetery of Saint-Chef, where he spent part of his childhood and returned regularly to recharge his batteries. Visit the village, the abbey and Saint-Chef museum which is partly dedicated to his work.
L’église abbatiale de Saint-Chef: this church is a model example of French religious heritage, with some of the most elaborate and best-preserved 12th-century Romanesque frescoes that are also probably the least known to the general public. The decorations cover the entire room (almost 100 m2), from the floor, covered with gold and blue mosaics, to the vault.
Le Musée du Tisserand Dauphinois: located in La Bâtie-Montgascon, this museum is dedicated to the history of weaving in the 19th century. The 700 m² exhibition in an old rehabilitated weaving factory features hand and mechanical looms in perfect working order.
L’église de La Tour-du-Pin: the outstanding features of this church are two triptychs, one of which dates back to the 16th century and depicts the crucifixion. This Renaissance work of art, listed as a historical monument, was attributed to a pupil of Dürer for a long time. The other more contemporary triptych by painter Arcabas, "Visit of the Magi of the East", evokes the adoration of the Magi. In the same area, the Ronde d'un Art du Monde is a contemporary art circuit in Faverges-de-la-Tour, Rochetoirin, Saint-Jean-de-Soudain and La Tour-du-Pin.
Contact details & information
Office de Tourisme Intercommunal des Balcons du Dauphiné
- 38110 Dolomieu
From 01/07 to 31/10.
Subject to favorable weather.