From Perouges to Bugey

Hike from Vareilles – Blue Lake to the Château de St-Germain

The start is along the Gardon at the entrance to Vareilles. The heritage trail explains the history of the district, up to the blue lake. The path continues to the remains of the castle and the old medieval town of Saint Germain. A family must!

Distance : 6 km
Duration : 2 p.m.
Level : Moderate
Elevation : 349 D +
Hike from Vareilles – Blue Lake to the Château de St-Germain
Distance : 6 km
Duration : 2 p.m.
Level : Moderate
Elevation : 349 D +
Departure: Ambérieu-en-Bugey
Earth, Hard surface (tar, cement, floor), Not suitable for pushchairs
Pet Friendly
The slope to access the castle entrance can be slippery in some seasons. Be careful around the castle and in the ruins.
Download the circuit: GPX JPG Roadmap

The explanatory panels, at the level of the district of Vareilles, accompany you to the blue lake, whose name comes from its turquoise waters. (swimming and nautical activities prohibited)

We learn that from 1344, the force of water was used by mills.
From the XNUMXth century, many textile and cotton factories were set up downstream from the lake's water reservoir.
It is this important past for the development of the hamlet that it is proposed to discover along the path bordering the Gardon stream.

Formerly called "Le Grand Foulon" or "l'Écluse", the water reservoir of the Gardon is now called blue lake, because of its sometimes turquoise color. It is a pleasant stopping point for the walk with its picnic tables.

All that remains is to continue along the path to the ruins of the Château de St Germain. (marked path from the blue lake, 1 hour to return to the entrance of rue de Vareilles).

On the spot, very complete panels will tell you the life and the architecture of this old medieval borough organized around the current vestiges of the castle. You will also learn more about the excavation and restoration site, which is still in operation.
Breathtaking view of the plain of Ambérieu at the back of the castle.
Picnic tables under the trees for a cool snack break.

Your itinerary

Departure Ambérieu-en-Bugey


Departure variant

Lac bleu via Vareilles: follow rue de Vareilles straight to the lake (to the left of the cross) keeping the Gardon stream on your right. Bonus: explanatory panels teach you more about the history of this district. (NB: inhabited area with vehicle passage possible and no sidewalk to the lake. Be careful). Then follow instructions from the blue lake.

Departure (official trail)

At the car park, take rue des Echelles (to the right of the cross) along the stone wall of the castle (no sidewalk for a few meters). At the end, at the corner of the castle buildings, take the middle street (rue des grands champs) and continue straight through the housing estate on the chemin des Grands Champs (pavement for a large part) until you enter a path in the undergrowth.

Access to blue lake

Further, turn left on the path "towards Bonnard" at the level of a stone house. At the end, turn right to reach the blue lake.

From the blue lake to the castle of St Germain

At blue lake, stay on the right bank (do not cross the bridge) and continue straight until an intersection with a hairpin bend to the right. Follow the bends and the path to a new cross intersection. Take the right turn and continue straight until you come to the ruins of the Château de St-Germain.

Return to car park

After the detour at the castle, take the path again to continue straight ahead on the porte-château path. At the end, turn left onto rue des grands champs, then opposite via rue des Echelles to return to the car park.

Learn more

Advice from the Office

Photo spot: breathtaking view of the plain of Ambérieu and the Albarine valley from the castle. Very beautiful sunset.

In case of rain

Do not panic ! Here are all our sheltered activities.

On the way back

To bring back a souvenir or something to treat yourself, stock up on local products from Pérouges in Bugey.








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