The hamlet of Ecot, located 2000 m above sea level, classified site since 1971, represents a treasure of preserved mountain authenticity. With its old stones and slate roofs it is a cultural and architectural heritage completely preserved.
Situated 4 km from Bonneval sur Arc, l'Ecot is accessible in the summer by a small road leading to a car park, a 15-minute walk from the hamlet.
If you have already forgotten the car, you can also reach the hamlet from the village, in an hour's walk and contemplation, taking the delightful "sentier des Agneaux", walking through the pastures, and along the Arc canyon and its picturesque potholes spanned by the Pont de la Lama, a superb Roman vaulted bridge.
L'Ecot is both the goal and the starting point of many walks for all levels (family, bucolic, hikers, mountain dwellers, ...).
The mountain pasture paths will then lead you to the Carro or Evettes refuges, to fantastic glacial cirques, or to the pure and wild springs of the Arc... Here are other suggestions for walks and hikes via and towards the Ecot.
In winter, a groomed track will open the doors to the pure mountain world that permeates the atmosphere of l'Ecot...
Scrutinising the landscapes of the valley bottom, it is sometimes difficult to discern a few stone houses, covered with lauses, nestling on a fold, overlooking the Arc gorges: The hamlet of l'Ecot is in perfect symbiosis with the majestic environment of this site. The very beautiful Romanesque style Sainte-Marguerite chapel, (frescoes from the Middle Ages), dominates the tightly packed houses below around the cobbled alleyway.
Cupolas engraved on the rocks polished by the glaciers bear witness to the prehistoric imprint of the place. Piedmontese shepherds would have settled with their flocks around the 5th century, surviving the harsh and frugal conditions of the altitude. Inhabited all year round until 1960, then abandoned in winter, l'Ecot is once again the permanent home of several young Bonneval families.
L'Ecot, represents a completely preserved cultural and architectural heritage which seduced Nicolas Vanier during his search for a filming site for his film Belle et Sébastien. Many people remember this television series from the 1960s retracing the extraordinary encounter between a mountain child and a wild dog. The hamlet of l'Ecot fitted exactly the scenario, the shooting took place in 2012, the film was released in 2013 and "made" 3 million admissions. Christian Duguy directed the sequel to this story entitled Belle et Sébastien, l'aventure continue in 2014. L'Ecot is obviously the main setting, the film was released in December 2015.
Belle et Sébastien 3 was released in theatres in February 2018. This episode was also filmed in Bonneval and in the hamlet of L'Ecot.
The hamlet of l'Ecot breathes the authenticity and simplicity with which you will be welcomed at Bonneval!
All year round, daily.