Top places preferred by celebs

in the French Southern Alps

Follow in the footsteps of a movie star in love with the Ubaye valley, a famous radio host who was born in the Hautes-Alpes, a singer and composer who gets his inspiration in the Vallée de la Vésubie, the celebs whose hearts melt in the Alpine landscapes of the South of France.

Georges Clooney and his motorbike in the Ubaye Valley

Yes, George Clooney is a faithful lover of the Ubaye Valley! He regularly extolls its beauty and the warm welcome he receives for example in Barcelonnette to the point where he has remained faithful to it and comes back practically every year. He discovered this Alpine valley quite by chance when riding his motorbike in  2001. And he fell in love with it. “What else ?”, the Hollywood star has a house in Italy near Lake Como and regularly goes through the Ubaye valley on the Italian border to get there. As he says: “It’s a beautiful way to get to the Côte d’Azur”. During his various stops in Barcelonnette, he has been seen at Hôtel Azteca and the Mexican restaurant Adélita. What he loves best: riding across the Alps over the most beautiful cols in Europe to get to Nice. In an interview in the “Mexican” town called Barcelonnette, which has a Latino-Mexican festival every year, he said he would like to be on a motorbike with his wife in the middle of the French Alps. Barcelonnette has a strong connection with Mexico. For a century, up until 1950, many of the valley’s inhabitants crossed the Atlantic to try their luck in Mexico. Among them, some made their fortunes, and when they came back to the Ubaye, had splendid houses built which are known as the “Mexican villas”.

Camille Combal in Les Orres, his home land

Camille Combal, TF1’s star host, is from the Hautes-Alpes. Born in Gap, he grew up in Les Orres where his parents had a hotel. From an early age, the young mountain boy developed a passion for radio by listening to Alpes1 or Lalaradio. But this lover of the mountains and keen skier has never forgotten where he came from and goes to Les Orres every year. What he loves is skiing in winter from the resort which reaches an altitude of over 2,000 metres with a fantastic view over the Lake of Serre-Ponçon, one of the biggest dams in Europe. And in summertime, it’s kitesurfing, boat rides and other water sports with friends and family. These mountains with their raw beauty, the larch forests, … he’s more than hooked! In an interview, he even said that if he hadn’t had his current career, he would have opened a mountain sports shop. Some of the local novelties he’s tested and loved: the panoramic restaurant Le Pic vert and the Speedline, a super zipline in Les Orres.

Julien Doré committed to the Vésubie valley

When he was younger, the handsome singer with the long golden locks used to spend his holidays with his grandmother in Saint-Martin-Vésubie. Julien Doré also got his inspiration there for the songs on his album “&” pronounced “Esperluette”, which was released in 2016. He also recorded an acoustic version of “Coco Câline” in the heart of the mountains of the Côte d’Azur. His fans probably know it already but part of his video clip “Le Lac” was filmed in the Mercantour, with the American actress Pamela Anderson as a guest star. In 2020, historic flooding created by storm Alex wreaked devastating damage in the valley. Julien Doré loves the land of his childhood and is committed to finding funding. He created a tombola for the disaster-stricken valleys which brought in around 1 million Euros. His investment didn’t stop there as he sold items, such as his mini-motorbike seen in several video clips and which he often rode the streets of Saint-Martin-Vésubie. His favourite places are the Lac de la Madone and the ski resort of La Colmiane, you just might get a glimpse of him there!