Just 7 km from the Bard Fortress, on the right-hand side of the Champorcher Valley, when looking downstream, Pontboset is a pretty village situated at an altitude of 780 metres, still preserving many period buildings. The village was under the authority of the barons of Champorcher in the Middle Ages, and the two stone bridges over the raging waters of the Ayasse stream and the parish church date back to that time. The Ayasse is famed for river trout fishing and doing whitewater kayaking, thanks to its morphological features and pure waters. Start from Pontboset for pleasant walks to discover countless natural beauty spots.
Points of interest
The shrine lies on a vast plateau that offers a fine view stretching as far as Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn (il Cervino). It dates back to 1835 and is dedicated to Our Lady of the Visitation and Saint Roch.
Inside, it preserves a gilded wooden statue of the Virgin Mary and two polychrome statues depicting Saint Andrew and Saint Bartholomew. The shrine isthe destination of a traditional pilgrimage on July 2.
The Village of Barmelle
The climb up to Barmelle is a journey back through time. The mule trail that starts from Villa Francini, in the Municipality of Champorcher, clings to the rock face. It has sheer drops in some sections and is supported by low dry stone walls. Higher up are plenty of level sections, with terraces of cherry and ash trees. When you see a beautiful fountain made out of a large rock, you will know you have almost arrived at the hamlet.
Walk just a few dozen metres more and you will reach the characteristic residential area, accessible by cable-car. The chapel with the white façade stands out from here and can easily be seen from kilometres away. Visitors can then wander among the tightly-packed stone houses and explore a typical example of a rural village.
Six bridges and ravines route
An enjoyable hike in the chestnut forests and along the waterways downstream of Pontboset. This itinerary offers wonderfully scenic views. The streams feature deep holes with sections of cascading water interspersed with pools where the water flows more slowly and where it is not unusual to be able to admire the fish.
A touring aperitif trail is organised in the historical quarter of the town in July, with tasting and presentation of local produce. It is a chance to introduce tourists and the people who live there to little-known places and spots of historical interest.
Festival of Sanzet
A festival started to promote this typical traditional local winter dish is put on in the historical district of the town on the Sunday after Boxing Day. Cooking and tasting this product has always been a moment of celebration. With the festival, the organisers seek to revive the tradition and get as many people as possible involved in this moment.