The Vanil Noir area is one of pre-Alpine landscapes of special beauty that shelter a great variety of flora and fauna. It is listed in the inventory of natural sites and monuments of national importance.
The Vanil Noir Nature Reserve, spanning the borders of Vaud and Fribourg Cantons, covers an area of almost 15 square kilometres, ten of which belong to Pro Natura. The Fribourg part consists of the small valleys of Bounavaux and Les Morteys, stretching right up to the top of the Vanil Noir (2,389 m. above sea level, the highest mountain in the Canton).
The Council of State bestowed on the Vanil Noir the status of reserve in 1983. The exceptional flora of Morteys Valley in particular is the principal reason for the site being classified.
The following botanical specimens can be seen there : Bristling betony, the Pyramidal orchid (tanayensis variety), and the Lin Alps, as well as the Alpine Scabious and the Tete de Dragon Ruysch. Apart from the Ibex and the Chamois, the observer will have the chance to see the Variable hare, the Partridge (sometimes called Bartavelle or Royal Partridge), the Ptarmigan or Snow partridge and the Bearded.
Huts in the Reserve
"Cabane des Marrindes" (www.cas-gruyere.ch)
"Cabane de Bounavaux" (www.cas-gruyere.ch)
Two nature paths have been developed. One marked route is illustrated in a brochure that is on sale in the huts in the reserve, in tourist offices in the area or from Pro Natura Fribourg, at CHF 8.-.
No dogs, even held on a lead, are permitted in the whole area of the Reserve.