The Vallée d'Abondance is world famous for its Abondance breed of cattle, which grazes high up in the summer "alpages" and produce the genuine AOC Abondance cheese. Abondance is a raw-milk cheese, made exclusively from milk produced by the Abondance cows.
The fabrication processdates back for almost 700 years.
The taste is mild, but yet distinguished, like the French Beauford cheese.
The farmers will gladly help you and let you taste this delicious symbol of the valley.
p.s. usually they also offer a Tomme de Savoie, which is also worthwhile trying.
La Chapelle d'Abondance is one of the 12 villages of the world famous Les Portes du Soleil. Whether you are a beginner or an expert freetyle skier... this ski area offers great winter fun for everyone!
From over the whole region people visit Les Cornettes for it's high standard, but yet very approachable dishes. Almost everything, from cheeses to hams, are home made. This restaurant symbolises the abundant gastronomy of the valley. Don't be surprised when you see local farmers, tourists and big French families altogether.
By the way: the valley's called "La vallée d'Abondance", which means "the valley of abundancy". This is why.. ;-)
Favorite Dish: What I can recommend is a simple "assiete charcuterie". You get local hams, sausages, pates and cheeses with bread on a wooden plate. Almost anything is home made.
It's a great choice with a good, local wine. Especially as a reward after a long hike in the surrounding mountains.
Although La Chapelle attracts many tourists throughout the year, it doesn't have a busy, buzzing nightlife. For the real apres-ski, for example, the neighbouring village "Chatel" offers mucn more. Even a free drop-off service.
However, I would like to share at least one special "nightlife" tip with you in La Chapelle. It's a pub called Le Fer Rouge, which means "the red iron". Just take a look at the iron roof and you might get an idea why they chose this name...
Le Fer Rouge brews its own beers. Sitting at the bar or in the cosy living room you can see the copper beer barrels in the attic. Their speciality is Hot Beer. I haven't tried it, because it already was a warm day, but I can imagine it might be tasty on a cold, cold winters day.
p.s. they also offer local dishes for about 15-30 euro.
Closed: from 15 May - 15 June and from 15 October - 15 December
Dress Code: There's no dress code here. Local village people come here, as well as tourists that have just been in the mountains, skiing or hiking.
In many cultures it's considered rude when you arrive 15 minutes late at an informal appointment. The French however, hold a completely different perspective on this. Being on time can be considerd to be rude.
When a Frenchman invites you for dinner at his home, then please, come late. These 15 minutes "en plus" give your host the time to prepare everything in perfection. He can also take a moment for himself, after having been in the kitchen etc.
That's why you will hardly hear a specific time, when you're invited. They will never say "at 7 pm". Instead they will ask you "around 7".
The Vallée d'Abondance is close to the Swiss border. Many tourist visit Switzerland when they're here, but forget to change their euros into Swiss francs.
It's usually always possible to pay with euros (except for supermarkets and shops), but beware... almost every hotel, restaurant or pub have their own currency.
Unique Suggestions: It might be cheaper to pay with credit card OR to get some francs at the nearest ATM.