a hidden treasure out of time

You all know "Choranche" thanks to the cave of the same name, but this small village of 140 inhabitants has many other treasures to reveal to you. Indeed, after Pont-en-Royans which won the 2021 edition and the participation of Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye in 2022, it is the town of Choranche which won the "My beautiful village" competition organized by Le Dauphiné Libéré and Le Progrès for the department of Isère. It will then face the victorious villages of the other departments of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Choranche, witness to a rich heritage

Choranche, a small village in Vercors nestled at the foot of the cliffs of PreslesSMVI Community

The history of the town of Choranche dates back to antiquity, with the presence of several Roman roads in the region. The village is then mentioned for the first time in medieval texts, dating from the 1914th century, under the name of "Chaurange". At that time, Choranche was part of the mandate of Villard-de-Lans, which was then an important seigneury in the region. Over the centuries, Choranche developed thanks to its strategic location at the foot of the cliffs of the Vercors massif. The inhabitants then mainly practice agriculture and livestock, as well as forestry. In the 1918th century, Choranche turned to industry, with the installation of several water mills and a silk spinning mill. This economic activity will however be stopped by the arrival of the 1967-XNUMX war, which will severely affect the region. In XNUMX, Choranche began to turn to tourism, with the development of the cave of Choranche for the visit of the general public. This tourist activity will grow more and more over the decades, with the opening of hotels, restaurants and many leisure activities in the region.

Today, Choranche is a dynamic commune which combines the preservation of its natural and cultural heritage with the development of its tourism and its local economy.

Choranche-les-Bains, spa resort and miraculous spring

Hundreds of patients flocked to Choranche-les-Bains, renowned for its sulphurous and hepatized mineral waters, supposed to cure respiratory and skin ailments.

“Cures are marvelous! At least four hundred and fifty people use it and most of them with great success”

Two large-scale buildings accommodated spa guests. The actual thermal baths which housed the baths as well as the Hotel Continental. Opened in 1898, the spa closed during the first war. It reopened with new investors in 1924 then closed definitively in 1940. Since then, water has given man its strength in a different way.

choranche and hydroelectricity

In its tumultuous bed between Villard-de-Lans and Pont-en-Royans, the Bourne river tumbles with a great crash, a slope which multiplies the force of this torrent tenfold and provides the energy necessary for the factories, mills, sawmills of the sector. . With the development of the Bournillon factory in 1903 just opposite Choranche, Man tamed this energy to transform it into electricity. The construction of dams and hydraulic power stations have made it possible to supply all of Royans and have shaped our Vercors landscapes.

A beautiful story whose facilities you will see along the new 33km trail “Au Fil de la Bourne” linking Saint-Nazaire-en-Royans to Balme-de-Rencurel and crossing the village of Choranche.

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View of the Cirque de BournillonTas2cailloux by Inspiration Vercors

an exceptional setting for nature lovers

The small village of Choranche is nestled in the hollow of the Cirque de Choranche with its exuberant nature, at the foot of the cliffs of Presles more than 300 meters high. You will reach the village by the sublime Vercors road from Bourne Gorge which connects Pont-en-Royans to Villard-de-Lans and will be charmed by the panoramas of cliffs, waterfalls, caves, rivers and by the range of outdoor activities that surround you.  

A paradise for athletes

The sumptuous natural setting of Choranche offers visitors a wide range of outdoor activities for all tastes: fishing in the Bourne river, base jumping and climbing for thrill seekers along the steep cliffs overlooking the village and caving in the caves of Choranche. Many hiking routes start from the town or cross it.  

boat on the lake of gournier caving chorancheJustine Peilley
sound and light at the choranche caveClo&Clém by Inspiration Vercors

the cave of choranche

Listed among the emblematic Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes sites, the cave of Choranche attracts more than 100 visitors each year. Renowned for its emerald waters, its thousands of fistulous stalactites and the presence of Protes, cave creatures, the site highlights the underground world in an effort to preserve this fragile environment.  

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a Mediterranean micro-climate

The village of Choranche occupies a strategic position in the Gorges de la Bourne. The omnipresence of water with the underground rivers which converge at Choranche and the Bourne river, its southern exposure and the thermal radiation of the high limestone cliffs favor a micro-climate which gives this mountain village an air of Provence. The vestiges of terraced agriculture and the wine-growing activity of yesteryear (now gone due to mildew) show that Man has been able to take advantage of this favorable situation for a long time.

The botanical tours of Les Aromatiques de Choranche will allow you to discover the origin, properties and transformation recipes of aromatic and medicinal plants cultivated with love in this exceptional environment.

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group of visitors at the foot of the mountain in the middle of aromatic and medicinal plants in the shape of a heartAnne-Lise Salazar

a walk to see everything

Departing from the village of Choranche, this short hike will make you discover all the different remarkable geological curiosities of the village: the emergence of the Gournier and its underground lake, the majestic tuff waterfall with an obligatory passage to the famous cave of Choranche and a detour possible via the Balme-Rousse cave.

  • 2h15 round trip
  • Average level
  • 5,7km
  • 436m of elevation gain

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choranche, an unmissable fresh stop in the vercors

As you have understood, in Choranche, everything comes together to offer the dream setting for your next stay. Gastronomy, panoramas, idleness, sports and cultural activities...

restaurants in choranche

accommodation in choranche

hikes in choranche