The good life and casual atmosphere absolutely sum up this narrow strip connecting the Bugey to the Bresse area. Still, from Lons-le-Saunier to the Pont-d’Ain, the Revermont is truly mountainous with sun-kissed slopes that stand in sharp contrast to the misty mornings of the Bresse “bocage” landscape of hedges and fields. Hardly surprising, then, that great writers have come to spend time in the villages of stone houses and famously welcoming inhabitants.
Revermont, Real Mountain among the Karst
To the careful observer, the limestone typology of the relief has shaped the landscapes and created a great many interesting places to discover. The Revermont begins to look like an oversized Gruyère cheese, dotted with holes infiltrated by the water that then unexpectedly jets out again. As the first western foothill of the Jura Mountains, its location provides a vantage point over the Bresse plain, as far as the Mâconnais and the distant Lyon peaks.
At 660 m high, Mont-Myon is what most people look for. Designated as an outstanding natural site for many years, it remains a goal for many hikers (the GR59 passes through here). This is a particularly renowned spot in the paragliding community, because of its grassed dome configuration and gentle slopes. Another unique feature is the local flora and its many species including orchids, wild daffodils, anemones and bear’s garlic, among others.
Behind it, Mont Nivigne sits majestically at 768 m. This is the high point of the local area. It can be accessed by several hiking routes, in particular from the Suran Valley, through which the Revermont’s best loved river flows. Heaven for trout fishermen, the River Suran changes name after about 70 km, where it flows into the River Ain, the iconic river from which the French department gets its name. The River Ain fittingly keeps its prettiest stretch flowing through the Revermont, through amazing wild gorges. Apart from fishing, there are also ‘vertical activities’, such as climbing, walking along dizzyingly high paths and potholing.
Revermont, History Etched in Stone
For those in a hurry, a trip to the “Sentier de Mémoire de Pierre” recounts the local history, engraved in the limestone. The Cavets are the inhabitants of the Revermont, and the name is derived from the former main local business activity: vineyards. Every traditional home here comes with its own cellar, in the charming medieval village of Treffort for example, founded on a steep slope of the relief. Further to the south, Meillonnas was more famous for its royal pottery works and as the place where author Roger Vaillant lived. The other home-grown writer was called Bernard Clavel. It was in his property at Courmangoux near Coligny, that he wrote “Les Grands Malheurs”.
If you are in Treffort-Cuisiat, make sure you visit the Musée du Revermont and its old fruit conservatory. A major autumn fruit produce market is held each year in the village.