Before being a tourist destination, Arêches-Beaufort is above all two villages that live all year round. 2100 permanent inhabitants attached to their territory and their traditions, with 2 schools and 1 college, shops, services, accommodation, restaurants open all year round.
First agricultural land, Arêches and Beaufort saw tourism develop at the end of the XNUMXth century.th century with a few hotels in Beaufort that attract city dwellers in search of the outdoors. Here, they discover Roselend honey, Beaufort, already, and mountain excursions. Then comes the development of winter sports. Tourists hiked to the top of the Grand-Mont and international races were even organized in the 1930s on the Grand-Mont piste, before the first ski lifts set up by Gaspard Blanc in 1947.
In 1900, a tourist guide specifies: "The many mules that the country has are rented when agricultural work does not occupy them". Everything has been said, agriculture and tourism will always be linked.
Later, the construction of the Saint-Guérin and Roselend dams turned life in the valley upside down. These alpine lands are flooded for the benefit of electricity production. These sites will bring work and change the landscape with new housing for workers.
Agriculture, hydroelectricity and tourism are the 3 historical pillars of the valley, which are still reflected in the life of the villages today.
Arêches, Beaufort & the Hamlets
One of the largest municipalities in the region, Beaufort benefits from nearly 15000 ha of land. The farmers' system of "stirring" between the chalets at different altitudes has shaped the habitat of the region. In summer, the peasants change chalet regularly to follow the development of the pastures with the herds.
We thus discover many hamlets outside the villages: the Curtillets, the Prés, the Cernix, are spread above Beaufort, on the slope of the sun as the writer Roger Frison-Roche baptized it. Les Carroz, Le Planay and Boudin unveil their charm at the foot of the Arêches mountain pastures. Le Bersend, perched on its plateau, dominates the valley with a panoramic view of the 2 villages.
You will discover each of these hamlets with their specificities, and their chapels, witnesses of the heritage of the region.
Rich in its history, Arêches-Beaufort is therefore naturally committed to respecting nature. Farmers continue to shape and maintain the Alpine landscapes. Hiking ground in summer, these wide meadows offer open ski slopes in winter.
All the economic players are involved with, in particular, the ski lift operating company which operates with renewable electricity obviously coming from dams in the region or even special offers for ski passes encouraging carpooling.
The municipality of Beaufort is the first in France to have signed the national charter in favor of sustainable development in mountain resorts in 2007. This charter results in the implementation of concrete actions and specific offers to protect its environment : waste management, energy consumption, protection of flora and fauna, etc.