52 inhabitants (known as "Novellands")
Surface area: 9.9 km²
Altitude: 960 metres
The village of Novel is located at the far eastern edge of the Evian Country, above Saint-Gingolph and less than 1 kilometre from the Swiss border, marked by the Morge mountain stream.
Though today easy to get to from the shore of Lake Léman, Novel remained from its founding in the 12th century up until the 1930s, when the road was built, an isolated mountain village linked to the lowlands bordering the lake by a very long, steep trail that was inaccessible to automobiles and difficult to travel during the winter.
Like many mountain communities, the hamlet was first built on lands belonging to a religious institution. During the 12th century, the canons of Saint Augustine abandoned a portion of their lands (against payment of a tax) to settlers, delegating the village's administration to the provostship of Meillerie. In the 1920s, a fire destroyed the entire village, except for the school (which housed the archives), the presbytery and the church.
Although the original wooden chalets disappeared in the fire of the 1920s and were replaced by stone dwellings, Novel remains a picturesque hamlet reachable by hiking trails leaving eastern Lake Léman and climbing towards the neighbouring mountains. It makes for a lovely walk, leaving from Saint-Gingolph. Visitors to Novel can admire the village's rustic church, with its traditional steeple, as well as a small oratory dating from the 19th century. The Neuteu pasture provides a splendid view of the lake.
Church, with its statue of Christ.
Crossed by numerous hiking trails (including the "Léman Balcony" GR, or long-distance footpath, and the start of the GR5).
Scenic view of Lake Léman and the Swiss Alps.
Novel Town Hall
Tel: +33 (0)4 50 76 75 18
Fax: +33 (0)4 50 76 75 18